November 2018 Exhibition at Touchstone Gallery

By Editorial Team on October 30, 2018
Federal Rooftops by Gale Wallar. Courtesy of Touchstone Gallery.
Opening Reception: Friday, November 2 from 6pm to 8:30pm

The Healing Power of Art
Art that inspires, calms, or transforms negative perceptions into positive outlooks is a challenge that Touchstone artists are working on. Working in a variety of media, they use their creative ideas to offer feelings of hope and positive change to viewers. In this exhibit look for compassionate visions in photographs, collage, paintings, hand-pulled prints, sculptures, clay forms and drawings.

N • S • E • W by Gale Wallar
John Marin, noted 20th century American painter, had advice for other artists: ‘How to paint the landscape. First you make your bow to the landscape. Then you wait, and if the landscape bows to you, then, and only then, can you paint the landscape.”

Gale Wallar’s extensive travels, north, south, east and west, have exposed her to stunning landscapes, crowded city scenes, hillside villages, a huge source of visual inspiration. Of the numerous places she has sketched and photographed, some have compelled her to return to them in depth. Wallar has culled and focused on images that have inspired her to bow in reverence.

N • S • E • W is a collection of the scenes that have returned the bow. Wallar works in a variety of media in a realist style that draws the viewer into the composition. The structure of the composition and use of color exude a richness and solidity. The viewer is invited to offer their own bow to the world around them, whether north, south, east or west.

Amy Sabrin, Primehook Marsh II, Watercolor, 22”x 30”. Courtesy of Touchstone Gallery.

Fresh Take by Amy Sabrin
Lawyer-turned-artist Amy Sabrin distills the elements of coastal topography to dynamic shapes, values and vivid hues in her fresh, modern take on watercolor. Bordering on the abstract, these landscapes capture the light and feel of beach, bay, marsh and sky, with a minimum of information and a bravura approach to color.

Sabrin has spent all or part of every summer of her life on the beaches of eastern Long Island and, more recently, the Atlantic coast of Delaware. She spends many hours there painting outside, absorbing the atmosphere and landscape, until they become part of her painting-muscle memory. Rarely do these efforts result in a finished product however; instead, she returns to her studio to extract the essence of this experience and reduce it to essential elements. A dazzling colorist, she relies on subtle shifts in bright color fields to communicate the distinctive ambiance of coastal light.

Sabrin comes to making art after a distinguished 25-year career as a white collar criminal defense lawyer and a partner in the Washington office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, LLP. Among numerous cases, she defended President Clinton in Jones v. Clinton, and served as counsel to the commission appointed by then Virginia Governor Tim Kaine to investigate the tragic mass shooting at Virginia Tech. Prior to law school, she was a journalist for eight years, primarily with the Associated Press Radio Network. She has a J.D. from George Washington University and a Masters in Communications from Stanford.

Her interest in making art, however, extends back to her childhood, and she majored in art history at Wellesley College. Throughout her career, Sabrin painted when she could, and retired in 2011 with the aim of developing her skills as a visual artist. In 2015, she became a juried member of the Potomac Valley Watercolorists, and the following year was selected for membership in Touchstone Gallery. Her works have appeared in many juried shows, and several have won prizes, including:

  • Best in Show – Watercolor for “Shadow Play”, The Art League Gallery, Alexandria, VA Open Exhibit, December 2017;
  • Best in Show – Watercolor for “Glen Echo Creek”, The Art League Gallery, Alexandria, VA Open Exhibit, October 2017; and
  • Third Prize for “Reflections in the Bethany Loop Canal,” Bethany Beach Plein Air Competition, October 2017.

Gallery Hours:

  • Wednesday – Friday: 11pm to 6pm
  • Saturday – Sunday: 12pm to 5pm

Touchstone Gallery is located at 901 New York Ave. NW. For more information, visit