November Openings at Touchstone Gallery

By Editorial Team on November 2, 2015

Sat, 07 November 2015 - Sun, 29 November 2015

Photo courtesy of Touchstone Gallery.
Photo courtesy of Touchstone Gallery.


Opening Reception: Friday, November 6 from 6pm to 8:30pm


FotoWeekDC @ Touchstone
A mix of unframed and framed photography by Touchstone Gallery photographers as part of FotoWeekDC November 7 – 15, 2015

  • Elaine Florimonte
  • Carolyn Johnson
  • Harvey Kupferberg
  • Michael Lang
  • Rosemary Luckett
  • Pete McCutchen
  • Newton More
  • Mary D. Ott
  • BD Richardson


“Seeing is believing”
See the world interpreted through each Touchstone member artist’s eyes.  Attentive and sharp-eyed they express their vision, whether literal or otherwise, in photography as well as painting, sculpture, hand pulled prints, collage, and drawing.

“Nature Sketched” by Betsy Forster
A new series of pastel paintings inspired by a personal response to the beauty of nature.

Betsy Forster’s work is about nature, some aspect of it that has touched her emotionally. In her soul, from early childhood years in Southern California, are memories of the beautiful golden hills in the summer dryness. Etched against them are the dark green of trees as they spill down the hillside. These two images have been a common thread through out her work – trees and hills and even to the grandeur of mountains.

While many painters do plein air studies in pastel and return to the studio lot do larger paintings in oil, Forster does just the opposite. She loves to paint on site in oils and bring those studies into the studio to create paintings in pastel. She loves to paint in both mediums, but her favorite is pastel.

This show is entirely pastel paintings, with the exception of one, mixed media piece. They are from time spent in the Virginia countryside, the beautiful valley surrounding Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the Galapagos Islands, the Tuscan area in Italy and a few other favorite locations.

“Handpicked: Works from Miriam’s Kitchen Studio Artists”
The Touchstone Foundation for the Arts presents artwork created in the studios of Miriam’s Kitchen, a DC non-profit dedicated to ending chronic homelessness. The show, scheduled for November, is the latest exhibition in the Foundation’s “Handpicked” series, which brings non-traditional artists to show their work at Touchstone Gallery in downtown DC for one month.  Miriam’s Studio has an award-winning art therapy program rooted in three core values: that art therapy is an expression of human dignity, it provides disconnected individuals with a sense of belonging, and it can be an effective vehicle for guiding people towards positive change.

Artists from Miriam’s Kitchen’s award-winning art therapy program, Miriam’s Studio, have been invited to exhibit their work in the upcoming “Handpicked” exhibit, presented by the Touchstone Foundation. The exhibition will run through November, 2015, and will feature work created in a variety of media, all created by chronically homeless artists served at Miriam’s Kitchen in Foggy Bottom.

“The Touchstone Foundation is an excellent partner for Miriam’s Kitchen, and the focus of the “Handpicked” exhibit mirrors our own philosophy that all artists have a place in the local arts community” said Miriam’s Kitchen’s Senior Case Manager and Art Therapist, Kate Baasch.

Miriam’s Kitchen was selected to exhibit in Touchstone Foundation’s “Handpicked” show in recognition of its therapeutic arts program, Miriam’s Studio. The program is rooted in three core values: that art therapy is an expression of human dignity, it provides disconnected individuals with a sense of belonging, and it can be an effective vehicle for guiding people towards positive change.

Many of the artists at Miriam’s Kitchen live with mental illness and substance abuse issues. As a result, they may be hesitant to engage with our staff because of bad experiences with therapeutic programs in the past. Art therapy in Miriam’s Studio is one way we make a continuum of services accessible to the most vulnerable members of our community. It is proven to build clinical relationships through hospitality, expression, and creativity.

In the past year, several of the individuals housed with support from Miriam’s Kitchen were regular Miriam’s Studio participants. That means that Studio played a key role in their daily life’s activities; it not only supported their engagement with our staff, it supported their motivation to access support services that ended their homelessness.

The structure of studio intentionally creates a safe space where guests can process their experiences and plan for the future, while also creating a place of belonging for right now. Each guest is free to create, share, reflect and grow. These are the ingredients that create change.

“We could not be more thrilled to invite our guests to participate in this exhibit,” said Baasch. The Touchstone Foundation has a proud history of engaging the wider community through their programming. Including our chronically homeless artists in this show is a fantastic demonstration of the transformative power that art can bring to everyone, no matter their circumstances.”

About Miriam’s Studio
Miriam’s Studio groups are offered Monday through Friday, 8:15-9:45 am and 2:30-4:15 pm, and are overseen and facilitated by trained Art Therapists, interns, case managers and volunteers. In addition to open-studio Art Therapy, psycho-therapeutic art therapy groups, psycho-educational groups, and empowerment groups, guests are also offered creative writing workshops, yoga sessions, resume assistance and other activities.

About Miriam’s Kitchen
Miriam’s Kitchen is committed to ending chronic homelessness in Washington, D.C. Miriam’s Kitchen advocates for permanent supportive housing as a long-term solution, while meeting short-term needs by providing healthy meals and high-quality social services to more than 5,000 homeless individuals each year.

About Touchstone Foundation for the Arts
The Touchstone Foundation for the Arts was created by the artists of the Touchstone Gallery, an artist-owned gallery for 39 years. The mission of the Foundation is to engage our community by creating opportunities for emerging and non-traditional artists to develop and exhibit professionally. The Foundation also partners with ArtspaceDC to offer art-making workshops to our neighboring families. The gallery is located at 901 New York Ave NW in downtown Washington, next to CityCenter DC and the Walter R. Washington Convention Center.

Miriam’s Kitchen Contact:

  • Tom Murphy
    Director of Communication
    202.452.8926, ext 235

Touchstone Gallery Contact:

  • Ksenia Grishkova

Gallery Hours:

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

Touchstone Gallery is located at 901 New York Ave. NW. Please see the gallery’s website for additional information.