The Brentwood Arts Exchange Presents “Big Ideas” by Sondra N. Arkin, Susan Finsen and Ellyn Weiss

By Editorial Team on May 2, 2011
Brentwood Art Exchange Big Ideas on East City Art
Photo courtesy of the Brentwood Arts Exchange.

East of the Diamond Gallery openings in Washington DC |OPENINGS |

Opening Reception: Saturday May 7 from 5pm to 8pm

Big Ideas celebrates the beginning of the Brentwood Arts Exchange and Gateway Arts Center’s second year of operation with an exhibition by Sondra N. Arkin, Susan Finsen and Ellyn Weiss. Featuring a collaborative site-specific installation, Big Ideas engages as it aims to survey and embody a collective mindset within the Gateway Arts District.

Three sides of the gallery around Big Ideas will feature new, large-scale paintings that Sondra N. Arkin and Susan Finsen have created specifically for the exhibition. On the fourth side, culminating in time for the May 7 opening reception, Ellyn Weiss will create a mural-sized mixed media drawing, inviting audiences to witness and experience her creative process. All of these artists’ works are designed to visually interact and complement the group’s collaborative installation Community Spirit, a site-specific work that commands the gallery in a way never before seen at the Brentwood Arts Exchange.

Community Spirit will be assembled on-site from dozens of hand-made elements – evocative of industrial detritus and recycled machinery – taking form in response to the gallery space as well as the art works that surround it. The installation incorporates an interactive element designed to survey gallery visitors and give voice to their attitudes about their own futures. People will be invited to write their own thoughts and ideas and add them to the installation. As its form develops through that participation, Community Spirit will slowly evolve into a snapshot of our shared experience.

Arkin, Finsen, and Weiss envision Community Spirit as emblematic of a Gateway Arts District community that is actively engaged in rebuilding its future upon the foundation of its rich history. It is a celebration and a collaborative statement that asks us all to take part. It makes Big Ideas an exhibition that you will have to stop by to see several times throughout its duration, coming together, making a community.

If you miss the opening reception, the following exhibition events are scheduled:

Saturday, May 14, 12:00 – 5:00pm
Gateway Arts District Open Studios Day (more to come about this on East City Art)
2:00pm – Artist Talk: Sondra N. Arkin, Susan Finsen, & Ellyn Weiss will talk about their art work and walk guests through their exhibition.
4:00pm – Join the Community Spirit: A dialogue with the three artists about their installation, Community Spirit, where you are invited to leave your mark.

Wednesday, June 1, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Panel Discussion – Walking Off the Artistic Cliff
Making good art requires taking risks. Join us as we explore what it means to commit to the new and unknown.

Brentwood Arts Exchange at the Gateway Arts Center is located at 3901 Rhode Island Avenue Brentwood, MD 20722. Contact them at 301-277-2863/ tty. 301-446-6802 or online at Big Ideas runs through June 11, 2011.

Gallery Hours:
10am – 8pm Monday through Friday.
10am – 6pm Saturday.
Closed Sunday.