Tag Archives: art in DC

Morton Fine Art | 52 O St Studios in Washingtonian Magazine

26 Feb


Inside Five DC-Area Working Art Studios

Great spots to connect with the local scene and find one-of-a-kind pieces.




52 O Street Studios. Photograph by Jarrett Hendrix.

Though it’s not always obvious where to find them, Washington is full of working art studios. Here are a few spots where many artists create under one roof. Some have public hours; others are by appointment only. All are excellent places to support the local scene and procure one-of-a-kind pieces.

1. 52 O Street Studios

52 O St., NW

This enclave of artists in Truxton Circle has been around since the 1970s. The brick-faced former factory houses about 50 creatives, including painters, photographers, and fashion designers. The best way to get a sense of the work being made there is on Instagram—follow @52ostreetstudios. Pre-pandemic, the studios would occasionally open up for events. These days, you can make an appointment with individual artists. The building is also home to two galleries: Homme, which features local work by independent and emerging artists, including from the studios upstairs, and Morton Fine Art, a gallery that shows pieces by 25 artists around the world, including contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora.

Pyramid Atlantic Art Center. Photograph by Stereo Vision Photography.

2. Pyramid Atlantic Art Center

4318 Gallatin St., Hyattsville

A huge concentration of artists can be found along the Route 1 corridor stretching from Mount Rainier to Hyattsville. While there are hundreds of studios and artist collectives in the aptly named Gateway Arts District, few are as publicly accessible as Pyramid Atlantic, which is open five days a week and specializes in printmaking and papermaking. Among its offerings: 17 private art studios, a gallery (where most of the art is under $1,000), community studios that can be rented by the hour, and a shop selling work by the resident artists (visits to their studios are by appointment). More info here.

Torpedo Factory. Photograph by Ja’Mon Jackson/City of Alexandria.

3. Torpedo Factory Art Center

105 N. Union St., Alexandria

The nation’s largest community of open artist studios under one roof isn’t in Brooklyn or Oakland. It’s in Old Town. More than 165 artists work in the former munitions factory on the waterfront. Before Covid, their spaces were accessible to the public much of the week. While the building is still open five days, the hours of individual artists are now understandably spottier. So if there’s particular work you want to see, best to schedule in advance. Profiles of the artists—who run the gamut of styles and mediums—are on their website.

Stable Arts. Photograph courtesy of Stable Arts.

4. Stable

336 Randolph Pl., NE

In 2019, right before the pandemic, 25 working studios plus a gallery opened in this repurposed horse stable in Eckington. Though the unfortunate timing means Stable has flown mostly under the radar, a peek inside would reveal dozens of resident artists producing collage, paintings, sculpture, and photography. The studios are closed to the public right now, but executive director Maleke Glee is planning programming in the spring and summer. He says there will be art and crafts for kids so parents can peruse artwork and chat with the artists. Join Stable’s mailing list and learn about its residents here.

5. Arlington Arts Center 

3550 Wilson Blvd., Arlington

In addition to a wide selection of classes for kids and adults, the nonprofit hosts a dozen resident artists, who work in onsite studios. The current cohort includes painters, photographers, sculptors, and mixed-media artists. You can learn about them and find their contact information on their website. They show work publicly in the facility’s Wyatt Residence Artist Gallery and, a few times a year (Covid permitting), during exhibition events. Appointments are required to visit individual studios. The center is also home to eight other galleries that show work from all over.

This article appears in the February 2022 issue of Washingtonian.

MICHAEL BOOKER’s solo “Veil” highlighted in Washingtonian Magazine

18 Nov

Here’s what you should check out this week:

A one-of-a-kind performance: Ben Folds, multi-platinum selling singer-songwriter and artistic advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra, is bringing his greatest hits to the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall for one night only. He will be performing songs from his time as frontman of the Ben Folds Five, his solo career, and his many collaborative records. Monday 11/15 at 8 PM; $39-$79, buy tickets here.

Makin’ music: Bring the kids downtown for a lunchtime go-go music workshop in Franklin Park. Dante Pope, soul-vocalist and drummer, will teach the young musicians about the role of percussion instruments in creating the funky rhythms. Drumsticks will be provided. Tuesday 11/16 at 11 AM; Free, register here.

Fall vibes: Learn the art of floral design in a fall wreath-making workshop from local women-owned flower shop She Loves Me. While the florists will teach you how to put a variety of fresh seasonal flowers and plants on a brass structure, sip on a complimentary beverage from Denizens Brewing Co. in Riverdale Park, Md. Tuesday 11/16 from 6 PM-8 PM; Free, register here.

Reclaiming herself: Hear from model Emily Ratajkowski as she talks about her new memoir, My Body with New York magazine’s Hanna Rosin. In her book, Ratajkowski describes her personal exploration of feminism, sexuality, and power in a collection of essays that also investigates society’s fetishization of female beauty, the contempt for women’s sexuality, and the gray area between consent and abuse. Tuesday 11/16 at 7 PM; $12-$35, buy tickets here.

Have a laugh: Stand-up comedian Ali Siddiq started his comedy career by telling jokes in prison, which gave him the unique perspective and distinct style that has made thousands of people laugh over the past several years. This week, the Bring the Funny finalist will headline for his fourth time at the DC Improv Comedy Club. Wednesday 11/17 through Saturday 11/20 (times vary); $25-$30, buy tickets here.

Wine down: Relax after work with a watercolor painting session at Shop Made in DC’s Georgetown location. The self-guided DIY event comes with two prints to paint and two glasses of wine. Bring a friend, or come solo to meet some new friends. Wednesday 11/17 from 5 PM-7 PM; $20, buy tickets here.

Indigenous films: The National Museum of the American Indian’s Native Cinema Showcase started last week, and features several movies and panels from filmmakers from Indigenous communities throughout the Western Hemispheres and Arctic. Films include Rez Metal—which tells the story of a Navajo heavy metal band’s rise to fame—and Run Woman Run, about a bereaved single mother who gets her life back on track with the guidance of the ghost of her ancestor. Other programming includes short films that reflect Native storytelling traditions and panels about the hurdles that Indigenous filmmakers face. Through Thursday 11/18; Free, learn more here.

Storytelling through art: “Veil” is a new art exhibition at Morton Fine Art in Truxton Circle that depicts artist Michael Booker’s psychological journey throughout the pandemic and recent moments of social injustices. Booker combines watercolor, pen, and hand stitching to portray the resilience and strength of the Black community through troubling times. Through Saturday 12/4; Free, learn more here.

That’s all for now! Don’t forget to drop me a line at dbaker@washingtonian.com to let me know what you’re up to.

Damare Baker


Before becoming an assistant editor, Damare Baker started out as an editorial fellow for Washingtonian. She has previously written for Voice of America and The Hill. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied international relations, Korean, and journalism.

American Contemporary Art, Hadieh Shafie & Art in DC

1 Jun

American Contemporary Art

May 2011
Letter from Washington, DC
by F. Lennox Campello

Around the District, artist Hadieh Shafie is on a good streak right now. To start, Bruce Helander, Editor-in-Chief of The Art Economist and a White House Fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, recently picked ten artists to watch in an article for The Huffington Post and Hadieh Shafie was one of the chosen ten. Shafie is currently also nominated for the London’s Victoria & Albert Museum’s prestigious Jameel Prize 2011. She recently received the Franz Bader Award in the DC region. Finally, this talented artist’s solo exhibition titled The Sweet Turning of the Page, is currently on exhibition at Morton Fine Art (1781 Florida Ave, NW at 18th & U Street in DC) through June 3. This Iranian-born artist says that a constant element of her work has been “the significance of process, repetition and time all rooted in the influence of Islamic art & craft.” Her ink and paper paintings are the end result of tightly scrolled and brightly colored rolls of paper which often hide hand-written text by the artist. While one is initially tempted to associate her work with Op-Art, Hadieh’s intelligent and coherent marriage of pure color with a deeply personal cultural branding, pushes her artwork beyond the pure eye candy of that mode and begins to explore the process of adding a new contemporary dialogue to what can be lossely described as Islamic-influenced art. There’s something powerful in these works — the tightly coiled colored rolls hide words, much like women in the tightly coiled world of many Islamic nations are forced to hide their words and opinions, especially in the brutal theocracy of her native Iran. There’s an Orwellian aspect to these works with a touch of Washington Color School that makes them deliver an unique perspective to the spectacular artistic diversity of the nation’s capital. It is no accident that Hadieh’s works have come to national prominence originating from the DMV…
Continued on the following website: http://www.acamagazine.com/