Arlington, VA

(Updated at 3:50 p.m.) Gallery Clarendon, a temporary art space at 2800 Clarendon Blvd, has announced that it will be closing to make way for a new pizza restaurant from New England.

The gallery, a project from the Arlington Artists Alliance, opened at Market Common Clarendon in June 2018 as a way to fill the space until a permanent tenant could be found. At the time, the Arlington Artists Alliance told ARLnow they expected to be open for roughly a year.

The gallery will close at the end of February, the Alliance said.

In May of 2018, with modest expectations and a solely volunteer effort, the Arlington Artists Alliance turned the empty storefront on the corner of Clarendon Blvd. and N. Fillmore into a gallery and artist studios for 50+ local Arlington artists. The positive feedback we received from the community was heartwarming and overwhelming… It was a wonderful experience for the artists and we thank each and every one of you who visited our gallery and studios or attended a class in Clarendon.

A pair of shows currently on display, called Catharsis and Kaleidoscope, will be the final exhibits at the gallery. Both shows are scheduled to have an opening reception tomorrow (Friday). Catharsis’ reception is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. while Kaleidoscope will start at 5 p.m., with both scheduled to finish around 7 p.m.

The Arlington Artists Alliance is currently hoping to find a new home in North Arlington, though its Gallery Underground location in Crystal City remains open.

Cherise Goldbach, general manager of Market Common Clarendon owner Regency Centers, said the new tenant in the space is Colony Grill, a small chain of thin-crust pizza-focused restaurants primarily based out of Connecticut.

The company’s website says it offers a one-size (12-inch) thin-crust cheese pizza, with signature spicy hot oil, and a variety of toppings. The chain also has a salad pizza — the company’s thin crust topped with salad fixings — with no cheese or sauce unless requested.

It will be the only Colony Grill location outside of Connecticut and New York, according to the company’s website. The first Colony Grill opened in an Irish immigrant neighborhood of Samford, Connecticut in 1935.

“Everyone at Colony Grill is extremely excited to open in Clarendon later in 2020,” said Ken Martin, COO of Colony Grill, said in an email forwarded to ARLnow. “During our search, we absolutely fell in love with the greater Arlington area. It is simply a remarkable part of the country. We look forward to introducing our unique pizza to the neighborhood and becoming a part of the community fabric for years to come.”

Pete’s New Haven Apizza, which offered a different pizza style of Connecticut origin, closed in August two blocks away.

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Morning Notes

New Grocery Store for Crystal City — “D.C.-based Dweck Properties is pitching a nearly 16,000-square-foot ‘urban format grocery store’ for the base of its Crystal Plaza apartments, according to plans filed with Arlington County this summer. Dweck is hoping to add roughly 38,000 square feet of retail to a plaza in front of the apartments, located at 2111 Richmond Highway.” [Washington Business Journal]

New Record High at DCA — “Washington is experiencing a beastly hot October day, unlike anything it has previously observed. The city exceeded its hottest October temperature ever previously observed, hitting 98 degrees, surpassing the mark of 96 degrees set on Oct. 5, 1941.” [Washington Post]

WaPo Interviews Dog About Hot Day — “Skippy, a golden retriever from Arlington, said: ‘I haven’t relieved myself outside in months. A dog of my standing cannot relieve himself in these offensively hot conditions.’ Skippy’s owner, Bill, rolled his eyes and confirmed this before heading back downstairs to scrub the carpet.” [Washington Post]

Joint Arlington-Alexandria Meeting — “In a rare joint meeting of top Alexandria and Arlington officials, the two communities laid the foundation for a closer collaboration on affordable housing… Despite the lofty goals for collaboration, little was decided in what amounted to a lengthy icebreaker between the two governing bodies.” [ALXnow]

Opening at Crystal City Art Gallery — “The Gallery Underground’s focus gallery theme this month is Chaos in which the artists strive to capture the feeling of instability and chaos. In addition to the focus gallery, we’re celebrating the opening of the newest Fotowalk Gallery.” [Crystal City]

Septuagenarian Still Playing Hockey in Ballston –“Paul Mason, 76-years-old, knows that age is just a number. WUSA9 caught up with him at the Medstar Capitals Iceplex, playing in a pick-up game with others who were many decades his junior.” [WUSA 9]

Press Conference in Rosslyn Area Driveway — Attorney and oft-discredited conspiracy theorist Jack Burkman is planning to hold a press conference in the driveway of his home near Rosslyn this afternoon to present new, thus-far uncorroborated allegations against Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren. [Twitter]

Photo courtesy Dennis Dimick

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This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

By guest blogger and Arlington artist Melanie Kehoss

Over 30 of Arlington’s visual artists are opening workspaces to the public for the second annual Arlington Visual Art Studio Tour, allowing the public a rare glimpse into the creative process.

Studios will be open in neighborhoods throughout the county on Saturday and Sunday, September 28 and 29, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Local artists will feature their work, processes and studio spaces, many of which are rarely open to the public. Art lovers of all ages can meet and chat with the artists while enjoying paintings, ceramics, metals, photography and more.

The day before the tour, check out the Launch Party on Friday, September 27, 5-7 p.m., with a Launch Party at Cody Gallery, at Marymount University’s Ballston Center, 1000 North Glebe Road, 2nd Floor. There, art lovers and artists can meet, celebrate and plan their tour route.

This free event allows local artists to feature their work, processes and studio spaces, while showcasing the richness and diversity of visual arts to be found in Arlington County. Visitors will find paintings, ceramics, jewelry, paper art, photography and more.

The Arlington Visual Art Studio Tour is a joint effort by the Arlington Artists Alliance, Arlington Arts Center, Columbia Pike Artist Studios, Westover Artists and independent artists throughout Arlington County, with support from Arlington Cultural Affairs and the Arlington Commission for the Arts.

“Arlington has many accomplished artists creating significant bodies of work in their homes, garages or rented studio space,” says Katherine Freshley, former Executive Director of Arlington Arts Center. “This open studio tour provides a rare opportunity to see and understand the artistic process that often seems quite mysterious… You’ll walk away with new insights and appreciation for Arlington’s hidden treasures — visual artists.”

“This tour addresses a central goal of Arlington County’s Arts and Culture strategy, Enriching Lives — to promote local artists and assist them in developing new audiences,” says Michelle Isabelle-Stark, Director of the Cultural Affairs Division of Arlington Economic Development, which is a sponsor of this event highlighting the county’s diverse range of visual artists. “Moreover, the fact that this initiative emerged organically — by and of the artists — is itself a testament to the continued growth and vitality of Arlington’s creative community.”

Find more info, including an artist directory, at arlingtonartstudiotour.org. A map with studio addresses will be available online starting in September.

Tour guides will be available at the Launch Party, Arlington Arts Center, Studios ClarendonLee Arts Center, and more. All events are free and open to all ages

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This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Arlington artists Emma Cregan and Johab Silva were selected to be showcased in the Arlington Open Call 2019 Exhibition, opening Friday, September 6 (reception: 6-8 p.m.) through Saturday, November 2 at Cody Gallery at Marymount University, 1000 North Glebe Road, 2nd Floor, Arlington, Virginia, 22201

The all Arlington juried exhibition continues as a tradition that Arlington Cultural Affairs Division started over 20 years ago.  In collaboration with Marymount’s Cody Gallery, Arlington Arts invited artists who live, work or have a studio in Arlington to apply.

Each of the two selected artists will each receive a $500 honorarium. This exhibition was juried by: Meaghan Kent, Director of Cody Gallery, Marymount University; Cynthia Connolly, Special Projects Curator, Arlington, Virginia and Dawne Langford, independent curator, artist and filmmaker from the Washington, D.C. area.

The work of Cregan and Silva intersect at various points visually and conceptually. Emma Cregan’s stop motion videos “Escaping Blade,” “Escaping Soil” and “Escaping Surface” are experimentations of long shutter speeds. The images are captured fragments re-interpreted with the use of light, allowing our perception of the environment and reality to become abstracted.

Johab Silva’s paintings on panel are inspired from his travels to the Amazon rainforest and the impact of human presence and the environment. The artist will also create a site specific installation in the University stairwell with lightweight plastic materials. Together, the work of these artists allow us to slow down and re-interpret the environment around us.

Emma Cregan’s work explores the space between the digital and intangible. Cregan studied animation at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Kinetic Imaging program, where she created several short films using puppets and other stop-motion techniques. Her animations focused on family history led to an internship at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

While working at the Smithsonian, she created short videos and wrote articles about the importance of culture and how traditional knowledge remains relevant in the 21st century. Her interest in cultural heritage led to an internship with The Maa Trust, a non-profit in the Maasai Mara working to establish harmony between community development and environmental conservation. Cregan created short video pieces showcasing their efforts to economically empower Maasai women.

Her experiences with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and The Maa Trust inspired her to create art focused on intangibility. She is drawn to animation because it is an exaggeration and distortion of reality. The visuals created are simultaneously familiar and alien, opening the audience’s mind to see the world from a different perspective. Through the distortion of the world created by animation, we can better understand unique perceptions of reality.

Johab Silva is a native Brazilian who has lived and worked in Washington, D.C. since 2008. He holds a Masters’ Degree in Art Education from Corcoran College of Art and Design. Silva’s ongoing research explores themes of appropriation, materiality, space and environmental issues.

His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Transformer Gallery, Miami Art Palace and the Santo Andre Museum of Art. His work has been published in The Washington Post, Art in America and Sculpture Magazine.

Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development, which delivers public activities and programs as Arlington Arts. Our mission is to create, support and promote the arts, connecting artists and community to reflect the diversity of Arlington.

We do this by: providing material support to artists and arts organizations in the form of grants, facilities and theater technology; integrating award-winning public art into our built environment; and presenting high quality performing, literary, visual and new media programs across the County.

Cody Gallery is a contemporary art space created as a platform to support the arts and strengthen the arts community at Marymount University and the greater Washington DC area. Exhibitions present work by local, regional and international artists in order to provide groundbreaking and thought-provoking work for the community to experience.

Events, including artist talks and lectures, are available for students at Marymount University and the general public at large.

For more info on the exhibit, visit www.marymount.edu/codygallery, or www.arlingtonarts.org.

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Gallery Clarendon is celebrating its grand opening.

On Saturday (Sept. 15), the Gallery Clarendon will officially open at the corner of Clarendon Blvd. and and Fillmore St. in the former Fuego restaurant corner.

Gallery Clarendon is the newest professional art gallery created by the Arlington Artists Alliance, and first opened its doors in late June.

The grand opening will start with festivities at 11 a.m. with activities for adults and children. A more adult-oriented wine reception runs from 5-8 p.m., catered by nearby restaurants and featuring the music of local band HYFY. The reception will give visitors a chance to meet and mingle with the gallery artists.

The Gallery Clarendon will showcase art from local artists and manage professional artist studios. The professional studios on the second floor of Gallery Clarendon will be open daily to the public from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

The gallery will also host events and offer classes for aspiring artists, operating an art academy that will offer day and night classes for adults and children.

On the second Fridays of every month, Gallery Clarendon will host a free opening reception for a new exhibit. Each month, the main gallery space will change with a fresh show from a different local artist.

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(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Gallery Clarendon opened its doors Wednesday (June 20), using two floors of gallery and studio space to showcase the work of local artists.

Located at 2800 Clarendon Boulevard, the gallery is a temporary project of the Arlington Artists Alliance. It occupies the space vacated by Mexican restaurant Fuego Cocina y Tequileria in October 2016. Admission to the gallery is free, although pieces may be purchased, and there are plans to begin offering art classes within the next few weeks.

The length of Gallery Clarendon’s stay depends on when Regency Centers, which also operates the Market Common Clarendon shopping center, can find a permanent tenant for the site. Sandi Parker, managing director of galleries at the Arlington Artists Alliance, said they anticipate being open for at least a year.

“I always liken it to staging a house — it looks better when there’s something there,” Parker said. Regency Centers was “very generous to allow us to use the space,” she added.

The gallery is planning a grand opening for sometime in September, Parker said.

For both events, “we really want to engage with the Clarendon community,” Parker said. They plan to have “some of our potential teachers on site to work with kids,” and hope to partner with local businesses to elevate receptions, she added.

The art on display will change at opening receptions held on the second Friday of every month, Parker said. Reception attendees will have the opportunity to meet and converse with artists.

The gallery had aimed to open in April, but complications in obtaining an occupancy permit from the county caused delays.

“This is kind of a unique space in that it was originally a restaurant/bar… so it’s a change of use,” Parker said. Safety updates like replacing lights were also necessary after the space’s lengthy vacancy, she said.

Now that the gallery is open, Parker said they look forward to getting to know the Clarendon community.

“We’re excited,” she said. “We’re hoping that we’re going to meet a lot of Clarendon residents and… find a whole new market.”

Regency Centers operates several properties in Northern Virginia. Although Jan Hanak, the company’s vice president of marketing and communications, said he wasn’t aware of any other arrangements like this one, the corporation is  “certainly interested in those types of uses because it creates a certain type of buzz at the property and brings new people in.”

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A new art gallery is opening in Ballston on Saturday (May 12).

The Fred Schnider Art Gallery, which is backed by D.C. area real estate investment and development firm Fred Schnider Investment Group, is planning a grand opening event from 6-9 p.m. at the Residences at Liberty Center (888 N. Quincy Street).

The gallery opening will feature the work of award-winning artist and longtime Marymount University professor David Carlson. He will display his “Out of My Mind” paintings and drawings from his “Fields and Transformation” series.

The 850-square-foot gallery will display seven exhibits a year, with each exhibit appearing for six weeks at a time. Normal exhibit hours will be from 2-7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday until July 8.

The gallery plans to collaborate with local universities to incorporate an educational setting into the space. It will also host events with the Ballston Business Improvement District and the Arlington Commission for the Arts.

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The Clarendon Art Gallery opening has been delayed to early May.

Signs went up for Gallery Clarendon on March 9, and the nonprofit gallery intended to open this Sunday (April 1). However, it has not yet received its occupancy permit from the county.

Jane Coonce, Gallery Clarendon’s executive director, told ARLnow that she had applied before the signs had gone up for the occupancy permit. She expressed disappointment that it hadn’t come through yet, but was understanding.

Noting that the time of her permit application coincided with spring break, Coonce added that she’s “sure any employees who had kids probably had to stay home with the kids, so that might have put the county behind.”

Until a permanent commercial tenant is found, the gallery, built and developed by volunteers, will call the former Fuego Cocina y Taquileria space home, rent-free other than utilities costs.

The cavernous first floor space will host the gallery, while the second floor will accommodate artist studios and art classes for both children and adults.

Though Coonce said that equipment cannot be installed until the gallery has received its occupancy permit, the build out will be finished by the end of the day on Friday, and volunteers will have the space cleaned up by Saturday.

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Arlington’s annual spring Artfest Week starts today (March 16) at Fort C.F. Smith Park.

An opening reception at the Hendry House this evening, from 6-8 p.m., will allow residents to meet local artists over light refreshments while kicking off a week of art shows, workshops, and sales. The celebrations feature 35 Arlington-based artists.

The week of events, in its fifteenth year running, will be held at Fort C.F. Smith Park, at 2411 24th Street N. All events are free admission.

Artistic workshops cover a variety of mediums, from watercolor to oil bars to canvas floor painting. A full list of workshops and kids activities can be found on the Arlington Artists Alliance website.

Organizers have advertised the following hours for the festival:

  • Friday, March 16, 6-8 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 17, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 18, 12-5 p.m.
  • Tuesday-Thursday, March 20-22, 12-4 p.m.
  • Friday, March 23, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
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A new Clarendon art gallery run by the Arlington Artists Alliance will temporarily occupy the space that formerly housed Fuego Cocina y Taquileria, and they won’t be paying rent.

Gallery Clarendon put up signs last Friday (March 9) and intends to open to the public by April 1. That’s so long as the alliance receives its occupancy permit in time, according to Jane Coonce, Gallery Clarendon’s executive director.

Until a permanent commercial tenant is found, the gallery, built and developed by volunteers, will stay and only pay utilities. Crystal City’s Gallery Art Underground is run in a similar way as Gallery Clarendon by Arlington Artists Alliance.

While the first floor will be a gallery, the second will be artist studios with art classes, including oil painting and pastels lessons, for children and adults. Coonce intends to offer a painting class with wine.

The first installation, according to Coonce, will likely feature the work of those who volunteered or donated toward building the space. Later installations will feature primarily Arlington artists and occasionally artists from nearby Northern Virginia locales.

Coonce added that there’s been excitement by both volunteers and the public for the new space to open.

“All the artists are excited. Even the people that walk by, when they stuck their head in before we put our little signs on the window, they said ‘what’s going in here?’ said Coonce.

“And [when] we say ‘gallery,’ they go ‘Oh, that’s what we need.'”

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A new exhibit at Crystal City’s Gallery Underground, in the shops at 2100 Crystal Drive, might hit too close too home for some new parents.

Screaming Babies” is a solo exhibit by artist Linda Lowery on display now in the free and open art space. Lowery has been drawing infants in states of “raw emotion” for years, in myriad colors, sizes and methods.

“The pain and discomfort depicted in these portraits is a metaphor for the pain and discomfort we experience all of our lives,” Lowery said about her works. “When we see a picture of an infant crying, we identify with the baby’s pain or feelings of abandonment and insecurity and fright.”

The pieces are all available for purchase. The exhibit will run until Saturday, March 28

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