Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Fourth Day of Christmas (Shopping): For Arts Lovers

Logan and Dupont are perfect for finding gifts for your artsy and arts-loving giftees. So if you didn't get all of your holiday gift buying done on cyber Monday, I have a few suggestions for you. I'll keep rolling them out by category over the next few days or so. For the most part gift suggestions are ordered by approximate cost.

Gifts for Artists
Help your favorite starving artist with a gift of high-end supplies from Utrecht at 1250 I St. My personal favorite are the uber-creamy Prismacolor pencils.

Surprise a musically inclined giftee by refurbishing his college guitar. Sophocles Pappas’ Guitar Shop (1216 Connecticut Ave.) provides repairs and restringing. They also offer lessons if your favorite musician also needs retuning.

Visual artists may also appreciate having their opus framed. Gallery 2000 (1601 Connecticut Ave.) can help to dress up and preserve most flat compositions.

Classes for Arts ‘n’ Craftsy Types
Crafty folks may enjoy offerings from G Street Fabrics (11854 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD). Though the sewing class options are certainly plentiful and diverse, one can also take crochet and knitting courses, some jewelry making classes, bookbinding workshops, and home design instruction.

This area has two institutions offering professional level instruction in a variety of media – the Arts League of Washington at the Torpedo Factory (10 North Union St., Alexandria, VA) and Glen Echo Park (7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, MD). Classes range from darkroom photography to silver jewelry making and glass blowing. Some courses are one or two day weekend seminars and others meet once a week over a two month session.

Gifts of art
We have quite a few galleries and other retailers selling art in our neighborhood. Photography is usually the least expensive type of artwork to buy, but if you want to splurge you can buy one of Tipper Gore's masterpieces at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams (1526 14th Street NW) for about $800 to $2200. But there are plenty of stores in the more affordable range. My favorite are the color photographs at Claude Taylor’s gallery (1627 Connecticut Avenue). His prints range in price from a very reasonable $20 for an unframed 5”x7” photo to $200 for a framed 14”x20”image. The gallery is also holding a five for the price of four sale. Taylor’s images capture iconic and prototypical scenes from famous sites around the world – a perfect gift for the traveler or former foreign exchange student. His palette tends to skew toward saturated reds, blues, greens and oranges, a lively complement to minimalist neutral home interiors.

If black and white photography is more your style, and Tipper is beyond your desired price point, Pulp (1801 14th St.) is currently featuring works by Frank Muzzy. Many of his photos feature architecture and stone sculpture rendered in black and white in medium contrast. Relatively large framed pictures are selling in the $400-ish range.

We also have a few galleries in the area featuring gorgeous paintings. My mostest favoritest artist, Chris Stephens is current exhibiting at Longview (1302 9th Street). His works are primarily slightly abstracted landscapes and stark representations of buildings. One of the pieces currently hanging reminds me of Van Gogh in both palette, brush stroke, and starkness. A serene composition of depicting a landscape along a river looks like a contemporary interpretation of the impressionist style. The prices range from $250 for his studies on board to thousands for his larger framed compositions. If his work is within your price range, I think it’s a fabulous value.

Also at Longview are some some more affordable gift items including wooden bowls and ceramic gift bags that look exactly like the paper versions — very wild.

For art lovers whose pockets aren’t as deep, Plan B (1530 14th Street) has a December show of art priced at $500 and under. I haven’t seen the exhibit yet so I can’t really say what types of art are hanging, but I can say that I’ve liked past shows there – everything from non representational abstract art to more traditional landscapes.

I will also recommend the Nevin Kelly Gallery at 1517 U Street. This month’s show is “Attainable Art” featuring works under $1500. The show includes artworks from a number of the gallery’s regular artists. Subject matter ranges from non-representational color block compositions to still lives and abstract works depicting people.


Scenic Artisan said...

or come to the black cat sunday night for their annual rock-n-shop!

DC said...

This is just what I was looking for for that last minute gift I need for TONIGHT! I'm going to swing by Utrecht as it is right on my way!

Amanda from DC Metrocentric

Anonymous said...

Domku is having an art fair on the 15 of this month. Below is a link for more info: