Art Appreciation a Strolldown Bethesda Streets; Event a Chanceto Meet Artists

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 18, 2006 | Go to article overview

Art Appreciation a Strolldown Bethesda Streets; Event a Chanceto Meet Artists


Byline: Karen Goldberg Goff, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Appreciating art does not have to be confined to the walls of the National Gallery. Art is all around, particularly in the galleries of Bethesda. An excellent

way for art lovers both beginning or experienced to take in the works of local and national artists is to participate in the Bethesda Art Walk.

This free event, sponsored by the Bethesda Urban Partnership, takes place the second Friday of the month. Thirteen downtown Bethesda galleries remain open from 6 to 9 p.m., welcoming visitors with wine, snacks and a chance to meet featured artists. Participants can go at their own pace or take part in a guided tour, which meets at the Bethesda Metro Center during selected months.

"The art walk brings a lot of people through the galleries," says Lauren Degourse, marketing and communications coordinator for the Bethesda Urban Partnership. "A lot of the galleries hold their exhibit openings in conjunction with the art walk, so it is a good chance to talk to the artists."

On a recent Friday, about 20 participants took part in the guided tour, which has an added bonus of trolley service for a portion of the route. First stop: the Washington School of Photography on Rugby Avenue. The gallery was celebrating the opening of its "American Landscapes" exhibit. First-place winner Mary Louise Ravese, a nature and travel photographer from Waterford, Va., gave tour participants a brief talk on how she took a photograph titled "Waves of Grain." The photograph captures North Dakota wheat and pea fields on rolling hills, each hill shimmering with a different hue in the late-day sun.

"An interesting part of this landscape is how the glaciers formed rolling hills," Ms. Ravese explained to the crowd. "The climate is different at the top and bottom of the hills. I got up on a butte for a better view. This was photographed with the late-afternoon light around last Fourth of July."

Next stop more photographs, these from Bethesda photographer Karen Elliott Greisdorf at Gallery Frame Avenue, a tiny gallery tucked into an alley off Cordell Avenue. After that, it was off to the Fraser Gallery on Wisconsin Avenue, where winners of the Bethesda Painting Awards were being honored. Nine regional painters were winners in the second annual competition, which featured a grand prize of $10,000.

The walk is a good chance to see what local galleries carry and also learn about different art genres. Photography displays, contemporary art, textile art, drawings, prints and other media all can be enjoyed. Because exhibits generally change monthly at the galleries, one could go on the art walk several times a year and see different works and meet different artists each time.

Even better, one could use it as either an educational experience or a shopping trip. Most of the works on display are for sale, and prices run the gamut from a $75 nature photograph to an $8,500 oil painting.

"I find art interesting," says recent art walk participant Dorothy Lusiniski of Silver Spring. …

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