Get A Bright View of Georgetown at Gallery Gaze

Written by Andrea
February 14, 2010

The city's newest gallery walk, the Georgetown Gallery Gaze, didn't debut at the easiest time of the year, nor has it been blessed with the finest winter weather for its inaugural season. But this new monthly arts event (founded by Poppy gallery owner and jewelry designer Heidi Hess) is, not surprisingly, a real gem and worth checking out before it is unearthed by the masses. Each third Friday of the month, DC culture lovers can peruse the galleries of Georgetown that remain open until 8 with art, music, libations, and nibbles. Inspired by the monthly gallery walks in other cities like Seattle and Portland, Ms. Hess wasn't willing to wait for warmer weather to make art and design a little more accessible to Washington events-goers. I recommend beginning the tour at the top of Wisconsin (Book Hill) and working down Wisconsin, over to Canal Walk and, lastly, to Cady's Alley. Walk over to The Ralls Collection, on Wisconsin Avenue, which specializes in contemporary photography with its 150+ artists in inventory, including Tom Baril, Caio Fonseca, Mira Hecht, Annie Leibovitz, and Michael Kenna. Also located on Book Hill is Susan Calloway Fine Art, which showcases contemporary art by local, regional, and international artists, antique American and European oil paintings, and a selection of 17th- to 19th-century prints. As you wander down Wisconsin Avenue, don't forget to dip into cobblestoned streetcar track-lined P street to say hello to Gaze founder Heidi Hess at Poppy, where you may find her forging away on her anvil, creating her newest pieces of silver adornment. Then visit neighboring studio artist Homayoun Yeroushalmiwho you may find painting scenes of Washington. Hang a left on M and then head right down 31st toward the canal and you'll find a hidden courtyard of small art galleries, including the tiniest in the city. Just next door, at the Cross Mackenzie Gallery, Rebecca Cross shows the best of contemporary functional and sculptural ceramic art, along with work by local and national painters and photographers. Neighboring Parish Gallery represents chiefly contemporary visual artists of significance from Africa and the African diaspora and curates in the spirit of social preservation and regeneration. The next segment of the galley walk will take you over to the alley houses that now make up Cady's Alley. Enjoy the high-end interior design showrooms' displays and clothing boutiques and consider a pitstop at Leopold’s Kafe to savor some Austrian cuisine. Jewelers' Werk Galerie represents contemporary international jewelry artists, often avant-garde, sometimes experimental, along with a collection of well-designed jewelry that international designers make on a small-production basis. Finally, continue west along the alley and enter the back door of L'Eclat De Verre. This unique mat and frame store (new to DC) exists in 40 locations in France and takes the work of “matting” to an art form in itself. Instead of the traditional white matboard, the store's papers from around the world are just the thing to highlight the colors, textures, and patterns of any piece. At the Friday night Valentine's Date Night event, we can look forward to a special Valentine's raffle for a date-night sponsored by local restauranteurs in support of Gallery Gaze. The founder plans to make "sister restaurants" a regular feature of Gallery Gaze, so look for more neighborhood food and art pairings. Just a few months old, this local gallery walk is already showing promise and will quickly rank among our favorite gallery events, and is certain to bring new life to the Georgetown evening social scene. For additional questions or to apply to have your business/gallery included in the Gaze, contact: Georgetown Gallery Gaze founder Heidi Hess: The full walking map is available at all participating venues on the evening of the event and can also be downloaded here.
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