Art Pick!: The “emerging” of DC @ (e)merge art fair 2012

Art Pick!: The “emerging” of DC @ (e)merge art fair 2012

The second annual (e)merge art fair, is Washington, DC’s fine-art venture by way  of founders Leigh Conner and Jamie Smith of the Connersmith Gallery and art-fair maven,  Helen Allen. This year brought together more than 80 galleries and artists at the Capitol Skyline Hotel in Washington, DC, October 4-7, 2012.  The featuring of more performance art, largely by local artist standouts such as the incomparable Holy Bass among others, gave the fair a much more contemporary and hipster feel compared to its more established peers.  Of the DC-based galleries, I felt the Project 4 Gallery had the best offering in talent, artistic content and diversity–a suitable choice for the emerging, serious collector. Located on the U Street Corridor of Washington, DC, Project 4 is one of the newest galleries in the area but does not lack in strong and collectible artwork.  During this year’s fair, the gallery’s showing of two local artists, Ellington Robinson and Katherine Tzu-Ian Mann, were memorable stand outs.

Ellington Robinson is a DC based artist who earned his MFA in painting and mix media at the University of Maryland, College Park and an undergraduate degree in English from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.  His work can be found in some impressive private and public collections including The David C. Driskell Center and the Jean and Robert Steele Collection.  He received an Anne Truitt Fellowship and the David C. Driskell Award of Excellence in teaching Fellowship .What moved me most about Ellington’s work is the feeling of movement (like music) when I look at his art.  It was almost no surprise when I discovered that he uses everything from album sleeve covers to cassette tapes as material for his unique works.

Track 88, (2012) by Ellington Robinson. Acrylic, collage, cassette tape, oil on canvas, 48x48x1

Another favorite is Katherine Tzu-lan Mann, a DC-based artist who attended the Maryland Institute College of Art and Brown University.  She has received several fellowships, grants and residencies including the Fulbright Grant, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts  and Andersion Ranch residencies as well as being a Hamiltonian Fellow.  She is slated for a solo show with Project 4 in November 2012. Katherine’s work can be summed up in one word-magical!  I find the sweeping and detailed lines in ink complimented by acrylic absolutely breathtaking.  I am also intrigued by the reminiscent feel of ancient Asian artistic influences that are apparent in her work.

Embroideries by Katherine Mann, acrylic and sumi ink on paper, 55×110 inches

Robinson and Mann were powerhouses among Project 4’s showings and with their strong backgrounds, both artists show much promise for careers in the fine arts. At a reasonable price range of $2500-$3000, these artists are a great find for the emerging collector.  Check them out along with others artists currently represented by Project 4, located at 1353 U. Street, NW in Washington, DC.

Sharon Burton keeps her finger on the pulse of D.C.’s visual arts scene and runs The Artinista Art Advisory a savvy boutique, woman-owned, art consultancy specializing in providing services to professional women looking to build and maintain contemporary art collections by emerging and mid-career artists. Got a LSP Pick!? Contact Sharon here.

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