Artsy Fartsy

Arts & Crafts for the Urban Hipster

3Rs April 29, 2006

Filed under: Art — kellyrand @ 1:49 am

Reduce Reuse Recycle

These 3 Rs have a whole new meaning and I have my new favorite craft blog Whip Up to thank. Writing about a Ms. Jill Danyelle talks about sustainability and style – how clothes can be stylish and include the 3 Rs. She has her own daily blog and a commitment to make over 50% of her wardrobe more sustainable.

Reuse – not bought new
Reduce – environmentally friendly production practices
Recycle – made from a previously existing item

My awe for the wonderful things people in this world work for and can produce still amazes me. 

 

Blocked April 27, 2006

Filed under: Art — kellyrand @ 1:41 am

After running around all weekend for work, I am finally back and able to post, but find myself uninspired.

Facing artists block – I’ll throw it to you my lurkers – How do you deal with a creative block? What helps you become inspired again?

 

Captain Planet April 21, 2006

Filed under: Community — kellyrand @ 5:35 pm

As many of you should know, this Saturday is Earth Day. A day to celebrate our love for our Earth, Wind, Fire, Water and don't forget about Heart. A day to reflect on the oh so many ways that we are going to hell in a hand basket.

I was reminded today of one of the great quotes that came out of the 2004 Presidential campaign. Teresa Heinz Kerry was asked about environmentalists and how we are all so pessimistic; the sky is always falling, etc. She said that environmentalists were not pessimistic and in fact they were optimistic – because if they wern't they would be drunk or dead.

And so since I like my gloom and doom with a sense of humor, I give you Grist.

In hopes that you make Earth Day everyday here are some ways that you can celebrate:

Future Green – a new store in Dupont Circle/Logan Circle area committed to providing the DC metro area with a diverse selection of fair trade products. Their slogan "The Power of Purchase, the Positive Impact".

Earth Day at Future Green
1469 Church Street NW
12:00 – 4:00 rain or shine

Featuring a Swap-O-Rama-Rama Clothing Swap, Eco-Friendly Fashion Show, Natural Knit-Wit and Super organic side-walk sale.

Community Forklift – a new home improvement store with a twist.  Specializing in surplus, salvaged and green building materials, their goal is to "lift up" the community. They provide training and job opportunities to low income households and help divert reusable building material from landfills.

Community Forklift Grand Opening
4671 Tanglewood Drive in Edmonston, MD
April 27th – 29th 8:00 – 4:00

Grand opening festivities include a Green Building Commerce Fair, Do it yourself workshops, a potluck and dancing.

The National Building Museum hosts The Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture and Design. The first major traveling exhibition to focus on green home design and architecture.

401 F Street NW
Opening May 20th

 

Crafty Bastards April 18, 2006

Filed under: Art,Craft — kellyrand @ 3:32 am

While lurking about my favorite message board craftster.org I came upon a thread about a prom-a-long. While craft-a-longs of any sort aren’t new or that exciting and my prom was firmly in the bowls of memory, my interest was piqued.

On closer inspection over 100 pages awaited sorting. Lucky for me I ran across a post with links to a lovely designer for inspiration.

I have to thank all crafty bastards for continually opening up my eyes to new and amazing creations. These dresses are so wonderful.

Beckerman Knitted DressBeckerman Knitted Dress

Trying to figure out how to decontruct these and then reconstruct them in real life before I become distracted by another impossible and beautiful puzzle, is going to be very tricky.

 

Renoir + 1 April 17, 2006

Filed under: Art — kellyrand @ 2:28 am

The Phillips Collection opened its doors this past weekend to celebrate the return of "Luncheon of the Boating Party" after being on tour for the past four years. So I took advantage of being able to enjoy the return of Renoir, the Degas, Sickert and Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit and the permanent collection.

While Renoir is well known and "Luncheon" was majestic in its colors and composition, the exhibit halls were dominated by Degas, Sickert and Toulouse-Lautrec. I am most familiar with Degas’ dancers and Lautrec’s Moulan Rougue, but Sickert was new to me.

Sickert was greatly influenced by Degas and his work looked to be in good company hanging in this exhibit. Heavy outlines seemed characteristic of his style, made with a dry brush, making them rough and a little juvenile. His palette was dark; browns, neutrals, with emphatic colors such as bright red or a yellow-green here and there. Nudes and theater dominated the subject matter.

One of my favorites by Sickert was a theater scene of a young woman in red, singing. The audience is looking up at her on the stage, but not at where she is represented on the canvas. On further inspection you realize that she is her own reflection and the audience is looking to the real singer.

Many of Sickert's paintings had a slight awkwardness such as the reflected singer. Another theater scene is of the opera boxes, details of the architecture and sconces. The theatergoers seem to be at an unruly slant within their seats with amusing expressions.

A simple looking domestic setting has a couple seemingly in a rut. They no longer have exciting conversation, just everyday “please pass the tea”. The tension created by their composition makes the painting that much more intriguing.

It was a great exhibit and a stellar collection.

I also have to praise the Phillips Collection for having invested in contemporary art. I saw two paintings – one dated 2000 and the other 2003. It seems rare that a collection looks to comtemporaries.

Another point for Phillips.

 

Development, Revitalization and Gentrification April 13, 2006

Filed under: Community — kellyrand @ 2:41 am

The Washington Post has reported several stories on development and revitalization throughout the District. A lot having to do with the on again off again baseball stadium which will displace strippers, yes strippers and five land owners for the construction of the new stadium and the revitalization of the Anacostia waterfront.

A debate is going on concerning the redevelopment of the H street corridor in NE – my neighborhood. Rumors of restoring trolly service to H Street, as well as building a Harris Teeter and several condos behind Union Station, are running rampant. Zoning laws prohibit "fast food" restaurants or those that don't have sit down dinning from opening on H. A Blimpie closed due to this law instead of fighting it and two other restaurants are threatened by the zoning. Allegations of class, race and cultural differences have flamed some of the H street redevelopment debate.

A friend and I visited the new restaurant Vegetate in Shaw. The food was wonderful, the place gorgeously renovated. What was curious was that it International Lifestyles Boutiquewas surrounded by boarded up row houses. Other businesses speckled the neighborhood but were outnumbered by the rundown row houses.

Another curiosity was the International Lifestyles Boutique, that was about two blocks South. Designer clothing, jewelry, concierge service, rental cars (Bentley and Jags), personal stylists you name it. One dress was $1800! Obviously not catering to the neighborhood.

So what's my point in all this?

I wonder if redevelopment has to be synonymous with gentrification? Do redevelopment projects have to push the poor out to be successful? To get an influx of cash to an area, does revitalization always have to cater to the white upper middle class? And with DC's sordid history of gentrification, is their a way to do community development that is actually good for the community? Taking culture and history into account? Or will this predominately black city fail to integrate the richness of all of its citizens in all of its revitalization projects?

 

The Birth of Artsy Fartsy April 11, 2006

Filed under: Art — kellyrand @ 1:36 am

Welcome to the first generation of the Artsy Fartsy blog. A place that will explore art, crafty endeavors, philosophical ramblings, philanthropic pursuits and rampant activism – all set against the backdrop of our Nation's capitol – Washington DC.

So sit back, relax, enjoy, make comments every once and a while and see the mystery of the Artsy Fartsy blog unfold.

Cheers!