Digging In

'Earth Songs for a Night Sky' by Ranjani Shettar

May 16, 2019

Earth Songs for a Night Sky, a multi-faceted project by Ranjani Shettar (b. 1977, Bangalore, India) is on exhibit through August 25, 2019 at The Phillips CollectionHear from the artist on May 16 at 6:30 pm


Drawing from her environment in rural India—with changing skies, monsoon rains, and lush vegetation—and employing traditional materials such as teak wood and indigo pigment, and techniques of carving, dyeing, and lacquer, Shettar has created hand-carved wood sculptures and a multi-part piece that wraps up the gallery walls. Occupying two rooms and the staircase of the original Phillips House, the project is conceived in dialogue with Wassily Kandinsky’s artist’s book Klänge (Sounds)—which features 56 woodcuts and was published right after he had made his breakthrough into abstraction—and Paul Klee’s late paintings in the Phillips’s collection: Arab Song (1932), Efflorescence (1937), and Figure of the Oriental Theater (1934). For Shettar, the connection between her work and Kandinsky’s book and Klee’s paintings is more metaphysical than visual. As she says, “I relate to the surreal and abstract qualities of both Kandinsky’s poetry and images. In Klee, I find a formal and thematic playfulness that I strive to achieve in my own work.” Undeniably, what the work of the three artists have in common is a tension between the material world and spiritual aspirations, observation and introspection, and the act of seeing, making, and reflecting.


Shettar lives and works in the Shimoga district of Karnataka in India. Her artwork has been exhibited and collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, and Guggenheim Museum, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; and Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi; among others.


This show is part of Intersections, a series of contemporary art projects that explores—as the title suggests—the intriguing intersections between old and new traditions, modern and contemporary art practices, and museum spaces and artistic interventions. Whether engaging with the permanent collection or diverse spaces in the museum, the projects suggest new relationships with their own surprises.

Many of the projects also riff on the nontraditional nature of the museum's galleries, sometimes activating spaces that are not typical exhibition areas with art produced specifically for those locations.

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Georgetown Garden Tour May 11

May 2, 2019

The 2019 Georgetown Garden Tour is on Saturday, May 11 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.  


Tickets are $45 and available on the website and on the day of the tour at Christ Church, 3116 O Street in Georgetown.

Refreshments for ticket holders will be served from 2 pm to 4 pm at Christ Church.


The tour is sponsored by the Georgetown Garden Club to benefit local organizations with emphasis on the preservation and maintenance of public gardens, parks and green spaces. Past beneficiaries have included Book Hill Park, Tudor Place gardens, Trees for Georgetown, the rose garden at Montrose Park, Rose Park, Volta Park Habitat Garden, Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy and the Georgetown Waterfront Park.


This year's tour takes the visitor through seven beautiful and interesting hidden Georgetown gardens. Join the self-guided walking tour and bring your friends!


Garden 1

This truly grand Georgetown garden is not to be missed. Designed by Jane MacLeish in 1991, the garden has three distinct areas: the upper area bordered by a hornbeam hedge lends itself to large gatherings, with a lovely bubbling horse trough fountain; the sunny middle garden has a dramatic pergola over the dining area supporting both wisteria and white climbing roses and is full of colorful perennials, annuals, pots and herbs; the lower garden is a peaceful woodland garden shaded by large hollies, with stone paths and a seating area. 


Garden 2

This large and dramatic art lovers garden was created in 2004. It includes a long lap pool that also serves as a reflecting pool, along with a walled courtyard and beautiful plantings.  The design is a series of garden rooms which encourage reflection and relaxation, facilitate the hosting of social events and, most importantly, serve as a place to display the owners’ large collection of contemporary outdoor sculpture.   


Garden 3

This newly renovated garden sits above 31st Street and looks over to Tudor Place, which provides a lovely example of a "borrowed landscape". The garden has a large modern fountain and gathering area around a dramatic fire pit, along with an eclectic collection of dwarf evergreen shrubs. 


Garden 4

This large meandering property fronts on Avon Lane, and slopes down in the back towards a tennis court and Q Street. The garden rooms, patios, and places to sit or dine wrap around three sides of the house. Just when you think you have seen them all, another one is revealed. The property has beautiful plantings and lovely large specimen trees throughout.


Garden 5

This recently renovated garden by Marion Oxford Dearth is home to a young family and is designed for outdoor entertaining.  Modern, it has minimal plantings, beautiful hardscape and an interesting pool layout. The entrance to the garden is off of an interior courtyard accessible from the wide public stairs on 31st Street.


Garden 6

The entrance to this charming Japanese inspired garden is off of an interior courtyard accessible from 31st Street, so it feels very quiet and tucked away. Designed by Jane MacLeish, the focus of this garden is a lovely tiered fountain and reflecting pool, with stepping stones across it to reach the dining area.


Garden 7 

The entrance to this Blake Dunlevy designed garden is through a charming arched door. The garden has been recently renovated, with an eye for beautiful details and interesting plantings. Several lovely garden rooms are organized along a central path. Garden highlights include an old sculptural pine tree and a large dramatic fountain.

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Caroline Carter's 'Smart Moves'

March 28, 2019

Deciding to sell your home, downsize, right-size or relocate? Check out Bethesda-based Done in a Day Inc's CEO and author, Caroline Carter's first book. 

From home staging to managing your move, Carter offers practical tips in Smart Moves: How to Save Time and Money While Transitioning Your Home and life. Everything from putting your home on the market to unpacking in your new place.

"Empty, evaluate, execute" is Carter's decluttering method, one she describes in detail to empower homeowners to make the most of their property.

Caroline Carter (Photo by: ©Tony Powell) Caroline Carter

Armed with the experience of helping over 2,000 families navigate the complicated and expensive process of moving, Carter shares her strategies for avoiding pitfalls and maximizing profit.

"Your job as the seller is to make sure that your home is delivered in a condition that will allow a qualified buyer up to one year of occupancy without making material changes." Don't you wish everyone did that? Carter explains why approaching your sale with that philosophy can ensure that you obtain a timely offer.

Sometimes what seems like an asset isn't. A couple home was selling their colonial home, one they'd lived in for over 40 years. "Isn't it beautiful?," said the wife pointing to her azaleas, clearly overtaking the entire front yard. Curb appeal is important. They were selling their home, not a flower shop.

Before staging, the author advises to take everything out of rooms and take inventory. "Use ScotchBlue 3M painter's tape and a black Sharpie to place a piece of tape on each item or ile to deisgnate: PK for Pack, S for Sell, D for Dump and Donate."

That all important, heart of the home kitchen requires extra attention. Remove all calendars, family photos, refrigerator magnets, and unused appliances.

When it comes time to moving day, be sure to arrange Internet and cable service, home security, and remember to pack cleaning supplies for your new home.

An experienced partner, Carter will guide you through every step of home transition.

And be sure to follow her, when she makes a move of her own this year.

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