Stir It Up

Skies, Seas & Trees: Mary Page Evans at Addison/Ripley Fine Art

September 7, 2015

Visit Addison/Ripley Fine Art Gallery for Skies, Seas & Trees, an exhibition by Mary Page Evans September 12 - October 24, 2015. Opening reception for the artist is Saturday, September 12, from 5:00-7:00 pm.

Like the clouds that are the sometime subject of her paintings, constant movement and change in the work of Mary Page Evans is apparent in all of the her work. Her studio is strewn with the product of the artist's imagination and the close observation of the nature she delights in. Certainly it brings to mind one of the artist's mentors, Paul Cèzanne, who said of his work, "I think my mind becomes clearer when I am in the presence of nature." That clarity is present in this recent body of work, in the Virginia hills, the seashore clouds and the trees festooned with blossom.

Sandy Sea by Mary Page Evans (Photo by: Mary Page Evans) Sandy Sea by Mary Page Evans

Somewhere between Paul Cèzanne and another strong influence, Washington Color School great, Gene Davis, is the nexus of Mary Page Evan's art. Her line and palette, her love of the outdoors for a source of constant inspiration coupled with a willingness to have her paintings exist as contemporary considerations of the more fragile ecology of our world mark her as a present day artist, attuned to her surroundings and capable of both intellectual rigor and elegant visual insights. 

Strongly disciplined and aesthetically grounded in a deep appreciation of historical art, Evans' style is both fresh and familiar. Her Virginia hills have for her the same fascination as Mont Sant-Victoire had for Cèzanne. She continues to find new expression and intensity in the color and mood of clouds, new moments in their wayward flux. And her lines, outlining leaves or defining trees, are the expression of the distribution of light along one plane of an object, the momentary truth that fixes it to the paper or canvas. Perhaps, like a photograph, Evan's work captures an instant in nature's progress but, perhaps, as Cèzanne said, it reveals "a harmony parallel to nature".

Mary Page Evans is an American artist living and working in Delaware and Florida. She has had countless solo exhibitions over more than 40 years including ones in Virginia, South Carolina, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida.  Her work can be seen as far away from Washington, D.C. as Kathmandu, Nepal in the recently built U.S. Embassy. In 2012 her work was the subject of a major exhibition at the Delaware Art Museum. Evans' drawings and paintings are held in many corporate and private collections throughout the US and Europe.

Addison/Ripley Fine Art is located at 1670 Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown.

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A Touch of Italy in Georgetown

August 19, 2015

"I never knew this was here," said Ellen, a new customer who stumbled across the store with her husband on a walk from their 33rd street home on Saturday morning. 

"We get ladies in all the time who thought that shops catering to them had long since left the Georgetown neighborhood. But we're here to prove otherwise," says Merribel Ayres, owner of the Amina Rubinacci Georgetown boutique. 

Ms. Ayres and her team seek to create an environment where women feel comfortable and at home perusing Italian styles. Think Bergdorf shoe salon meets best friend's closet where women come in pairs to chat, catch up and, when the spirit moves them (as if often does here), to try on beautiful Italian garments.  With a pull of a curtain, the cozy but modern space transforms into a comfortable fitting room. Guests are offered Italian refreshments while husbands grab a seat in the front window, lovingly nicknamed the "gentlemen's bench." Ellen's husband, John, settles in as she pops behind the curtain. 

"We enjoy catering to everyone that comes in", says Jolina Wang, Amina Rubinacci's manager, looking for Ellen's size in a particular jacket. "While we love women to stay and spend time with us, we realize it's not always possible with busy schedules. We certainly get those women who come in between engagements and we work hard to find them something they'll love in a hurry. We really get to know our customers and learn their preferences so that when something new arrives, I know exactly who needs to be notified." 

Jolina Wang (Photo by: Cameron Neal) Jolina Wang

Ellen emerges dressed head to toe in the finest Italian materials-- virgin wool trousers that give a great shape to her legs, the perfect fall shell paired beautifully underneath a patterned wool blazer-- designed to fit more like a sweater than a jacket-- Amina's signature. She looks stunning and husband agrees. Ellen picks out two cashmere sweaters in beautiful shades of indigo and aqua before turning to her husband for advice on the jacket. "You must," he says. "Besides, we never buy you clothes anymore." Ellen confesses she typically hates shopping these days. But today is different. This shop is different. 

The entire experience is curated to mimic an Italian shopping trip-- much like one Ms. Ayres took in Rome when she stumbled across the Rubinacci name ten years ago. From the music playing softly in the background to the little hat boxes of Italian chocolates that customers receive with their purchase, visiting Italy no longer requires a plane ticket. "Many of our customers travel to Italy a couple times a year. They understand the value of a truly 'Made in Italy' garment, and relish the experience of shopping while they're there. They return to Washington and feel like something's missing in that same interaction at a mall or department store. Our shop is here to remind them that shopping can and should be special." 

Jolina tucks a box of chocolates in the shopping bag and promises to keep in touch about new arrivals while exchanging business cards with Ellen. Ellen smiles and sighs, "I've finally found my place," she says, as she and John head back out onto the brick sidewalk to continue their morning stroll through Georgetown. 

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Hyatt Place Coming Soon

August 12, 2015

Crestline Hotels & Resorts, LLC (Crestline) announced that it has been named the management company for Hyatt Place Washington DC/Georgetown/West End which will be located at 2121 M Street, NW.  The 168-guestroom hotel is scheduled to open in spring 2016. It is being developed by Washington DC-based Renaissance Centro.

"This stylish new upscale select service hotel will be an excellent addition to the West End community of Washington DC," said James Carroll, Crestline's President & CEO. "Embodying the brand spirit of Hyatt Place, this new hotel will provide travelers with a comfortable and service-focused experience, in a location just a short walk from the many businesses and attractions in the West End and Georgetown," added Carroll.

Read more here.

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