During our studio visit with Kelly Towles, we recorded some questions and conversation about making it in DC and the unique nature of the city. Our buddy Mauricio put everything together into a quick introspective on Towles‘ thoughts about DC, his own style and projects in the future.
Tag Archives: dc art
A couple weeks ago we hit up Kelly Towles for a little studio visit and interview (still editing, soon to come). Hopefully we can start doing these with a little more frequency; seeing an artist’s workspace in general is always sick. You get a sense of placement and wonder at how stuff gets done, ideas get implemented and in this case, the sheer amount of cans this guy has got stockpiled.
Towles’ studio and pad is nestled among DC’s historic rowhouses a few blocks from Rhode Island Ave. and 1st St.
Kelly works heavily with a lot of found materials, and his small workspace/studio is crammed with salvaged wood, tools, doors, boxes, paint and even his own screen-printing set up. Now put all that in about a 12ft. x 12ft. space.
These old gloves are sick. While the area might seem cluttered at first glance, everything has its place, and instead of items being placed haphazardly, shelving, tables and self-built racks keeps everything organized.
Kelly manages several murals sponsored and paid for by the city. While keeping a mural up might be difficult, he told us he’s got the necessary cans earmarked three times over… and then some.
Keeping it old school… you just don’t see the Mac Pro under the table.
In a city like DC, space is definitely a commodity, especially when your working on the scale that Kelly has been for the past years. But this is what being on your grind is all about. There is a hardworking, blue-collar aesthetic to his work area, from the foamed floors to the projects that are strewn throughout the room. Drills, hammers, saws and just a huge variety of tools, brushes and pens keeps this guy truckin’.
Check out Kelly’s work at his website, and expect a new landing page dropping in the near, near future. In the meantime, we dig the perspective that this cat brings to a city that people seem hard-pressed to rep. Towles definitely kept it real with us in terms of talking about his own experiences and how such a transient city provides opportunities for art and culture to flourish.
Keeping watch. Kelly, thanks for the tour and the words. We’ll be putting up a short video soon on Kelly’s thoughts and experiences.
A wreck and two missed appointments later we’ve finally got some raw footage for a piece on Kelly Towles, local muralist, mixed media artist and an overall rad artist out of DC. Towles is responsible for numerous city-funded projects and gave us a little introspective on the DC environment for art production, and getting a name out.
Great conversation with a guy that not only knows what he’s doing, but is welcoming inspiration and collaborative action with open arms. A full write up coming soon (along with maybe a little video debut). In the meantime, meet Kobi and Mia Towles.
Previously: Ennui Digs: Kelly Towles’ Scout Mural
Michelle Peterson-Albandoz‘s solo exhibition at Long View Gallery in DC is preparing to open on March 31st, and we managed to get a little ground recon before the storm hit this afternoon.
Peterson-Albandoz uses reclaimed wood from empty lots, urban areas, shopping centers etc., that still has its wear and color residue to create these large scale mosaics, yielding some really interesting textural and directional overlays. Check out some closeups:
Peterson-Albandoz uses very little naming and titling for these pieces, and with the exhibit entitled Revive, we can guess that she’s concentrating on the objective nature of her art medium.
While using reclaimed wood is nothing too new, the arrangements and composition are very well structured and intricate, with very explicit selections of color, size and topography.
Long View Gallery is a good setting for this collection. Although the gallery doesn’t really step out of its bounds from traditional paint or mixed medium, the area is spacious enough to fully enjoy each piece from a distance, noting specifically its larger thematic directions.
The only beef? Lighting. Overly dim in some areas, and combined with the industrial/raw decor, seems a bit overwrought or overdone. Anyway, really enjoyable show, and if you’re in the area, check it out. Hit up the Tumblr for a few more pics.
Michelle Peterson-Albandoz @ Long View Gallery
March 31- May 1
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 31 6:30- 8:30PM
As Saturnalia is coming to an end, Irvine Contemporary, on 14th and P St., will be hosting a mind-blowing collection of photography and mixed media from Curtis Knapp, Gerard Malanga, Billy Name, and Kate Simon, along with a few new works from Shepard Fairey derived from shots by Simon and Name.
If you’ve enjoyed the content and perspectives from Ennui thus far, you know that the Pop Art movement is a precursor to much of the dialogue on street art today. As a response to the increasing subjectivity and concentration on reduction to bare artistic elements like form and structure, Pop Art was a direct backlash both to abstract expressionism and its perception of “the artist.” At the core of this movement is the timeless Andy Warhol, along with a slew of photographers and documenters that are represented in this exhibit.
Although these photographers were deeply embedded in Warhol’s immediate strata of artists and personalities, their portraiture and photography each reveal unseen depth in creating and illuminating mythos behind the lens. Image/Fame/Memory won’t be one to miss.
If you’re in the DC area, try and catch the opening night of the Image/Fame/Memory show at the Irvine Contemporary on March 11. We’ll hopefully be able to send some correspondents and do a more detailed exhibit visit feature in the near future.