Tag Archives: washington DC art

Studio Visit: Kelly Towles

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.

In one phrase, Kelly Towles is on his grind. Pulling in mural jobs, personal contracts and gallery gigs across the board. Mtn. cans in the bedroom…

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.


Michelle Peterson-Albandoz’s Revive

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

Ennui digs: Kelly Towles’ Scout Mural

Last Sunday we met up with our buddy Mauricio and he pointed us at local artist¬†Kelly Towles for a possible profile/interview. We managed to bump into Kelly walking down First or Second NW within the hour and after some information changing hands, we’re currently in the process of producing some video and an interview with the DC native.

We came by this mural today on 12th and W to take some shots, and if it wasn’t for bikes and no locks we would’ve just hopped the fence. Towles put this up as part of a city-sponsored mural project, and the first thing you notice is its size and span.

So Rad. The piece is entitled Scout, and represents the same attitude that Ennui tries to embody- never-ending curiosity and exploration. With that classic Towles character style, lush colors and a positive message, we’re definitely down with this kind of city beautification. Keep an eye out for a Kelly Towles interview real soon, in the meantime check out some of his work, a really crazy blend of different genres and styles and as Kelly has stated in the past, drawing from everything from anime to the BBC. We dig it, man.

Throw Up Thursday Part 2

Here’s part 2 of this week’s tags and art, centered around New York Ave.

Sway and some self-policing

Dons, wheatpaste by Hella

The ubiquitous Artuare

Chungol (sp)

Gaia, from his recent show at the Irvine Contemporary

This is barely scraping the surface of the graff and street art in this area. We’re going to do a little photolog soon that will focus on specific walls and how they change over time. The speed that pieces are put up and tags are thrown is only matched by the amount of buffing and painting over that happens in this area. As DC is slowly expanding outward, turning row houses into condominiums, graff territory is being slowly pushed further and further outward. This time, check out our Tumblr for additional images. Flickr or Tumblr, what do you guys think for these photologs in the future?

Preview: The Art of AOK

You might remember a little teaser from a couple of days ago, and also our banner from Ennui v.1. Soon as we get the cameraman back in town, we’ll sit down with AOK for a little glimpse into color, texture and form with this crazy mfer. Outside of this kid’s house are gallons of house paint…

Throw-up Thursday

Oni, in Georgetown (more on him later…)

This week’s format got a little messed up, as some of the background for Throw-up Thursdays was put into our DC Watch for Artuare entry, so here’s a few shots of this week’s throw-ups. Enjoy!

OG Andre, god knows how long this has been here (seen on 14th & Corcoran)

Stay in School! (Spotted at 14th and P)

1/4 complete, seen at 14th and Q

As always, a few more on the Flickr.

For our next installments of Throw-up Thurs., we want to keep it street by street. This week we looked a little at 14th and the section between U and Massachusetts Ave. In a couple days we’ll be updating and creating a Google Maps overlay of all our locations, and again, we are always open to submissions, and hopefully we can begin to chart and triangulate some of the “furnishings” of DC.