“Fresh Meat”: A Visual Treat for the Dog Days of August

The breadth of fresh talent demonstrated in this show is well worth a trip .

By Kelly MacConomy

The latest show at Del Ray Artisans opened Friday August 2nd with crowd-pleasing fanfare. “Fresh Meat” packed new and old members along with friends, family and patrons into the non-profit art space during the two-hour, full house reception.

Best in Show acrylic painting Feel Good Lost by Melissa Grath.

The show has no theme, per se, other than inviting all new members to exhibit as well as current members who have recruited new members. All media was represented by the 120 accepted entries. The breadth of fresh talent demonstrated in this show is well worth a trip a little farther north down The Avenue.


Musician and new member Bill Cabrera performs at the opening night reception. (Photo by Kelly MacConomy)

Bill Cabrera, who is also married to DRA member Ellen Rosenthal, not only performed his original and contemporary music on the guitar throughout the reception but was also recruited as “fresh meat” and had three photographs on display. One image, “Mimo” is a compelling portrait of his own father, a Cuban emigre, in profile sporting brightly-colored cheetah print glasses looking proudly defiant yet vulnerable, a walker discarded in the background. The unusual framing becomes part of the composition, assimilating the tactile facial close-up, mimicking the etched lines of a face well-lived and loved.

Dracula and Scare Marie air-dry sculptures by Wendy Laumont and Huginn & Muninn ink drawing by Elijah St. Dennis. (Photo by Kelly MacConomy)

A new and notable artist to the DRA group is Wendy Laumont. Her witty, macabre air-dry sculptural figure boxes were the pervasive temptation of the exhibit. Two of her three pieces had sold within the half hour of the show’s opening. Statuesque and sporting a progressive fashion-sense herself, Wendy is a walking vogue of artful expression.

Three charming prints by new members grouped together attracted a crowd. The whimsically beguiling subject matter of Zen Hen, Penned In, and Puffins belies the expert draftsmanship at the hand of the printmaker, Pamela Day. It’s impossible not to covet all three.

Del Ray Artisans gallery packed floor to ceiling with art of all media. (Photo by Kelly MacConomy)

The show stopper and “Best In Show” award-winning acrylic painting Feel Good Lost by Melissa Grath greets gallery visitors at the door with provocative bravado. It’s vivaciously bold- the sort of confident brushstroke that you don’t often see in newly-exhibited work. Keep your eye on this painter.

“Fresh Meat” curators Brittany Gable and Kurt Peterson (center) welcoming new artists. (Photo by Kelly MacConomy)

Del Ray Artisan Board members Brittany Gable and Kurt Peterson acted as curators for “Fresh Meat”. Their keen eye and veteran sense of the gallery space proved to be invaluable in placing so many works of art, especially given the varied media — maximizing the visual impact juxtaposed amid both complementary and dichotomous imagery.

Art is all around at the Del Ray Artisans Gallery. (Photo by Kelly MacConomy)

“Fresh Meat” proves to be a breath of fresh air in these final hot, humid sultry days of summer. The art work is accessible (as is the gallery) with pricing that won’t break the bank account. Treat yourself to the Del Ray Artisans for a fresh take on the local art scene or to kick-start a creative diversion. Bring friends or the kids. It’s a funtastic field trip for all. The gallery is open to the public and there is no admission fee.

Del Ray Artisans
2704 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA. 22301
703-838-4827
Gallery Hours
Thursday 12~6 pm
First Thursday’s 12~9 pm
Friday and Saturday 12~9 pm
Sunday 12~6 pm