On Exhibit

Keeping Art Going Strong at Del Ray Artisans

From "The Art of Movement," focusing on the far-away and beautiful art of belly-dancing to the wild imaginative miniature art of "Living In a Mini World", there's something for all.

“Zen Shelf” by Maria Theresa Frescas for “The Art of Movement” exhibit. (Photo: Kelly MacConomy)

Alexandria, VA – “The Art of Movement,” the Del Ray Artisans show curated by Kelly Postula that closed September 27, proved to be another example of ingenuity in a time of multiple challenges facing galleries and art spaces. The works on exhibit focused on belly dancing as an art form, as well as the cultural traditions complementing this centuries-old performance genre.

The belly dancing souk (market) for “The Art of Movement” on exhibit last month at Del Ray Artisans Gallery. (Photo: Kelly MacConomy)

Belly dancing originated in Egypt and now has established roots all over the globe, varying in both costumes and dance styles. The works in this show reflect the expression of the human form in movement, both in abstract interpretation via mixed media, painting, photography, textiles, and jewelry, and as realism in figurative studies.

The show’s exhibit design was staged to resemble a voyage to exotic, faraway Middle Eastern lands. Ottomans are scattered about the gallery, with festoons of brightly colored silks festively draped about the space. There’s even a Souk (market) selling various accoutrements to adorn the dancer: slippers, jewelry, scarves, black wigs, stick-on gems, complete belly dancing costuming. Market items, collected in her travels by Ms. Postula, were donated to the show as a fundraiser for the nonprofit gallery.

“Isolated Move” mixed media by Pat Hickey from “The Art of Movement” exhibit. (Photo: Del Ray Artisans)

Z-TV executive producer David McLure filmed a belly dancing demonstration at the gallery. Community liaison Lucelle O’Flaherty also covered the performance. Much as the previous show at Del Ray Artisans, “Hello, Bright Eyes,” curated by Tracy Wilkerson and Steph Chan, offered online purchasing, so did “The Art of Movement.”

“Snow Leopard” by Jim Halloran from the “Hello Bright Eyes” exhibit, promoting vision health advocacy. (Photo: Del Ray Artisans)

“Hello, Bright Eyes” was sponsored by the Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington and demonstrated strong online demand for art in addition to impressive gallery attendance. Another instance of collateral quick-thinking by DRA Director of Technology Dawn Wyse Hurto and President Dale Spivey is the Art By Mail online exhibit. As galleries have been sidelined with closures and subsequently limited hours since March, creative thinking is de rigueur.

From the “Living In a Mini World“ exhibit, “The Bouquet Toss” by Betsy Jones and “English Tea Time” by Howard Hay. (Photo: Del Ray Artisans)

The latest show at the Del Ray Artisans Gallery, “Living In a Mini World,” opened October 1 and runs through October 31. While traditional First Friday exhibit opening receptions have been on hiatus due to COVID-19, this month the DRA gallery offered ticketed reservations for first-dibs viewing of artwork on Friday, October 2 from 12:00 – 8:00 p.m. as a special opening event. The gallery is otherwise for now open only Thursday and Friday 12:00 – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.

“Living In a Mini World” is curated by Del Day Artisans members Betsy Jones and Howard Hay. Some 250 small works were juried into this show that spotlights altered perceptions and interpretations of life both micro- and macroscopic. Think Alice down the rabbit hole, Gulliver in his travels, Stuart Little being Stuart Little. Two dimensional works are no larger than 5”x 7” with 3-D art being no larger than the dimensions of a magazine.

This Lilliputian show packs a wallop representing metaphorical reinventions of reality, idealized imaginings of dreams, unrealized expectations, and capsized fantasies. Everything on exhibit is available to go upon sale. Visit the Del Ray Artisans gallery in person or online. You may find an interpretation of your own dreams represented by the artwork. It’s a small world after all.

ICYMI: Art League Hosts Exhibition by Alexandria Artist Noah Williams, Opening Sept. 10

Kelly MacConomy

Kelly MacConomy is the Arts Editor for The Zebra Press.

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