April Showers Bring Artful Flowers – And More!

The sun is shining and the flowers are springing and the art scene is just as colorful and bold! Read about exhibits you must see this month!

Magnolia Blossom at Dusk by Cynthia Schoeppel. (Photo: Kelly MacConomy)

Alexandria, VA – * Art League of the Torpedo Factory ~ May 2021 Open Exhibit, May 6 – June 7, 2021, juried by Audrey Miller, the exhibits coordinator at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton. Open exhibits are not limited by theme, medium, message, process, or content. Artwork must have been created in the last five years.

The May 2021 Solo Exhibit, “Seated,” features the mixed-media paintings of Jennifer Allevato. This month’s solo show focuses upon empty chair compositions that invite the viewer to take a virtual seat and explore the interiors, reflecting upon the individual existential experience within and without the parameters of the canvas in the gallery space. The Art League Gallery is open daily 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Wailing, by Patricia Underwood. (Photo: Patricia Underwood)

* The Atheneum ~ 201 Prince Street, Alexandria, conjures Patricia Underwood’s mixed-media exhibit until May 16 with a socially distanced artist meet-and-greet Saturday, May 15, 2 – 4 pm. On May 20, the Atheneum presents a must-see- “Timeless Tradition: Master Copyists from the National Gallery of Art’s Copyist Program” on exhibit until June 27. The gallery is open Thursday – Sunday from noon – 4 pm.

* Del Ray Artisans ~ “The Art of Nature” opens May 7 with free half-hour viewing time slots available online, 12:00 am – 8:00 pm. The show, curated by Cynthia Schoeppel, examines the inspiration Mother Nature has long provided artists throughout time. Nature’s muse can be flora or fauna, landscape, seascape, or abstractions inspired by the natural world’s beauty. The show runs until May 29. The gallery at 2704 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, is open Thursday and Friday 12 – 6 pm and Saturday Noon – 4 pm. It is free and welcoming to all.

Workshops are open to non-member artists: Oriental Brush Painting Nature ~ Tuesday, May 11 from 7 – 9 pm. This workshop will be conducted via Zoom, with the instructor emailing a picture of the subject in advance. Watercolor Painting Dewey Leaves ~ Friday, May 14 from 6 – 8 pm via Zoom. Pastel Painting Nature ~ Sunday, May 16 from 12:30 – 3:30 pm. This workshop is in person at the gallery and is limited to 8 students, so register early at

* The Potomac Fiber Arts Gallery ~ Studio 29 at the Torpedo Factory is open again daily 11:30 am – 4:30 pm with “Clouds, Showers, and Rainbows” on exhibit April 20 – May 23. “Birds of a Feather” opens May 25, closing June 27, 2021. This premier, long-established fiber arts gallery showcases artisanal wearable fiber art, jewelry, home decor, and wall art.

Rain with 10 Figures by Geoffrey Johnson. (Photo: Principle Gallery)

* The Principle Gallery ~ King Street Alexandria has a new solo show opening Friday, May 14, with a reception from 6 – 8:30 pm. Geoffrey Johnson is a contemporary impressionist painter of eloquent urban scenes and landscapes, among the most popular at the Principle Gallery. His work is in Coca-Cola, Turner Broadcasting, Bell South, and Wachovia Bank (now Wells Fargo) corporate collections.

* The Target Gallery of the Torpedo Factory presents the interactive, interdisciplinary multi-sensory solo exhibit of work by Omolará Williams McCallister. “We, Too, Sing America” expands upon McCallster’s “Domestic Work” fiber-art series, which extols the emotionally draining labors of marginalized, normalized caretaking and domestic work from the perspective of Black women.

The exhibit is a memorial to the unsung heroines of everyday life within the context of large-scale catastrophic events such as COVID, White supremacism, and the anti-Black and racial oppressions that have capsized life these past months. The artist uses symbols, rituals, icons, sounds, and images to collectively engage and pay homage to an all-too-unheralded world. This solo exhibit, which follows “Those Spaces Between Us” (4/10-5/23), will open May 29 and run until July 18. There will be a virtual artist reception Friday, June 11 at 7 pm on

* Gallery Underground ~ 2100 Crystal Drive, Arlington, from April 26 – May 28. A new exhibit in the Focus Gallery is called “Patterns,” an all-member/all-media show highlighting the visual and tactile aspects of patterns both in nature and in design. “Pieces of My Soul,” a wonderful example of balance and harmony in rhythmic imagery by Illona Lantos, was recently on exhibit at the Del Ray Artisans January show “Hidden World.”

The gallery is open Monday – Friday, 10 am – 6 pm, or by appointment.

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Kelly MacConomy

Kelly MacConomy is the Arts Editor for The Zebra Press.

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