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ArtFest 2011: home of the open house and the perfect gift

Elizabeth WardBy Elizabeth Ward on Nov 16, 2011 | Add a Comment Add a Comment (226)

ArtFest 2011: home of the open house and the perfect gift

By Kim Hyu Ju

By Kim Hyu Ju

ArtFest 2010

ArtFest 2010

by Art League Instructor Nick Barnes

by Art League Instructor Nick Barnes

Oh the holidays in D.C.  They never seem to disappoint. Giant wreaths at Union Station, pumpkin flavored shots in our coffees, the tree lighting ceremonies, the crazy tourists... it's magical.

Yet another way D.C. excels in the holiday department is its high affinity for holiday open houses.  The embassies do it, historical landmarks do it, and, more importantly, artists do it.  During my time in D.C., I have found that the perfect gifts have always come from local artisans and artists.  It’s usually because each gift is something that my friends and family can’t find anywhere else. Something othat’s one of a kind. Something with a personal connection and story. Something that represents the city in which I live. 

ArtFest, one of the Pink Line Project’s favorite holiday open houses, is just around the corner, and is one that we encourage everyone – no matter how many open houses or parties might cloud up the calendar – to attend.  Held annually at The Art League, it is a time to find that perfect gift while also experiencing hands-on classes, artist demos, 2D and 3D exhibits, live music, and food and drink.

Here is how the full weekend-long calendar of events will play out and how you should partake:

On Friday, December 2 from 6pm to 9pm, take in a free tour of The Art League’s biggest and best, including incredible demos, such as: jewelry making, Polaroid transfers, silkscreen, ceramics, forensic facial reconstruction, weaving, and spinning.  After checking out the demos and getting to know The Art League instructors, spend time shopping around. 

First, browse the ceramic and pottery pieces.  From functional to freeform, The Art League will display and sell one of a kind ceramic vessels and sculptures created by students and associates. Next, check out the huge variety of unique and original jewelry pieces created by Art League students.  The range of creativity in both shows never fail to fit all tastes and budgets for the holiday season.

In addition to all of the jewelry and ceramic pieces, ArtFest will also offer up all of the works in its 2D and 3D exhibits, including those by artist Nancy Reinke (a longtime Art League and Torpedo Factory artist who passed away in December 2009) in her retrospective show and sale. The show will feature prints, drawings, paintings, rugs, and more from the beloved artist.

If you are unable to partake in the festivities of the holiday party on Friday, or just don’t like the vibe of holiday parties in general, ArtFest will fortunately continue its show and sale through the weekend.  With one full weekend for the open house, it’s the perfect time and place to begin (or for those crazy prepared people, finish off) your holiday shopping.

ArtFest 2011 will take place on Friday, December 2 through Sunday, December 4 at The Art League's Madison Annex, 305 Madison Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. The FREE schedule of events includes an open house and holiday party on Friday, December 2 from 6:00-9:00pm and Ceramic, Potter, and Jewelry shows and sales from Friday, December 2 through Sunday, December 4.  More details at The Art League's website and on the ArtFest 2011 Facebook page.

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