Ricko Aslanian was trained as an artist and sculptor and has worked for years at a sign maker where he has grown comfortable with the medium of the craft — sheet metal, text, Japanese oil paint, linseed oil, and vinyl.
His work has evolved from flat, two-dimensional items into an exploration of the tension between two-dimensional and three-dimensional art.
A published poet and painter, Norfolk native Melanie Bikowski, studied Creative Writing at Old Dominion University and painting with Art League mentor Beverly Ryan at the Torpedo Factory after moving to Alexandria. Not so long in the past, Bikowski spent her time dancing in dark warehouses to punk music and stayed engaged in the natural world around her. Reigning in the freedom of the modern and the electric pulse within, her paintings reverberate with a graffiti flavor. Working with acrylic on canvas and paper, she has completed a painting every day since December 1st of last year in an endeavor she termed 365 Days of Art.
Old Town Alexandrian Rachael Bright is a local artist and gallery owner. She specializes in Color Theory, Pop Art and Pet Portraiture. Her “Art Boutique” Local Colour Old Town features many of her pieces as well as other artists and jewelers from the DMV area. It’s her joy to paint your pet or anything else your artistic heart desires! One of Local Colour’s hashtags is #youwantitwepaintit
Susie Carmichael is a pet portrait artist based out of Northern Virginia, providing custom acrylic paintings of the ones who love us the most. Through her work, she aims to spread happiness, positivity, and a deeper appreciation and connection to art, love, and respect for animals.
Kim, an Alexandria resident, is a self-taught artist who has been drawing for as long as she can remember. Working primarily in pencil and oil pastel, her aim is to produce realistic images that bring attention to the fine details of her subjects. To her, drawing has always been a meditative process and a deeper way of “seeing.”
She typically focuses on natural subjects, such as botanicals and animals, and architecture. Her work can be found in private collections across the country.
When not drawing, Kim is a management consultant for federal government agencies and non-profits in the DC area. You can see some of Kim’s work at www.kimdouglass.com.
Erin Nicole Gordon
Erin Nicole Gordon, Del Ray resident and Virginia native, is a former muralist turned corporate visual strategist. With background in fine arts and business, she works as a consultant across both Defense and civilian agencies in DC, and spends most of her time employing visual design approaches to strategic conversations both in person and virtually.
Her recent return to freelance muraling, painting and photography has paved the path for taking part in more local arts events this year such as La Bella Strada and increased community engagement with Casa Chirilagua.
Learn more about Erin and check out her work (or join her for a yoga class), at www.erinicolegordon.com.
Melanie Gritzka del Villar
Melanie Gritzka del Villar born 1982 of German-Philippine parents has lived, worked and studied in Germany, Spain, England, Thailand, and the Philippines. With a background in figurative painting, the artist has long been drawn to the use of found surfaces and mixed media processes.
Gritzka del Villar’s creative journey has been shaped by an ongoing search for harmony out of disparate cultural and environmental elements. This translates into a sensibility towards cast away objects as holders of fleeting meaning and of latent possibilities for alternative narratives.
Her creations reflect a concern with the current state of living in an increasingly fragmented and fragile world; they are palimpsests traced from a dialogue with the stranded materials and the environments of which they are a product.
Tatiana is an emerging self taught artist from the DMV area who paints with acrylics but always adds her flare of texture to a painting. Anywhere from fish tank rocks to bamboo sticks to artificial foliage are incorporated into the images she paints to create a 3D look of some sort. She has showcased in local art exhibits like Artomatic and Pancakes and Booze Art shows in DC.
Art is her passion and wants to spread the love for art as much as she can by connecting to people through her colorful conceptual paintings.
Adrienne Iannazzo is a graduate student at George Washington’s University Art Therapy and Counseling program.
Iannazzo’s style of art utilizes both realist and surrealist techniques to make metaphors about life experiences and to process these encounters.
I work as an artist in DC and for a marketing firm in Falls Church. I have a son, Joseph, who attends George Washington Middle School. I’m a graduate of Notre Dame and of the University of Oklahoma. So grateful to be a part of Del Ray’s festival this year!
Kelli Karver is initially from South Jersey but moved to Virginia to attend graduate school. She is currently a student at The George Washington’s University for Art Therapy & Counseling.
Kelli enjoys using bright colors in her art work, and her preferred medium is painting. Kelli’s passion lies in working with children, and seeks a future in community-based artwork.
The Community Kids Club
The Community Kids Club is a group of nine 4th and 5th graders from Mount Vernon Community School. They have worked together for the past three years to support the Del Ray community by volunteering in activities ranging from helping to paint a mural on Mt. Vernon Ave, raking leaves for the elderly with Ameri Corps, raising money for the new playground at MVCS, and much more. The Community Kids Club is committed to showing that helping others in your community is not only necessary; it’s really fun!
Patrick Kirwin began working in Trompe L’oeil at George Washington University in 1984, painting clothing which later evolved into large curtain and tapestry illusions painted directly onto walls. He later attended the Skowhegan School of painting and sculpture in Maine where he painted landscapes using long grass as the brushes to apply acrylic paint.
Since the mid 1990s, Kirwan has taught at the Art League, The Corcoran College, and the Smithsonian Institution. He has completed interesting and large commercial projects, as well as the interiors of many small shops, private wine cellars and murals in homes.
He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Remy is a Virginia-based painter who focuses on found object and collaborates with the memories encapsulated within them. A BFA graduate from Corcoran School of Art and Design at George Washington University, she has shown in group exhibitions in Washington DC and Baltimore including “NEXT” at The Corcoran Gallery of Art, “Epithet” at EMP Collective, and “Fresh Meat” at Gallery 1301.
I have been creating art as long as I can remember. Although I went through a very long period of watercolor painting, I am now focused almost entirely on acrylic on panel. I can be found Monday nights at fellow La Bella Strata artist Patrick Kirwin’s Monday night Art League class “Photorealism and Trompe L’oeil”. If you have a passion for painting and the camaraderie of other serious painters, please join his class!
Del Ray, specifically East Nelson Ave has been my home for the past three years. I live with my fellow artist wife, Jenny Nicholson. Having completed a large renovation to facilitate his/hers art studios, I have returned to artistic productivity by painting works involving water. If I were to try and describe my style, it is near photo-realistic with a touch of impressionism. I love bright colors and always loved shooting 35mm slides with Kodachrome. The colors and metals looked more than lifelike.
When Alexandria resident Elisa Morsch is not experimenting in a new creative medium, you can find her tending her honeybees and chickens with her dogs at her family’s farm.
Elisa works as a creative director in marketing and communications in Washington, D.C. and developed the Alexandria Film Festival’s visual identity.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Potomac Art Therapy Association
The Potomac Art Therapy Association (PATA) is a non-profit organization that promotes the therapeutic use of art throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area, professional development through lectures, workshops, and conferences, public awareness of art therapy through instructional presentations to community agencies, and fosters networking and the development of support groups for art therapists through regional meetings. http://www.potomacarttherapy.org/
Daphne Puerto is a lifelong artist and handcrafter who is always seeking new channels for creativity. Her favorite ways to practice creativity in everyday life include lettering, sketching, and knitting. Daphne works as a user experience designer and is an active member of the human-centered design community, focused on applying design thinking to innovate around the most difficult social problems.
She can be contacted at email@example.com.
Sgt. Nicholas Ruggiero
Sgt. Nicholas Ruggiero, Nick as he is known to his friends, is from New York City. Nick was an officer with New York City Police Department before moving to Alexandria, VA in 2005. He started with Alexandria Police Department in 2006 as an officer. He rose through the ranks to Sergeant and is currently overseeing the Community Oriented Policing Section (COPS).
While in NYC, Nick was the owner of two tattoo studios on Long Island. Nick currently owns and operates DJ Services, Photo Booth Rentals and Amusements LLC.
Sgt. Ruggiero resides with his wife and two daughters in Woodbridge, VA.
Stephanie Sydorko, of Del Ray, Va., experiments with digital painting and fiber arts. Her work tends to be whimsical and absurd because she likes to make people laugh (and it’s a nice change from her serious day job). She recently worked on the pattern for the Sugar Shack donuts as a member of the Del Ray Yarn Bombers.
Samantha Testa was introduced to art by her grandfather in Youngstown, Ohio. Residing in Northern Va. now, Testa enjoys the 70-degree days, biking, and exploring in her free time while sketching statues and architecture, creating life-like renditions of old barns, cherry blossoms and monuments, and bringing to life the Virginia landscape on canvas. Her versatile collection is available through her Web site, www.paintedpallets.com.
Karen Laurie Thomas
Karen Laurie Thomas is an artist and Virginia Master Naturalist Trainee. She began sketching outdoors in Louisiana as part of her graduate school studies in paleobiogeography. Karen moved to the Washington, DC area in 1998 to begin work as a government contractor. Karen Laurie began taking classes at The Art League of Alexandria in 2006 to improve her field sketches. She went on to complete her art education there through night classes over the next 7 years.
Karen Laurie has been professionally exhibiting in galleries in the DC metro area since 2013. She is currently an artist-in-residence at Palette 22 restaurant and serves as the Executive Secretary for the Commission for the Arts for the City of Alexandria.
When not painting, Karen Laurie is studying to become a certified Virginia Master Naturalist with the Arlington Regional Master Naturalists. Website: https://karenthomasfineart.com | Blog: https://karenthomasfineart.com/blog | facebook.com/klthomasart | twitter.com/klthomasart | instagram.com/klthomasart | pinterest.com/klthomasart
Alexandria resident Pamela Underhill has had exhibits at local galleries in the area in juried and collaborative shows. She has been to several local schools and explorative art classes as a visiting artist.
Her sculptures have appeared in private collections, area playgrounds and schools.
She can be contacted at Underhill.Pamela@gmail.com.
Margaret Wohler leads classes in nature-journaling, drawing and sketching at Huntley Meadows Park in Fairfax County. As park naturalist and illustrator, Wohler provides a well-rounded introduction to the natural world. Her classes are always in demand. Years of observations and sketching have given her keen insight into the local wildlife scene. She wakes you to the world alive but apart from the safety of tree-lined neighborhoods.
Wohler, who has lived in Del Ray since 1992 is married to Brett, a family doctor. Their children Christina and Marcus are graduates of TC Williams High School.
She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alexandria native Benjamin Wood works mainly in abstracts. His art sometimes tell a story to get a point across. More often, his work is a record of his impressions and interpretations of life in the moment.
Wood draws his inspiration from hip-hop, jazz, funk, soul, bluegrass, reggae, all sorts of movies and the many successes and failures in his life.
He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Fernando Osorio Zumarán
Fernando was born in Trujillo, Peru in 1949 and has resided in the Washington metropolitan area since 1988. His first career was Engineering. He became a professor of exact sciences and then of languages. Nowadays, he devotes all my time and energy to art. He studied painting at Catholic University and drawing at the Cristina Gálvez Art Studio, both in Lima, and at Corcoran College of Art and Design.
He has exhibited his work at the Organization of American States and the Embassy of Peru in Washington and the Brookman Gallery in Los Angeles. In Peru, he exhibited at the Ivonne Briceño Gallery, Gallery 715, and the Italian Museum of Contemporary Art (group exhibition), in Lima; and at the Extebandes Art Gallery in Trujillo. His artwork can be found in private collections in the US and Peru.