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Mirror, mirror on the wall. DC's art scene coming on strong.

Gallery of mirrors highlights 'collectible design' concept

ARLINGTON, Va. — As we approach the second anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, now seems to be as good a time as any to reflect on ourselves. 

What better way to take stock than to immerse one's self in a gallery of artistically designed mirrors, where YOU are inevitably a component of the art being appreciated. 

It's an appropriate metaphor for the Washington, DC area art scene at large. Holding up a mirror, we see our own local art scene swallowed up by the shadow of New York City where many DC artists have their work for sale and on display. 

"DC has been and can be an art destination. There are so many incredible artists here," said Friends Art Space owner Margaret Bakke. "We have so many good museums, so many good galleries and yet people still look to New York a lot of times for art. The art scene in DC doesn't get enough press."

"I really love collectible design so I thought that mirrors would be a good first show that's an accessible part of collectible design," said Friends Art Space owner Margaret Bakke. 

Collectible design is a concept that incorporates everyday objects into artistic pieces.

"In some, I'm seeing myself and in others, I'm seeing something comical reflected back to me like the smiley faces," said art enthusiast Eve White. "The color and the light and how everything harmonizes." 

Thirteen artists were on display during the mirror gallery exhibit which ended in December. 

"What I find very unique about this gallery is what Margaret is bringing to the DC area -- the collectible designs," said artist Jomo Tariku, whose work was on display. 

"Margaret could have done a show of lamps and that would have been exciting too, but the mirrors gave us a chance to see ourselves and each other so you're experiencing the piece on a couple different levels," said White. 

"Things always start small and they blossom so I'm hoping that's what this will do for the DC area," said Tariku. 

Beginning Saturday, January 29, and running through mid-March, Friends Art Space is hosting an exhibit titled 'Earth Mother Bloom'; a collection of pieces to be displayed by Baltimore-based artist Hoesy Corona.

According to the gallery's description of the upcoming exhibit:

"The intricately overlayed ponchos are cut from industrial, weatherproof vinyl and finished with leather cording woven through the edges. Their colorful scenes depict mothers and other travelers on their journeys. The ponchos have evolved from wearable sculpture and costume ephemera as part of Corona’s performances, into archival art pieces to display as an invocation for hope and protection. They are reminders of the precarious and sometimes perilous idea of home and belonging. Each poncho is a wish and a prayer for safety and flourishing."

Visits to the studio are by appointment only. Contact Margaret Bakke at margaret@friendsartspace.com. Discover more about Friends Art Space HERE.

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