A nonprofit collective of artists in Alexandria, Del Ray Artisans was founded 30 years ago with a mission “to promote art for the benefit of artists and the community.” That mission is certainly being realized with the organization’s current monthly exhibition, a return of the popular holiday-pegged show $100 & Under featuring original pieces made by member artists on display and for sale at or below a maximum of $100 apiece.
Every member artist of the gallery was invited to submit up to four of their best, most affordable artworks regardless of media or theme. From there, curator Dale Spivey, who also serves as the gallery’s president, oversaw what is billed as a “rapidly evolving exhibit” in which the gallery’s space is filled with affordable art available on an “art-to-go basis,” with buyers taking works home immediately upon purchase, followed by new works put out for display on a recurring, regularly refreshed basis all month long.
Additional artworks by gallery members are also available for sale in specially reserved racks in the gallery’s Alcove Gift Shop — everything from original unframed paintings and prints to jewelry. Also available is gallery-exclusive and -branded merchandise, from hand-crafted greeting cards, suitable for any occasion, to an art-filled 2023 Wall Calendar, to upcycled, one-of-a-kind tote bags made from the gallery’s monthly exhibit banners.
Anthurium — Heidi Vatanka
A few ancillary yet noteworthy activities will take place during the run of $100 & Under.
Kicking things off on Saturday, Nov. 12, is Art on the Avenue, a community-wide multicultural arts festival, sponsored by the Del Ray Business Association, and featuring booths set up on Mount Vernon Avenue in front of the gallery highlighting a juried pool of artists, including several gallery members, plus a booth staffed by the gallery itself for art demonstrations by members in two-hour increments, with Cynthia Schoeppel and a focus on mixed-media at 10 a.m., Ron Reel on photography at noon, Cheryl Neway working with tie-dye and fiber at 2 p.m., and Erica Hughes showcasing performance art at 4 p.m.
The following afternoon offers the November edition of “Del Ray Urban Sketchers,” a free, drop-ins-welcome session outside St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub (2300 Mount Vernon Ave.) where participants will create still-life, figure, or architectural drawings pursued from direct observations and using their own supplies (11/13).
Two additional hands-on events, both hosted weeknights at the gallery, include a “Pen, Ink, and Watercolor Workshop,” led by instructor Holly Black, at which participants will learn various techniques and create their own drawings and paintings using various instruments furnished with a $10 supply fee on top of the $35 to $45 registration fee (11/14, with registration cut off at midnight on 11/11), and a drop-ins welcome “Life Drawing Session: Gesture and Short Poses” led by Erica Hughes, open to anyone, regardless of skill level, interested in drawing or painting a nude model using their own art supplies, with a participation fee of $8 to $10 (11/15).
Running through Sunday, Nov. 27, but closed on Thanksgiving Day.
Del Ray Artisans is in the Nicholas A. Colasanto Center, 2704 Mount Vernon Ave. in Alexandria. Visit www.delrayartisans.org or call 703-838-4827.
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