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Posted by on May 31, 2017 | 0 comments

Make Your Own Flag of Hope

Make Your Own Flag of Hope

You may have seen a string of brightly colored flags hanging overhead on Mt. Vernon Avenue in Del Ray since mid-May, a gift to Alexandria from a community group in Whitefish, Montana. They’re Flags of Hope, painted by hand, and designed to “allow messages of harmony to be blown across the land.” This Thursday, June 1, alongside Bean Creative on 201 E. Del Ray Avenue from 6 p.m. to dusk, you can make your own 11 x 11 inch flag! Come with an idea for an artwork that expresses love, hope, harmony, peace, and tolerance to paint with acrylics. They will hang on a new string of flags for our community, and later move to another town in the United States. The Flags of Hope public art activity is a part of Del Ray’s “First Thursday” all along Mt. Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria. Held the first Thursday of the month from April to September, First Thursday is a series of free outdoor street festivals...

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Posted by on May 11, 2017 | 0 comments

This Weekend: La Bella Strada Street Painting Festival

This Weekend: La Bella Strada Street Painting Festival

We’re so excited about the La Bella Strada street art festival this weekend. Last year it was so much fun to walk along Mt. Vernon Avenue and watch as the artists created beautiful paintings directly on the sidewalk with professional-grade chalk. The event takes place Saturday, May 13 from 9-3 Sunday, May 14 from 9-3 and raises money for The Del Ray Montessori School. More than 22 artists will create 5×5 and 10×10 foot square chalk paintings along the sidewalk. Several members of the Del Ray Artisans are sharing their talent this year, such as Melanie Bikowski, Karen Laurie Thomas, Pamela Underhill, Jeff Lodge, and Margaret Wohler, as well as artists who study or work at the Torpedo Factory Art League in Old Town. For the full roster of artists from Alexandria and D.C., see the La Bella Strada artists page. The festival is also hosting other fun activities: In the Bean Creative field opposite Mind the Mat yoga studio: face painting for kids, Del Ray School of Musics’...

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Posted by on Apr 24, 2017 | 0 comments

Call to Artists: La Bella Strada Chalk Painting Festival

Call to Artists: La Bella Strada Chalk Painting Festival

The second annual chalk painting festival in Del Ray – La Bella Strada – is coming up on Saturday May 13 Sunday, May 14 where Mt. Vernon Avenue turns into a giant gallery of vibrant chalk art. Do you want to participate as an artist or know anyone who does? The festival organizers are in search of a few more artists to share their talent. Artists receive Prang artist-grade chalk and other supplies to use to paint either a 5 x 5 foot or 10 x 10 foot square, sponsored by a local business. Artists also receive promotion on the event website and social media leading up to, during, and after the event. There’s a happy hour at Del Ray Artisans following the event to say thanks and give artists and event volunteers a chance to relax and swap stories from their day. Many of the artists who participated in the first annual La Bella Strada shared how much they loved the event and are coming back again. As...

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Posted by on Nov 7, 2016 | 1 comment

Meet the Mural Artist: Patrick Kirwin

Meet the Mural Artist: Patrick Kirwin

You may have noticed a new mural gradually taking shape in the neighborhood, becoming more and more colorful and elaborate, alongside the long wall of the VéloCity bicycle co-op on the corner of Custis and Mt. Vernon Avenues. The local artist who proposed the idea of painting an outdoor market scene and has been doing the painting is Patrick Kirwin. He specializes in Trompe L’oeil. Patrick currently teaches at the Alexandria Art League and has taught at The Corcoran College and the Smithsonian Institution. He has completed large commercial projects, as well as the interiors of many small shops, private wine cellars, and residential murals. Initially, Patrick worked with children from the Community Kids Club, a group of nine 4th and 5th graders from Mount Vernon Community School, to paint the flower pots along the bottom of the length of the mural. As the mural acquires more and more detail, Patrick fills the flower pots. He is also beginning to paint people and dogs into the mural to add...

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Posted by on Oct 25, 2016 | 0 comments

Meet the Artist: Samantha Testa

Meet the Artist: Samantha Testa

From street chalk art to custom water colors, hand-lettered invitations to wall art, local artist Samantha Testa embraces a wide variety of art mediums.  I met Samantha last spring when she participated in La Bella Strada: An Italian Street Painting Festival. Samantha cleverly used the artist-grade sidewalk chalk as watercolor paint to create an exquisite landscape. She also recently appeared on Art on the Avenue in Del Ray, where she sold the one-of-a-kind watercolors and hand-lettered paintings that she features on her Painted Palettes website and Etsy store. One of Samantha’s signature features is hand-lettering, which she makes the centerpiece of a piece, or an enhancement. Photo credit: @melindasnyderphotography She does many custom projects for clients as well. Her main requests are for watercolor animal portraits, watercolor venue/house paintings, hand-lettered invitations, and hand-lettered gifts, such as a wood slice with a family’s last name, picture frame mats hand lettered with a saying, wine glasses, ornaments, nursery art, and personalized art for specific rooms in a house. Stayed Tuned! Samantha...

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