Its art. It’s free. It’s really, really close

Many come to GW for its location in the middle of the American political arena. But politics is not the only activity going on in GW’s neighborhood. Art is a alive and well in the community, specifically at the MacFeeley Gallery just steps away on 20th and I streets.

The Arts Club of Washington at the MacFeeley Gallery is currently sponsoring a gallery of new visual art entitled “Art for a New Year.” The show features 42 new works by 17 artists.

“The show is meant to celebrate new artistic initiatives created by our members,” said Maureane O”Shaugnessy, the gallery’s director of development. “The gallery features oil and acrylic paintings, sculptures, and photographs.”

Although there does not seem to be a dominant theme throughout the present works, there is a repetitive focus on the freedom of an open environment.

The environments range from European villages to mountain ranges (including one shaped like a vagina). There seems to be a general motif of peace, serenity and beauty.

Rita M. Svatos’ “Blue Explosion” features dozens of small goldfish in a peaceful state. The work brings an atmosphere of innocence to the sea through the use of blue watercolors.

Likewise, some works feature more abstract themes subject to interpretation.

James R. Graves’ “Night in the Sky II- Prayer,” which won “Judge’s Choice,” features the decapitated body of a naked woman covered by a gray-streaking American flag. The woman, who appears to be praying, constructs a vision of darkness.

Azrag Fakhoun’s “Fighting Cocks” is another notable painting, which features an abstract red and black figure against a blue background. The piece uses fire-like imagery in order to create a deadly, hellish atmosphere.

The MacFeeley gallery is open Monday through Friday (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Taking into mind its close location and the fact that it does not charge admission, the place is worth a visit from both the artistic and non-artistic student.

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