Accessible art

The ideal holiday gift could come in the form of a painting done with a water gun. Or paint-dipped darts.

So says Patrick McDonough, a second- year graduate student in studio art at GW. McDonough is displaying works in the student gallery sale – which is intended to become an annual event – held this Tuesday through Friday in the first floor gallery of the Smith Hall of Art. He worked to organize the sale with fellow graduate student Teresa Sites. The sale itself is overseen by department head and professor, Thom Brown.

McDonough characterizes his work on display as “recreational art” for its emphasis on using leisure activities to create the projects.

The graduate student is one of about 20 GW-affiliated artists – undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and alumni – contributing to the show this week, put on by the Art Gallery Spaces Committee.

McDonough himself has drawings for sale (including the Super Soaker-inspired work and other recreational pieces, which go for $75), as well as four larger paintings.

McDonough said those attending the sale will have the opportunity to meet with artists displaying work. Each day, at least one of the artists with work for sale will be in the space to meet with the public and explain their work. Artists like second-year graduate student Steve Ioli, who is studying painting, will sell their work and donate a portion of the proceeds – between 50 and 100 percent – to the Art Gallery Spaces Committee.

McDonough cited enthusiasm over the sale’s use of the new exhibition space in Smith Hall. The classroom – renovated last summer by faculty and students – is meant to serve as a display space. A recent mural drawing by Sarah Koss displayed in the space, which spanned a newly erected central wall, realized this potential. Everyone is taking advantage of the new space, he said.

“The range of work being produced here is great,” he said. “It gives people the opportunity to see a lot of different kinds of art instead of what would be on display in a traditional exhibition.”

While large-scale paintings by more established artists like faculty members could cost as much as $500, smaller items, like handmade postcards, are available for $1.

He added, “The art at the sale is definitely more affordable than anything in a gallery in Dupont Circle.” n

The First Annual GW Art Department Holiday Sale will be held in Smith Hall Room 102, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday, December 5.

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