Book Hill Galleries Host Family-Friendly Holiday Event

Six Georgetown art galleries organize event to benefit the Duke Ellington School's Museum Studies Department.

The Georgetown Galleries on Book Hill are welcoming families and art enthusiasts for a day of carols, treasure hunts, art and other merriment from 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 1. Each gallery will be accepting donations to support the Duke Ellington School of the Arts' Museum Studies Department.

"We always want to engage more with the neighborhood. This is sort of a fun way to do it," said Elizabeth Parkman, the associate director at Heiner Contemporary.

The family-friendly event includes a treasure hunt for children, who can collect gold stars on their "maps" for every gallery they visit.

Children will have to search out a particular object or color at each gallery to complete the treasure hunt.

Chris Neptune of Neptune Fine Art said the goal was to "inspire them to really look at art."

Holiday shoppers will benefit from artworks in a range of media and prices for a truly unique gift.

Additionally passersby can enjoy live performances from The Sophisticated Ladies of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, a 30 member female vocal ensemble, who sing carols at the base of Book Hill Park (east side of Wisconsin Avenue at Reservoir Road).

"It's a way for families to see each of the galleries. And we also wanted to just do a charity drive for Ellington, " Parkman explained.

Neptune said supporting Ellington through the event was a natural decision.

"We really wanted to do something because they are our neighbor," she said.

Duke Ellington School's Museum Studies Department, one of only a handful of such programs at the high school level, needs donations in-kind as well as financial support.

Donations needed include, "thumb drives, object handling gloves, picture hanging supplies, framing supplies, and tools -- including hammers, levels and tape measures," according to a press release.

Additionally financial contributions will help offset expenses like stipends for guest speakers, field trips and the costs of traveling exhibitions. Donations $100 or more will go to the scholarship fund for students to attend the "Educational Adventure," an annual trip for the department. Depending on funds raised students will either go to Santa Fe or New York City.

Parkman said the holiday festivities are the second event that the new-ish association of galleries is hosting.

The Book Hill group hopes the area becomes a "destination" for art collectors, curators and other enthusiasts.

Neptune recently moved to DC from New York City.

"It was refreshing to move here," she said. "It’s smaller and its much more person to person,"

The participating galleries and their current exhibits are:

Addison/Ripley Fine Art: Waterline, photographs by Frank Hallam Day

Heiner Contemporary: Housebound, a group exhibition exploring the depiction of domestic space, featuring work by Rachel Farbiarz, Bella Foster, Allison Gildersleeve, Allison Reimus, Ann Toebbe, and Augusta Wood.

Maurine Littleton Gallery: Group Show: Gallery Artists

Neptune Fine Art: Silent Studies, Still Life Paintings by Coleen Cox.

Robert Brown Gallery: Prints and drawings by Danish artist Per Kirkeby.

Susan Calloway Fine Arts: Variations on A Grid, paintings and monotypes by Natasha Karpinskaia


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