New Years Eve: Reflections and Resolutions

(Jim took this picture of Ellouise beside the steam train in Cumberland, MD - September 2010 - on the way to the Applachian Festival in Frostburg, MD to tell stories with Katie and Otto Ross, Joanne Dadisman, and Susie Whaples.)

As dependable as death and taxes every year it comes to this point - New Year's Eve. Here you stand looking back at the waning year and peering forward hopefully into the face of the new.

Last year I resolved lots of things - that have not been scratched off the list or made into being a "habit."

This year I am going to be kinder to myself. No long lists but some ideas.
FOCUS - being the main one.
Try to have all things relate to each other.

So, I am declaring 2011 my Diamond Jubilee Year - as I will turn 75 in July.
I am embracing and celebrating those years - which after all have been a gift to me.

Themes of memories, stories, genealogy and cleaning out - that's my focus. I plan/hope to braid those themes all year. You will hear more about it.

Jim and Ellouise
on the grounds of Dublin Castle
Dublin Ireland.

Celebrating our Irish roots.

In 2011 we are focusing on picking up our Genealogy research so we can tie up threads and complete files for the next family historians to continue. It all fits. I came to storytelling through Genealogy and Jim was the one who started us on the search for our roots.

Time to review:

We had some wonderful times:
  • Jim has done well on Chemo and his latest scans were "good". Thank you God.
  • All is well in the family.
And we have had some tough times - in losing some good friends this year. The world has not seemed as bright without them.
  • Storytelling is going well - from Cap Fringe to Haunts - some out-of-town; some at home.
  • Learned how to rip , edit and post videos to my blog.
  • Improving as TV interviewer
And then:
  • Have not cleaned the basement
  • Did not exercise or walk daily
  • don't mention dieting.
For 2011:

Still sifting ideas:
  • First among them is that I will select a few things and focus.
  • Moderate the time I spend on computer.
  • Spend more time with friends
  • back to the basement
  • Work on Genealogy - to complete at least nine generations and find some stories
  • Work on new story-work - and I have two new projects to launch soon.
  • Keep the two TV shows - learn and write new stories
  • Continue to produce Kensington Storytelling.
  • Start new storytelling venue at Friendship.
That looks like quite enough!

Happy New Year.


VIDEO: The Wedding Dress

Wedding Dress from Ellouise Schoettler on Vimeo.

(if the video doesn't play - click on the Title, Wedding Dress - - UNDER the video)

Seems appropriate to replay this video on our 55th wedding anniversary.

Being married in a borrowed dress did not have any apparent impact on our life together -

55th Wedding Anniversary

December 30, 1955
Assumption Catholic Church
Charlotte, North Carolina

December 30, 2005
About Time Exhibition
Gallery 10, Washington, DC
(an abacus Jim and I made using images from our 50 years together.)

Like many, I make my art, collages or stories, from bits and pieces of my personal journey.

I will turn 75 in July - we were 19 and 24 on our wedding day.
Look at that math.
Jim and I have been together more than half our lives.
Our 55 years together is the heart of my life and story.

Were we doing it over - Jim and I probably would not want to get married between Christmas and New Years - its not great timing. But at the time it was perfect timing. Jim was a third year medical student at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He had a semester break then. Time to ride the train to Charlotte, get married, and bring a wife back to an apartment they had picked out.

We moved into that apartment on North Washington Street, in the shadow of the hospital with two suitcases. It will take several dumpsters and a truck to move us out of our house - where we have lived for forty one years. Along with the accumulated
stuff we have collected a rich treasure trove of memories.

A long marriage is a sweet blessing. You share each others lives, histories and memories. We often complete each other's sentences - or will say first what the other was thinking.
That connection is hard-won.
Swords as well as roses litter the road.

I am grateful we never let go of each other.


Dried Roses

beautiful roses lose their luster
stiffen and dry
leaves curling

just as the old year


Necco Wafers

Necco wafers are practically extinct
can't find them anywhere
except The Cracker Barrel
where they charge $1.29 a roll.

They are still my favorite candy
remind me of the Saturday "kiddie show"
at the Plaza Theater

Munching on their sweetness
after a recent highway stop at a VA Cracker Barrel
I lamented to Jim
"I can't find these anymore."

An educated man is really good to have around
He asked
"Don't they have a website."
By George they do

Now I can have Necco wafers anytime I want them
buying in bulk would definitely be dangerous for my hips and waist.



Re-gifting - A Story

A Vintage Gift

Gave this to Jimmy for Christmas.

I filled Jimmy's Biology Box, circa 1970 -
with his letters from 1984, and 1985 - the first couple of years he and Monica lived in Germany.

They were married in January 1984
so many of the letters detail their settling in - both in Germany and together

Remember hand-written letters?

There are also letters from Monica
talking about her days, classes and
job search.

As well as plans Jimmy made for our trip over to visit them.
Its all the "stuff of life" - the things you forget.

No better way to hear the story of your life than from YOURSELF!

Now - what if I had thrown those letters away?


A Quiet Day

Sometimes a quiet day is a gift!

Jim and I just enjoyed being at home - puttering on our stuff - separately - and together.

Waiting for snow. A heavy fall predicted - and indeed did happen - elsewhere. We had just a dusting.

Walking into 5:30 PM Mass at our 100 year old stone church with the snow misting around us and coating everything was like being in a Christmas Card.

Later in the evening we visited with Robin and her family in California via Skype. Seeing all of them completed our Christmas - blessings on the technology that makes these long distance connections possible.

Juliana and Alison pulling the "cracker" Christmas Eve -
I think its safe to say our one-note whistle concert will be a new family story - to repeat for years to come.


Christmas Day

Happy Birthday, Mama.

Louise Keasler Diggle
12/25/1915 - 8/30/2008

I made this fabric piece and named it, Louise Keasler Diggle.

A sweet quiet day today.
The sky is gray - making us think maybe the snow predictions are on target.
At the moment that would be just fine with me.

Mother Nature is calling the shots.

I am perfectly happy to vacay right here at home for a few days - - -
just put the "to do" lists aside
and follow my heart.

Today after I signed up for Ancestry.com I started entering all the data we have - and the process reminded me how much fun this is. Love the way the search process has changed! Twenty years ago researching Genealogy was like scratching in the sand with a stick. Not so these days. The computer puts the data at your fingertips.

The first exciting find - the ship record and date of my great-grandmother's Gold Star Mother's voyage to France to visit her son's grave after WWI .

Felt like a wonderful holiday gift - a new story.


Christmas Eve - part 2

Lovely afternoon and evening with our East Coast family.

Jimmy produced a "box-o-fun" which he had filled with stuff from Michaels to make tree ornaments - and we did.

Our family has been doing this - in many forms - since our kids were very young. Jimmy reminded us that he first made ornaments with Jim when he was 6 years old. Jim and I still have a few of those original paper ice cream cones that have graced many trees. We talked about other "craft event" - with high marks to the year East and West coast family was here and we gathered in the kitchen and went wild making shrinky-dink ornaments.

Later, when we gathered around the Christmas tree, Juliana brought out a box of English "poppers" a friend sent to her from London. They looked so beautiful in the box, - it seemed a shame to open them especially since the "pop" meant tearing them apart. These were the "musical" kind - inside each popper was a one-note whistle and a paper crown. Once we were all "crowned" we attempted to follow the number charts and created hilarious renditions of the old Christmas Carols. (don't worry - we will not be going public.)

Movie buffs - may remember the scene in Bridget Jones Diary where she and her father play "poppers' on a sad Christmas night or the scene in the book - not the movie - Prisoner of Askaban - where they play "poppers" at Hogwarts when Harry stays there for Christmas.

Let the games begin - there will be more FUN. Juliana and Alison gave each of us games - and invited us to a GAME NIGHT! They gave Jim and me an intriguing game - Banana gram - a sort of portable scrabble - with a bag of great letter tiles - and it has a yellow banana-shaped carrying case!

Jim and I did a bit of re-gifting this year. Special cook books, a treasure for Karen - a traditional design large wool and silk woven scarf from Provence complete with the story of finding it and a surprise personal history gift for Jimmy.

We boxed a collection of letters he and Monica wrote during their first year of marriage when they were living in Germany in his old Biology Box - which I had saved. Jimmy read bits from several letters - bringing back details of those days they had forgotten. Letters are so GREAT!
these are hand-written as well as chatty with daily tid-bits.

Oh, did I mention good food - prepared by Karen and Monica?

And - a very sweet Mass where the priest quoted Kermit the Frog , "Love is a gift."

Continuing the theme of this year - FUN:
The family surprised Jim and me with gifts that promise more fun.
Robin et al sent a year's subscription to Netflix
Karen gave us a device so we can stream the movies through the TV
Jimmy et al rounded out the Entertainment theme with "first dates" -
gift cards to several restaurants, an ice cream parlor and a movie theater.

Actually Jim and I had already agreed on a FUN gift for ourselves.
We are giving each other a gift of history - that we can share -
a year's subscription to Ancestry.com - to fill in some more blanks in our family history.

Fun along with Finding and Making memories - the stuff of stories.

Christmas Eve

Its a cold blue sky but
the sun is shining

Our son and his wife are hosting the family gathering
A few more chores before we go
Wrap some packages, stir up the salad.
I am bringing Mama's Macaroni Salad

Christmas is a joyous holiday
Yet its always melancholy for me
A hold-over from childhood
now coupled with other losses

Our job though
is to put on our happiest faces
and rush forth spreading cheer.

Thinking of the best of times
that's where I direct my thoughts
will be
Merry Christmas.


NEW VIDEO - My Christmas Story

The Door Story from Ellouise Schoettler on Vimeo.

A 13 year old girl yearns for a room of her own and when she finally gets it - one thing leads to another and she finds herself living in a fish bowl. My favorite family Christmas story.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas - and many stories to go with it.


A Surprise Meeting

When I pulled into a parking place in Kensington, MD this afternoon
I was surprised to see this guy right in front of my car. He froze.
And that freezing gave me a chance to reach for my camera and snap his picture.

When I drove in he had just lifted a "found" treat - someone's tossed away sandwich to his mouth. When he saw me he looked a bit "guilty" but did not drop his prize. I had just snapped this picture when he scurried away carrying his feast with him.

It was a delightful moment.


New Video - Aunt Rosie

Bob"s Aunt Rosie from Ellouise Schoettler on Vimeo.

I told this story recently on Stories in Time, Montgomery Municipal Cable, Channel 16 in Kensington, MD.


NEW Video - Conversation with Laura J. Bobrow

Laura J. Bobrow from Ellouise Schoettler on Vimeo.

Recent conversation with Virginia storyteller Laura J. Bobrow. Enjoy!

Finding a Story

Williamsburg Wreath

Working on a new story.

Here is one way you find a new story.

When I was sitting in Mass a few weeks ago -
mind wandering
escaping the lifeless sermon.

Images suddenly surfaced.
A place, people, things that happened
They came out of the past -
Seemingly from nowhere

The images keep bubbling up -
Taking me back to Baltimore, MD in 1954

I was a young (18) student nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital
Away from home for the first time
Out in the wide world

Rather than writing essays for English Lit
We were fingering the bones of a skeleton
Studying our withered cadaver -
Reeking of his perserving formaldehyde.

Our subjects - the human body and how it works
And then - - how it breaks down
and dies - -
or not.

Back-rubs and bedpans
Shots and pills
Enemas and IVs

and case studies.
The stuff of HOUSE.

Along with falling in love.

Things I have not thought about
For more than 50 years
and what Sean Buvala calls
tucked into the
nooks and crannies of my memory.

Have you explored like this
Wandered a time period
Sifted it?

Its where the stories come from.



Brushes Phone AP

Have you tried the iPhone BRUSHES AP?
I love it.
Drew this Apple - on my iPhone touch screen.

Its fun.
It is relatively easy to learn.
Your finger becomes the brush.
All for $4.99 at the Ap Store.
A bargain.


Seasons Greetings

Seasons Greetings
Williamsburg Wreath

Cold and very cold
Stayed home.




Gretchen Marie Schoettler
November 10, 1961
December 13, 1964


Signs of the Holidays

Aren't the natural materials just wonderful in these wreaths?

Simple shapes
Pods, cones, grasses and fruits on a bed of green.

I remember reading somewhere that Colonial Williamsburg replaces the wreaths all during the holiday season so that the displays are always fresh.

Smell the fresh cut trees on the Christmas Tree lots. I love that perfume. For the past few years we have gone to using an artificial tree. Save the trees and all of that. And, to tell the truth, save the money. I did not even price trees this year -

Having an artificial tree is convenient. Jim just went into the basement and carried up the box. No shopping or tieing a tree to the top of a car. Free - well, pre-paid. This one is five years old so its coming close to Free if you amortize the cost.

Not at all like the young man in Munich, Germany - riding away from a Christmas Tree stall with a tree wrapped in a netting bag tied to the back of his bicycle.

Not like the year I went out to the woods with Buck Hall, one of Mama's cousins, to cut down the tree for his mother. To me it seemed that we wandered for a looooog time until he settled on one that looked tall enough and right for his mother's living room. Then "wham" it fell and I followed behind as he dragged it home. It was "just right" - touched the ceiling, as I recall. I loved helping to hang the ornaments. The room filled with a lovely smell of pine.

Not like the year in Brooklyn when Jim and I bought our first Christmas tree - an over-ambitious tree - that when the boughs straightened out - filled the living room. We hardly had space to walk around it.
Jimmy was a year old. He loved it. And, it was lovely!

Christmas trees are lovely!
The ornaments - saved from year to year -
are an album -
memories -
a joy to savor.


Holiday Markers

Fragrant, green and lovely.
with cloves stuck into the lemon
Breathe in the fragrance.

Isn't it funny how small things mark the holidays
Particular smells like clove and nutmeg
The pungent perfume of fresh cut evergreens
and the tantalizing odor of cookies in the oven.

The same is true with the "sounds of Christmas".
Department stores and radios turn on
the strains of Christmas Carols and popular holiday songs
earlier and earlier every year
to jump start the shoppers.

And inside my head
a personal tape starts running
that takes me back to my grandmother's living room
in Charlotte, NC

There would be a large Christmas tree in the adjoining parlor
and perhaps soft homemade peppermint pulled mints.

In the Christmas Season my father's mother, Louise Cobb Diggle,
used to sing a little ditty her English grandmother, Elizabeth Pyburn Grose,
must have brought from London
when she came to the United States in the 1850s.

Christmas is a-coming
And the geese are getting fat
Please to put a penny in an old man's hat.

If you haven't got a penny
Then a ha penny will do.
If you haven't got a ha penny

Then God Bless you!


VIDEO: Storyteller Tip, Wreath

Williamsburg Wreath to keep with the Holiday Season.

Storyteller Tip - Bernadete Nason, August 2010 from Ellouise Schoettler on Vimeo.

Each storyteller-guest on Stories in Focus leaves a gift - a storytelling tip.

Have you ever tried to tell a story you did not really like?

Bernadette Nason has something to say about that!


Kensington Storytelling Tonight

Excellent evening of stories at the Kensington Row Bookshop tonight.
Featured tellers, Jennifer Moore and Kevin Boggs were in prime form
telling personal stories that surprised and charmed the audience.
Open Mic Tellers, Liz Nichols, David Fallick and Gregory Gargarin
closed the evening with a very interesting trio of stories.
I admit to being particularly delighted to have Mr. Gargarin there sharing his WWII Navy stories.
Here we were on December 8, 2010 actually hearing someone who was in the
Navy December 7, 1941 sharing his war stories with us.

Storytelling creates marvelous bridges across time.


Day of Infamy, 1941 memory - Williamsburg Wreath

December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor

We lived in a small two story bungalow on 9th Street in Charlotte, NC.
Three children, Ellouise 5, Lynda 3, and Kathy 6 months

It was a Sunday
I went for an afternoon car ride
with the neighbors - the Weeks.
We were stopped at the corner of Hawthorn Lane and Seventh Street
by a traffic jam, cars stopped,
"it must be the football game."
It wasn't
young boys running from car to car waving a pink newspaper
shouting "Read all about it. Read all about it."

Mr. Weeks bought a paper
We are at WAR!

I did not understand that our world had just been turned up-side-down.


Chewing on this

I come to ephiphanies
but I have lately recognized
that I often
my most precious commodity - - -

treating time
like something that
can be restored.
the truth is

once time is gone


3 BT and A Musing on Time

(until Christmas I post a Williamsburg wreath everyday to mark the season of Advent)

1. Enjoying being home and marking a few things off my list.

2. Love the Harry Potter films this week-end. Never tire of them. Discover something new everytime I see them.

3. Jim put up the Christmas tree and voila - it has lights installed on it. The glowing plain tree looks quite nice - - - ah - choices

Musing on choices -
for years I just went on to automatic pilot for holidays - shopping, cooking, mailing cards, etc etc . You know the drill. Without thinking I went full steam ahead.
For about ten years I have been questioning the wisdom of that

What is it all for and at what cost.
These days I think everyone should re-examine the cost of those usual things we do,
Habits can be costly.
and just well being.

I am not a philosopher or intellectual
and I come to ephiphanies
but I have lately recognized
that I often squander
my most precious commodity - - -

treating time
like something that can be restored.
the truth is
when its gone
it is gone.


Home and Williamsburg Wreath

Well, we are home from Williamsburg and glad to be here.
When our grand-daughter, a Senior at William and Mary College was rushed to Sentara Hospital late yesterday afternoon we rode down with her worried Mom while our son hurried down ahead of us. For those who have made such mad-dashes to their children, you know how tense it was.

Fortunately - things worked out well. A fine hospital, sophisticated diagnostic tests and a very able surgeon who operated just before midnight - and things were fixed. Pain not gone - but healing has begun. When we fell into bed at a near-by motel around 2 AM we were exhausted and grateful.

Today we got a good look at this hospital - Williamsburg Regional Medical Center. Built in 2006, it is a fine example of the newest thinking in hospital design and out-fitted with up-to- the minute equipment.

Recognizing how much waiting is involved for family members there are light filled corridors and spaces; small nooks in odd places with chairs for visitors to sit comfortably and inviting lobby spaces on all floors. It is a very human place.

That said it won't surprise you for me to tell you the patient rooms are marvelous spaces with large bathrooms outfitted with safety rails and other patient-friendly gadgets. The space around the bed is kept clear for easy access to the patient. A window-seat couch folds flat so a family member can sleep in the room over-night with the patient. As many nights as I have slept twisted into a chair in a cramped hospital room with Jim I particularly appreciated what that couch meant.

Good nurses, careful treatment, fine doctors and such a well-thought-out facility - wow.

I have said that I was keeping a record of all our experiences in different hospitals - from my nightmare experience in Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, NY, through medical facilities in five states - well this new hospital in Williamsburg is the star of the list.

And here is a touch I really loved - every so often you heard a nursery lullaby over the PA system - announcing the birth of another baby in the maternity unit. Sweet. Jim and I heard the arrival of five babies before we left.

I was happy to run into a member of the family that had gathered the night before to wait for one of those babies - the boy, 7lbs. 6 ounces. He is this woman's first grandchild - her daugher's child.

"I am so happy I can hardly keep from tearing when I talk about him."
"What is his name?"
Her face lit up - " Andrew." Then she hurried away to see him.

Welcome, Andrew.

Hugs to Alison.


Its about Family

What a day!

We started the day at Arlington National Cemetary - a beautiful place in early morning sunlight.

Our first stop - a visit to our daughter's grave - just to the left below the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

We also stopped to watch the lone guard keeping his solitary vigil on the chilly morning.

At 9 am there was a Promotion Ceremony for my cousin Lisa at the Women in the US Military Memorial.

Lisa and her husband, Rob (a USAF Major) flew in from Germany where they are both stationed - to have the ceremony so their parents could participate. She arrived a USAF Captain and left a Major. Her mother and her husband replaced the silver captians bars with a Major 's oak leaf clusters and her father, a retired USN Captain swore her in. It was a gathering of family and close friends. Jim and I were very glad to be a part of the celebration.

Afterwards Jim and I went on to the Phillips Gallery for some art browsing. And a delicious butternut squash soup for lunch.

I love it at the Phillips Gallery, especially on a day like today when the crowds are sparse and you can get close with the art works.
I particularly enjoyed this Stabile by Alexander Calder that looks so much like a line-drawing - although it is a standing sculpture.

Jim and I thought we would be at the closing reception at Gallery 10 tonight but sometimes plans absolutely take an unexpected turn. Instead of heading off to Connecticut Avenue - we hit the road with Monica and Juliana because Alison had been rushed to a hospital in Williamsburg in exteme pain - Jimmy was already on the road headed toward the hospital. We went along for back-up for the Mom and Dad and to be there with them while they waited out whatever the situation was. It was tense. But has ended on a good note. A bit of laproscopic surgery - bye-bye appendix - and all will be well.

While we were waiting to hear about Alison a large family gathered at the other end of the waiting room - waiting to greet a new arrival. Time passed slowly until - down the hall there was a burst of music - a nursery rhyme announcing the baby's arrival. Shortly a beaming father walked out -
" a boy - 7 pounds and 6 ounces." Hugs all around.

It has been a real family day. Praise God.


Williamsburg Wreath, Lisa's Promotion, Gallery 10 Closes

Enjoying the use of natural materials in these wreaths.

Finished the materials I need for the Rogue Festival and submitted them - on time - I am happy to say. Feels good to meet that deadline. When my head is full of paper-work details there is little room left for the creative stuff.

Jim and I have planned to take a whole day tomorrow to run errands, have fun, attend a special occasion for my cousin at the Women in the Military Mueseum at Arlington Cemetary and attend the reception for the closing show at Gallery 10. We have not done a day like this in a while.

The day starts early - 9 am at Arlington. My young cousin Lisa will have her Air Force Major's leaves pinned on by her father, Captain, USN, retired, in a promotion ceremony at the Women in the Military Museum. Now how cool is that!!! She and her husband (also an AF officer) have flown in from Germany to share the ceremony with family and friends. It will be wonderful and a bit strange - - we have known Lisa since she was a baby. Passage of time.

We begin with a celebration of things moving on -

Then we will end out day with a bittersweet good-bye to Gallery 10. I was a member for ten years and have known the gallery since the mid-1970s. Its been a fixture in the Dupont Circle Art World for 36 years.
In 2005 Jim and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary with a show ABOUT TIME at Gallery 10. Collages, installations and other pieces that were made from family photos. Jim and I worked together on it - he made a large abacus to display photo cubes of family snapshots from our 50 years together. Strong connections. Good memories.

Gallery 10 brings many memories of friends and artists we have lost - my dear friend Pat Segnan, Emily Rose, a most extraordinary artist and Ruth Levine - a fine artist - I met first as a member of Women Strike for Peace in the 1960s and then met again at American University in painting classes. And, others who moved away, were colleagues from the Washington Women's Arts enter Nancy Cusick, my first art history professor and friend and Ann Banks, a fine sculptor.

Active members until the last are also Washington Women's Arts Center colleagues and friends, Claudia Vess and Lucy Blankstein. We shared shows and ideas and work. These two are the glue that kept things going for the last months until it was clear it was time to close the Gallery. Brava!

People you know and work with are the fabric of your life! All these artists brought color, ideas, fun and joy to mine and I am very grateful for the chance to know and work with them.


New Video - Handmade

Handmade from Ellouise Schoettler on Vimeo.

In these economic times when "frugal" is back I think about the lessons to be learned from the ways women used to "stretch a dollar."

Gallery 10 - Another Loss

1519 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036

small last pic.jpg


December 1-24, 2010
Reception: Friday, December 3, 6-8 PM
Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat Noon-6 PM

Gallery 10 announces its final exhibition, the "Last Picture Show," an exhibition of some 40 works in all media by gallery artists. I One of Washington’s oldest artist-run galleries, Gallery 10 will close its doors on Fri., December 24 after thirty-six years.

Gallery 10 has been a pioneering influence on art in the Washington DC area since its founding 1974. It has promoted excellence in art by stressing artistic independence and integrity with innovative shows and by reaching out to the art community and creating opportunities for artists. The gallery was the first in the area to present installation and conceptual art forms, and was unique in its program of national and international exchange shows and its partnerships with embassies.

The art exchange program brought shows and artists from abroad: Italy, France, Lithuania, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Russia, and from across the US: California, Maryland, Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, etc.

The gallery has been a successful hybrid of incubator, international and metropolitan cultural exchange, and polished and edgy career solo exhibitions. Every artist in town knew dropping by Gallery 10 meant seeing something of interest, finding out about the next art event in town, and if Noche Crist or Maxine Cable were sitting at the desk, perhaps champagne. Mary McCoy, a Post art stringer in the 80’s, described the artist run gallery’s approach: “...Something in the mix of continuity of members' shows and the unexpected contributions of guest artists generates a lively energy that keeps the atmosphere of risk and dedication to art alive and well. Many of Washington's most respected artists, from painters to installation artists, got their start here. In providing a space for both local and out-of-town artists working in nontraditional forms, Gallery 10 also furnishes a provocative forum for art in this capital city.”

Over the years the exhibitions were consistently listed the NW Current which covers galleries and museums alike. Washington Post art critics in the second half of the 70’s, and the 80’s kept up with the gallery as well as the stringers in the early 90’s. More recently Post critics have discounted artist-run venues. “Who better to curate exhibitions than artists with advanced art degrees and years of curatorial experience and critical eyes?” asks Claudia Vess who first showed at the gallery in 1979 and later curated exhibitions such as Afterlife, a show where many viewers were so emotionally moved they burst into tears. “Artists are the first to recognize significant trends and interesting approaches."

The gallery will finish its 36 year run with the Last Picture Show opening on Wednesday, December 1, with HanuChrismaKwanza in the Inner Space. A reception on the Dupont Circle first Friday, December 3rd artists walk, from 6 to 8 pm launches the shows. The gallery will remain open through Fri., December 24 and close with cider and schnapps.

Like many in the DC Metro Area I feel the closing of Gallery 10 as a personal loss. Another OAK in my known art world falls.

I was a member from 1999 t0 2009 - a challenging and exciting period of my personal art career. When storytelling took me over completely I couldn't juggle both - so I resigned being an active member. It was a hard decision.

I cannot imagine how hard the decision has been for the members. What brings something like that on. Well, in the art work, its usually a simple answer - MONEY. Soaring rents, dwindling membership because dues are high, and the art market. Its not easy to sell experimental art work - especially in a tight market. So, in my view, Gallery 10 is another casualty of the present economic calamity in the United States.

3BT and a Williamsburg Wreath

Three beautiful things

1. Memories of a special Christmas in Williamsburg.

2. Early dreary rain gave way to sun and clear skies.

3. A Manoli Canoli supper with Jim and Karen to celebrate Karen's birthday.