Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Let There Be Rock

“One of the most compelling rock documentaries...
an emotional roller coaster ride”
PEGASUS NEWS


Pyramid Atlantic invites you to rock with Barr Weissman and his documentary about the Drive-By Truckers
"THE SECRET TO HAPPY ENDING"

"This is a film about the redemptive power of rock and roll; it's about the American South, where rock was born; it's about a band straddling the borders of rock, punk and country; it's about making art, making love and making a living."

We will have a Q&A with Barr Weissman afterwards. You will be able to learn about his experience with the band during three critical years of touring and recording — years in which the band struggles to overcome the trauma of divorce and survives a near breakup.


Date: Saturday, March 10
Time: 7 pm
Cost: $5.00 (we will make popcorn!)
Location: Pyramid Atlantic, 8230 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD

RSVP to jdominguez@pyramid-atlantic.org

Credit: http://thesecrettoahappyending.com/
http://drivebytruckers.com/film.html

Yoga Fundraiser To Support Art Programs

Downward Facing Dog For A Good Cause

Calling all Yoga enthusiasts, artists and members of the community!

We invite you to stretch yourself on Saturday March 10 at 9 am at The Fillmore Silver Spring.

Relieve your stress and calmly raise money for arts programs for people of all ages and abilities at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center.

For only $20 attend a 75-minute yoga class led by Yoga Teacher Janice Simsohn Shaw and receive a complimentary ticket to a performance of Crowded StreetsThe Dave Matthews Tribute Band that evening!

The Fillmore Silver Spring is located at 8656 Colesville Road in Downtown Silver Spring.

Space is limited, so email your rsvp today to jdominguez@pyramid-atlantic.org to save a place for your mat.

Image Credit: Source

Friday, February 24, 2012

Date: March 8, Thursday

Time: 7 - 9 pm

Place: Pyramid Atlantic Art Center

8230 Georgia Ave. Silver Spring, MD 20910

Join Chef Egg and his dynamic DJ, Capt Stubing as they take you on a live culinary voyage you will never forget. Learn the tricks on how to make restaurant quality parmesan risotto everytime. The chef will also prepare spicy garlic shrimp and a pure fresh fruit sorbet that will knock your sox off. Chef Egg will not only show you how to prepare these vibrant dishes, he will also give you the skills you need to to claim your culinary independence! Food Sampling and light refreshments will be served.

Learn more about Chef Egg Event at http://chefegg4.eventbrite.com/

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Week 4 Inspiration

An inspirational email a week last year raised $5,000 for Pyramid Atlantic, an art center that builds communities through papermaking, printmaking and book arts. The money helped fund 69 art classes and workshops, 50 internships, studios for 419 artists and events for 7,539 people of all ages at Pyramid. This year, I am going to raise 1,000,000 pennies ($10,000).

I invite you to help me.

Three weeks are in the books and I have raised 120,000 pennies (or $1,200) with your help. Thank you to all who have contributed to date! Here is a picture of one of my penny partners, Kefa Cafe, and all the pennies they have collected.


But first, your inspiration for week 4:

"Today was one of those days when I just was not good enough. I tell my sons before school, before games, "do your best. " But how do you tell them that somedays, their best won't be enough. I don't know how to keep them from feeling the failure that accompanies trying something new, because you are bound to fail when you do that, before eventually growing stronger. It happens eventually, just not right away.

I learned about failure from my good friend Cyril Crocker. Cyril and I were classmates in a 13 month degree program run by George Washington University's Center for Excellence in Municipal Management for DC government employees. Cyril worked for the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and I worked for the DC Commission for the Arts & Humanities. We were there to become better managers and return to our agencies and make them work better for the residents of the city. In the program, we learned about procurement, human resources, budgeting, leadership, communication and team building. At the end of the 13 month program, all of the students participate in a culminating Capstone Project. The Captsone Project is a re-enactment of the city's annual presentation of its budget to Congress. We all were assigned different roles such as City Manager, Chair of the City Council, Head of Public Work, Mayor, etc. I was chosen to play the Mayor. We were given 2 days to prepare for our presentation. The whole time we were preparing, our professors (who played the Mock Congress) were changing things up in order to to make it extremely difficult for us to make decisions. They would call impromptu press conferences. They would send us memos from Congress changing the amount of money budgeted and the amount in reserve. Well, Day 2 came and we went down to one of the Congress Ofiice Buildings for our Mock presentation. We made our presentation and after deliberating, the Mock Congress did not approve our budget. I was furious and exhausted. I stayed up all night preparing. I worked so hard, we all had. It was our last assignment and I felt I had failed.

I met with my friend Cyril for lunch a few days later. We got to talking about the mock hearing and he said "wasn't that a great experience." I nodded and said "yeah." I didn't think it was a great experience, but I didn't want to dampen Cyril's enthusiasm. He kept going. "We had an opportunity to do that, to make that kind of a presentation, under difficult circumstances, in such a short period of time. We had an opportunity to fail at that level. That is a privilege that most people will never have."

And that's when I learned what failure really is. Failure is not an indictment of coming up short. Its a celebration of risking it all. Failure's reward is learning how much more you have to grow to be successful and discovering how willing you are to do it. Its easy to walk away and say, I failed and blame yourself and others. Its much harder to say I failed and despite the failure, be grateful for the opportunity. I know my 7 and 11 year old aren't ready to hear that, but the reward is not the result, its the opportunity. Everytime I fail I learn that much more about myself and inch that much closer to succeeding. So, I hold on tight on days like today, when my best was not good enough. I hold on because I am almost there. "

I hope I inspired you to join my campaign today. Its easy:
If all this penny stuff is too complicated and you just want to make a contribution, you can donate in any form of currency to Pyramid Atlantic by clicking here. I will add up your donation in pennies and include it in my campaign.

Join me this Sunday the 26th at 3:30 at Pyramid Atlantic for a book signing with award winning children's author, Mary Amato. Pick up a copy of her latest book and bring your pennies. I will take them to my friends at Eagle Bank.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2012 Winter Print Exchange

The first print exchange of 2012 has begun! 13 artists from Pyramid are working on a prints to displayed March 10th in the Pyramid studios, coinciding with the March potluck. The theme of the exchange is “In the forest” and/or “It came from the deep”. We can’t wait to see the resulting work!

photo credit: amazon.com
book credit: A G Cascone
photo credit: wikipedia
art credit: Fragonard

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Your Inspiration for Week 3

Last year, I wrote an inspirational email a week to raise money for Pyramid Atlantic, an art center that builds communities through papermaking, printmaking and book arts. The money raised helped fund 69 art classes and workshops, 50 internships, studios for 419 artists and events for 7,539 people of all ages at Pyramid. This year, I am going to raise 1,000,000 pennies ($10,000) and I am inviting you to help me.

Two weeks are in the books. I have raised 76,000 pennies (or $760) with your help on my road to raising 1,000,000 pennies (or $10,000) for Pyramid Atlantic. Thank you to all who have contributed to date! This is such a ride. Here is a picture of me shaking pennies that were contributed by Ms Carol Hurtt out of a bottle.


Here is your weekly dose of inspiration:

I was trained as an actor. I run Pyramid Atlantic, so many folks ask me if I am a printmaker and I am not. I moved to New York City after college in 1992 to work as an actor. I acted in plays, wrote a play, had a few bit parts on soap operas, did a couple of commercials and of course, waited tables. I went to graduate school at New York University and after I graduated got an agent. In 1997, I was going out on audition after audition and I needed something more to keep myself satisfied. So I auditioned for an educational theatre company called the Creative Arts Team and was hired.

I traveled all 5 boroughs and performed for children in Pre-K through 3rd grade in plays that promoted literacy and problem solving. I also started volunteering at a place called the 52nd Street Project. The 52nd Street Project is a theatre company that matches inner city kids with professional artists to make theatre. I worked their with Jaysunn Rosado and Ray Ocasio. Jaysunn was ten when he and I wrote a play that in many ways was about the family that Jaysunn wished he had and for me about the kind of father that I someday wanted to be. Ray was 15 when he and I wrote and acted in a show together. It was about a man who meets another man and wants his life so bad, that he kills him and assumes his identity. The man's son comes back years later to avenge his father's murder and finds happiness after he has forgiven his father's killer and is accepted into the Air Force Academy in Colorado.

I had the time of my life working with the the Creative Arts Team and the 52nd Street Project. I never felt more at home, more "in the zone" and more complete. I truly felt like I had finally found my artistic home. So one day, I decided that I was not going to go out an audition for a year, unless the project could make me feel as happy as I felt when I was working with the Creative Arts Team or The 52nd Street project. I would know in a year if I made the right decision because I would either feel incredibly happy or incredibly depressed. Over that year, a few acting jobs came up, but the opportunity could never match how happy the work I was doing was making me feel. When that year was done I had found my bliss.

I love being the Executive Director of Pyramid and its the same feeling I had when I first stepped onto the stage with the 52nd Street Project or into a classroom with the Creative Arts Team. I feel excited. I feel complete. I feel scared to death. Many days I am not sure if I have the courage, the brains or the spirit to do this job, but everyday someone's kindness and compassion at Pyramid assures me that I have got what it takes and I am right where I am supposed to be. I am so lucky to be a part of something greater than myself. The work we do with people of all ages and all artistic abilities makes ripple in their lives. It is my hope that these ripples one day lead the lives of the many people we come into contact with at Pyramid towards their own bliss. I have found mine and think its my responsibility to help others find theirs.

I hope I inspired you to join my campaign today. Its easy:
If all this penny stuff is too complicated and you just want to make a contribution, you can donate in any form of currency to Pyramid Atlantic by clicking here. I will add up your donation in pennies and include it in my campaign.

Join me this Sunday the 19th for a free book arts workshop at 9 am with my friends at Kefa Cafe in Silver Spring. We will make a special Silver Spring themed book and enjoy their amazing coffee. Bring your pennies and I will take them to Eagle Bank.

I promise to write to inspire you and not quit until I do.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012



Do you think you can outbrew the competition?

Do think that brewing is an art form?

For the first time ever, Pyramid Atlantic Art Center is bringing brewers and artists together for Crafty Brewers: a beer competition for local home brewers and brewing companies on June 7th in Downtown Silver Spring. Compete to win the love your beer so rightly deserves AND the top 3 brewers receive a one of a kind label for their beer specially created for them by a professional artist from Pyramid Atlantic.

Crafty Brewers will be a part of the Washington DC Metro Area craft beer celebration.

If you are ready to “bring the hops” and enter your beer, contact jdominguez@pyramid-atlantic.org for more information.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Abstract Painting Workshop for Kids











Date:
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Time: 11am – 1pm
Cost: $10.00 per child
Location: Pyramid Atlantic, 8230 Georgia Ave

Bring your children to experience the joy of abstract painting with our instructor Afrika M. Asha Abney this Saturday the 18th. Afrika will show you how to express yourself using only finger prints, imagination and paper.

This workshop is primarly designed for students ages 5-10, but you know you want to come too. So, if you don't have a child, call up your friend and borrow their child for the morning. They'll thank you and you'll thank them.

Space is limited, so RSVP to jdominguez@pyramid-atlantic.org

Thursday, February 9, 2012

In the Press...

An article by former Pyramid artist Tatiana Ginsbergappeared in this winter’s edition of HandPapermaking. The article “Kind Favor Kind Letter” about the project by thesame name, described Ginsberg’s collaboration with artists Kate Carr and LeeEmma Running on an exhibition and artists’ book begun at Pyramid in 2009 andlater shown in an evolved form at Grinnell College in 2011. Since their initial connection at Iowa Centerfor the Book in 2003, the artists managed to stay in touch until meeting againat Pyramid a few years later. Their work develops on the idea of shorthand andnon-verbal communication through tactile experiences and visual processes. Thiswas established during the time they spent making paper together and writingletters. Says Ginsberg, “Like making paper, collaboration has become a ritualthat helps us in our personal work as well.” We here at Pyramid are happy tosee the progress the artists have made since their initial exhibit.

Their book Kind Favor Kind Letter is available for purchase at www.pyramidatlanticartcenter.org.

Photo credit: The Art Center

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Inpirational Email Week #2


Last year, I wrote an inspirational email a week to raise money for Pyramid Atlantic, an art center that builds communities through papermaking, printmaking and book arts. I raised $5,000 in 13 weeks. The money funded 69 art classes and workshops, 50 internships, studios for 419 artists and events for 7,539 people of all ages at Pyramid.

This year, I am going to raise 1,000,000 pennies ($10,000) and I want you to help me. One week is in the books. I raised 50,000 pennies (or $500) with your help on my road to raising 1,000,000 pennies (or $10,000) for Pyramid Atlantic. A friend brought me the change from his Tzedakah Box. Tzedakah is Hebrew for charity and giving Tzedakah is an important part of the Jewish tradition. I am so grateful to him and the many people who brought me their pennies.

But first a dose of inspiration:

17 years ago, I made the biggest decision of my life. I proposed to my girlfriend Lisa. She said yes (whew) and once we decided to get married was when it got interesting. I called my mom to tell her. I knew she was not going to like what I had to say. "Mom, I'm getting married, I said. "Congratulations, that's wonderful," she said. "Listen, I want you know that I am going to invite Dad to the wedding," I said and waited. Silence. "If you invite your father, I am not coming," she said. Silence again. I did not know what to say. "But mom, listen, I'm getting married. Its my wedding," I said. "If you invite your father, I am not going," she said. Silence. I hung up the phone. I called my dad, "Dad, I'm getting married," I said. "Congratulations, that's wonderful," he said. "Listen, I want you know that Mom is going to be at the wedding" I said and waited. Silence. "Ok" he said. "Great" I said, we spoke a little and I hung up.

My folks divorced when I was 13. It was not a pretty divorce. I didn't see my dad for 5 years. My mom did a great job raising my brother and I, but it was hard growing up without my dad. He and I reconnected when I was in college. It felt great seeing him again, but I felt I was letting my mother down by starting a relationship with this man she could not stand. I spent many holidays that shuttling between my dad's place and my mom's place, trying to spend equal time with them both and never feeling that I truly was. So, I wanted my mom to put aside her anger for one day. I called my mom the following week and again she refused. I gave it a few months and and still refusal. I called my mom again and I said, "look, this is my day and I need you to be there for me on my day. "I am sorry Jose, I cannot be there if that man is there," she said. "He has no right to be there."

So, May 31st, 2006 came. We could not have asked for a more perfect day. The sun was shining and I think there was even a rainbow. I held out hope she would come, but she never did. My dad was there, it meant the world to me and I was at peace. My mom and I saw each other a year later. I traveled to Miami with my wife to attend my brother Rob's wedding. I drove over to her house. She answered the door. I remember we hugged and she cried and she said, "I'm sorry." I said, "It's alright, mom, it's alright."

Its alot easier to live your life for other people and make decisions based on what they think is best, but that's not living. I can't say that things went back to the way they were before with my mom, because they didn't, but I forgave her and I love her. Looking back, I am grateful to her. She taught me that day what its truly like to make a decision for yourself. It's hard and sucky and lonely for a little while, but slowly from that loneliness is born a peace. The peace of having made the right decision and an ability to forgive others because you know that this decision belonged to you and you alone the whole time.

I hope I inspired you today, I made a decision to raise 1,000,000 pennies and I hope you will join my campaign. Its easy:

Your pennies will support 69 art classes and workshops, 50 internships, studios for 419 artists and events for 7,539 people of all ages at Pyramid. If all this penny stuff is too complicated and you just want to make a contribution, no denomination will be turned away . You can donate in any form of currency to Pyramid Atlantic by clicking here. I will add up your donation in pennies and include it in my campaign.

Join me at Pyramid this Saturday for a free art workshop at 2 pm with my friends from Silver Spring Town Center Inc. We will make "Oscar Award" puppets in preparation for their Academy Awards Party: An Evening With The Stars.

Bring your pennies
and join me on my journey. Here is my latest picture of all the pennies I took to Eagle Bank. I promise to write to inspire you and not quit until I do.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pyramid Prints Now on View at Smithsonian


The Creation, a portfolio of 7 chine collĂ© prints created at Pyramid Atlantic is now on view in the Multiplicity printmaking exhibition at Smithsonian's American Art Museum. In 2003, Helen Frederick invited Tim Rollins + K.O.S. (Kids of Survival) to participate in a year long residency. Rollins was inspired by Josef Haydn's oratorio score. The intensely collaborative project involved Pyramid's hallmark strengths of paper making, printmaking and book binding. The exhibition features superb examples of printmaking at its finest, including  screen prints.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Meet the new Keyholder Residents!

"The Keyholders of Pyramid Atlantic"--is a pretty epic title to hold, so its fitting that Lee and Ripley are rather cool.

Lee

With a background in printmaking and book arts, Lee came to Pyramid with plans to create a large-scale Lithograph, but before taking the plunge, Lee is warming up with some miniature Polar Bears. She has an interest in the strange world of Natural History museums, where one can learn about the world around through exposure to displays of stuffed animals and plastic plants curated to educate visitors about a world that would be otherwise unavailable to them. Playing with the idea of taking objects out of context and putting them on display, Lee is building several matchbook sized display cases to hold drawings of a stuffed “Ursus Maritimus."

Lee took her first printmaking class in her senior year of college, but was quickly hooked, and spent the next five years at Kala Art Institute in Berkley, California. After that, she hopped off to the University of Tennessee where she got her MFA in printmaking, which led her to seek a Master's of Library Science at the University of Iowa.

Ripley

A former intern at Pyramid, it is exciting to see Ripley come back as a keyholder resident. She has several projects planned, and hopes to take full advantage of her time at Pyramid to strengthen her portfolio while learning and working within a supportive artistic community. Using traditional artistic techniques as well as the practical skills she learned as a professional mariner, Ripley is designing and building objects such as: paper furniture built from pulp cast into puzzle shapes, hand-made sheets of paper that fold together to create three-dimensional formal structures, and typically disposable products raised up as fine art—displayed in showcases made from book-binding materials. These projects aim to blur the line between utility and art in order to call attention to the engineering and design of disposable products often taken for granted or forgotten by those who use them.

Ripley graduated from Cooper Union in 2005 with her BFA in Visual Art. Since then, she has divided her time between art making and working in the maritime field as a sailing instructor or in the staff of a maritime museum.

Want more Ripley? Join us on March, 8th from 6:30 to 7:30 for a talk and demonstration from the lady herself!