Friday, December 6, 2013

10 Gift Ideas from Pyramid Atlantic Art Center

     In December, words like introspection, preparation, holidays, and buckling down for winter come to mind. As you shop and get used to the idea of drones today, consider that if you purchase something cozy from Pyramid Atlantic, you also help support our mission to bring art to the people. And since we think that's a great idea for artists and for the world, we thought we'd list our top ten. Are you ready? Here are our very best:

Letterpress calendar: Updated every year with new art by our volunteers, support this ongoing project chronicling our artists' printmaking. Click on Letterpress calendar for more information and to purchase the calendar via our paypal button. $35.00.

The Bite Me book: a whimsical cookbook by our volunteers. This hand bound creation contains appetizer and main dish recipes, or "bite me firsts" and "bite me laters." Click on Bite Me for more details and to purchase the cookbook via our paypal button. $55.00.


Much better for a clean escape than that little tree in your last snowball fight, our 2012 book arts fair commemorative apron (now a collector's item) will keep messes off your clothes while you work. Click on apron for more details and to purchase this item via our paypal button. $20.00.

Use our gift card instead of cash to pay for classes, studio rentals, one-on-one tutorials, and memberships. Put $300.00 on the card we'll add $50.00 more for free! Email our director Jose Dominguez at to buy yours.

Our prints are by artists in residence. Click on prints for more details. To purchase them, email Jose Dominguez at

There are several membership possibilities at Pyramid Atlantic. A basic membership gives you discounts on studio time, workshops, and gallery rentals; access to members only activities; and other perks. Click on membership for more details and to purchase yours via paypal. Starting at $40.00.

Looking for some extra guidance from a mentor or just savor tutorials when it comes to art? Consider our One-on-one workshop: For information on private tutorials, click on one-on-one and email your interest to $150.00 for a 3-hour session.

Most of our friends start out by taking classes here. Click on classes to see a complete listing, and to register and pay for yours via paypal. Starting at $120.00.

T-shirt: The Pyramid Atlantic t-shirt is not just any t-shirt. Come on, everybody's doing it. To purchase, come by Pyramid Atlantic and any of our staff will be happy to assist you. We accept cash, check, and credit card. $20.00.

Our holiday pulp and paper mill package is a pound of pulp and three hours of studio time. Though not a hybrid car, you may feel like you're driving one when you get such absurdly excellent paper making mileage. To purchase, see any staff member or email Gretchen Schermerhorn at $100.00.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Letterpress Calendar is Here!

The time is now to get your copy of Pyramid Atlantic's coveted Letterpress Calendar. This limited edition collaboration, now in its 5th year, features gorgeous original designs and the tactile feel found from letterpress printing. Makes a unique and thoughtful gift, with the added bonus of supporting Pyramid's programs.

2014 Pyramid Atlantic Letterpress Calendar

  • 4.25" x 11", printed on Pyramid Atlantic's Vandercook Presses on 100% cotton paper
  • Each month is designed and printed by a different artist
  • $35 each plus shipping, purchase here.
  • Or purchase in person at 8230 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring MD
  • All proceeds go directly to Pyramid Atlantic's programs
  • More information and photos here.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Look at that Lockup!

Our studios will be brimming with activities at tonite's Make + Take, including the letterpress antique type packed poster and screen printed "Pie Lady" paper bags. Tickets are available online, or at the door.

The Letterpress Lockup
Easy-as-pie screenprinted bags

Friday, Nov. 22, 2014
6:00 - 9:00 pm

Admission: $10
Children under 12: $5
Eventbrite Tickets
8230 Georgia Ave.
Silver Spring MD 20910

Cozy up and join us for a festive evening of art activities such as screenprinting, letterpress printing, book binding, and more! Peruse and purchase a variety of handmade gifts, like our famous annual letterpress printed calendar, handmade books and prints. To get you even more in the spirit, spicy cocktails and savory treats will be on hand. Kids are welcome, and we will have an activity planned just for them.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Make + Take Fun!

Buy your ticket now! Friday, November 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. is our next Make + Take experience. Come for a chance to explore screenprinting, letterpress binding, book binding, and more! No prior experience is necessary, just your creative interest.

Children are encouraged to attend, and children under 12 are half price! There will be special activities for them, also.

To avoid the line and help us get started on time (and the line can get awfully cold this time of year!) register in advance on our website or at eventbrite.

This is an excellent chance to get started on your holiday gift making and buying. We'll have our annual letterpress calendar, handmade books, and prints available for sale. Zesty cocktails and sweets are included in the price of admission, which is only $10.00 for adults.

But most of all come out and have some fun, because it's time to get into the holiday spirit. We hope to see you there!

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Glory be, those are some BIG GLOVES. Helene Baribeau's installation steals the show Autumn Colors, now on view in Takoma Park. Helene created the large sheets of handmade paper for her pieces at Pyramid during her 2012 keyholder residency.  She then hand carved each insect, and printed the dots on one of our large presses. Handprinting the bugs and sewing the gloves together were done in her home studio. Helene recently moved back to Colorado, but promises to visit often. At least to take off the gloves. Congratulations, Helene!

Helene Baribeau at the opening of Autumn Colors

Autumn Colors
November 8 – January 5 2014
The Galleries at The Takoma Park Community Center
7500 Maple Ave
Takoma Park, MD

Monday, October 28, 2013

October Denbo Fellow: Torukpa Agbegha

"Doodles" is not a word that Torukpa Agbegha shies away from. While doodles might bring to mind schoolbook marginalia and comics for some, Torukpa transforms the idea of doodling in her artwork. For Torukpa  doodling reflects a sense of humanity--any person can relate to the freedom of line drawing and coloring. Pyramid Atlantic is proud to host Torukpa Agbegha as our first Denbo fellow for the month of October.

Torukpa is a resident of Silver Spring, but she was born in Cleveland, OH and studied at University of North Carolina. Her works ranges from drawing to collage to textile design. Torukpa often focuses on the transformational quality of different materials--she enjoys incorporating recycled materials into her work. Taking inspiration from artists like El Anatsui and Judy Pfaff, she has worked with weaving together materials and using them as a canvas. Torupka works with the idea of taking "unprofessional" materials and repurposing them into art.

One of Torukpa's ongoing projects has involved doing drawings on the DC Metro-- not literally on the Metro, because that's rude, but in a very beautiful sketchbook. Her drawings are influenced by the environment, people, and sounds of the Metro. Torukpa often listens to music while she draws, which gives her work a very rhythmic feel. She's interested in translating movement and rhythm into visual patterns and ornamentation. Her work displays a beautiful sense of spontaneity and emotion.

While at Pyramid, Torukpa hopes to create larger works from her drawings and collages. She's excited to experiment with screen printing and etching in order to build up layers and incorporate her doodles and patterns into a large-scale work. Additionally, she has been working in the papermaking studio. While playing with materials, Torukpa looks forward to letting process run its course. We're excited to see the results!

For more information on Torukpa's work, she will be giving an artist's talk at Pyramid on October 30, from 6 - 7 PM.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Visiting Artist Sean Harris

Sean Harris is fascinated by many things. Among them are: Welsh folklore, topography, mythology, wild boars, Goya's black paintings, songlines, pantomimes, and, most recently, Pyramid Atlantic Art Center. Lucky for him--and even luckier for us--Sean is working in the studio for the next five weeks.

Sean is the recipient of the Creative Wales Ambassabor Award--an honor which he described by stating, "I feel like I should be sweeping around in a cloak." Sean does not, however, wear a cloak. A cloak would be extremely impractical for the beautiful work Sean does in collagraphy. Based in Wales, Sean has created his own unique hybrid of printmaking and animation. Using fragments of collagraph prints, Sean constructs stop-animation style films which incorporate the landscape and history of Wales.

The titles that Sean has been given over the years range from "animator" to "printmaker" to "archeologist." Sean feels that he inhabits a more liminal space as an artist--constantly drawing from these different studies and titles, but never necessarily being just a "printmaker" or "animator." One of the reasons Sean is so fascinated with Pyramid is the mixture of different processes and media. He likes the idea of different art forms brushing up against each other in the studio.

In the same way that Sean combines different media of art, he combines ideas spanning over different disciplines and places. In particular, Sean has always been drawn to the Mabinogion, a collection of Welsch tales that draw on Celtic mythology. Of the many figures in Welsh mythology, the wild boar appears most frequently in Sean's own work. For Sean, the mythology of Wales is closely linked with the physical landscape through the idea of "songlines"--that is, using traditional song lyrics to map out a landscape. Sean's work explores the relationships between mythological figures, the spaces they inhabit, and their impact on national identity.

Sean last came to the US to study Native American reservations in North Dakota. With a lack of wild boar, he became fascinated with herds of bison and buffalo. While at Pyramid, he hopes to further examine the ties between cultures, creatures, and myths. We're excited to see what he's working on!

Check out Sean's work and films at

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Revved up at Restrike/Repurpose

A creative crowd gathered for screen printing coasters designed by Chelsea Blackman (right). The 2 day symposium featured demonstrations, open portfolios, and cold beer.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Intern-views (Get it? It's punny.)

Fall is here at Pyramid Atlantic-- that means the air's getting colder, the leaves are turning different colors, the inexplicable pirates at the tavern down the street are getting out their seasonal brews, and, most importantly, new interns are here.

Let's find out who they are:

Lindsay Lynch

Lindsay is from Chevy Chase, MD and she's really having a blast interviewing herself for this blog post. Lindsay went to Georgetown Day School in DC, where she did a lot of art and very little math or science. She is a recent graduate of Kenyon College in Ohio, with a double major in English and Studio Art. Lindsay's art focuses a lot on absurdism, image appropriation, and literary theory. Back in Gambier, OH, she did a large-scale installation that explored images in printmaking as visual language. She often works in linocut reduction prints, but also dabbles in painting and drawing.

Her spirit animal is an otter.

David Felts

David's hometown is Joppatowne, MD, a place I just learned about from Wikipedia-- Joppatowne has a fascinating Civil War history. However, David did not fight in the Civil War. He is a recent graduate from Millersville University, outside of Lancaster, PA. Although he was previously a philosophy major at Cecil Community College, David received his BFA in painting and printmaking from Millersville. His work is influenced by multiple disciplines--from philosophy to art history. He recently did a solo show of work inspired by Renaissance paintings. In addition to interning at Pyramid, he also works as a carpenter.

His spirit animal is a tortoise.

Cosima Storz

Cosima is coming to Pyramid Atlantic from Alexandria, VA. She attended Bishop Ireton High School, where she wore a uniform. In high school, Cosima worked in the costume department, designing and constructing costumes for plays. She studied Studio Art and Product Innovation at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she did not wear a uniform. She did occasionally don a business suit, though, when she worked with business and engineering students on product innovation. Cosima mostly works in printmaking and painting. Outside of her work at Pyramid, she builds art frames.

She told me her spirit animal is either a narwhal or a velociraptor.

Ashton Maltie

Ashton comes all the way from Clarksville, TN, a place whose namesake is the Clark of famous explorers Lewis & Clark. Ashton did not discover large portions of America, though. Ashton currently attends Austin Peay University in TN, where he is studying Computer Science and Studio Art. He's excited to spend a semester in the DC/MD area, interning at Pyramid and taking classes. Ashton loves sketching and doodling both in his free time and in his not-so-free time. He enjoys creating characters and constructing narratives in his sketches.

His spirit animal is a goat/dog/honey badger, which is a fun thing to imagine.

Tania McCamy

Tania was born in Atlanta, GA but currently studies at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN--another place that Wikipedia tells me has an interest Civil War history. Tania is currently finishing up her degree in Fine Arts at ETSU. She works a lot in photography and film making, but she's most interested in pursuing work in community art. Tania is a great director in the literal and figurative sense--she once directed a 6 minute film, and she hopes to someday work running a nonprofit art organization.

Tania isn't sure what her spirit animal is, but she thinks it might be a muskrat.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Featured Instructors in September

Pyramid is lucky to have two esteemed book artists and papermakers coming from out of town this September to teach workshops. 

Bea Nettles is teaching Triple Accordion Collage in the books studio on September 15th. Bea has been exhibiting and publishing her autobiographical works since 1970. Since that time, she has had over fifty one-person exhibitions. Her images are in numerous collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Canada, the Phillips Collection in Washington DC, and the International Museum of Photography at the Eastman House. Her artists’ books can be found in special collections libraries at universities including Yale (Beinecke), Washington, and Virginia. She taught photography and artists’ books from 1970-2007 at Rochester Institute of Technology, Tyler School of Art, and the University of Illinois where she is currently Professor Emerita. Nettles continues to lecture and teach workshops internationally.

About the workshop:
Triple Accordion Collage: Sunday, September 15, 10-4
Description: This intermediate structure is versatile and is especially suited for landscape imagery. It lends itself well to the use of collages. Three accordions of varying widths are sewn together and will be housed in clothbound covers. Participants should come prepared with a variety of papers to fold and items to attach.


Jiyoung Chung is teaching Joomchi and Beyond in the paper studio September 20-22. Jiyoung is an internationally exhibiting artist, painter and freelance writer who has developed an innovative method for bringing a traditional Korean method of papermaking called Joomchi into contemporary art forms. Jiyoung has been featured in American Craft magazine and has taught workshops around the country including at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, the Rhode Island School of Design, and Penland School of Crafts. She has work in many collections including the Museum of Art and Design in New York.

About the workshop: 
Joomchi and Beyond: Friday-Sunday, September 20-22, 10-3:30
Description: Joomchi is a unique Korean traditional way of making textured handmade paper by using water, and eager hands. This workshop offers participants the opportunity to become acquainted with its history, practice and role in Korean society, as well as the hands-on techniques and reinterpreted adaptations into contemporary art form. Joomchi creates strong, textural and painterly surfaces by layering and agitating Hanji (Korean mulberry papers). Its usages are diverse and it can be incorporated into surface design, collage, new way of drawing, wearable, unconventional body ornament or sculptural object: 2-D & 3D either functional or fine art oriented.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Artist residency: Winston Harris

Collaborating music with art

Winston Harris is working on etching and screen printing projects at Pyramid Atlantic through Pyramid’s artist residency program.
Winston has his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and his master’s degree in printmaking from Howard University. 

Winston (right) and Ana Parrodi, Pyramid Atlantic intern, both prepare the inked-up plexiglass before printing.

The etching project is called “Midnight Jazz Hour” because the pieces are based off of sketches Winston made while at a jazz show.  He is using a process called dry point.
Winston chose etching for this project because he thought that etching would leave the best impression for this project.
He is also using water-based inks.
The images drawn based off of the jazz music were etched onto the plexiglass plates with an etching needle and prepared with ink before being printed.  

Winston's project with the silkscreen is titled "American Made." 

Winston has been involved in different exhibits, one being "Influence over Time" and "Printmaking in 3D."

Visit Winston's website at:

YES Program displays art

This Friday, the Youth Empowerment Skills program displayed their artistic abilities.  The theme of the program this year was social injustices with a focus on teen homelessness.  

The YES program had been working on their works all throughout July until that point.  Much of the art was printed on commercial items, such as T-shirts and hats, to make a statement on homeless injustices on such consumer items. 

Pyramid collaborated with the Gandhi Brigade and SSTCI for the exhibit. The exhibit also presented a documentary on teen homelessness, which interviewed different homeless teens.  Each teen had a unique and heart-wrenching story to tell about how they got into their situations and how they are working to improve their future.

Through the collaboration of art, film and first-hand accounts, all working on this project were able to spread awareness that this is a problem -- even if it is not an issue that is well known.

The leaders of the exhibit from all sects were proud of the success of their interns and volunteers.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Beer Pong in the studio

Pregame with Pyramid

The studio was filled with merry beer drinkers Saturday for the Pregame with Pyramid fundraiser.  The event was a Beer Pong tournament. Around 10 teams participated.  Pabst Blue Ribbon donated the beer pong geer for the event and Fire Station and Pete's Pizza donated the food.  Around 35 people attended to eat, drink, dance to music, screen print T-shirts, and (of course) compete in the Beer Pong tournament.  The winners of the tournament were Emerson Babington and Conor Bronsdon.  They have the opportunity to continue onto the D.C. Beer Pong Final Four during D.C.'s Beer Week.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pregame with Pyramid this Saturday

Pyramid Atlantic Art Center is hosting the ultimate summer experience, including Beer Pong, music, food, prizes and screen printing. 

“Pregame with Pyramid” will be from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3 in the art center’s Georgia Avenue parking lot.

The Beer Pong competition will select four tournament winners to compete in the Beer Pong Final Four during D.C.’s Beer Week in August.  Also at “Pregame with Pyramid” are all-you-can-eat-and-drink options, a silent auction and printmaking event T-shirts for the first 50 attendees.

“It's an exciting fundraiser because it will draw in a younger crowd to the art center,” Chelsey Anderson said.
“Perhaps in their victories and defeats, they will stumble upon something else that Pyramid has to offer them.”

 Tickets are $5 before 7 p.m. and can be purchased at the door.  Proceeds from the tournament benefit Pyramid’s arts and arts education programs for people of all ages.

The Pyramid staff hopes to continue this event yearly. All are welcome to attend; however, beer is only available to those of legal drinking age.

“We hope to introduce young people to Pyramid Atlantic but also to just celebrate our community and our organization,” Anderson said.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Youth Empowerment Skills Program fights against teen homelessness

Students participating in the Youth Empowerment Skills Program are focusing their artistic talents this summer on social injustices: teen homelessness.  They have been educating themselves on the different ways that these teens lose their homes.
In the media, teen homelessness is portrayed in different ways; YES has been exploring the different stereotypes portrayed by the media, along with digging deeper.  What we've found is that there are different dimensions to homelessness, in general.  In many cases, a homeless person is in their unfortunate situation for reasons that they have no power over.
YES has been studying how this misrepresentation has come about, and taking it into their own hands.  YES visited Shepherds Table, has been designing and chalking murals, designing and screen printing T-shirts, making pins and hats, and more.
The YES program is learning how to use the power of art to make changes and educate others through creative expression.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pyramid Atlantic participates in D.C. Folklife Festival

Members of the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center community participated in the Will to Adorn: African American Diversity, Style, and Identity section of the 2013 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

This year, the Will to Adorn program focused on the various ways African Americans express their individuality through different art forms such as dress, music, hair, dance, poetry, athletics, and more.

Pyramid Atlantic had volunteers and staff participating in various crafts and activities.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Rejuvenation Lunch for handicapped women: empowering

Pyramid Atlantic members recently volunteered at a Rejuvenation Luncheon intended to empower and refresh handicapped women in the community and remind them that they are still very much strong and able women. 

Janice Jackson was the guest speaker.  Jackson received the 2012 national Citizens’ Award from President Obama, himself.  She spoke on how it is important to not "take off that red lipstick" as a handicapped woman, meaning not to forget that even while the "handicapped" label may be attached, they are still very much women and very much able to do great things.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Don’t just limit crafts to a studio

The baseball bracelet

 A fun summer craft that is easy and quick to make

While there are plenty of wonderful art classes and skills to be learned at Pyramid Atlantic, don't forget that art can be done in your own home, too.

One baseball can make 1 to 2 bracelets.

Materials needed:
• X-Acto knife
• Baseball
• Scissors

Step one:

Cut the baseball with the X-Acto knife about a centimeter from the stitching.  Follow the stitching with the knife until you reach the start of the cuts.

Step two:

Peel the leather off of the baseball.  (You may need scissors to reinforce the cut lines)

Step three:

Cut the other patch of leather on the other side of the stitching.

Step four:

Peel off the remaining cut section of leather. (You may need scissors to reinforce the cut lines)
You now should have a stitch 

Step five:

Find the knot in the stitching and either untie or cut from that end.
You can cut the stitches to make two bracelets if the sizing works better that way.

Step six:

Cut along the stitching holes for about an inch on both ends of the stitching.

Step seven:

Next, untie the stitches, cut off any untidy pieces, and tie a knot.  You’ve just made the bracelet ties.

And there it is...