Montgomery Art Association

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  • 26 Jan 2020 9:14 PM | Anonymous

    MAA member Maria Elena Sayan received the Viewers Choice Award at the MAA Members Show & Sale at Oasis Gallery in Bethesda for her still life Summer Zinnias and Herbal Tea.

    More than 80 guests at our January 25 opening reception voted for their favorite works from among the 65 pieces in the show. Shirley Crawley took second place, and Helen Wood was third place.In total, 65 MAA members are in the show, and many of them attended the reception, each sharing thoughts about what inspired them to make their pieces. 

    The show runs until April 10. You can visit Monday-Friday, 10 am-4 pm. 

  • 21 Jan 2020 10:37 AM | Kathleen Tynan (Administrator)
    Lives in: Germantown, MD 


    Social Media: Instagram: @deborah_walmer; Facebook:

    Media and subjects:  Oil on canvas

    Why you joined MAA: To socialize with and support other artists.

    Something fun about you: Along with painting, dance comes in a close second. As far back as I can remember, I have danced.  If there is music on, you will see me swaying to it.  I have been a member of three dance companies over the years and even traveled to West Africa to study dance.

    Artist Biography: I grew up in the Philadelphia, PA area and majored in Fine Art at Mount Vernon College in Washington, D.C.  Although I am a Philly girl, I consider myself a Washingtonian since I have lived in the DC area for over 26 years.  I started drawing at 1½ years old.  Unfortunately, it was all over my aunt's door during a sleepover. That was my last sleepover.  (Editors Note:  Fortunately it was not her last artwork.)

    After college I didn't really paint that much. I was uninspired. After my divorce, three years ago, I realized that something was missing. I needed to paint. I now know I cannot go a day without painting.  Besides my two teens, painting has made me happier than anything I have ever known.

    My second love—dance has stayed with me over the years.  Although I no longer dance as part of a dance company, I stay involved in the dance world by creating costumes for CityDance School and Conservatory at Strathmore in North Bethesda. I merged my two loves of dance and painting and created a dance series of paintings. When I watch the conservatory dancers, I am transported back onto stage. I want the viewer of my art to see the movement of dance and feel the emotion as if they are dancing.

    During my first art exhibit this last summer, the paintings were displayed while the dancers performed the repertoire that is depicted in the paintings. I wanted the audience to experience the emotion and story they tell through movement in my paintings.  One of my paintings, Girl On Fire, depicts an African dancer. She is wearing the costume I made for that dance repertoire.

    My paintings have been described as paper unfolded or stained glass. You can see the influence of Picasso, Braque, Dali, and Kahlo in the paintings.   I recently expanded into Abstract works. These abstract paintings are a mix of textures that include oil paint, cray-pas, shells and fabric woven together with the techniques of the cubism genre. My friends call the style Debism.

  • 29 Dec 2019 12:02 PM | Anonymous

    Lives in: Bethesda


    Media and subjects: Oil painting of all kinds. I like to have an animal somewhere in the picture.

    Why you joined MAA: I joined MAA as a way to show my work and meet other artists.

    Something fun about you: I am a connoisseur of good food, fine wine and EBAY.

    Artist biography:  I have always loved to paint.  In high school, many years ago, I decided that oil painting was my calling, so my father made an easel for me and sent me off to college as an art major. My practical self soon realized that as an artist it was going to very difficult to support myself with my art, so I changed my major and made a career in television--always knowing that at some point I would re-engage in my art.  I have since retired and live just down the street from the Yellow Barn Studio at Glen Echo, so I have pulled out that old easel and am taking classes and painting full time.  In the past year, I have started showing my work in both juried and open shows; and recently I was awarded second place in oils in the Rockville Art Leagues Winter Juried Show.  My interest is primarily in color with a touch of Impressionism, and ideally I like a painting to tell a story.  

  • 23 Dec 2019 1:23 PM | Anonymous

    Sixty-five members of the Montgomery Art Association are showing works for three months at the Oasis Gallery in Montgomery Mall in Bethesda.

    MAA's third annual member show & sale runs January 13-April 10.

    A reception is scheduled for Saturday, January 25 from 2-3:30 pm and is open to the public. During the reception, visitors will be asked to vote for a Viewers Choice Award. The winner will receive a gift certificate good for a free painting workshop offered by Walt Bartman of the Yellow Barn Studio and Gallery.

    The Oasis Gallery is in the second-floor Macy’s Home Store at Westfield Montgomery Mall, 7125 Democracy Boulevard.

    Directions to Oasis from the mall's Garage A: Follow the aisle to the end and turn left. Drive two aisles to your left to park near Macy’s Home Store entrance. Pass through elevator lobby and see entrance on left. From inside the mall: Enter Macy’s Home Store, turn left toward Linen Department. Go through Linens and follow signs for the Exit/Parking Garage. At the inner lobby, enter OASIS straight ahead.

    Shown (clockwise from top left): Resting in Quiet Waters (watercolor) by Angela Lacy, Winter Scene (pastel) by Marcia Billig, Watching the Tide Come In (oil) by Jeanne Powell and Perchance, to Dream (#3) (acrylic) by Gordon Lyon.

    Download the 2020 Oasis Show flyer

  • 30 Nov 2019 7:33 PM | Anonymous

    Name: Jack Hammond

    Lives in: 
    I'm a proud, 60-year resident of Takoma Park.

    Media and subjects: I've worked in pastels, water colors, oils, acrylics, and more; my subjects are varied.

    Why you joined MAA: I'm drawn to the artistic communion offered by the organization, as well as the opportunity to show my work.

    Something fun about you: Back in the day, my future wife, Vaughn, was seeking a local daytime art class and stopped in Lipman's Art Shop (now Plaza Artist Materials) to inquire. Shirley Lipman seized the opportunity to sign Vaughn up for my Saturday morning class. Trick was, the class was for six- to ten-year-old children. The rest is history!

    Artist Biography: University of Maryland - Fine Arts/Practical Arts; US Navy Ships' Artist; "Niche" Period 1960-1980; Vaughn and I opened the art gallery -- Gallery on the Park -- 1970-1980; prolific in a present day renaissance with new vision after two cataract surgeries.

    Shown, left to right: Bend in the Road, Morning Pier and Cataract by Jack Hammond.

  • 30 Nov 2019 9:21 AM | Anonymous

    With MAA member Martina Sestakova
    Artist, teacher, and founder/owner of RADOST

    Many artworks have been created about the self.  In this workshop at the Oasis Gallery--set up in conjunction with MAA's third annual Oasis Gallery art show--you will join teaching artist Martina Sestakova in an exploration of your senses and what makes you a unique self. 

    You will take a look at artists such as Sonia Delaunay and Paul Klee while you work in watercolors to create a visual capture of yourself.  No experience is necessary and all supplies will be provided.

    Oasis Gallery

    Friday, February 7, 2020
    1-2:30 pm
    Fee: $25 

    To register, visit

  • 6 Sep 2019 6:52 PM | Anonymous

    By Jennifer Kahn Barlow

    Paula Zeller, MAA's 2019 winner of the prestigious Bertha Clum prize for her piece Frankly Pizza Magic, is remarkable, as is her painting. If you did not get a chance to see this phenomenal art at this year’s Paint the Town Labor Day Show, it depicts a Frankly Pizza baker attentivity tending to his pizzas. The warm glow of the oak fire brick oven contrasts the cool kitchen, making this painting pop.

    Paula captured a moment in time but gave us a glimpse of something more.

    Frankly Pizza in Kensington is a favorite of Paula and her family. Besides the amazing food, Paula said she loves to go there to watch the hustle and bustle of all the people within the restaurant.  With Frankly Pizza Magic, she wanted to show the pizza making process; its grace, rhythm, and focused energy. The pizza baker was really connecting with his surroundings and the job that was in front of him. 

    Frank and I we were super happy for Paula and her win!" said Kate, one of the pizza restaurant's co-owners. "We think the painting is beautiful and so lifelike! We were honored to be included as the subject of her piece. We're proud to be a Kensington destination!”

    Paula (center, in gray top) also won a prize in the Portrait category at the Paint the Town Labor Day Show. Photo by Jennifer Kahn Barlow

    Paula is now in her last year at the Compass Atelier’s Master Artist Program in Rockville. Her thesis, which will be on exhibition in Spring 2020, focuses on connections. These connections can be between people, people and certain situations, or even people and things that are important to them. 

    Paula works from photos and carries her camera wherever she goes, allowing herself to be ready to capture an inspiring connection. Paula’s currently working on a scene of some children at Baltimore’s HonFest dressed in the festival’s attire with big hair, cat eye glasses, and Hawaiian shirts. 

    Paula said the “shared joy” of that particular moment, especially in her hometown of Baltimore, makes her happy every time she works on the painting.

    Paula being interviewed by an NBC Washington Channel 4 reporter at the Labor Day Show. Photo by Elissa Poma

    Paula’s love for oil painting grew as a child and carried her through her teenage years in Baltimore. Her career path, however, led her toward working with children with disabilities and writing/editing health information. Upon retirement, Paula felt something was missing, which led her back to her paint brush and eventually The Compass Atelier program. Paula loves the flow of painting, especially when she is immersed in her artistic process. 

    Paula lives in Gaithersburg and works from her home studio, while also tutoring children and adults. 

    Paula is an artist that is one to watch!  We look forward to seeing more amazing captured connections by her in the future.

    Watch a video interview with Paula
    See more of Paula's art

  • 30 Aug 2019 3:53 PM | Anonymous

    Congratulations to the award winners of the 2019 Paint the Town Labor Day Show:

    Kensington Category

    First Place (The Bertha Clum Award):  Paula Zeller, Frankly Pizza Magic
    Second Place: Paola Luther, Almost Home

    Third Place: Jennifer Beaudet, Start at Noyes

    Honorable Mention: Eve Sandmeyer, Kensington Corners

    Honorable Mention: Robert LeMar, Kensington@Night

    Honorable Mention: Dianne Stewart, Tunnel’s End

    Honorable Mention: Lis Zadravec, The Happy Place

    Honorable Mention: Alden Schofield, Kensington Grapes

    Honorable Mention: Lisa Denison, Broken Americana


    First Place: Alden Schofield, Misty Morn

    Second Place: Frankie Lydon, Spring: Virginia Woods
    Third Place: Meredith Way Morris, “Montevideo Road

    Honorable Mention: Carol Starr, T-rusty Skiff
    Honorable Mention: Debbie Miller, Sunset Moment

    Honorable Mention: Ricky Sears, Following Light
    Honorable Mention: Jennifer Beaudet, Midtown Possibilities

    Honorable Mention: Eve Sandmeyer, Teahouse Reflections

    Portrait, People and Animals

    First Place: Dora Patin, Symbiosis
    Second Place: Paula Zeller, Holding it Together
    Third Place: Evan Goldman, Old Man

    Honorable Mention: Galina Kolosovskaya, Good Girl
    Honorable Mention: Ting Rao, Sunflower Field

    Honorable Mention: Karen Lantner, America the Beautiful

    Still Life

    First Place: Tim Weedlun, Tangelo Cocktail
    Second Place: Ellen Yahuda, High Pressure
    Third Place: Paola Luther, Pure Love

    Honorable Mention: Galina Kolosovskaya, Still Life with Pumpkin Flowers
    Honorable Mention: Jennifer Barlow, The Mighty Avocado

    Honorable Mention: Sandra Schraibman, Sunny Spot


    First Place: Terry Pellmar, The Outing
    Second Place: Elissa Leibowitz Poma, Antes de la Tormenta
    Third Place: Paula Eiblum, Is This What Heaven Looks Like?

    Honorable Mention: Gail Neal, Marine Dragons of Tasmania

    Honorable Mention: Pauline Rakis, Journey

    Honorable Mention: Sandra Edmonson, Deserted Way

    3D Sculpture

    First Place: Iris Grundler, Vase with Japanese Maple Leaves
    Second Place: Sandra Perez-Ramos, Mangrove
    Third Place: James Vissari, Morality

    Plein Air Competition

    First Place: Rajendra KC, Kensington Farmers' Market
    Second Place: Leonardo Ramos, Front Yard
    Third Place: Laurie Basham, Come In, We're Open
    Honorable Mention: Nicole Gordon, House on Carroll Fawcett Street
    Honorable Mention: Jeanne Powell, A Navy House
    Honorable Mention: Ann Schaefer, Drumm Avenue Geometry

  • 30 Aug 2019 3:44 PM | Anonymous

    By Glen Kessler
    Judge, Paint the Town Labor Day Show

    This show, the nearest and dearest to my heart of all local exhibitions, one in which I have participated in some capacity for over 25 years—three times as the Bertha Clum award winner, twice as Invitational category winner, and twice now as its juror—is the strongest I have seen yet! It was my supreme honor and tremendous challenge to jury prizes for this show. In the end, it was quality of craftsmanship and uniqueness of idea that led my decision making process.

    I believe you will see across the prize winners a professional caliber of artistry both in technique and concept that speaks to the outstanding talent and work ethic of our local community of artists. And there were many artists' work that I truly loved, but which just missed out on prize recognition. To all of you artists, I see your effort, I see your bravery.

    I want to thank the members of Montgomery Art Association who gave their time and effort organizing and executing what is without a doubt one of, if not THE, top annual exhibitions in our area, one that I and so many others in this thriving artistic community look forward to. Thank you to the town of Kensington as well for their steadfast support of the arts and this showcase.

    Congratulations and kudos to all on this celebration of art!

  • 28 Aug 2019 9:40 PM | Anonymous

    By Judith Levine

    Irina Koren came to us recently, joining MAA in April of 2019 as a result of friendships with many MAA artists. But she comes to the US from a much greater time and distance. 

    Born in 1969 in Moscow, she and her brother were raised there. In 1989 she attended an art college that was a continuation of her high school and then taught art for a year. In 1991 her family fulfilled a lifelong dream to move to the US. As ethnic Jews they had always faced prejudice and it was finally their turn to leave.

    They made the trip straight to Maryland-no stop in New York City-and ended up in Gaithersburg where she still lives. Koren laughingly told me of the shock of expecting to see something like NYC as that was the only image that she and most Russians have of the US, and finding herself in what was then still very rural Gaithersburg.

    Though it would grow rapidly in the next few years, there were still working farms in the area. They had no car yet but did finally start to make treks into DC with friends who did own one. (They were unaware of the Metro stop.)

    After taking English classes and learning a lot more about the US and American culture, Koren began classes at Baltimore’s Maryland Institute of Art in 1992 and earned her BFA in 1994. She expected that it would take longer but in a surprise move, the school accepted her Russian credits. In the meantime she married in 1995, had her daughter in 1996, and became a single parent two years later. Armed now with her new degree in Visual Communications, the artist would then begin a career that a friend suggested.

    She became a noted muralist. Her work can be seen in area restaurants, entertainment centers and parks such as North Virginia Park Authority, Shadowland Laser Adventures, Urban Winery and in many private homes. Koren was featured in magazines and newspapers including the Jerusalem Times. The same friend later suggested she add faux finishing to her roster and Koren expanded her base as she began to do faux wall finishing and furniture to what she could offer her clients.

    But her primary love of the fine arts was never out of her heart and mind even as she had the need to earn a living. She continued to paint when she could. 

    By 2017, her daughter grown, Koren felt it was time to seek out a new community in the visual arts. She craved the presence of other artists and a chance to move full time into painting for herself. After attending an Artomatic event in 2017, she began to do just that. She met fellow and soon-to-be-friend artists such as Anastasia Walsh, Amanda Spaid, Jamie Downs, Sandra Perez-Ramos, Roxana Rojas Luzon and many others.  Koren began to use unusual objects in her painting including sequins and guitar picks, and she also started her unique hubcap series.

    “Two years ago, we were going into DC, I saw hubcaps in the road .. .[and I retrieved them and] just started to paint them. They were there and it “... was the right place in the right time!  And there are LOTS of hubcaps in the world!!” she grinned. 

    Asked about artists she loves and who might have influenced her, she replied instantly, “ Van Gogh! His passion! His colors! His expression!”  And Chagall is in that group, also because of his use of brilliant colors and maybe a bit too because of the connection to Jewish ideas and celebrations. She is drawn to the contemporary work of experimental painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer. Each of them possesses the two major qualities Koren seeks in her own creations: movement and rich colour. She described the way she works. 

    “I listen to music while I paint. I don’t start out a work knowing what it is going to be.” Yes, she has a subject such as a dancer that has been chosen, but not a vision of what she wants her finished work to look like. She does not do preliminary sketches or paintings.

    “I just start with color and movement and see what will happen.”

    Her philosophy for her artwork is to be willing to experiment, to grow as an artist and above all, be passionate. And she said this would be what she would tell any young or just beginning artist. “Just be passionate, everything else will come.”

    What and where does she envision her future? “That’s a good question.” she replied. She wants to do more things with other artists, having more collaboration on creating and doing shows together too. Koren is currently finishing a show at Ranazul Restaurant in Fulton

    And she was a prize-winning entrant at MAA's 2019 Creative Expressions show. She has traveled extensively and doesn’t plan to stop exploring the world.

    As to remaining here, she will do so unless her daughter relocates and then, well, who knows. Thank you very much to Irina Koren for sharing her story, her vision of her art, her philosophy and her vibrant personality with us.

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