Watercolors of Washington by Forest Hills artist and architect Milton Shinberg will be on display for the month of December at the Art League of Alexandria Gallery at the Torpedo Factory. The solo show, one of only six in 2018, was awarded to Shinberg by a three-member artist jury in 2016, allowing for creation of an entirely new series of paintings over the last two years.
The show goes up December 5th and will run until January 6th, 2019. The opening reception and brief artist’s talk will be December 13th, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. (see below).
Twenty-three paintings, including the signature painting here, have been created exclusively for this show. The theme, re-Cog’ni’zing/dc, derives from the intersection of three components of his life: growing up in DC; pursuing a life-long interest in drawing and since 2010, painting; and teaching Catholic University architecture students how to understand architectural aesthetics through cognitive neuroscience insights.
The paintings revisit places that existed when Shinberg began exploring DC at the age 10, and important places that have added to the richness of Washington since then.
His first exploration began after Shinberg and his best friend Tommy lobbied their parents to permit them to spend a summer month exploring downtown DC, the museums, the old book stores, the galleries, and anything that looked interesting.
“We rode the L4 bus, commuting downtown most mornings, spending the day with whatever we found, often going through the “Staff Only” doors,” Shinberg said. “Once we discovered a veteran ornithologist working on a bird specimen. Not throwing us out, he spent time explaining what he spent his life doing. The afternoons usually ended up in the old bookstores then around Ford’s Theater.”
The Lincoln Memorial figures prominently and is the subject of several paintings, including this one. It has particular meaning for Shinberg.
“As a moody teenager, I would drive my Corvair down to the memorial, usually very late at night or before dawn, park at the bottom of the steps, get a little wave from the Park Service guard on duty and then climb the steps, communing with Lincoln, reading the great words, sitting on the top step and looking over the reflecting pool at this glorious city,” said Shinberg. “It was, and remains a touchstone, but you can’t park there anymore.”
Revisiting these places and creating paintings was an opportunity to see them with mature eyes, finding new things in the old things, harvesting insights and rediscovering Washington. The “re-Cognition” embedded in the paintings is the fruit of that labor.
More information: Milton Shinberg’s re-Cog’ni’zing/dc opens Wednesday, December 5th and runs through Sunday, January 6th at the Torpedo Factory (105 North Union Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314). The opening reception and artist’s talk is Thursday, December 13th from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
The Art League gallery’s hours:
Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday, noon-6 p.m.
Open Thursdays until 9 p.m.
Shinberg’s show paintings will be for sale, and following the show, prints of those and other paintings will be available. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org. His website, ShinbergArt.com, also showcases previous work, including paintings and photographs of India, Egypt, Morocco, and of course the U.S.
Visit theartleague.org for more information about shows and classes at the Art League.