Meandering up H Street past the stately bank buildings at the 8th street intersection, it’s hard to miss the hot pink signage at the T-Mobile store. What’s more discreet is the door to the walk-up art space City Gallery, located at 804 H Street. Well, it was anything but discreet when it’s grand opening in March, 2010 was crowded with more than 600 guests lined up around the block. Partners Phil Hutinet, Ellen Cornet and Geoff Ault, all working artists, have made the most of the location, and the tucked-away gem of a gallery has hosted shows by more than 9 artists, including one of collage by Ronnie Spiewak that runs through January 29.
While the space doesn’t bring to mind the glitzy loft spaces of Soho, it’s perfectly lit and just the right size and shape to let the artwork do the talking. And Spiwak’s exhibit “Leaves, Words and Screens” does just that. Spiewak’s collage technique appears whimsical at first, evoking fluid reminiscence of Mattisse’s collage work, but a closer review reveals bits of a Hebrew newspaper from Israel, product packaging, environmentalism, and bold images and cultural references from magazines. Unlike many collage artist, Spiewak shows great restraint in color and layering; her use of negative space, contrast and image creates movement and rhythm through each piece. Want to know how she does it? On Sunday, January 23 she’ll give a gallery talk and reception from 3-5 p.m.
The gallery is open Saturdays and Sundays from 1-5 p.m. and by appointment. It’s a great spot to walk off your H Street brunch and experience another facet of the neighborhood, one that’s quickly becoming an art destination.