40 years in any business is a long time, 40 years in the Art Gallery Business is a lifetime. To celebrate forty years of Zenith Gallery, we are hosting three different exhibitions at 1111 Pennsylvania Sculpture Space that will represent the different locations and eras of Zenith Gallery.
7th Street represented Zenith Gallery’s coming of age. After nine years of living and working together at 15th St. and Rhode Island Avenue Northwest, the Gallery moved to the new arts corridor in Washington -- Penn Quarter. We spent 24 years there, participating and promoting Penn Quarter as the new downtown. It was a very exciting time to be in the nearly named Penn Quarter. In some respects, this was the heyday of 7th Street, when there were galleries, theaters companies, the Shakespeare theaters, the MCI Center (now, called The Capital One Center) was built. Additionally, dozens of offices and new restaurants came into the area. The rent was reasonable enough at that time, so we could afford to be there. When we left in 2009, all of that seemed to have changed. No more art galleries, neither for profit or non-profit; we were all priced out of the market. Museums, theaters, and offices remained, and a rotation of restaurants.
Visitors from all over the world came to Zenith Gallery. We had a fabulous space with rows of store fronts on the street that made 7th St. corridor stimulating and exciting. Our artist roster expanded greatly, and creativity oozed out of our gallery onto the street. We were a fixture of downtown DC. I must mention the appreciation we have for Jo-Ann Neuhaus who first was at P.A.D.C. then transitioned to director of the Penn Quarter Neighborhood Association, without whom life in Penn Quarter would not have been so appealing. It’s extremely difficult to sum up 24 years in one show or one press release, but let’s just say we lived our dreams out loud.
Suzanne Codi was one of the first gallery managers of Zenith Gallery in our early years, and she had a studio at Zenith Square. She has a tremendous love of nature, especially flowers and animals. Her creatively goes from flower arranging to creating wonderful sculptures of dogs, some on commission and others that she creates -- like the ones in this show – lamps that could be from a by-gone era or fit into a modern home with humor. Her joie-de vivre shows up in all she creates as well as how she has lived her life.
Julie Girardini, working in steel and other materials says about her work, “My work is influenced by the journey’s we take in our lives. I am interested in how we travel from one phase of our life to another. Sometimes it involves a physical move. More often it is an emotional shift. How do we make it feel like home? When do we know we are ready to leave? Do we get stuck on concepts of safety and security, or do we honor the opportunity for growth? This is symbolized through my use of iconic forms: boats, nests, houses…for me these forms hold the essence of where we are coming from, our history, but at the same time are all vessels of new beginnings. I believe one of the responsibilities I have as an artist is to keep telling stories of our histories. We are obligated to observe the world around us and make some sense of it through visual means.”
Anne Marchand uses acrylic in her gestural brushstrokes to create abstract, other worldly images in impactful bold colors to elicit emotions from the viewer. Marchand is inspired by “photographs of galaxies and nebulae seen through the Hubble telescope. The images suggested a connection between deep space and inner space of the human body – it is all the same energy in the macrocosm and the microcosm.”
Donna McCullough, known for her vintage steel dresses, plays with the perception of femininity through the dichotomy of her material. Transforming her metal mediums, her dresses “appear feminine and soft while actually maintaining its strength and rigidity—an expression in contrasts and complements.”
Bradley Stevens, working in the realm of realism, invigorates the gaze of a museum experience by including visitors. Having copied many works in the National Gallery of art in Washington, D.C., Stevens pays homage with his museum series, “these paintings are my tribute to the great artists who have inspired me and to the magnificent museums that honor them.” Stevens can paint whatever he sees, whether it be a landscape, cityscape, or portrait. He is a master painter whose understanding of light is his signature quality.
Paul Martin Wolff’s biomorphic sculptures, shaped with visually and sensory appeal, have no direct references but are influenced by his experiences. His shapes can evoke different feelings from each viewer. Wolff prefers to sculpt in soapstone as it allows him to “work by subtraction rather than addition, as with clay, provides a never-ending search for the object inside the stone, a communion between artist and object that does not exist with any other medium.” He works in various cast mediums from glass, acrylic and resin, to cast bronze, where sometimes his patinas look like stone, high polishes or a brushed finish.
Joyce Zipperer focuses on discomfort and health issues surrounding costumes and women’s fashion trends. These issues and trends led her to create her sculptures of varied mediums that reflect our culture. Using an array of metals, Zipperer “conveys the changed attitudes and styles which have mirrored our culture, past and present, to address some of these issues.”
For 4 decades Zenith Gallery has been a pillar in the D.C. art community. We attribute our success to an ability to transform with the ever-changing times. We do this by combining our longstanding commitment to inspired, unique artworks with our personalized, high quality customer service. This commitment to celebrating the creative spirit of our artists is the core value at the heart of Zenith Gallery. As the Owner, and celebrated artist in her own right, Goldberg is fond of saying, “With billions of people on the planet, for someone to come up with an original idea and execute it in an original way is what has kept me in business all these years.”