Notes of Color

Presented by Washington Sculptors Group at The Athenaeum
June 6 – July 21, 2019


The Athenaeum
201 Prince Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Gallery Hours:
Thursday through Sunday from 12–4 pm
Admission to the gallery is free

Sunday, June 9, 2019, 4 - 6 pm

Sunday, June 23, 2019, 2:30 - 4 pm

Sunday, July 21, 2019, 2 - 4 pm

Linda Agar-Hendricks
c.l. bigelow
Annie Farrar
Sharon Fishel
Kate Fitzpatrick
Marilyn Geldzahler
Penny Jacoby
Joanne Kent
Heidi Lippman
Darcy Meeker
Marja Ponkka-Carpenter
Judith Pratt
Marie Ringwald
Marc Robarge
Jean Sausele Knodt
Craig Schaffer
John A. Schaffner
Lynda Smith-Bügge
Marcos Smyth
Steve Wanna
Janet Wittenberg
Jenny Wu

Mollie Berger Salah

Notes of Color is an exhibition exploring the materials of both the painter and the sculptor, as inspired by the unique multi-media practice of Hilda Shapiro Thorpe (1919- 2000). Painter-turned-sculptor, Thorpe was a fixture of the Alexandria and Washington, DC arts scene. Her studio was on the third floor of the old “Why Not” store on the corner of King and South Lee Streets for over thirty years. The Athenaeum, located on the same block as Thorpe’s former Old Town Alexandria studio, is a suitable exhibition space for area sculptors to explore color and materials within their artistic process, just as Thorpe did. Thorpe’s work demonstrates her lifelong interest in the visual and visceral properties of color, a trait she shared with her contemporaries such as Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, and Ann Truitt. While the study of color remained constant throughout her artistic career, it was her bold use of conventional and unconventional materials that set her apart from other artists of her time. Not only an Abstract Expressionist and Color Field painter, Thorpe was a sculptor using a wide variety of materials such as balsa wood, piping, sheet metal, and gauze. She later worked in textiles and handmade paper works. Her practice is a challenge to artists today who wish to push the boundaries of how they use materials while retaining one of the most critical elements of art making: color. With Notes of Color, WSG offers an opportunity to its members to participate in this exhibition with sculptural work that investigates color as an integral part of the sculptural process while rethinking the ways in which they use materials.

ABOUT THE JUROR: Mollie Berger Salah
Mollie Berger Salah is a Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the National Gallery of Art. She graduated from George Washington University with a Master of Arts in Art History in 2014. While at GWU, she held internships in the Prints and Drawings Departments of the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery of Art. Mollie has also worked at the Fleming Museum of Art in Burlington VT, the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, VT, and the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, ME. An adapted version of her graduate qualifying paper on Kenneth Noland’s circle paintings and psychoanalytic therapy of Dr. Wilhelm Reich was recently published for Refiguring American Art, a research project organized by Tate, London. She has also published essays on Thomas Downing and Mary Pinchot Meyer. Mollie’s research interests include artists who have lived and worked in Washington, DC, early twentieth-century American landscape painting, and the cultural impact on the Cold War,

The building now known as the Athenaeum was constructed in 1851–1852 as the Bank of Old Dominion. Robert E. Lee Banked here, as did many other prominent Alexandrians. During the Civil War occupation of Alexandria, the building was commandeered by Federal troops and used as the Chief Commissary Office of the U.S. Commissary Quartermaster. An authentic Civil War site, the Athenaeum is on both the Virginia Trust and the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association is dedicating to the pursuit of excellence in all forms of art, and to establishing programs that will enrich the cultural life of Norther Virginia and the surrounding metropolitan area. As the primary site for these activities, the NVFAA owns, and maintains, the historic building called the Athenaeum. For additional information on the organization, please visit

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Image: Jenny Wu: Stunning Sapphire, Cosmopolitan, 2018, 10 x 8 x 2 in., latex paint and resin on canvas, Photo courtesy of the artist