AU’s Katzen an artful space

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • July 29, 2005

by Karen Feld

The artists’ reception for “Soft Openings” provided a delightful glimpse at American University’s Cyrus and Myrtle Katzen Arts Center last Saturday evening. “It could be the new institute for contemporary art in D.C.,” exclaimed Martin Irvine, president and director of Irvine Contemporary Art on Connecticut Avenue, “and we hope they [American University] let Jack [Rasmussen, the director and curator] do it.”

“The art takes advantage of the architecture,” said Rasmussen. “The space is a work of art itself.”

“What do you do with a convex wall?” he asked. “We’ve got a space that contemporary sculpture will embrace.”

The three-story gallery will focus on D.C. and Baltimore artists in a global context. “The artists here are rubbing shoulders with artists from all over the world,” said Rasmussen. Currently, the work of 22 artists is displayed and open to the public.

Local artist Ed Bisese’s huge sculptures of satiric heads made from recycled grocery bags and showing ambiguity of relationships are exhibited in the sculpture garden. Well-known D.C. artist Sam Gilliam has created a fabric installation which hangs over the staircase. Other local artists in this show include Kristin Holder, Madeleine Keesing, Hsin-Hsi Chen, Jody Mussoff, Joe Shannon and Yuriko Yamaguchi.

Longtime Washingtonians and art collectors Dr. Cy and Myrtle Katzen made it all possible with a $20 million gift in addition to their eclectic collection of both paintings and sculpture. The official opening of the arts center is scheduled for Oct. 20, with a dinner and exhibitions highlighting the donors’ 300-piece collection of modern and contemporary art.

Rummy’s time zoned

This thought bite from former Rep. Andy Jacobs Jr., D-Ind.: How long in Iraq?

“Six months” – Donald Rumsfeld in 2003.

“Twelve years” – Rumsfeld in 2005. Oh well, six of one, 12 of another.

Reality for hometown boxer

Jimmy Lange, right, of Great Falls lands a punch on Tarick Salmaci during Lange’s majority win of one of the fan favorite fights voted on as a part of the finale of the reality television show “The Contender,” May 24 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas

Great Falls fighter Jimmy Lange, who earned the third-highest purse on NBC’s “The Contender” – $200,000 – has a major boxing event planned at George Mason University’s Patriot Center on Sept. 17. Lange will face undefeated rival Perry Ballard, of Leesburg, for the World Boxing Empire title in a 10-round main event. Lange has caught the acting bug and has been taking acting lessons from Dody Disanto at the Shakespeare Theatre between fights. We hear he’s also been approached by a publisher about doing his life story beginning with his family’s roots as the first Italian family to settle in Yonkers, N.Y., four generations ago. He’s also in negotiations with a Hollywood talent agency to handle his film and television career outside of boxing. Lange also says he wants to be affiliated with a charitable organization that works with children – he’d like to be the group’s spokesman, as well as an active participant working directly with children.

Beltway, think beyond D.C.

Even New Yorkers know what’s happening inside the Beltway. When Julian Niccolini, managing partner of The Four Seasons in New York, was introduced to Campari the other evening, he quipped about my poodle in a purse: “He’s in a box just like Karl Rove.”

For the love of Carlotta …

Chris Murray, owner of the very hip Govinda Gallery in Georgetown, organized an art exhibition opening this evening for his girlfriend, Carlotta Hester, at the Cavan County Museum in Cavan, Ireland. It’s a big weekend for Hester. She and Murray will be married tomorrow in Ireland. We’ll drink to that!

Times jailbird may speak

New York Times reporter Judith Miller has agreed to speak to the Society of Professional Journalists on Oct. 18 at its national convention in Las Vegas … that is, if she’s out of jail for refusing to divulge confidential sources by then.

‘Til we meet again

Capitol File magazine threw yet another party Tuesday evening -this one to say farewell to the Park Hyatt Hotel in the West End, which is closing for a “re-concepting” and will re-open again next spring. Melrose, its restaurant, is gone; Executive Chef Brian McBride stays on to open the new restaurant, which he describes as a “farm-to-table concept” – translated, that means fresh and healthy. Spotted at the farewell-for-now party: Mike Saylor, Pat Skantz, wearing her signature big hat, with Gen. Larry Skantz, Bruce Mazza Langmaid of Mazza Gallerie, Cindy and Evan Jones, Jeffrey and Juleanna Glover Weiss, Cheryl and Hani Masri, Capitol File publisher Paite Bishop and editors Anne Schroeder and Kate Gibbs. Owner Jason Binn was not on hand.

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