Philippa Hughes, a lawyer turned art collector, has been described as an art activist for her work in spotlighting young artists, helping them reach wider audiences. Creative and innovative, she organizes large public events, and is known for her art-focused parties, and their unexpected themes and venues.
We love surrounding ourselves with beautiful things: From the clothes we buy to the way we decorate our homes, our aesthetic choices have a serious impact on our quality of life. Collecting and displaying art — no matter the medium — can enhance your space, inspire you on a daily basis, and help support hard-working artists, to boot.
To put it another way, it’s like 3-D Pinterest. But it can also be a little intimidating, particularly when you’re buying on a budget. Luckily, gallery openings aren’t the only entrée into the art world — and we’re here to hook you up with an at-home tutorial. What it boils down to: You just need to figure out what you love, and then, when you see it, snap it up — and hang it up.
So, we sought out advice from three art-loving local ladies — a collector, a designer, and a painter — to help you turn any blank wall into your own personal gallery. Click through to meet them, see their personal pieces, and get some top-notch tips for starting your own creative collection.
I started out by blogging about my personal interest in contemporary visual art and hosting salons in my home for creatives. These things grew to the point where I started to realize that there was a real need for something that would connect people through the arts. I started Pink Line with the idea that somehow I would make the arts more accessible by giving people easy entry points that were fun and welcoming with the hope that that would get them started on a lifelong love for the arts. Some people might not have gotten the early exposure to arts that many of us were lucky enough to have, so we have to start by providing simple baby steps to get people started. Oh, and because people always ask me, the Pink Line is a reference to the metro system. The difference is that it doesn’t just go from point A to Point B. The Pink Line connects everything together through the arts!
From the start, art doyenne Philippa Hughes has said she’s all about making art accessible. The only problem with making arts accessible via art party, of course, is that people still must elect to go to the art party.
Evangelizing for performance art might be even tougher. Or at the very least, Hughes says, the form faces a slight stigma, even though it can force a deeper level of engagement.
Philippa Hughes, an art collector and “chief creative contrarian” for the D.C.-based arts group the Pink Line Project (who herself has hosted panel discussions at Artomatic in previous years), sees the event as essential to D.C.’s ongoing evolution as an arts city. “I think to have a rich arts scene, you just need to have as much art as possible in as many venues as possible,” she says. “I love going to galleries and museums, but people don’t just appear there; they have to start somewhere.”
Charlie and Taylor interview DC Arts Maven and Chief Creative Contrarian of The Pink Line Project Philippa Hughes (www.pinklineproject.com) and Writer, Blogger, and Storyteller Jennifer Tress (www.yourenotprettyenough.com).
But Hughes didn’t throw Cherry Blast in order to put Anacostia on the map. ”That’s one thing, and an important thing,” she said. “But what it’s about for me is showing that D.C. is more than politicians and lawyers. It also has a thriving arts and culture scene. Some of it is happening in Anacostia, and some of it [in other parts] of the city.”
Not only was the LUMEN8 festival successful at driving economic growth, it was also a great moment in which people could get together and share ideas. “We were thrilled to be part of this amazing community-based event. It proved that the arts can bring people together and start conversations that might not have normally happened otherwise.” said Philippa Hughes, founder of The Pink Line Project, who played a pivotal part in bringing the entire event together. “I’m really looking forward to doing it again this Saturday at Cherry Blast!”
Hughes, while acknowledging that many factors contribute to economic development, subscribes to the tenet that undergirds most temporary-urbanism initiatives: “Nobody’s going to invest in the neighborhood unless they think that people will come.” That’s what Lumen8 hopes to demonstrate.