Sunday, March 25, 2012

Guests were fed, watered and inspirationally satiated.

by contributor Wendy Gordon

Art for art’s sake?  Not so much.

In fact, Saturday evening not only was the town painted red, but also pink and blue and even black and white as O’Neill Studio Salon showcased the talents of a bevy of local artists. 
They joined together at Maggie O’Neill’s 6th annual soiree to benefit Research Down Syndrome, a non-profit a Foundation whose mission is to expand and enhance life opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome by funding scientific research directed toward the understanding and amelioration of impaired cognition.

Chris Cooley

O’Neill, who has been the creative head behind the design of such area gathering places as Lincoln, SAX and Irish Whiskey Public House, brought together over 60 pieces by featured artists, including: Redkins’ Tight End Chris Cooley, photographer Dominique Fierro, Tina Palmer, Rodger Schultz, Brittany Sims, Karen Suderman and  designer/artist Maggie O’Neill herself, which festooned the walls, side tables and even the front window, with artists working in full view of a number of curious and interested passers-by—a barefooted O’Neill working on a pop art DC Monument canvas ode, and Cooley fashioning bowls, vases, etc. live at a potter’s wheel—a far cry from the Sunday and occasional Monday night blocking and receiving.

In fact, his work was surprisingly beautiful if not sometimes delicate—nothing offensive about it.  These pieces were immediately auctioned off on site—that, alone, raising over $2000 for the cause.

Maggie O'Neill
It wasn’t just the canvas.  Music by DJ Big Des kept the main level of the studio in rhythm spinning everything from Motown classics to current dance pop, while upstairs, a live violinist played to the crowd.  Food was provided by Lincoln with Mighty Pint and Irish Whiskey Public House offering libations. 

If all this weren’t enough, O’Neill studios got even more creative.  The salon will be hosting a week long pop up studio (aptly named, “The Studio”), which will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily with special programming featuring local artists and arts entities with a portion of the sales also earmarked to benefit Research Down Syndrome.  

O’Neill Studios Salon is located in the West End neighborhood at 1147 20th Street, NW.