The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Dana Ellyn, Divinely Irreverent

"Bull in a China Shop" by Dana Ellyn. Courtesy of the artist.

"Bull in a China Shop" by Dana Ellyn. Courtesy of the artist.

What’s most shocking about Dana Ellyn’s paintings?

That they’re truthful.

Opening this past weekend at the Evolve Urban Arts Project in the Atlas District, Divinely Irreverent is an audacious exhibit delivering some hard slaps to myths of many kinds – from religion to what it means to be a woman. These are thought-provoking pieces – sometimes outright painful to process – but always rooted firmly in honesty. They are also at times downright funny.

Dana fell in love with the city as a junior in high school, and has been a DC resident for the past twenty years since attending George Washington University. She now has the luck of living and working in a studio in Penn Quarter. It’s a natural partnership with Evolve, whose mission is to promote local talent in a low-key atmosphere, and her exhibit will run there until January 30, 2010.

I was lucky to have a private tour with the artist and curator Eric Hope, and I have to say – if you like your art to reach out and rattle you, get over there now. You’ll love it. And if you prefer your art to be pretty and decorous, well, go anyway. Open your mind to something different.
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