Hopping into Old Takoma’s summer season

PHOTO BY BILL BROWN Painter Alison Baker outside Shampoo.

IMAGE: Painter Alison Baker participating in the 2013 Art Hop Arts Fest.

BY BILL BROWN

APR 6 — In her official capacity she would frown on illegal graffiti on Takoma Park walls, but in other cities she photographs it. Sara Daines, the city’s Housing and Community Development director, will be showing her photos of street-art,”some legal, some not,” at the annual Art Hop Arts Fest this weekend April 9 -10.

Her photos were shot in locations including Iceland, Manhattan’s Five Points, Richmond, Baltimore, Seattle, and Capetown. They show graffiti, stencils and murals,”though I tend to avoid tagging,” she said. It is Daine’s first time as an Arts Hop exhibiting artist.

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Phot Five Points street art by Sara Daines.

Daines said she’s “been taking photos since I could hold a Brownie – remember the old box cameras?” She used to photograph interesting graveyard head stones. But she moved on to shooting street art about five years ago. Two years ago she showed her work in an “Urban Menagerie” exhibit at the Takoma Park Community Center.

She has not found many street art subjects in Takoma Park, she said “beyond the Red Line, of course.” But, she has found no way “to get closer to the tracks without having to crawl over the barbed wire or otherwise kill myself.”‘

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Photo of Richmond, VA street art by Sara Daines.

Daine’s photos will be hanging in Republic restaurant, 6939 Laurel Ave. She will be sharing display space with painter Kandhan Balsé and furniture and reclaimed materials artist Joshua Wood.

Almost every shop and restaurant in Old Takoma is participating in the weekend art festival. They are paired with over 70 artists of many different disciplines. Art works will be on display in establishments including Amano at 7034 Carroll Ave. (pottery by Caroll Petucci) and Willow Street Yoga (fiber art by Annalisa Leonessa), 6930 Carroll St., NW. Art Hop is organized by the Old Takoma Business Association/Main Street Takoma.

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Fire-dancers at the 2014 Art Hop. Photo by Max Bennett.

There will also be entertainment, food, and artist’s receptions continuing through the weekend.

There will be music, dance, drumming and fire-dancing at the Takoma Gazebo, 7035 Carroll Ave – all for free.  Saturday performances include the Uncle Devin Show at 11 am and Dance Afire Fire Show Spectacular at 7 p.m. On Sunday Not 2 Cool Jazz Trio performs at 11 a.m. and a Community Drum Circle with Katy Gaughan at 3 p.m.  Local dance studios The Lab DC, Knock on Wood Tap Studio and Roda Movements will perform throughout the weekend.

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Takoma Park shop windows will sport custom-painted Art Hop windows created by local artists. On Sunday Art Cars will be on display at the Takoma Park Farmers Market on Laurel Ave. There will be an experimental, room-sized synthesizer at Rhizome, 6950 Maple St, NW.

The weekend kicks off with an Opening Night Party on Friday, April 8th from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Takoma Central.  Six Art Hop artists will display their work and musician Sara Curtin will perform. Wine, beer and snacks will be available. Ticket admission is $20.

Art Hop is Takoma Park’s summer season preamble. The next weekend summer kicks off with the Farmer’s Market opening and Takoma Clean-up Day.

Farmers Market

The Takoma Park Farmers Market runs year-round on Sundays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. But, it operates under different rules and with some different vendors in the summer season, all from within 125 miles of Takoma Park, MD. Takoma Park mayor Kate Stewart will ring the opening bell April 17 at 10 a.m.

Republic restaurant will have a stand on the market’s opening day, the first of several “pop-ups,” occasional or one-time stands or booths offering prepared foods, cooking demos, craft beer, knife sharpening and more.

This year there will be a two new regular vendors, Breezy Meadows Farm, Lovettsville, Virginia, with pasture raised chickens, water buffalo and rabbit and Spring Gap Mountain Creamery, Paw Paw, West Virginia with raw milk cheeses from pasture-raised Jersey cows.

There will be more cooked food items available this year: pulled-pork BBQ sandwiches from Cabin Creek Heritage Farm, and bison meatball subs from Breezy Meadows Farm.

Clean Up Day

Takoma Clean Up Day is Saturday, April 16, 10 a.m. -12 noon to pick up trash in the Takoma commercial district. Old Takoma Business Association will provide bags and gloves to volunteers. The area covered is from 4th Street and Blair Road, NW to the BY Morrison Park in Takoma Junction – across from the TPSS Co-op.

OTBA director Laura Barclay said the day will include a “major clean up” Triangle Park at 4th Street and Blair Road, NW, just west of the Takoma Metro Station. Working with a “dedicated community volunteer,” she said, “We need help weeding, dividing plants and mulching. This work will start a 8 a.m. and go to noon. Barclay asked this interested in joining the community effort to contact tmtopo@gmail.com.

About the Author

Bill Brown
Bill Brown moved to Takoma Park in 1982. He has been involved in journalism in one way or another since he co-published an underground high-school newspaper in the late 1960s.