Local business promotes artists at Dupont Circle
Margret Kroyer with one of her pictures. Photo: Annette Birch
by Annette Birch
Margrét Kröyer has two goals: to make art and to help children learn about art. The Iceland native moved to Washington in 2009 to make a living from her art and help children and teen-agers who cannot afford art school. “I think everyone should have access to art,” said Kröyer, 45.
Kröyer’s apartment is full of her brightly colored paintings, hanging on or leaning against the wall. Some of her other paintings are exhibited at galleries in Washington, D.C.
ArtJamz, a Dupont Circle shop where anyone can paint, is promoting Kröyer at a bazaar on Nov. 18. The bazaar is being held in collaboration with ArtSee, an organization that promotes art.
Need for promoting local art
Michael M. Clemens, chief creative enabler at ArtJamz, was inspired to hold the bazaar by the local artists who work at ArtJamz and other artists who come there to paint. “One of the challenges for the local artists is to have someone to showcase their work. The goal is to get the art out to the general public, also those who do not go to art exhibitions and make ArtJamz a gateway where people can get involved in art,” she said.
ArtJamz has 12 local artists. Among them is Lindsay Routt who is also exhibiting her paintings at the bazaar. The 23-year-old juggles a full time job as an event and meeting coordinator, volunteers at ArtJamz and works as an artist. She expects to be able to meet local people and get new ideas from the Bazaar. “It is nice to sell work, but I also like to see and interact with the people, hear their stories, get ideas,” she said.
Engaging in the local community
Kröyer believes that Dupont Circle presents a wide range of opportunities for new artists. “Dupont Circle is such a great place for an artist, accessible and full of small galleries and museums. It is easy to form connections if you are just open,” she said.
ArtJamz wants to take part in that tradition. “It is just natural if you have a local studio you want to support local artists,” Clemens explains. “You cannot just focus on your own business. It is like the saying ‘A rising tide lifts all boats.’ When you think about local artists, you do not just think about your own business, but help the art scene to rise.”
Jack Jackson, secretary of the Urban Neighborhood Alliance thinks that ArtJamz can help promote artists in Dupont Circle, a goal of his group. Urban Neighborhood Alliance is a local organization that sponsors the 17th Street Festival, where local business gets the opportunity to meet local artists. Mike Feldstein, Vice Chair of Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B, a government agency made up of elected neighborhood representatives, agrees. “It is a great idea and we would like to encourage this kind of initiative, because it could help the community,” he said.
Clemens doesn’t know if there will be another event in the future. “I do want to follow up on the bazaar, but whether it will actually happen, will depend on the success of the bazaar.”