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Virtual Reception for Artist Paul Downs

Chrissy Wilkin, art teacher and art coordinator for the New Deal Cafe, held the cafe’s first-ever completely virtual art reception – for Paul Downs’s “Bridges,” now on display in the Cafe’s windows. In the announcement, Chrissy wrote:
In celebration of 20 years of Stick Art at the New Deal Café, Paul Downs presents his latest show, “Bridges,” the first ever see through (the windows) art show!
Paul began showing art at the New Deal Café in December 2001 where he showcased for the first time his now well-known wall hung stick sculptures. His creations were received with love and enthusiasm. The show was in the wake of the 9/11 tragedies and the community embraced his peaceful images that connect humans to nature in a unique way.
“Bridges” helps to connect us with joy and love and celebration. The signature pieces of this show depict people venturing onto a bridge to meet, to find love, to dance, to celebrate or to passionately kiss. Simple but powerful images that resonate deep within.
With a nod to the holidays, look for symbols of the holiday in sticks, and a special treat of “Look Out Scrooge!” that just oozes of the ghostess of Christmas future.
Of course, Paul continues to bring his audience the full scenes of nature he has also become known for. You will find a diving falcon, soaring owls, peace among the pines, riding the moon, going down the river, pumpkin harvest and much more. If you are looking to find your inner smile come and see his newest version of stick dancers in various leaps, kicks, and shouts of joy.
The Cafe may be temporarily closed, but art must go on!
Above, an observer’s view on Zoom during the live event.
I had a lot of fun making the video below – highlights of the full 1 hour and 24 minute recording  You can watch here on Facebook.- scroll down to the December 21 posting.)

Something not captured that I found special was seeing Paul’s parents and other family watching and congratulating Paul on his show. And because this is virtual, they could be anywhere – a silver lining about Zoomlife.

Reviews in comments and the Zoom chat box were unanimously positive, and Chrissy wrote that it was “a total success. We received a lot of positive feedback. People enjoyed being able to have the tour or the artwork and see the artists studio.”

And Paul wrote to me that “What I loved most about the event was the safe chance to describe and show the world of stick art in a zoom fashion – it seemed to lend itself to that. People have asked me before to teach or demonstrate the stick art craft and during this reception I was able to show it in a nutshell. It was also great to have the artist Chrissy Wilson lead the way, with her own love of art.”

Kudos to Paul, Chrissy, and Friends of New Deal Cafe Arts!


NOTE: By contributing these pandemic stories, photos, et cetera, Greenbelters are making an unconditional donation of the material to the nonprofit Greenbelt Online.org and the Greenbelt Museum/City of Greenbelt, which reserve the right to keep, lend, or otherwise dispose of the donated material, and may use the material on our website, for social media or other postings, in promotional materials or in future exhibits.

Follow Susan Harris:
Susan started blogging about Greenbelt soon after moving here in 2012, and that first blog has grown into this nonprofit community website. She also created and curates the Greenbelt Maryland YouTube channel. In 2021 Susan joined the Board of Directors of Greenbelt Access TV. Retired from garden writing and teaching, she continues to blog at GardenRant.com.

  1. Cindy Barbee
    | Reply

    My sister is Susan stern. She gifted me with one of your LD lanterns and I’d like to order more of other ones from you. Thank you! You can also text me at 8436151092. Thanks Paul!

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