Art on the Walls

The New Deal Cafe provides a venue for local artists to exhibit and sell their work. We have a showroom and glass display cases, and every other month new artwork is featured. Join us at a reception to meet the creative talent behind the next exhibit.

If you’re an artist, we’d love to talk to you about having a show at the cafe.

The cafe’s art exhibits are mounted by the New Deal Cafe Art Committee and sponsored by the Friends of New Deal Cafe Arts with support from Prince George’s County. Your tax-deductible donation to FONDCA supports art at the cafe.

March – April 2013

On display in March and April, Erin McCullough is showing in the front room and Jeanna Voellmer is showing in the back. A public reception for this exhibit will be held on Sunday, March 10, from 7pm to 9pm.

Erin McCullough

Painting by Erin McCullough

When I’m immersed in the creation of an artwork I feel connected to something larger and richer than day to day experience. That feeling of connection allows me to carry on in life with a sense of purpose and peace that I lose when I am unable to create. In my work I try to capture a glimpse of what I see as spiritual by recreating the feeling of a moment. Usually those moments of feeling connected to a greater experience come to me in nature but whatever inspires me is essentially a tap into that deeper truth. As an artist I feel pulled to present things that may seem ordinary to most people but have inexplicable beauty to me. I am consistently drawn to water and light as subjects for my work but my inspiration freely wanders from those themes as well.

Although I grew up in the Maryland suburbs of DC the majority of my career as an artist has been in Honolulu, Hawaii. I moved to Hawaii at 19 to pursue an education and life in the tropics and ended up finding a deeper connection to myself as an artist. I got my BFA in painting from the University of Hawaii in 2005. I lived, studied, and worked as an artist and therapeutic aid in Hawaii for nearly 14 years. I moved to Georgia in 2011 to continue my study of art at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

The greatest challenge I’ve faced in my career is coming to terms with what it means to be a commercial artist, painting things I know how to paint and sell, and being a fine artist. When I applied for and got rejected from master’s programs after having experience as a painter with some success in a small community it was a blow to my ego and my concept of what being an artist meant. I had to decide whether it was more important to cruise with the accolades of peers and live in paradise (Hawaii is quite wonderful after all) or if it was more important to re-ignite a spark in me as an artist that had been smoldering for years. I chose the road of ego-deflation and unknowable precedents and went back to school as a fine art student at a school I had dreamed of in previous years but lacked the confidence to attend. SCAD has certainly challenged me beyond the sunsets and palm trees I painted in Hawaii and reminded me of the thrill involved in taking on a project without a recipe for success. Inspiration takes me to roads less traveled (at least by me) and this leads me to the belief that the difference between being a fine artist and a commercial artist meant the difference between an ocean and a continent and belief that the unknown is worth it.

Jeanna Voellmer

Painting by Jeanna Voellmer

Originally from Washington State, Jeanna received her BFA in Sculpture and Painting in
2000, BA in Geography in 2002, and MS in Soil and Water science in 2006. She has
worked with the earth and with art all her life and the earth has infused her work as an
artist. Jeanna currently resides on a sky island in the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona.
Her work has been published in New Art Review–Dimensions of Disclosure. Exhibitions
include Winter Showcase at Mr. Head’s Art Gallery; Rights of Passage at Burning Man;
Decay in Wonderland at The Artery; the July group show at Infusion Gallery; 11th
Annual Contemporary Art Exhibition at Upstream People Gallery; and Out of Order at
Maryland Art Place. She is represented by Abstract Earth Gallery.

Artist Statement

Art is not the finished piece. It is not the process. IT IS EVERYTHING. It is a way of
looking at the world …a way of seeing, thinking, feeling, and responding.
It is my job as an artist to share this through my work. My work is a reflection of the
human experience in both the built environment and the natural environment. I am
greatly inspired by both festival culture and by nature.

I have been an artist all my life, transforming my world with shape and color, arranging
line, form, and pattern for effect. My art is an expression of individual identity searching
for place, acceptance, and love in an alienating world. My work focuses on the private
experience of a moment, the underlying fears, desires, happiness, and memories …the
flood of emotion, thought and connection that envelops a moment in time.

I work with a variety of materials in both sculpture and painting. My process involves the
building up of layers with both color and texture. Circles and squares often permeate my
work—squares as a symbol of the thoughts and emotions embedded into the experience
of a moment, like a memory, and circles as a symbol of both time and self. My figures,
portraits, and designs float amidst the abstract expression of the captured moment, like a
snapshot from a dream or a memory of the experience.