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Pyramid Atlantic Art Center Incubates Great Art

by Christopher Lancette
Published: Last Updated on

PA 2There are a lot of reasons to get excited about the work of Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. If you’re an aspiring or accomplished artist interested in an array of fields, it is the perfect place to pursue printmaking, papermaking, and the book arts. It’s also a destination point for art aficionados who love viewing, buying and supporting the arts.

“We believe that prints, handmade paper, and artist books are a source of inspiration,” executive director Jose Dominguez says, “that experimentation leads to discovery; that collaboration leads to accessibility; that creativity is the cornerstone of the learning process.”

Pyramid Atlantic carries out its mission through our three core programs areas: artist development, arts education, and community engagement. These programs connect community to the arts via activities designed to spark a dialogue between professional artists and the public. The nonprofit organization has even developed an “art gym.” That’s right – a gym for artists.

“Developing new ideas and new ways of seeing are central to Pyramid’s mission,” Dominguez says. “When you become a member of the Art Gym at Pyramid, you will be able to work on an unlimited basis during all open hours, day and night. You will have time to experiment and discover, and be a part of an intensive and supportive community of learners.”

Artist Allan Akman is already a gym rat, to borrow a phrase usually used to describe people who pump in the hours at basketball gyms. “I’ve been engaged in a year-long screen print project and have found the Pyramid Atlantic screen print facility a good place to work,” Akman says. “Because of the amount of time involved, being able to rent space under the new Art Gym program has proven economical. And, there are often other artists around to bounce around ideas”.

Orion’s Attic is a fan of the organization, too. Over the course of the past several years, we organized “Upscale Yard Sale” fundraisers on Pyramid Atlantic grounds. Pyramid supporters donated antiques, rare books, collectibles, jewelry and more. Today, we’ve raised more than $12,000 for the organization.Jose 1

“Orion’s Attic is a special organization that cares about people and the bottom line,” Dominguez says. “Since we began working with them, they have shown a real commitment to helping Pyramid Atlantic raise more money for its arts and education programs and they have delivered. They are involved the whole way from helping to identify the merchandise, to how to price it, to how to work with volunteers, to pick up, implementation of the yard sale and clean up. Wow!  I look forward to their yard sale every year because of the funds raised and because I have the opportunity to work with this great group of people.”

Orion’s Attic encourages other people to get involved by donating art supplies, volunteering their time to work on events, do “gallery sitting” for exhibitions, volunteering to assist teachers in our arts education programs, and making financial contributions. The funds go to good use including: hosting hundreds of artists in residence; developing outreach programs for students and the community; offering classes for artists of all levels; producing and publishing numerous print and artist book editions; conserving and collecting works on paper; curating exhibitions both locally and throughout the world; and providing professional development programs for teachers.

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