Dana Ellyn   www.danaellyn.com
Edgy paintings with political and social themes by Washington DC artist Dana Ellyn.

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Dana Ellyn
Current News: 2009

Archives:   2008   - 2007   - 2006   - 2005   - 2004 -  2003 -  2002


"Horse of a Different Color"
Design Studio Gallery
Hyattsville, MD
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 3, 7-10pm

"Horse of a Different Color"
Definition: a different matter entirely

Dana Ellyn's solo exhibition, "Horse of a Different Color" is a collection of recent paintings created in response to her reflections on life, childhood, and her pursuit of artistic success. Ellyn sees life like that of a child riding a carosel....Will she get to sit on the most most colorful pony? Will her parents acknowledge her every time she passes them? Will all of the carousel's ups and downs make here dizzy? Regardless, when she gets off the ride, she will have ended up exactly where she started, just like everbody else. But in her life, Dana Ellyn has chosen a horse of a different color. One that is able to jump off the spinning platform and pursue a destination all her own.

Design Studio Art Gallery
5702 Baltimore Avenue
Hyattsville, MD 20781

"Summer Splash"
Group Show
Mayer Fine Art Gallery
Norfolk, VA
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 5

click for larger image

Mayer Fine Art
Waterside Festival Hall
333 Waterside Drive
Suite 252
Norfolk, VA

International Blasphemy Day
Center For Inquiry
Washington DC
Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 30, 7-9pm

The mission of the Center for Inquiry DC is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.

What is Blasphemy Day?

International Blasphemy Day is not just a day. It is a movement to dismantle the wall which exists between religion and criticism. The objective of International Blasphemy Day is to open up all religious beliefs to the same level of free inquiry, discussion and criticism to which all other areas of academic interest are subjected.

For more information, please visit www.blasphemyday.com

This Blasphemy Day event is a part of the Center for Inquiry's Campaign for Free Expression. For more information, please visit www.pleaseblock.us

The mission of the Center for Inquiry DC is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.

Dana Ellyn's artist statement for Blasphemy Day show:

At age 16, Dana heard her father say he believed in god and she was befuddled because the subject of belief was not discussed at any time before that. In her confusion, she would sometimes look up apologetically at the sky and say "if there is a god up there, you must understand why I don't believe in you, right? Nobody ever told me you existed!"

Dana's first real introduction to religion was through her art history classes in college. Gods and goddesses of mythology were presented as fiction and Christian themes were treated as history. But to Dana, they were all just stories.

Throughout her 20's and 30's, Dana continued her personal quest to learn more about religion and come to terms with her lack of belief. Now, she is finally fully comfortable with painting (and talking about) where she stands on religion. Dana's paintings are not meant to offend. Instead, she hopes they foster open-minded discussions. And perhaps induce a giggle or two along the way.

15% of the painting sales from this show will be donated back to the Center for Inquiry DC

Center for Inquiry DC
621 Pennsylvania Ave, SE
Washington DC
(202) 546-2331

R. Coury Gallery
Savage, MD
Opening Reception: October 16th, 6-9pm

click to view larger postcard

R. Coury Gallery
Historic Savage Mill
8600 Foundry Street
Savage, MD

"31 Days in the News"
Every day in March 2009

Started in July of 2003 (and formerly called "31 Days in July"), Dana creates one new painting per day in response to the daily news - capturing each day of the month in a total of 31 unique paintings.
New paintings will be posted HERE as they are completed each day.

"Yuri's Night" Art Show
April 11th, 2009
Warehouse Art Complex
Washington, DC

My inner geek and inner artist will unite to create a new painting for this exciting one-night-only show and party in honor of Russian Cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin.

What is Yuri's Night?
April 12, 1961 Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin embarked on the historic first manned space flight.
Twenty years later on April 12, 1981, the US launched the first space shuttle flight.
Every year on April 12, Yuri's Night parties are held all around the world; it's like the Cinco de Mayo for space.

For more about the show, schedule of events and preview of the artwork, please visit:

Here's the Flight Plan:
2000 to 0200 hrs:
Space Themed Art Show with DJ on board all nite.

2000 to 2100 hrs:
Nutritional Replenishment Sequence (small bites)

2100 to 2200 hrs:
Space Show 1 & Atomic Mosquitos Set 1

2200 to 2300 hrs:
Science Lab Demonstrations

2300 to 2400 hrs:
Space Show 2 & Atomic Mosquitos Set 2

2400 hrs:
Countdown to Yuri's Night!

2400 to 0200 hrs:
Lunar Dance Party

1017 7th Street, NW
Washington DC
Warehouse website

Artomatic 2009
Capitol Riverfront - Washington, DC
May 29-July 5

This is the best art event you'll ever attend! Prepare to celebrate Artomatic's 10th anniversary: nearly 1,000 artists on view day and night for five weeks of collaborative creative expression. This trademark, one-of-a-kind multimedia arts event will be at Half Street's 55 M Street, S.E., in Washington, D.C.'s Capitol Riverfront neighborhood.


Click here to read full interview in the Washington Post

Interview with Dana Ellyn from the Washington Post
January 18, 2009

O, Yes! An Ecstatic Moment On the Campaign Sidelines

One year ago, local artist Dana Ellyn decided to create paintings of the 2008 candidates and every American president. Her deadline: Inauguration Day. Many of the 37-year-old's paintings riff on presidential trivia. The John Adams painting, "Kissing Cousins," features him puckering up to his wife (and third cousin), Abigail. Ellyn's provocative Sarah Palin portrait shows the former vice presidential nominee juggling fetuses (and caused a ruckus when it was displayed in an Adams Morgan boutique). "Gimme an 'O'!," a painting of a deranged cheerleader rooting for Barack Obama, is one of three Ellyn works on display at H&F Fine Arts.

I didn't dive into any presidential painting without researching it first. I bought a couple books, and my friends bought me flashcards with fun facts. Sometimes I would only need one sentence and I would go, "Oh, perfect."

My rules are that it had to be inspired by every president, not that it had to be portraiture. "Gimme an 'O'!" is an example of one of the more loosely inspired ones.

I did it two days before the election. The manic nature of the girl cheering is on purpose. It was nutty -- it was all anyone could think about or talk about. I was excited and I couldn't wait for it to be over at the same time. As I worked on the painting, every aspect of the imagery took on an undertone of new meaning: the escalating excitement, the screaming, the big "O" -- like the orgasmic happiness of the whole thing. I always get a kick out of double meanings of things.

I'm not into painting pretty pictures. I guess I'm a little cynical or sarcastic. The children in my paintings come across kind of creepy. They're definitely not like, "Oh, how sweet!" They have a sinister and sarcastic edge to them. A lot of people say to me, it's obvious who you're rooting for by the critiques of the other candidates, but what are you going to do if he messes up? I say: "I'm going to criticize him. I'm not doing any more rah-rah Obama paintings."

He's bound to do some things along the way that I don't agree with. I'm never going to be at a loss. There's a whole world of mess out there.

-- Interview conducted and condensed by Rachel Saslow

Obama: Art & Politics
H&F Fine Arts
3311 Rhode Island Ave.
Mount Rainier, MD
through Feb. 28.
Opening reception Sunday January 18th 3-6 p.m.
For information call 301-887-0080, or visit http://www.hffinearts.com.

Dana Ellyn's Interviews, Articles, Photos from Shows and more....

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CLICK HERE to go to the PRESS pages

Obama: Art & Politics
H&F Fine Arts
Mount Rainier, MD
Opening Reception: Sunday, January 18th 3-6pm

I will be exhibiting 3 paintings at H&F Fine Arts exhibit "OBAMA: Art & Politics" which opens January 15th, 2009. This exhibit is timed to coincide with the Inauguration of Barack Obama here in Washington, DC on January 20th. Please join me at the opening reception on Sunday, January 18th from 3-6pm.

Hope, Change, Believe, Victory, Unite, Media, Frenzy, Icon
Barack Obama has become the most art inspired politician ever. The official Artists for Obama, who worked diligently on his campaign, and thousands of others throughout the world, have embarked on a frenzy of paintings, drawings, collages, photographs, even digital art to depict the most art-inspired public figure ever.

Selling Hope
acrylic on canvas
Year of Presidents series
Joe to V.P.
acrylic on canvas
Year of Presidents series
Gimme an "O"!
acrylic on canvas
Year of Presidents series

H&F Fine Arts
3311 Rhode Island Avenue
Mount Rainier, MD 20712

(click to enlarge postcard)