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Curses! Foiled Again! The Art of Swords and Sorcery Art Exhibit

Curses! Foiled Again! The Art of Swords and Sorcery Art Exhibit
October 6–28, 2023
Opening Reception: Friday, October 6 from 7–9pm

Come see daring swordswomen, haggard bog witches, bevies of mythical beasts, and many more artist interpretations of the fantastic! Taking inspiration from the texture of a dragon’s skin, the swirling cloak of a sorceress, the shriek of a hydra, and a technical manual of swordplay, curator Dr. Erica Hughes presents an otherworldly collection of local art in the Curses! Foiled Again! The Art of Swords and Sorcery exhibit at Del Ray Artisans gallery.

Join us for the opening reception on Friday, October 6, 7-9pm to meet the curator and the artists. Fantasy costumes encouraged! Mark your calendar now or set a reminder through Eventbrite.

In addition, join us for programs affiliated with the exhibit:

  • Saturday, September 30, choose 9:45am-10:45am or 11am-12pm – Sword Making for Kids Workshop – Dani and Erica guide small warriors to make foam swords and pool noodle staves. These ‘swords’ can then be used during the CHALLENGE ROYALE! This one-hour workshop is for kids 12 and under. Kids under 7 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Register by September 25.
  • Saturday, Oct 7, 10am-12pm – CHALLENGE ROYALE: Outdoor Costume Party and Duel – Come in costume with a pool noodle ‘sword’ to the Curses! Foiled Again! The Art of Swords and Sorcery CHALLENGE ROYALE at Del Ray Artisans during Art on the Avenue. Meet at 10am in front of the gallery and present your pool noodle ‘sword’ for inspection and registration. The challenge begins at 11am on the playing fields of the Mount Vernon Rec Center next to the gallery. When challenged by another costumed participant, you may yield or duel! Inflatable ‘swords’ are also allowed. NO other foam, wood, rubber or metal allowed. This is a KID-FRIENDLY event for ages 6+.
  • Wednesday and Thursday, October 11 and 12, 6pm-9pm – What’s In The Box? – In this two-day, novice-level workshop you will create your own hinged lid box using book board, book cloth, decorative papers, and archival glue. There will be a myriad of combinations of papers and cloths to choose from to create your own distinctive box. Register by October 8.
  • Saturday, October 14, 9am-12pm – Magical Creatures Workshop – Learn how to design and build a sculpture of an original imaginary creature in the style of Mexican folk art alebrijes. Pedro Linares Lopez created papier-mâché figurines that he imagined in a fever dream and coined them “alebrijes.” Alebrijes consist of features that represent multiple creatures and the four elements of nature. Dragons are great alebrijes because they have all four elements of nature: air represented in their wings, fire in their flames, land in their legs, and water in their ability to swim. Register by October 10.
  • Sunday, October 15, 10am-1pm – Fencing Demonstration & Mini Lessons – Come see free fencing demonstrations by Mark and Erica of Fairfax Fencers in the tennis courts behind the gallery, and register in advance for a free 30-minute mini lesson for beginners (children ages 6+ and adults). Register by October 10.
  • Saturdays, October 21 and 28, 9am-12pm – Here There Be Dragons! A 2-day beadwork workshop – Create your own dragon’s eye pendant or brooch by combining bead embroidery and peyote stitch bead weaving in this two-day, intermediate-level beadwork workshop. Sign up early, and the instructor will personalize the supply kit with your favorite colors—allowing you to make the perfect dragon! Register by October 15.
  • Sunday, October 22, 11am-1pm – Witches’ Brew: The Art of Healing Herbs – Learn about the history of spell jars (also known as witch bottles) and create your own to take home! Register by October 18.
  • Thursday, October 26, 6pm-9pm – Soapy Sorcery – Join instructor Suzan Shumate in a fantasy-themed soapmaking workshop. Using the melt and pour technique, you can create beautiful dragon eggs, unicorns, mermaids, fairies, ghosts, and other spellbinding soaps. You can choose your themes, colors, and scents for several bars of soap. After you finish pouring your soaps, you will have the option of decorating a wooden chest to store or gift your soaps. Register by October 21.
Snarler by Erica Hughes
“Snarler” by Erica Hughes

The Curses! Foiled Again! The Art of Swords and Sorcery exhibit runs October 6–28, 2023 at Del Ray Artisans gallery in the Colasanto Center, 2704 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, Virginia 22301. Gallery hours are Thursdays 12-6pm, Fridays 12-9pm, Saturdays and Sundays 12-6pm. The gallery is closed on October 1 and October 29, 2023.