Local Artist’s Paintings Capture Changes in DC

Stephanie Chong

Earlier this week, artist Joey Mánlapaz walked us down memory lane, sharing how her art preserves a time and place of DC’s history. Joey’s lifetime of work captures the big changes that have taken place in our city – high rises replacing 19t century architecture, sidewalks now empty in places where colorful coin operated newspaper stands used to line up, and hot dog vendors in their small contained spaces now almost obsolete.

Having grown up in the Philippines, Joey found the buildings in DC to be an interesting contrast to the tropical surroundings she grew up in. She set out to paint DC’s landscape, capturing the ornate brick facades of 19t century architecture as a way of journaling about a moment and place.  Having begun her work in the 1990’s, Joey soon realized that many of her paintings were, “just ahead of the wrecking ball”.  Joey would paint a building and when she returned it would either be replaced or have gone out of business.  Her work began right before DC underwent a period of growth that dramatically changed the architecture and culture of our beloved city. Joey spoke about how much of her art captures a moment in time when the internet was just emerging and before real estate skyrocketed in DC.

Joey Mánlapaz lives and works in Washington, DC, which remains the main subject of her widely recognized and collected canvases. 43 of her paintings and prints have been purchased for the city through the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and are displayed throughout DC in government offices and buildings. Joey is a recipient of commissions, grants, and fellowships and she was commissioned by The U.S. Library of Congress and First Lady Laura Bush to paint the official design image for the commemorative poster for the coveted 2003 National Book Festival poster. She is an educator and serves as curator and juror of art competitions. When not at her easel, Joey is next happiest offering art workshops to older adults.

In case you missed it, a recording of Joey’s presentation is available on our website. Joey’s work can be seen on her website at www.joeymanlapaz.com/ and you can watch a video profile of Joey here.

Joey teaches NNV’s watercolor class and her student’s work is on exhibit at Iona Senior Services through the end of the year.

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