Artist Robin Davisson opens StudioLab RD in Georgetown and welcomes patrons to engage in the creative process.Artist Robin Davisson in StudioLab RD, new in Georgetown
Unconventional is a well-worn path for countless artists, but not many doctors. Abstract expressionist painter Robin Davisson (robindavissonart.com) is one of the exceptions. A biomedical scientist in the field of molecular physiology, Davisson has been honored with national and international awards by her scientific peers and was an endowed professor at Cornell. Recently, she was honored with professor emerita status at the Ivy League school.
Still, throughout her career, Davisson carried a passion for art, especially textiles, and eventually studied painting. Her debut exhibit at Georgetown’s Calloway Fine Art (callowayart.com) last year received wide-ranging praise. The artist has closed her research laboratories and opened Georgetown’s StudioLab RD, a combination of gallery and workspace where patrons can buy her work and engage with Davisson in the studio. We recently caught up with the artist to discuss her new space.
Art on display in StudioLab RD’s first-level lounge.
What prompted the creation of StudioLab RD?
At the heart of every piece of art are connections waiting to occur. The internal and external dialogues that develop before, during and after an artist is at work—the conversations that unfold when embarking upon a path of discovery, exploring hidden passions and unearthing one’s truth. I wanted to cultivate, encourage and examine these connections by opening my studio to the public and offering an unfiltered, behind-the-scenes look at the art-making process.
The artist’s working studio
What can visitors expect when visiting?
They can watch me at work—from testing ideas in my sketchbook and prepping canvases to mixing and applying paints and discerning the final touches on completed pieces. The studio’s street level houses a cozy lounge area, where visitors can browse available art, flip through a library of art books, enjoy a cup of coffee or kick their feet up. And forget the hushed, don’t-touch mentality of many other art-centric spaces. At StudioLab RD, there’s always music playing, coffee brewing and creative energy flowing. I hope it will inspire guests to jump in and join me on my artistic journey or embark on one of their own. I hope patrons will get a real sense of a day in the life of a working artist.
What other plans do you have for the space?
Salons, creator-in-residence programs and other offerings are in the works. The goal of StudioLab is not only to create a community for local artists and creatives, but to also introduce a wider community to the art world at large.
Sounds like the space and you will evolve together, yes?
I’m actively learning as I go along, and I invite people to come and learn with me—to be part of my art experiments. But, just a warning: It’s not always going to be pretty! In fact, I can almost guarantee it’s going to get messy here. But that’s all part of the joy.
Photography by: Tony Powell