Alchemical Vessels Benefit 2014


125 Artists, 20 Curators

- Friday, May 2

Join us for the 2nd annual Alchemical Vessels Benefit on May 2nd and add one or more of the vessels to your collection! 

Contribute NOW to secure your vessel-selection number, and scroll down to hear some of the artists speak about their work!

Alchemical Vessels 2014 (April 4 - May 16) from Smith Center on Vimeo.

Click here to download a (PDF) of the exhibition checklist with images of each vessel to assist you in making your vessel selections! Click here to view a video checklist with images of each vessel!

Benefit + Vessel Contribution - $125 (Only 125 available):  With each Benefit + Vessel contribution, individuals gain access to the exclusive Benefit event on May 2nd and the opportunity to take home one of the 125 vessels.  Vessel selections at the Benefit are made based upon the date and time we receive your contribution online, meaning the first patron to contribute $125 is assigned vessel-selection ticket-number one and so forth.  Once your contribution is processed you will be emailed your unique vessel-selection ticket-number (#1-125) within 2 business days.  All of the works will remain on display until after the closing of the exhibition on May 16th, and notification regarding art pickup dates will be emailed in advance. A catalog is not included with this contribution -- if you would like to order a limited edition Alchemical Vessels 2013 exhibition catalog for $42.30, please add that to your cart as well.

Benefit-Only Contribution- $50 (Only 60 available): With each Benefit-Only contribution, individuals gain access to the exclusive Benefit on May 2nd without the selection of one of the featured 125 vessels.  [If you are attending the Benefit at the "Benefit + Vessel" contribution level, this is a great option to bring a guest & partner to the Benefit.]

Limited-Edition Alchemical Vessels 2014 Catalog - $42.30 ($40 + 5.75% D.C. sales tax): Full-color bound exhibition catalog featuring each of the 125 alchemical vessels, along with the artists' statement detailing their alchemical processes and interpretation of the theme, and curator essays. Catalogs can be picked up after the Benefit on May 2nd at the Gallery (Wed-Fri, 11am-5pm, & Sat, 11a-3pm). If you would like your catalog shipped, please contact our Exhibitions Manager at to arrange shipment and to provide an additional shipping quote.

$100 Tribute Donation: Each gift of $100 can give a cancer patient a month of therapeutic yoga and help to cover costs for our on-site cancer retreats.

If you have trouble processing online contributions, please call 202.483.8600 or email us at

Play-To-Win: Don't miss your chance to win an alchemical experience with one of DC's leading fine artists. The drawing will take place during the May 16th Alchemical Vessels Artists' Closing Reception. Click here for more information and to buy your ticket[s] today!


100% of the proceeds will go to support Smith Center’s life-enhancing work and programs for people living with and recovering from cancer.


About the Exhbition 

Alchemical Vessels

April 4 - May 16, 2014

- Opening Reception - Friday, April 4, 7-9pm
- Special Benefit (by contribution only) - Friday, May 2, doors open at 7pm

Smith Center for Healing and the Arts and the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery are proud to announce the return of Alchemical Vessels, Smith Center's 2nd Annual Benefit and Exhibition. 

(Pictured right: Elizabeth Baldwin, Rising like a phoenix, Nails, beads, shells, hardware, and apoxie sculpt)

Alchemical Vessels brings together 125 local artists and 20 prominent curators for a community dialogue on healing and transformation through the arts. Each artist will transform a simple ceramic bowl by means of his or her own personal aesthetic and medium, drawing inspiration from the bowl as a place of holding, community, sacred space, and the alchemical vessel.

The ceramic bowl was selected as the fundamental element of the exhibition to symbolize creating a space where healing can take place—an idea at the heart of Smith Center's work and mission. Metaphorically speaking, Smith Center—the space and the work we do within our walls—resembles an alchemical vessel. People bring their everyday burdens, fears, and pains to us, and in this place of holding, we help transform those toxic elements into hope, light, wisdom and strength.

The Alchemical Vessels Exhibition will be open at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery from April 4th through May 16th, 2014. There will be an opening reception on Friday, April 4th from 7-9pm.

Artists: Eames Armstrong, Sardar Aziz, Karen Baer, Beth Baldwin, Michele Banks, Joseph Barbaccia, Carolyn Becker, Jessica Beels, Joan Belmar, Lori Anne Boocks, Anne Bouie, Amy Braden, Nancy Bratton, Julia Brown, Karen O. Brown, Larry Brown, Amanda Burnham, Lenny Campello, Shanthi Chandrasekar, Mei Mei Chang, Peter Charles, Asma Chaudhary, Travis Childers, Eunmee Chung, Wesley Clark, Chanel Compton, Michael Corigliano, Candy Cummings, Anna U. Davis, Rosetta DeBerardinis, Tamara De Silva, Elsabe Dixon, Joel D’Orazio, David D’Orio, Chelsea S. Dobert-Kehn, Thomas Drymon, Nekisha Durrett, Victor Ekpuk, Laura Elkins, Dana Ellyn, Erica Benay Fallin, Felisa Federman, Jeremy Flick, Suzi Fox,  Barbara Frank, Nancy Frankel, Shaunté Gates, Dawn Gavin, Bita Ghavami, Aziza Claudia Gibson-Hunter, Melissa Glasser, Janis Goodman, Pat Goslee, Sherill Anne Gross, John Grunwell, Nelson Gutierrez, Kristen Hayes, Eve Hennessa, Linda Hesh, Matt Hollis, Leslie Holt, Jessica Hopkins, Karen Hubacher, Kevin Hunt, Monica Jahan Bose, Barbara Johnson, Wayson R. Jones, J’Nell Jordan, Mila Kagan, Sumita Kim, Joan Konkel, Yar Koporulin, Kate Kretz, Randall Lear, Yue Li, Nathan Loda, Armando Lopez-Bircann, Laurel Lukaszewski, James Mahoney, J.J. McCracken, Donald McCray, Jayme Mclellen, Tendani Mpulubusi El, Kiri Nakamura, Komelia Okim, Amie Oliver, Anthony Palliparambil, Jr., Luis Peralta, Michael Platt, Maryanne Pollock, Lynn Putney, Maria-Lana Queen, Beverly Ress, Kim Reyes, Glenn Richardson, Marie Ringwald, Pam Rogers, Lisa Rosenstein, Nicole Salimbene, Samantha Sethi, Matt Sesow, Shahin Shikhaliyev, Ellen Sinel,  Casey Snyder, Susan Stacks, Dafna Steinberg, Jennifer Strunge, Lynn Sures, Lynn Sylvester, Ira Tattelman, Christine Buckton Tilman, Erwin Timmers, Ben Tolman, Novie Trump, Shinji Turner-Yamamoto, Laurie Tylec, Michael Verdon, Jodi Walsh, Jenny Walton, Ellyn Weiss, Stephanie Williams, Audrey Wilson, Sharon Wolpoff, & Carmen C. Wong.

Curators: Peggy Cooper Cafritz, Educator, Philanthropist & Founder of D.C.'s Duke Ellington School for the Arts | Jarvis DuBois, Independent Curator & Principal at J. DuBois Arts | Monica Jahan Bose, Artist & Activist | Anne L'Ecuyer, Arts Management Faculty at American University | Camille Mosley-Pasley, Photographer & Principal at Pasley Place Photography | B.G. Muhn, Professor of Art, Georgetown University | Michael O'Sullivan, Art Critic for The Washington Post | Dr. Frederick P. Ognibene, M.D., NIH Physician, Fine Art Collector & Past Board Chair, Washington Project for the Arts | Michael Platt, Artist & Professor at Howard University | Jennifer Riddell, Writer & Interpretive Projects Manager at the National Gallery of Art | Adah Rose, Principal at Adah Rose Gallery | Laura Roulet, Independent Curator & Writer | Molly Ruppert, Artist & Gallery Director at the Warehouse Theater | Terry Scott, Cultural Organizer & Independent Curator | Judy J. Sherman, Art Consultant & Principal at j fine art | Thomas Stanley, Professor at George Mason University | Nuzhat Sultan, Independent Curator | Tim Tate, Artist & Co-Director of Washington Glass School | R.L. Tillman, Artist, Teacher & Curator | Dolly Vehlow, Fine Art Collector & Principal at Gallery O on H

Planning Committee: Helen Frederick, Deborah Lesser, Wendy Miller, PhD, Kim Schelling, Timothy Schelling, & Ellyn Weiss

Images above:

Victor Ekpuk, Incantations, Porcelain paint
Jodi Walsh, Intention, Ceramic
Jessica Hopkins, A New Surface, Acrylic paint, watercolor, and ink