Tag Archives: ARt

Meet Jennifer!

7 Dec


Jennifer Smith, of Charlottesville, Virginia, has been creating art all of her life, but discovered her distinct love for oil painting ten years ago. She specializes in mostly landscapes and abstract art, and is interested in displaying her work in exhibitions, shows, commissions and also providing art lessons to others. Her favorite thing to do in her spare time is paint, claiming she can never seem to get enough of it!

Jennifer would like to showcase and sell her original artwork and designs, as well as find a way to retain rights and make them available on other media, such as fabrics, kitchenware, tiles, carpeting, wallpaper, fashion accessories, and furniture designs. Her dream is to one day open an art studio or artists co-op, with a tentative possibility to drag in a crowd or local population.

For now, Jennifer is focusing on getting her own artistic business launched and being able to support herself, as well as add value to her clients and economy in the Piedmont region. Jennifer found EWI when she began searching for programs catered towards entrepreneurs or artists to help them learn the business aspect of their work, and when she found a listing for EWI, she applied immediately and was eager to enroll in the course. She says her favorite part about the course was meeting everybody, getting to know about each of her classmates’ creative ideas and watching their dreams grow into thorough business plans. Her passion has always been painting, and she loves to connect with people through her work and share what she loves most with them. She wishes to enable local artists to gather a sense of community, further motivating them to succeed and share with other artists. With Jennifer’s bubbly and eager personality, coupled with her amazing talent, it is only a matter of time before her art business flourishes.

– Mina Alemzadeh
Alexandria ETS Intern



Paws for Peace, LLC: Teaching Kids that Kindness Counts! – Graduate Feature: Caryn

5 Dec

Caryn Reitkopp has passion like no other! Her Master’s Degree in Education and more than 25 years of experience in various academic settings make her the ideal person to start Paws for Peace, LLC; a company that provides educational programs for pre-school age children. Her on-site workshops and field trips will teach young children compassion for all living things. Through the use of small animals and puppets, her offerings will promote empathy and kindness in children to help prevent violence and aggressive behavior before their value systems are set by age five.

Caryn has always been an animal lover and dreamed of becoming a humane educator for more than 15 years. Her sister and EWI board member, Melissa Reitkopp, encouraged Caryn to enroll in the Entrepreneur Training for Success course more than a year ago to pursue her dream. Caryn took her advice and is looking forward to making an impact in the world one child at a time.

Adjusting to the fast pace of ETS and keeping up with deadlines helped keep Caryn on track and produce a final business plan that is a major step in starting Paws for Peace, LLC and becoming an empowered entrepreneur!

Caryn hopes to one day purchase a farm and share the space and responsibility of running it and caring for the animals with other small businesses. Through Paws for Peace, LLC, she wants to build a community that will target different markets, yet all benefit from the space and the animals. She may even extend her business to include older students, senior citizens and children with special needs.

Caryn has witnessed her own son and young relatives expressing unique kindness to animals and sharing their opinion with their peers. Considering the recent movement against bullying in schools, Caryn is confident that her program can make the difference that she wishes to see in the world. We all could learn from Caryn and help make the world a kinder place to live for all.

– Charlia Acree
Rockville ETS Intern

Have You Reserved Your Tickets Yet?!

15 Nov


Join us to celebrate 10 years of innovation and social change, and invest in the next decade of women entrepreneurs.

December 1, 5-8pm
Rock Creek Mansion, Bethesda MD


Event Program

Keynote Speaker
Congresswoman Connie Morella

Former U.S. Rep. Constance A. Morella (R-Md.) was the first female member of the Maryland General Assembly to be elected to the U.S. Congress, where she represented Maryland’s 8th District from 1987 to 2003. During her 16 years in the House of Representatives, Morella was known as one of the few remaining moderate Republicans and developed a reputation as an advocate for women, children and families.

Inspiring Women Innovators

Velma Crawford, an EWI graduate entrepreneur sharing her passion and inspiration for making one of a kind aprons.

Ingenious Art from Salvaged Materials

Alison Sigethy’s Striking Sea Core Bublle Tubes will be on display during the event.

Art and Culinary Demonstrations

Artful Desserts by EWI Entrepreneurs Elda and Lyzbeth

Sit-down Buffet Dinner and Cash Bar

Enjoy a Wonderful Selection of Culinary Dishes from Around the World

Aida May, a gourmet chef and EWI graduate, will be presenting dishes from Egyptian Cuisine.

Silent and Live Auction

A fine selection of auction items including:

Weekend Vacation in an Idyllic American Town
Spa Gift Certificates
Gourmet Gift Baskets
Original Paintings and Quilts
Exclusive 10th Anniversary Jewelry
Silk Art Scarves & Aprons
In-home Wine Tasting
Tickets to Musical Perfomances
and much more…

Live Music with “Hurricane” Howie and the spirited band Rita Clarke and the Naturals

Special guests to include

Flory Jagoda, Jewish-American and Bosnian guitarist, composer, and singer; a lifelong supporter of EWI.

Andy Shallal, Washington’s most successful entrepreneur-artist-activist and the owner of Busboys and Poets.

Diana Katz and Joane Kasprovicz, fouders of the Giving Circle of Hope

Tickets are tax-deductible and available online, by phone or check:
Phone: (571) 312-4781
Check: 320 S. Henry St.
Alexandria VA 22314

Get Yours HERE

Sunday Plans?

8 Nov

Sunday looks to be a lovely day, a beautiful 70 degree day in our nation’s capitol.  And with the Washington Redskins on bye week, there really is no excuse to be sitting at home all day.

I just wish there was something fun to do…. Something the whole family could enjoy…. Something interesting, interactive, and intellectually stimulating…


I just remembered…

This Sunday, Sushmita Muzumdar will be holding her first solo show and workshop featuring her lovely artisan-handmade-books, Chai, Stories, & Art!  A place where one can appreciate intricate art, the beauty of old-fashioned story-telling, and walk away with something one created all on their own.

Either way, I know where I’ll be this Sunday from 2-4 pm…

Popcorn Gallery at Glen Echo Park
7300 MacArthur Boulevard
Glen Echo, MD 20812

Care to join? We’d love to see ya! So please let us know if you’re coming with an RSVP HERE

Sushmita received her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Arts from Bombay University in India and then worked as an art director in the advertising industry in Mumbai! She volunteers as a docent with the Smithsonian’s Freer & Sackler Galleries of Art in Washington DC where she was trained in Asian art history. She is a graduate of EWI’s Training for Success program and lives in Arlington with her son, daughter, and husband. For more about her interesting life, view her website at Handmade Storybooks.

Sushmita Muzumdar: Chai, Stories & Art

30 Oct

Sushmita Muzumdar, 2007 ETS Graduate and artist, has her first solo show entitled, Let’s Tell Our Tales: Everyday Stories as Artists’ Books & Collages.

Sushmita is a book artist and writer, she specializes in writing stories with handmade books.  She believes in the power of storytelling, and seeks to create art through each wonderful tale.  Her pieces are beautifully intricate and articulate, combining literature and fine art.

Sushmita’s show will be held from Nov 3rd to the 18th at the

Popcorn Gallery at Glen Echo Park
7300 MacArthur Boulevard
Glen Echo, MD 20812

In honor of EWI’s 10th Anniversary, she is holding a special Chai, Stories, and Art Tour for EWI friends and supporters!

Join us for the free event on Sunday November 11th,
from 2-4pm

Click here to RSVP!

Learn more about Sushmita’s bookarts and her special invite to you:

Sushmita received her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Arts from Bombay University in India and subsequently worked as an art director in the advertising industry in Mumbai. Sushmita volunteers as a docent with the Smithsonian’s Freer & Sackler Galleries of Art (National Museum of Asian Art) in Washington DC where she was trained in Asian art history. She is a graduate of EWI’s Training for Success program and lives in Arlington with her son, daughter, and husband. For more, view her website at Handmade Storybooks.

Sandra’s Art Selected in Durant Center Exhibit

19 Sep

Congratulations to Sandra!

Sandra, an ETS student and recent EWI scholarship recipient, has had 2 pieces selected to be presented in the Young at Art exhibit in the Durant Art center of Alexandria.

Sandra comes from a family of very strong women dating back to 1861, in Washington DC. Her introduction to art has been through nature, by watching and appreciating the different ways that nature reveals itself artistically. Her multi-media talents are in metal-smithing, enameling, fabric art, beading and papermaking, to name a few.

Unable to pass up something discarded that could have another life, she’s been picking up things for years, thinking of how she can use it and make a difference. It all comes together in her gorgeous creations of reclaimed, up-cycled, and recycled dolls and hand bags. These are truly object of art, and objects that she uses to spread the word about the life-cycle of materials and the importance of re-using items. “This should not be a fad, but the norm for the average person and available to anyone,” she insists.

To hear more from Sandra and see her lovely pieces, please join us for the Young at Art exhibit opening reception this

Thursday September 20th, from 5pm-7pm
at the Durant Art Center
1605 Cameron st
Alexandria, VA 22314


Sandra's dolls, jewelry, & bags

Sandra's dolls, jewelry, & bags

2 ETS Grads, Sarah & Nadia, Featured artwork TONIGHT at Busboys & Poets, Washington DC

18 Sep

TONIGHT, come see ETS graduates Sarah Jawaid and Nadia Janjua, as they open their exhibit “Humanity and Nature Divided”, a contemplative look our relationship with nature.

These two artists will be presenting their mixed media pieces, as well as answering questions, tonight from 6-8 pm.

Come out and see some truly talented young women at:

Busboys & Poets
1025 5th st NW
Washington, DC

see below for more details…

Nadia Janjua

Nadia is a practicing architect and professional artist based in the Washington DC area, working under the business name NJARTitecture.  Born to Kashmiri-Pakistani parents, Nadia grew up in the forested mountain of Western Maryland with her three siblings, strongly influenced by the solitudeand beauty of her natural surroundings.  She started drawing before she could write, and started painting with oils as an adolescent.  Over the past fifteen years,she has explored different paint mediums, photography, graphic design, ceramics, and printmaking; eventually spending the majority of her time nurturing her painting ability.

See more of Nadia’s work on her website

Sarah Jawaid

Sarah was born in Southern California and transplanted to Washington, D.C. a few years ago. She received a B.S. from the University of Southern California in Public Policy and an MA in Urban Planning from the University of California, Irvine.  As an urban planner Sarah finds herself constantly thinking about how spaces affect people and the environment, and this motivated her to begin exploring through art.  Most of her exploration involves paint on canvas. Each one of Sarah’s works is truly an extension of herself and a glimpse into her internal world. It is the external spaces and the spaces within herself that move her to action.

See more of Sarah’s work on her website

Creative Expressions from East Africa- Featured Arist: Mariam Mohamed

6 Jun

Originally from Tanzania, Mariam immigrated to the US a few years ago.  The dream to own her own business has always been there, and Mariam set out with passion to turn that dream into a reality.  Drawing on her extensive experience in working with textiles and sewing, Mariam decided to create unique handbags from Kanga cloth, a traditional fabric with a rich heritage, that originated along the coast of East Africa.  Highly versatile, the Kanga is made from cotton and has bright, bold designs printed along the borders of the fabric. Not only known for its decorative role, in Eastern Africa the Kanga is used to send a message, similar to a greeting card in the Western culture.

Desiring to share her passion and love of the Kanga, Mariam started off by creating and selling her products at a local flea market.  However, her sales did not increase as quickly as she had hoped for. Mariam recognized that what she needed was help in developing stronger marketing skills. “I was facing challenges in getting supplies and marketing issues. I needed help in marketing techniques and developing products.”  As a result, Mariam applied for the ETS program that was being offered in Rockville, MD.

Throughout the course of the program, Mariam has continued to develop her business plan and through the workshops, defined her business more clearly. “It’s helped me to be more strategic in preparation of public relations and the use of marketing tools.” Over the period of the twelve week course, Mariam has worked on making Bahari Deco Crafts, more visible for the public eye, as well as promoting the sales for her handicrafts through her website http://www.baharicreations.com/.

Written by: Sarah Bouwer

Portable Art- Featured Artist: Pilar Ortiz

4 Jun

Growing up, Pilar was surrounded by people who were passionate about the fine arts.  As a result, her love for art and music grew, cultured not only by her artistic parents, but also through various professionals who provided guidance in her own personal development.

After receiving her degree in Fine Arts and Design from Columbia, Pilar decided to look for opportunities elsewhere. Young and impressionable, she turned her eyes towards opportunities that would represent adventure, inspiration, and personal development. As a result, in 1993, she immigrated to the United States. As years passed, Pilar continued to express herself creatively and was able to turn her talents into a career specializing in interior design.

Two years ago, an idea began to form.  Recognizing that many young immigrant women need inspiration as they find their foothold in a new country, Pilar began to create paintings that reflected the richness of South America, intertwined with motivational thoughts in Spanish.  Although full of passion, Pilar was unsure of how to create a viable business out of her artwork.   Unsure of where to go, Pilar came to EWI to enroll in the Entrepreneur Training for Success Program.

Pilar’s “Forever Friends” painting

“When I think about EWI, I think about opportunity to establish a business from our talent… [through the classes]  I gained knowledge, information, focus and organization.”  Through the course of the program, Pilar’s ideas have continued to grow and transform. Initially Pilar created her artwork using a variety of mediums: oil and watercolor on canvas, hand painted ceramic tiles, and textiles.  Although she has shown her work in a few exhibitions abroad, Pilar wanted to extend the scope of her work. By collaborating with her classmates, she began to develop her ideas and think of ways to broaden her market access. “To me, the most important key moment was when Marga gave the advice that I should focus on my artistic side and showed me that I had potential to make a living from my art.” Through the spring 2012 session, Pilar has seen her vision, Portable Art Impressions, become a reality.  Focusing on laptop covers and cell phone skins, Pilar has found a niche that allows her work to be displayed through new mediums to a wider market. “Once I finish my class, I’m ready to start selling my products online. I have created and readied my platform of sales, and have a company that will reproduce my art for device skins.  I’m so happy with the help this organization gave to me!”

Written by: Sarah Bouwer

Summer Writing Circles

10 May
Writing Circles

 There is a special kind of energy in a roomful of writers, an enriching and affirming and creative kind of energy. Join a Writing Circle this summer, and keep the ink flowing or the keyboard clicking!
Each Writing Circle is developed around a unifying theme. Sessions begin with quotations and/or images to reflect upon. There is a quiet time for centering and focusing, followed by the introduction of that session’s topic. A relaxed, supportive environment allows you to explore the topic through guided writing exercises and prompts. You are encouraged to share your writing and respond to others with positive, constructive feedback.
Writing Circles meet once per week for three-week cycles. Topics for the three circles include: 1) New Beginnings: Relocation, Relationships, Vocation; 2) Places of the Heart: Journeys, Nature, Home; 3) Nourishment: New Experience, Creativity & Imagination, Community & Connection.
Tuesdays 7-9 pm at Annandale (5/29 – 6/12)
Wednesdays 7-9 pm at Alexandria (5/30 – 6/13)


Tuesdays 7-9 pm at Annandale (7/10-7/24)                                      Wednesdays 7-9 pm at Alexandria (7/11-7/25)


Tuesdays 7-9 pm at Annandale (7/31-8/14)

 Wednesdays 7-9 pm at Alexandria (8/1 – 8/15)

To register, please contact Northern Virginia Community College Workforce Development office at either Annandale or Alexandria.