Hope Katz Gibbs

CLIENTS

The Inkandescent Group

Business Publications

Education Publications

Alumni Publications

Association Publications

General Interest

Newspapers

Newsletters

Public Relations / Marketing

Projects

Essays

Elan magazine / Artist profiles

Crafting a Career in the Arts [elan magazine]

By Hope Katz Gibbs
elan magazine
February 2010

Elaina Loveland wanted to be a prima ballerina. The graceful waif of a woman was a dynamic dancer, too. But after attending the dance program at Goucher College to study for a few years, she realized the reality of her choice might not make for an ideal career.

“It became clear that I should have gone straight to New York City to dance instead of going to college to study it,” she admits. “I also realized that my dance career would probably only last as long as my body held out—and that seemed like a bit of a gamble.”

So she opted for Plan B and became a writer—another career she had long dreamed of.

Read entire article

Laura Lee Williams: The art of the design [elan magazine]

By Hope Katz Gibbs
elan magazine
August 2009

Beautiful beads from Tokyo—more than 30,000 of them—grace the most elaborate offering by Laura Lee Designs, a handbag firm founded in 2005 by California native Laura Lee Williams.

Other designs—such as her trademark M bag—feature fewer beads, but the focus here is on the three-inch wrap of Australian snakeskin in the middle.

“The white version is perfect for weddings, and pink version is a personal favorite because we contribute a portion of the proceeds from each purchase to Breast Cancer Research,” says the soft-spoken brunette, who shares the tale of how she got started in the handbag business as she sips chamomile tea at a café not far from her current base of operations in Vienna, VA.

Read entire article

The Maestros: American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras [elan magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
elan magazine
February 2008
Photos by Steve Barrett

All eyes were on the 118 teenage students of the American Youth Philharmonic (AYP) during a performance on the grand stage of the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria.

It was a special afternoon, indeed, for the auditorium was packed with students thanks to a special offer from the parent organization, the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras
(AYPO). As part of its community outreach program, it provided more than 300 free concert tickets to children.

“We love showing off the talents of all of our student musicians from Maryland, Virginia and D.C.,” says a proud Tomoko Azuma, executive director of the AYPO, whose mission is to expose as many children as she can to orchestral music: “The gift of learning to appreciate music is something we want to give to every child in the region. Our kids are truly working at a professional level, and I know anyone who watches them perform will be blown away.”

Of course, it took a lot of hard work, support and determination to get students to play at this level. That’s where the conductors of the AYP come in.

Although it may tough to imagine 90 elementary school-age children performing the works of Bach and Beethoven, the youngest performers in the American Youth String Ensemble (AYSE) nail it nearly every time.

Read entire article

Photographer Steve Barrett: A Curious Nature [elan magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
elan magazine
June 2007

His regular clients include Washingtonian magazine, National Public Radio and dozens of university alumni magazines. His photographs have also appeared in Newsweek, Fortune, Time and Vanity Fair.

Yet, if you met photographer Steve Barrett at a party maybe, or bumped into him in the cheese section of Trader Joe’s, you’d never know the charming but humble man is a photojournalist with such an impressive resume.

In an industry filled with egotists, Steve says staying grounded is his secret weapon.

“I never forget that this field has offered me the opportunity to go places I otherwise have absolutely no right to be,” says the Northern Virginia resident who grew up in the small blue-collar town of Franklin, PA. “My philosophy is simply to be as effective as possible for my clients. At heart, I’m a pretty curious guy, and kinda nosey. So I really have a great time doing my job.”

Read entire article

Author / Artist Rosalyn Schanzer [elan magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
elan magazine
May 2007

If American history has never tickled your fancy, you haven’t read one of Rosalyn Schanzer’s illustrated picture books.

Written for children in elementary and middle school, her hardbacks are filled with so many interesting facts and such incredibly detailed artwork that they’ll appeal to all ages.

Take Rosalyn’s most recent title, “John Smith Escapes Again!” The National Geographic Society released it last fall so students could use the information-packed text when learning about the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown in 2007.

Not only are the illustrations dynamic and engaging, but also Rosalyn’s story puts Disney’s version of Pocahontas to shame. Did you know, for instance, that as a young man John Smith was tossed into the briny deep and became a pirate? Or that he later became a wretched slave? Or that he didn’t have platinum blond hair—as he did in the Disney version—but a mane of dark brown locks and a thick brunette-colored beard?

Read entire article

Batik Artist Carol Higgs: Captured Colors [elan magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
elan magazine
September 2006

Carol Higgs has enough pieces of fabric in her studio to fill a swimming pool.
“I could jump in and not hurt myself because I’d never reach the bottom,” says the Reston artist, who will be showing off just what all that fabric can do during an upcoming exhibition of her unique batik artwork at the Vienna Arts Society gallery.

What is batik?

“It’s sort of like tie-dye, but a little more sophisticated,” says Carol, who has been practicing the ancient Indonesian wax-resist dyeing technique for the last three decades. Rather than create garments to display her artistic designs, she uses her batik creations as a canvas for captivating paintings she then turns into greeting cards and one-of-a-kind framed art.

“It’s easy to do great things with batik once you get the hang of the technique,” says the Ohio native. “The trick is to start with a plan.”

Read entire article

The House that Faux Built: Transformation [elan magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
elan magazine
June 2006

Pictured here: Faux painting in master dining room by Tania Seaboch

Adrienne van Dooren has brought the decorating world’s best faux artists to Arlington to turn a fixer-upper into a must-see work of art. The idea came to Adrienne last summer after she went to check out a model home in southern Virginia.

After perusing the giant rooms and great artwork, she asked the designer who had created the extraordinary faux painting on the wall—but the woman wouldn’t tell.

“It really made me angry because I’m a faux painter, and it didn’t seem fair that she wouldn’t give credit to the artist,” explains Adrienne, a go-getter who at 42 retired from the Army and went back to school to become a faux painter. “I decided then that the only way to liberate faux artists was to showcase them.”

In only a few months, she got commitments from more than 50 faux painters who wanted to participate in a project that has come to be known as The House That Faux Built.

Read entire article

Artist / Author Betsey Mulloy: Out of Africa [elan magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
elan magazine
April 2006

It was after reading Betsey Mulloy’s book, “Your Secret Name: Finding Your Special God-Given Identity,” that the Rev. Ben Mugarura knew he had to meet the author.

It didn’t matter to Mugarura (the chaplain at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda) that Betsey lived in Reston, Virginia. It was 1991, and his country was still reeling from the havoc wrought by dictator Idi Amin in the 1970s.

The reason Betsey’s book made such an impact on Mugarura, she believes, is that in the early’90s, the women of Kampala had taken over top jobs at universities and businesses in the years following the massive killing of Uganda’s men-but few were willing to take on leadership roles in the church.

“The Reverend asked me to speak to the women at Makerere University [known as the Harvard of Africa] and encourage them to take part in guiding the religious movement in the country,” she says. Within weeks, Betsey boarded an airplane bound for Kampala.

Read entire article

Photographer Lillis Werder: The Traveler’s Gift [elan magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
elan magazine
March 2006
Photo here by Lillis Werder: “Gargoyle,” Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

The gargoyle seemed to know what Lillis Werder was thinking. Perched upon the towers of Notre Dame, it was overlooking all the happenings of Paris—just what the Virginia photographer was planning to do from behind the lens of her Canon EOS 10D digital camera.

After climbing to the roof of the Cathedral, Lillis not only captured the beauty of Paris from a unique vantage point—she clicked sublime shots of the gargoyle itself. The image of that crouched creature eventually became the logo for her creative enterprise, Lillis Photography.

“As a photographer, I love being able to see the big picture like the Seine River viewed from the Eiffel Tower, then focus in on the minute things that some people never notice,” says Lillis, whose portfolio contains images of the canals of Venice, the facade of the Basilica di San Marco, and the Amalfi Coast. “My goal is to make the ordinary into something extraordinary.”

Read entire article

Animal Lover Bill Harrah: Wild Kingdom [elan magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
elan magazine
February 2006

Working from his Wolf Run Studio in Clifton, artist Bill Harrah draws on the beauty and wonder of the animal kingdom. Inspiration can be as close as his window-a tufted titmouse scurries by, an eastern chipmunk finds a home under his deck, and on occasion a white-tailed fawn presses its nose right up to the glass.

Each summer, a couple of Canadian geese take up residence in the pond behind his house.

Most days, Bill can be found studying these fabulous creatures and sketching them in pencil. His detailed drawings eventually find their way into his extensive catalog of prints and note cards.

“I love drawing animals and birds,” says the West Virginia native. “I grew up admiring the perfection of nature and now feel lucky to bring what I see to life.”

Read entire article

Painter H. Jenna Klimchak: Emotion’s Colors [elan magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
elan magazine
November 2005

When Hwaja Jenna Kim was a child, her parents didn’t fill their house with toys. Instead, the owners of a small silk shop in Seoul, Korea, gave their six children crayons, pencils and paper to play with.

Young Jenna recognized the treasures that were before her. For hours, she would sit at the wooden table in the back of her parents’ shop and create fields of flowers, skies filled with birds and baskets heavy with fruit. Her friends loved those masterpieces, and often traded her some of their candy for one.

Jenna’s teachers recognized she was a budding talent and throughout her school years encouraged her to keep drawing and painting. But when it came time to choose a career, Jenna didn’t want to ask her parents to send her to art school.

“My parents worked seven days a week at their shop, and I knew it would be a hardship on them if their daughter chose a profession that wasn’t guaranteed to pay well,” she says. So Jenna and her sister Mija cooked up a plan.

Read entire article

Bryan Leister: Evolution of an Artist [elan magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
elan magazine
Cover story
October 2005

Illustrator Bryan Leister has evolved from a master of classical realism to the maker of iconic digital images for some of the nation’s most popular magazines. Now, at 42, he’s taking his art to the third dimension.

Even at the start of his professional career, Bryan’s oil paintings were compared to the famous early Renaissance artist Botticelli. That talent launched a fruitful freelance career that began the spring of 1985 when the Virginia native finished a degree in fine arts at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Soon after setting up his studio in the Del Ray section of Alexandria, Bryan began landing work for Atlantic Monthly New Republic and Business Week and large corporations such as Mercedes, Kohler and Smuckers. Celestial Seasonings hired him to create artwork for the packaging of one of its most popular teas, Raspberry Zinger.

The pinnacle, though, came when Bryan was hired to paint the August 8, 1994, cover for Time magazine. The piece, “Everybody’s Hip,” was a takeoff on Grant Wood’s “American Gothic.”

“Landing a Time cover was always a goal of mine,” says Bryan. “It was a very strange feeling when I actually achieved it.” So strange, he admits, that once he achieved it, he became very reflective.

Read entire article

Lina Liberace: The Art of Motherhood [elan magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
elan magazine
February 2006
Portrait of Lina by Robert Liberace

The phone is ringing. Her daughter is crying. And Lina Liberace has a deadline. The Vienna artist needs to finish six more illustrations for a book she’s working on. She’s guessing the voice on the other end of the ringing phone is her publisher calling to ask if the artwork is finished.

What does she do? “I stop, take a deep breath, and try to laugh,” she says. “What else can I do?”

Lina says hers is the plight of the stay-at-home/working mom. Since she had her first child, Celia, in 2000, she’s realized it was a juggling act to balance motherhood with a thriving career. When daughter Ava came along in 2003, Lina’s life got even more complicated.

But this award-winning illustrator, whose colorful, whimsical images have graced the pages of dozens of magazines, books and brochures, says she tries not to sweat the small stuff.

Read entire article

Robert Liberace: Reviving the Renaissance [elan magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
elan magazine
May 2003
Painting by Liberace pictured here: “Charles.” oil on canvas, 28” x 20”

When Robert Liberace saw a stranger standing outside of the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria—not far from the classroom where he teaches figure drawing—he was intrigued. There was something about the shape of the man’s head, the intensity of his eyes and the way he groomed his beard that made Robert take notice.

Ever so politely, Robert approached the man to see if he’d model for a portrait. With a broad, charismatic smile he said, “My name is Charles, and I’d be happy to.” The model turned out to be a natural, and Robert created a portrait (pictured here) that could easily be mistaken for a photograph.

“From outward appearances Charles can be intimidating, but he is a very gentle person,” Robert says today. “Because of that, I was able to capture him on a deeper level. I hope that this comes across in the final art.”

Read entire article

Medical Illustrator Marie Dauenheimer: An Inner Beauty [elan magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
elan magazine
January 2003

The leg interested her most. So every Friday for a year, Marie Dauenheimer hoisted the gray body part from the tank of formaldehyde in the cadaver room at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

To Dauenheimer, the lesson in gross anatomy was anything but gross.

“At first, I was scared I’d faint when I saw the dead bodies,” says Dauenheimer, who graduated in 1982. “But I didn’t. When you are very interested in a subject, you go beyond the fear.”

It was a career in medical illustration that Dauenheimer was working toward, and her fearless foray into the limb lab was only the first part of her journey. In 1983, she enrolled in the graduate program in the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical Institute in Baltimore—one of only five accredited schools in the U.S. that mix art and medicine.

With only about 900 artists working in the lucrative field of medical illustration, Dauenheimer is among an elite group.

Read entire article

Author Paula Wolfson and Photographer Lloyd Wolf: Making Mitzvahs [elan magazine]


November 2002

Pictured here: Paula Wolfson and Lloyd Wolf

Author and social worker Paula E. Wolfson and award-winning photographer Lloyd Wolf, both of Arlington, set out several years ago to shatter the stereotype of the overbearing, overprotective, zany Jewish mom who is driven to feed matzo balls to the masses.

The result is “Jewish Mothers: Strength, Wisdom, Compassion,” (Chronicle Books, 2000), a compilation of first-person stories and black-and-white photographs.

Among the 50 profile subjects are Auschwitz survivor Ethel Kleinman, Northern Virginia midwife Alice Bades, Congresswoman Nita Lowey of New York, Nobel Prize winning chemist Dr. Rosalyn Sussman Yalow and adoptive mother and breast cancer survivor Reena Bernards. Celebrity entries range from the late puppeteer Shari Lewis to violinist and composer Alicia Svigals.

Read entire article

John Holyfield: Art from the Heart [elan magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
elan magazine
Cover story
July-August 2003

Morning light streams in through two giant windows in the Fairfax Station studio of artist John Holyfield. He sits back in a wooden chair, sips a steaming cup of coffee and considers the canvas before him.

Yesterday, John painted eight black circles atop vaguely shaped bodies on an olive green background. Today, he’ll turn the circles into faces. Tomorrow, more details will emerge. “It takes me about two months to complete a painting,” says the 33-year-old artist.

His prints have appeared on the walls of sitcom sets including “The Jamie Fox Show,” “The Steve Harvey Show” and “The Wayans Brothers.” And notables such as Oprah Winfrey and “Law & Order” star S. Epatha Merkerson have snapped up several originals, which range from $2,500 to $30,000, depending on the size.

Read entire article

Kevin Maney: The Maverick and His Machine [elan magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
elan magazine

Thomas Watson Sr. appeared to me in a dream,” writes Kevin Maney in the introduction to “The Maverick and His Machine,” his recently published book about the charismatic, irascible founder of IBM. “In his powerful voice, clearing his throat as usual every couple of words, he said, ‘It is your fate that you should write about me.”’ “Well, okay, maybe not,” Kevin concedes. “But a series of actual events stopped just short of a phantom visit from one of the greatest business leaders of the 20th century. At times, it seemed like some force steered me to this book, much the way an invisible hand always guided Wile E. Coyote to stand precisely under the falling anvil.” It is with such humor, a reverence for his subject and a strong sense of business history that Kevin crafted the 446-page tome that hit bookstore shelves in April 2003. Published by John Wiley & Son, The Maverick and His Machine is the USA Today technology reporter’s second book.

Read entire article

Drawn to Art: Illustrator Michael Gibbs [elan magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
elan magazine, June 2002
Cover illustration by Michael Gibbs

ILLUSTRATOR MICHAEL GIBBS KNEW HE wanted to be an artist the day he discovered famed illustrator Maxfield Parrish. He was 12, and his parents had taken him to a farmhouse auction in rural Maryland. Stashed away was the old children’s book, “The Arabian Nights,” long forgotten by its owner. For Michael, it was a treasure. “The artwork was just stunning and really turned me- on to what was possible with illustration,” he says, never thinking he’d imagine he’d become an illustrator himself. More than two decades later, he’s winning awards from the most prestigious art contests and working for American Airlines, Ziff-Davis, Verizon, Johns Hopkins University, Sears, Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, the World Bank, The New York Times, Harvard Business Journal and The Washington Post magazine.

Read entire article

Heating Up the Stage: The Virginia Opera [elan magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
elan magazine
February 2007, page 65-67

EVEN IF YOU HATE OPERA, or think you do, from the moment the velvet curtain rises on “Agrippina,” you’ll be in for surprise. The latest production from the Virginia Opera, being staged at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax Feb. 9-11, is a two-act opera by 24-year-old Handel, which premiered in 1709 in Venice. It is one of the earliest works, and the soap opera of a story is engaging enough to give it a try. Here’s how it goes …

Read entire article

Illusions: Faux Painter Allan Forrest [elan magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
elan magazine
November 2006, page 74-76

DON’T BELIEVE YOUR EYES WHEN you walk into the 5,000-square-foot home that faux artist Allan Forrest just completed. The walls in the dining room, just off the two-story foyer, are covered in what appears to be a luxurious dark blue cloth. The ceiling seems to have been kissed by candlelight. Or are they? Paint, in fact, is the medium that Allan has deftly applied to the room, for his mission was to turn this contemporary abode into something unpredictable and inspirational with an Old World feel. He seems to have hit the mark.

Read entire article

More Elan magazine / Artist profiles Articles


"I get by with a little help from my friends," says Hope, who gives special thanks to:

• MICHAEL GIBBS, website illustration and design: www.michaelgibbs.com
• MAX KUKOY, website development: www.maxwebworks.com
• STEVE BARRETT, portrait of Hope on Bio page: www.stevebarrettphotography.com

Contact HOPE KATZ GIBBS by phone [703-346-6975] or email.

Search