Artists Engaging Nepal Gala

To continue support and raise awareness of the devastation caused by the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal, Soarway Foundation is holding an art gala and fundraiser at Principle Gallery on Saturday, October 29th from 4:00-7:00PM. The Foundation has partnered with artists from Nepal and Uganda who have created artworks reflective of the nation’s culture and natural beauty.


Their intention for “Artists Engaging Nepal” is to preserve the beautiful features of the country and make its beauty accessible to all once more. Soarway Foundation hopes that this artistic venture will give the Nepali artists and others affected by the earthquakes a feeling of resilience, as opposed to fear and vulnerability, to help overcome future disasters. “Artists Engaging Nepal” is thus an all-encompassing opportunity for people to make a difference, whether it is spreading awareness of the Nepali earthquake incidences, allowing affected artists to create once again, or appreciating the strength and perserverance of a country in need through its amazing art.

The proceeds of this event will benefit the Soarway Foundation and the Nepali communities. It is with your help that the Foundation will be able to protect those who are vulnerable, foster lives of productivity and dignity, as well as rebuild and prepare the Nepali community for the future. Below is an informational video regarding the mission of the Soarway Foundation:


To learn more about the Soarway Foundation and how you can help, click this link! Make sure to also visit us on Saturday, October 29th from 4:00-7:00PM for this wonderful event!

Gavin Glakas Solo Exhibit & Demo Recap

Gavin Glakas Solo Exhibit & Demo Recap

This past Friday, we held our first solo exhibition for Gavin Glakas as well as  a live painting demonstration the next day! With at least one hundred guests at the reception, a great turnout would be an understatement. Familiar faces, like Senator Harry Reid and former CIA Director, George Tenet, were among those in attendance helping celebrate Gavin’s exhibition opening.



Principle Gallery artists, Jeff Erickson (left) and Gavin Glakas (right)

Gavin Glakas filled the gallery walls with realistic scenes from Washington, DC to New York City. He also displayed a few of his studies for some of the larger works like “The Champion Pub in Soho” and “Lights in an Alley off 5th Street.”

For the live painting demonstration on Saturday, Gavin painted a barn scene from his travels to Tuscany. He informed the audience of his particular paint color preferences, the process through which he achieves such realistic paintings, and the scenes that inspire him most.





To view all the works available by Gavin, including the paintings from his show, click this link! We also wanted to thank all of you who came to support Gavin at his opening and hope to see you again in the gallery!

Make sure to keep updated with our upcoming events and exhibitions, like our juried show “Root to Bloom: The Places Artists Call Home” on November 11th, by following our website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!


Where Do Our “Root to Bloom” Artists Call Home?

Last Friday, the Principle Gallery staff and guest juror, Teresa Oaxaca, decided on the final list of accepted works for our upcoming exhibition, “Root to Bloom: The Places Artists Call Home!” After having reviewed nearly 1,000 artworks submitted to the call, the selected artists were notified of their acceptance. We would like to add that we were beyond impressed by the amazing works submitted to the call and are extremely grateful for having had the opportunity to view such great talent!

Of those submitted, we selected 93 pieces by 73 different artists who live all around the world! Pictured below is a map of where the Root to Bloom artists call home:


Make sure to mark your calendar to see our “Root to Bloom: The Places Artists Call Home” exhibition on Friday, November 11th from 6:30-9PM!  And thank you again to all the artists who applied to the call! We sincerely appreciate the time and effort you all committed to produce such beautiful pieces!

How to Frame Art: An Angled Approach

How to Frame Art: An Angled Approach

Apart from displaying contemporary art from around the world, Principle Gallery also offers custom framing services. We house a great number of mat and framing samples for your convenience as well as provide professional advice on how to best frame your artwork. To give you some inspiration before your visit, here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when framing artwork:


Though this is a blog all about how to frame, sometimes it’s not necessary to frame at all. There are some instances where it is best not to frame, for the piece is best represented on its own.

  • GALLERY WRAP: When a painting is referred to as being “gallery-wrapped,” it means the canvas is secured to the back of the stretcher bars, concealing staples and other hardware from view. Most contemporary artists implement this mount to fully encompass the canvas with the artwork, often times having the painting continue onto the sides of the piece.
    • SUGGESTION: For gallery-wrapped paintings, we suggest not to frame them and to let the piece hang on its own.
    • EXAMPLE: Works by Lynn Boggess and Geoffrey JohnsonDSC_0855
  • ON BOARD OR PANEL: As in most cases, paintings on thin boards and panels are framed. However, some pieces have finished or painted sides, are box mounted, or are on thicker boards, ultimatley giving them a simple, contemporary look.
    • SUGGESTION: In this case, we recommend not putting a frame on the piece in order to highlight the work’s natural finishings.
    • EXAMPLE: Works by Laura Pritchett and Lisa Noonis



The trickiest part of the framing process is choosing a frame. Although there are no rules for picking a frame, you should still remember that the artwork has the last say. The frame should not outshine the artwork, but enhance it!

Here is an example of how the appearance of an artwork is changed by selecting the right or wrong frame:

Glakas Collage

As you can see, the style of the piece and frame can affect how the art is portrayed. For this example of Gavin Glakas‘ 6th Avenue, 21st Century, the ornate gold frame does not quite fit the art’s subject matter or style; whereas, the other two frames follow the contemporary, modern concept represented in the art. The middle frame is an “okay” choice because it is modern in appearance, but the frame distracts from the actual artwork due to the mismatching color.


In this case, we would suggest picking the black or silver floater frame due to the chic, contemporary quality it brings to the piece. The frame’s simple, professional look allows for the artwork’s versatility in any interior all the while drawing more attention to the art as opposed to the frame.

Generally, contemporary works look best in a floater frame and classical pieces look better in traditional, ornate frames. But again, it depends on your style and the frame in mind! Mix-matching frames with artwork is always a fun, creative way to add a little more flare to the artwork and your interior!



Glass is the last feature to think about when framing your work, more specifically anything on paper. Typically, glass is used to protect paper media and works that are extremely fragile when in the presence of dust or light. Though this is an added feature, we do suggest considering glass with your frame in order to extend the longevity of your art and enhance its display.


There is a variety of glass to choose from that can help with aspects from conservation to reflection control. Museum Glass, for example, will adequately prevent glare as well as protect the work from UV light. The choice of glass depends on the type of frame and your style preferences as well!



Principle Gallery offers professional advice and framing services at the Alexandria location. We house a wide variety of framing samples and mats that are both affordable and current with artistic trends. Come stop by that gallery anytime with whatever you want framed, and we will be glad to help!



Feel free to stop in the gallery or contact us to make an appointment by clicking this link! And make sure to mark your calendar for the opening of Gavin Glakas‘ Solo Exhibition on Friday, October 14th and his live demonstration the next day!



Face Off IV:Recap

Face Off IV:Recap

For those of you who were unable to make our Face Off exhibition and live demonstration on Saturday, we had a great turnout for both the audience and artwork! Elizabeth Floyd, Cindy Procious, and Mia Bergeron were the participating artists who painted portraits of, artist and friend of the gallery, Tom Mewborn.


Left to right: Mia Bergeron and Tom Mewborn

Before Saturday, the artists were given images of Mewborn to practice proportions and skin tones in advance. Then on the day of the event, each artist prepared their panels for the 3-hour demonstration in their own way. Mia Bergeron, for example, used a view finder and mirror to visualize the dimensions of Mewborn’s profile.


Pictured: Artist, Cindy Procious

After painting an initial layer of paint on the panels, the artists prepared their painting palettes with an assortment of colors. The artists placed the primary colors around the palettes’ edge to have the ability to mix the paint in the center; this technique allowed for an array of colors at the artists’ disposal.

When the event started, each artist made quick linear strokes to create the outline of the model’s face. With the guidelines of his facial features in place, the artists gradually applied paint according to the color variations of his skin and hair then filled in the different spatial planes of his profile. In due time and with great precision, the paintings came to life.


Only having five-minute breaks throughout the duration of the demonstration, the artists’ endurance proved successful, each producing beautiful renditions of Mewborn’s portrait. The ability of a camera’s facial recognition to identify the portraits as a living person is also evidence of each artists’ expertise.


Pictured left to right: Elizabeth Floyd (artist) and Tom Mewborn (model)

If you would like to see more live demonstrations, our next similar event is the day after Gavin Glakas’ solo exhibition on Friday, October 14th. His live painting demonstration will be on Saturday, October 15th. To see our other upcoming events and the works from the Face Off exhibition, please click this link for our homepage!

Face Off Collage draft

The Principle Gallery would also like to thank Tom Mewborn for offering his time for this event as well as Cindy, Mia, and Elizabeth who gave us the opportunity to see their talent in action!

From Gilpin to Gallery: The History of 208 King Street

When the Potomac River’s tide engulfed most of modern day Union Street in the 1790’s, George Gilpin built and owned the building where Principle Gallery currently resides. Having sliced into the nearby cliff, Gilpin used the surrounding clay and stone for the foundation of the 208 King Street location. He would then use this building as a place for daily living and business matters.

Gilpin House Plaque

Apart from being an innovative engineer, Gilpin was also a man of many hats. He was the collector of customs, a member of the Fairfax Committee of Safety, a soldier in the Revolutionary troops with George Washington, and the husband of Martha Washington’s cousin. His connections to leading officials, through business and marriage, elevated his importance within the Alexandrian community to the point where he was later promoted to the town surveyor. In such a position, he was responsible for producing a contemporary map of Alexandria’s shoreline as well as cutting down the bluffs and the grading that eventually provided the landfill off of Lee Street.


While at the 208 King Street address, Gilpin would conduct business concerning the future of Alexandria in the back rooms that still remain to this day. It has also been said that Gilpin would help sell products from George Washington’s Mount Vernon distillery in the building as well.

Brick Room 2015

In more modern times, the King Street location was previously the Gilpin Book Store where many Alexandrians spent their time perusing books and newspapers. After 20 years of business, Gilpin Book Store closed its doors, allowing for Principle Gallery to move from its Cameron Street site onto King Street. To learn more about Principle Gallery’s history and previous location, click this link!

Though little is known about the preceding owners, the Gilpin House still retains its architectural qualities and historic character from when George had first built it. Principle Gallery welcomes you to explore the fascinating history behind the building and, of course, see some beautiful artwork as well!





Rental Space at Principle Gallery


Have you been wanting to plan a special event, but been looking for the perfect location? Do you need a space for a reception or personal/corporate celebration?  Well, Principle Gallery is a gorgeous historic building filled with amazing art and we are more than happy to help you host your special occasion at an affordable cost!

Gallery Floor Plan Full

With the original architecture of a Revolutionary War era townhouse and storefront, your guests will be welcomed into a heartwarming yet sophisticated environment. We offer five gallery rooms for you to host your event with a maximum occupancy of 160 guests. Some of the space’s features include original hardwood floors, a modern pyramid skylight, dimming track and brass candelabra lights. Renters are also welcomed to use a fully-equip kitchenette with electric stove, microwave, and refrigerator.

Click this LINK to take a virtual tour of the gallery!

As for scheduling, the gallery will only be available for evening events, granted another scheduled event is not planned. Our affordable rental rates do vary based upon the day and will include cleaning costs. Caterers, photographers, and bartenders are also permitted within the gallery for the event.

Front of gallery rehearsal dinner

Please contact the gallery for more information. We will be able to provide you a floor plan, rates, space details, and more!