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This Weekend: Westminster Playground Art Exhibition
|| 10/15/2009 || 2:21 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Westminster Playground Art Exhibition

Sunday, October 18th, 2009, Noon until Sundown
913 Westminster Street NW, Washington, DC

You are invited to a special outdoor art exhibition at the Westminster Street playground. Neighborhood artists Chuck Baxter, George Smith-Shomari, and Nikolas Schiller, who all live on Westminster Street, will have their artwork display throughout the afternoon.

Crowned by the vibrantly-colored, 3 story mural titled “Community” by local artist Anne Marchand, the Westminster Playground is urban oasis that brings neighbors together and helps foster the mural’s namesake, community. The playground exhibition is free and open to everyone, is wheelchair accessible, and only two blocks from the U Street Metro station (10 Street exit). Since this exhibition is weather sensitive, please check Nikolas’s website, https://www.nikolasschiller.com/blog/ before noon o n October 18th if the weather looks bad. We hope to see you!

The Westminster Playground is located on the Northeast side of Westminster Street, a one block street between 9th & 10th and S & T Streets, NW, Washington, DC, 20001.



About The Artists:

Chuck Baxter creates found object art from materials tossed in DC’ s gutters and alleys. For the past decade Chuck has built a reputation, in his own mind, as the D.C. area’s foremost collector of gutter gifts. He’s a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs bureaucrat, a DC artist, and minimal director of his own life. Few of Chuck’s pieces hang in DC business and government offices, and in the homes of art collectors and friends around the world. “I have always felt the pull of throw-aways, and sought to invoke the world of junk as the natural medium for the urban artist.” His fascination with the flotsam of city life and the details of trash, such as broken glass, smashed plastic, crumpled paper, and lost toys, is the starting point for most of his pieces. The underlying compositional theme of his work draw from the common shapes and forms found in the gutter. Chuck currently resides in the Shaw where he simmers in his own private studio.

Member of MidCity Artists visit: https://www.MidCityArtists.com


George Smith-Shomari is an artist, professor and artistic consultant who’s artwork focuses on the Universal African Diaspora. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Professor Smith received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Howard University and his Master’s with a specialization in printmaking and art education from Pratt Institute. In addition to teaching at the University of the District of Columbia, George Smith has taught in the DC Public School System and several museums in New York City. The artistic works of George H. Smith, have appeared in numerous one man and group exhibitions in museums, galleries, schools, colleges and universities throughout the United States and abroad.

For more information visit: https://www.shomariarts.com


Nikolas Schiller is a digital artist who maps the territory between art & science. After studying geography & computer science at the George Washington University, in 2004 he began developing abstract geographic designs based on kaleidoscopic aerial photography and satellite imagery. In the years since, he has mapped nearly every major city in the United States, including each ward of Washington, DC. His unique maps have been featured on book covers, album covers, and are in the permanent map collections of the Library of Congress, British Library, New York Public Library, and the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the two-time recipient of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Young Artist Program Grant (2006 & 2008) and most recently had his artwork on display at Artomatic 2009 in Washington, DC and “Photocartopgrahies: the Tattered Fragments of the Map” in Los Angeles.

For more information visit: https://www.NikolasSchiller.com



We hope to see you!

(…and the weather is nice!)



Timelapse YouTube Video of the Crowd at FiestaDC
|| 9/29/2009 || 4:48 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

On Sunday afternoon I filmed this timelapse video of the crowd of people at FiestaDC walking down Mount Pleasant Street in Northwest, Washington, DC. My good friend has an apartment right above the street which made for some awesome people watching (I think I called it “people watching caviar”). This elevated perspective allowed me to capture this unique footage of the festival participants. The audio in the video is from a separate recording of the same location played at normal speed. I did this to capture the sound of the festival without having to resort to some cheesy music playing over the timelapse video. As for the opening title sequence, I decided to play around with the fonts of the title for 15 frames each. I don’t really know why I did that except to add some random flair to the footage.



Map of Westminster Street NW in Washington, DC from 1921
|| 9/27/2009 || 4:46 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Last year I published Then & Now Birds-Eye Views of the Westminster Neighborhood in Washington, DC [1884 & 2005] and earlier today I came across some new maps of the street I’ve lived on for the last 5 years. This map comes from the 1921 edition of Baist’s real estate atlas of surveys of Washington, District of Columbia. It shows the neighborhood pretty much as it is today except for the neighborhood playground that currently sits where houses 193-196 used to be and some of the stables & garages people had constructed in their backyards have been removed.

Below is the citation from the Library of Congress entry:

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Alfa Omega Tax Services….. a Change in Your Finances
|| 9/20/2009 || 10:55 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Following up yesterday’s entry about having my name in Greek, I came across this photo I took a couple weeks ago in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood of Washington, DC. I took it because, well, umm, I like the way the sign looks chiseled, old, and how the creator used the Greek letter DELTA instead of ALPHA (err, Alfa) in their spelling. Thus the sign should read, Delta & Omega Tax Services— I guess they are not about the beginning and ending of fiscal matters, but the change thereof.



Photos from the Metropolis Now! closing party at the Meridian International Center
|| 9/10/2009 || 11:54 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Earlier this evening I had the opportunity to attend the Pink Line Project-sponsored closing party for the exhibition “Metropolis Now!” at the Meridian International Center. I was on hand to help my friend Robin setup for his special VJ set and had an overall great time.

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Banner at Amsterdam Falafel in Adams Morgan: “Care About Your Citizens / Healthcare For All, Now!”
|| 9/8/2009 || 2:01 am || + Render A Comment || ||

Banner at Amsterdam Falafel in Adams Morgan: Care About Your Citizens / Healthcare For All, Now!

I like it when business owners use their businesses to advance their beliefs. You don’t agree with the owner? You can just take your business elsewhere.



YouTube Video of an Arrest Last Night Outside of the 7-11 at 12th & U Street, NW, DC
|| 8/31/2009 || 5:33 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Last night I had just finished playing movies at Restaurant Marvin and was heading home on my bicycle. I decided to get a snack before I arrived home and the only place open at that time was the nearby 7-11. As I arrived at the corner of 12th & U street, I saw the two men struggling on the ground, with one man in a headlock, and the 7-11 employee had just rushed back into the store. Right after I dismounted my bicycle, I could hear the police sirens approaching, so I pulled out my camera and began filming the moment they arrived. While I was recording, I was also trying to lock my bicycle to the pole, so there are a few times when I accidentally placed my finger over the microphone and/or the camera hits the pole itself. After I lock my bike up, and it looked as though the police had the area under control, I made my way inside and stopped recording. When I left the store I started recording again and made my way back over to where my bicycle was locked. This time I placed the camera on the ground below the pole while I unlocked my bicycle, and a few moments later I picked up the camera and rode home.

Being that I arrived at the scene after the two men had already begun struggling, I cannot remark on the nature of what happened before I got there. I’m am happy that no one was shot or killed and the police did not appear to use excessive force when detaining the man. I will update this entry if & when I find the police report.



Google FINALLY updates the imagery of Washington, DC and now you can kinda see the message on my rooftop
|| 1/21/2009 || 4:30 pm || Comments Off on Google FINALLY updates the imagery of Washington, DC and now you can kinda see the message on my rooftop || ||

Back in July of 2007 I found that Google was censoring the imagery of downtown Washington, DC. This discovery lead to an article that was featured on the front page of the Metro section of the Washington Post. In the time since, Google has not updated the imagery, even after the release of Street View for Washington, DC.

The other day they finally decided to update the imagery of Washington, DC. I believe they did this because there were millions of people coming to Washington for the inauguration and they would have been showing them outdated imagery on their maps. Now that the imagery has been updated, you can almost see the message on my rooftop that I installed in the summer of 2006. Since the imagery has a somewhat low spatial resolution, its slightly difficult to make out the words “No War,” and it kinda looks like “No W@R.” Below is the photograph that appeared on the front page of the Style Section of the Washington Post in March of 2007 which shows me standing next to the now-visible rooftop sign.


“The mapmaker on his Washington roof with a message that he hopes will someday be reflected in both government aerial photography and the art he creates from that imagery.” (Photo by Michael Williamson — The Washington Post)


Time-lapse photograph of Mercury, Jupiter, and an airplane taking off
|| 1/1/2009 || 6:40 pm || Comments Off on Time-lapse photograph of Mercury, Jupiter, and an airplane taking off || ||

6 second time-lapse photograph of Mercury (left), Jupiter (right), and an airplane taking off (top)

This evening marks the first time I’ve seen the planet Mercury in night sky. What makes this extra beautiful is Mercury, the smallest planet in the solar system, was next to Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. I have now have seen all of wandering stars known to the ancients.

Below I decided to digitally zoom in as far as I could and see what the time-lapse photograph would look like:

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Meridian Hill Park Hexagon Tessellation
|| 8/2/2008 || 1:59 pm || Comments Off on Meridian Hill Park Hexagon Tessellation || ||

: saved at 15,000 X 10,000 :

This is the first time I’ve made a tessellation using hexagon as the basis for the pattern. Normally, I simply use a square because its the easiest to tessellate. The last map I made using Photoshop was Clayton Quilt #3, which was constructed using one square tile six times and did not exhibit radial symmetry like most of my other Qulit projection maps.

This time around I used center portion of the source tile that I used for Meridian Hill Park Quilt #4 and to switch things up a bit, I cut out a perfect hexagon from the the tile instead of using the tile’s square shape as basis for the tessellation. With one hexagon cut out, I merely duplicated it and moved it around to create the irregular tiling above. The difficulty was that I had to adjust the hexagon tiles so that they were not overlapping. It wasn’t that difficult per se, but it took awhile to get them all lined up perfectly. I am quite pleased with the result and figure that I will use this process again sometime in the not-so-distance future.

View the Google Map of Meridian Hill Park in Washington, DC.

: detail :

View the rest of the map’s close-up details:

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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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  • thank you,
    come again!