Creative List: Artists Abound at Arena

by Editorial

We honor our annual creative issue with some of Washington D.C.’s brightest creative minds, shot on location at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, D.C.

Washington Life gathered a vanguard of local arts innovators at the newly renovated Arena Stage for a special photo shoot in honor of our annual creative issue. All of the participants were asked to bring a “totem” that inspires them. We wanted to represent many different avenues of artistry and those participating are prominent in fields ranging from the fine arts and dance to music and fashion design. Many are active in more than one area; all are wonderful examples of the true meaning of the word “creative.”

Photographer: Douglas Sonders, Douglas Sonders Photography
Stylists: Kristin Lyle, Margaret Lilly, Robin Jones and Elizabeth Gibbens; all with Style for Hire
Style Coordinator: Rachel Strisik, Style for Hire
Videographers: Nick Cambata and Zach Jopling, 8112 Studios
Hair Stylist: Adem Vural, Toka Salon
Makeup : Silvia Piriz, Toka Salon
Shoot Assistants: Joseph Cereghino, Erin Coulehan, Roshan Farazad, Lindsay Rice and Jonathan Thorpe


Left to right: C. BRIAN WILLIAMS, FOUNDER STEP AFRIKA! TOTEM: a calabash given as a gift to Step Afrika! during its 15th anniversary. MARK GILLESPIE, DIRECTOR YOA ORCHESTRA OF THE AMERICAS. TOTEM: “Diccionario de la Musica,” an encyclopedia of music by Joaquin Peña published in Cartagena, Colombia. DONALD SYRIANI, DJ. TOTEM: DJ headphones

ON BRIAN: JOHN VARVATOS shoes ($298); Bloomingdales, Black leather bag ($275); Diamantina.  Silver black studded cuff ($45); Charm, ON MARK: LEVI’S belt ($65); Bloomingdales, RAG AND BONE black vest ($225); Barney’s Co-Op, STEVEN ALLEN gray and black hat ($125); Lost Boys DC, COLE HAAN black leather boots ($248); Bloomingdales, ON DONALD: dressed entirely in his own clothing.


Left to right:  Peter Chang CO-FOUNDER, NO KINGS COLLECTIVE. TOTEM: No Kings Collective framed logo. Brandon Hill CO-FOUNDER, NO KINGS COLLECTIVE. TOTEM: No Kings Collective framed logo. Francisco Esteban CO-FOUNDER, NO KINGS COLLECTIVE. TOTEM: Mannequin head. Billy Colbert, ARTIST. TOTEM: Vintage bag he rescued from the trash bin of a local home that was being gutted. Aleid Ford, ART HISTORIAN ART BLOGGER. TOTEM: Beat-up Converse sneakers.

ON PETER: ORMOND NYC black bow tie ($25); Barney’s Co-Op, CALVIN KLEIN full zip sweater ($69.50); Lord & Taylor, ON BRANDON: PAUL SMITH black and white striped button up ($265); Barney’s Co-Op, ON FRANCISCO: Leather jacket ($850); Barney’s Co-Op, ON BILLY: THOM BROWNE patch pocket wool tweed blazer ($1080); Barney’s Co-Op, ON ALEID: KATE SPADE Peek-A-Boo black bow shoes ($325), snake cuff ($60), silver circle bracelet ($42), black pearl bracelet ($42); Sassanova, UESA GOODS VINTAGE white jeweled gloves ($22); Uesa Goods Vintage, KENNETH J. LANE Pewter jewel cuff ($80), diamond cuff ($60), leaf diamond cuff ($50) and hanging leaf earrings ($110); Charm,


Left to right: Adrian Loving,  DJ AND ARTIST. TOTEM: Pioneer CDJ 1000 Deck. Nick Cambata, FILM DIRECTOR AND CO-FOUNDER OF 8112 STUDIOS. TOTEM: Beta iPhone 5. Sarah Newman, CURATOR OF CONTEMPORARY ART CORCORAN GALLERY OF ART. TOTEM: “Praise” (1976), an Agnes Martin rubber stamp print.

ON ADRIAN: PAUL LEINBURD fur hat ($82): Lord & Taylor, White v-neck shirt ($35); Barney’s Co-op, www.barney’ KENNETH J. LANE silver chain necklace ($104); Charm, ON NICK: RAG AND BONE black and khaki checkered tie ($90); Barney’s Co-Op, ON SARAH: WINTER KATE black bustier ($195), PLASTIC ISLAND black jacket ($189); Urban Chic, Rose necklace ($120); Sassanova, BETTYE MULLER black and white pumps ($345); Simply Soles,



ON BETSY: Black dotted fascinator ($30); Uesa Goods Vintage, B. COUTURE black and silver studded cuff ($415); Charm,  ON MATT: Dark gray pants ($178), FIORENTI + BAKER loafers ($420) and RAG & BONE vest ($255); Barney’s Co-Op, Black woven belt ($85), destroyed leather messenger bag ($300); Diamantina, 202-642-3548. ON CINDY: long black suede gloves ($15); Uesa Goods Vintage, NORA FISCHER DESIGNS pearl necklaces ($285), pearl bracelets ($190), earrings ($95); Nora Fischer Designs, KELSI DAGGER Linzi pumps ($121); Simply Soles, HOSS black hat ($172); Sassanova, ON ANDILE: CREATIVE RECREATION black and gray high top sneakers ($95); Barney’s Co-Op, SHIPLEY & HALMOS black suit ($550); Shipley & Halmos, Studded leather cuffs ($45 and $35); Charm, Woven belt ($65); Diamantina, 202-642-3548. Black and gray printed scarf ($125); Jan’s Casually Chic, 202-625-5112.


Left to right:  Molly Smith ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, ARENA STAGE. TOTEM: Kachina mask. Janet Snyder CO-FOUNDER, PAWLING PRINT STUDIO. TOTEM: Cloisonné dish from her grandmother Trisha Snyder. CO-FOUNDER, PAWLING PRINT STUDIO. TOTEM: Lead holder from her grandfather.

ON MOLLY: Black ruffle scarf ($195); Jan’s Casually Chic, 202-625-5112. TORY BURCH velvet detailed pumps with rhinestones ($350); Sassanova, Black ball tiered necklace ($40); Charm,  NORA FISCHER DESIGNS silver, pearl and black-crystal drop earrings ($85); Nora Fischer Designs, Treated leather and suede satchel in gray ($300); Diamantina, 202-642-3548. ON TRISHA: BCBG BY MAX AZRIA lacy ruffle dress ($238); BCBG by Max Azria, LIZA KIM chain necklace with pendant ($45); Simply Divine Boutique, ON JANET: BCBG BY MAX AZRIA snake print liquid leggings ($118); BCBG by Max Azria, Fur vest ($250); Barney’s Co-op; STEVEN ALLEN gray tie ($65); Lost Boys DC, LIZA KIM chunky charm necklace ($120); Simply Divine Boutique,


Left to right: DJ Neekola, DJ. TOTEM: Photograph of her mother when she was in her twenties. Maggie O’Neill, ARTIST. TOTEM: Maggie’s own painting of the National Catehdral in the fall. Dorothy Kosinski, DIRECTOR, THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION. TOTEM: Empty gold painted wood picture frame. Tim Conlon, GRAFFITI ARTIST. TOTEM: Rare can of Krylon Hot Raspberry spray paint.

ON DJ NEEKOLA: BETSEY JOHNSON dot net top ($68), crochet ruffled tiered skirt ($228), sexy net tights ($25); Betsey Johnson, ON MAGGIE: White fur hat with vinyl bill ($55); Uesa Goods Vintage, SIBILIA thick titanium cuff ($150); Charm, ON DOROTHY: BETTYE MULLER close toed strap stilettos ($348); Simply Divine Boutique, Monumental stone ring ($50); Charm, NORA FISCHER DESIGNS chunky silver bracelet ($275), silver necklace with pearl accents ($400); Nora Fischer Designs, Black trench coat ($279) and black and silver oval earrings ($60); Uesa Goods Vintage, Cream leather clutch ($300); Diamantine, 202-642-3548.  ON TIM: FRENCH CONNECTION black and white checkered button down shirt ($70); Lord and Taylor, RAG AND BONE black fitted blazer ($595) and MIRACLE ICONS three pendant necklace ($225); Barney’s Co-Op,


Left to right: Doug Sonders, PHOTOGRAPHER.TOTEM: Twin reflex camera inherited from his uncle, Michael Sonders, a nature Photographer. Beatrice Gralton, ASSISTANT CURATOR OF CONTEMPORARY ART CORCORAN GALLERY OF ART.TOTEM: Red beaded loveheart brooch bought at LACMA on her first U.S. visit in 2004. Nicole Aguirre, EIC OF WORN MAGAZINE. TOTEM: Vespa Helmet. Adam De Boer, PAINTER. TOTEM: Skateboard made in 2002 by Lekker Skateboards, a company he founded while in high school.

ON DOUG: Dressed entirely in his own clothing. ON BEATRICE: VINCE silver sequin sweater ($695); Barney’s Co-Op, COCLICO black suede frill shoes ($375); Simply Soles, ON NICOLE: Black leather studded belt ($120); Diamantine.  LINEA PELLE leather cuff ($60); Charm, MAGASCHONI black cashmere sweater ($268): Bloomingdales, ON ADAM: BEN SHERMAN t-shirt ($29), BLACK BROWN 1826 plaid scarf ($44); Lord & Taylor, Black corduroy jacket ($295); Barney’s Co-op,

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