Studio Neptune

Studio Neptune photo
Mark Finkenstaedt for The Washington Post

Editorial Review

Where the Art Is
Area Galleries Find New Homes in Unconventional Spaces

By Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 14, 2008

Like Leigh Conner, gallerist Elyse Harrison of Gallery Neptune also decided to buy after five years of renting in downtown Bethesda. Last month, she and her husband, architect Michael Belisle, unveiled the new art space, on the second floor of a remodeled 1920s building they're calling Peripoint. The refurbished landmark at Wilson Lane and Old Georgetown Road -- its mint-green color a reflection of its environmentally conscious design -- resemble a miniature Flatiron Building, with a striking, wedge-like profile.

The natural-light-filled space, which showcases local artists, won't have to rely solely on art sales either. Harrison, herself a painter, says part of the gallery will double as a studio and classroom for her art students. An Internet-technology firm is also moving into the third floor, even as Harrison and Belisle continue to shop around for a restaurant tenant to take over the ground floor and rooftop terrace.

According to Harrison, once Peripoint is able to feed visitors' hunger for food and drink -- along with art -- she'll have found the kind of synergy that was lacking from her previous locations.