PAUSE Calendar 2015

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NEW! Kids PAUSE Club
Kids are super-busy people or often-bored people so how about a once-a-month club (Third Fridays to be exact) where they are encouraged to take a break and dance, sketch, color, write, and construct? At Studio PAUSE kids get to explore many children books, all sorts of art supplies, music from around the world, and artworks by artists of all kinds—all of which are things artist/educator Sushmita works with here everyday! A perfect “playdate” outside the home so friends and siblings welcome.
$60 for 4 sessions. 1/15, 2/19, 3/18, 4/15. 4:30 pm – 6 pm. All supplies incl. Max 10. Ages 6-12. Register here. Get a 4 PAUSE Card here.

Art PAUSE: Words to Art, New Year Style
Its Words to Art time again, but with a new year’s twist. Come paint, color, write and have fun. Take home the art you create or leave it behind, we don’t care. The idea is to make time to explore art, relax, and have fun—that’s all that matters.
$15/90 mins. Sat. 1/16, 2:00 pm-3:30 pm Studio Pause Ballston. All supplies incl. Register here.

Art PAUSE: Creating Collages with Yosief Habte
At Yosief’s reception on Dec 5, 2015, someone asked him about his process of making the collages. More questions followed so I asked the group how many were interested in learning how he does it. So many hands went up and Yosief smiled! And now here it is—2 sessions of exploration of collage techniques Yosef-style.
$40/2 sessions. Sat. 1/23 and Sat 2/27, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm. All supplies included. Register here. Get your Art PAUSE with Visiting Artist (2 Sessions) here.

Dec 2015
Yellowing the Streets
Grand opening of NEW Studio PAUSE locationRinker Community Center at Gates of Ballston, 4108 4th Street N, Arlington, VA 22203.
Open House & Reception: Sat., Dec 5, 2015, 12 – 2 pm
From Doom to Bloom: Mixed media Artworks by Yosief Habte
Yosief Habte is a multi-talented artist whose varied media provide just as many possibilities of expression. His art has been exhibited in New York even before he set foot in the US 14 months ago. A new resident from Eritrea, he brings cultural flavor and an outlook from a different dimension.

Trained in Addis Ababa art school, Habte never ceased to build on his talent in the span of 20 years. In his more than a dozen solo and group exhibitions, he has been getting positive feedback on his mastery of watercolors, acrylics and collage paintings.

His collage practice started more than a decade ago when he made a post card for a friend. While the three-dimensional feel it brought made it the talking point among friends, it was the recycling part that prompted him to pursue this medium. He regards it as giving a second chance to the papers that are being tossed aside. He reflects on how by changing our perspective we can turn around the doom to a bloom. In his current exhibition he strives to show the wealth in the so called destitute. He says, it is a matter of finding it.

Sat. Dec 19, at Studio PAUSE Ballston. 10:30 am-3:30 pm
Holiday PAUSE: Bookmaking and Art Sale
Drop in to make a book of Peace, Love or Joy to give as a gift. Also, check out beautiful prints and artworks by artist Yosief Habte, handmade journals and storybooks by Sush, prints of photos of Cherry blossoms by Colleen Moore, and more.


Oct 2015
SynPhNe Learning Cycle
Workshop, Sun., Oct 18, 9:30-5 pm
The Brain That Changes Itself… And Changes You! How does a brain remap itself? Can we channel it in the direction we want? Which direction and why?

The world is just beginning to understand that the brain is not the “computer” it was once thought to be. In fact, it is just as much an organism as us—living, breathing, dying—changing itself constantly and changing us in the process. Everyday.

The SynPhNe & Rhythm workshops on self-managed health and happiness by Dr. Subhasis Banerji bring you a fascinating experience of aspects about yourself which, while seeming insignificant, have a long term impact on health, creativity and performance. How? 

Dr. Subhasis Banerji, inventor of SynPhNe, helps train the brain and muscle as ONE system. With over 30 years as a practitioner and teacher of martial arts he uses elements of yoga, karate, and tai chi in training the mind and body, along with robotics. In this day-long experiential workshop go deeper into yourself and your relationship with your brain’s “changingness.”

To register, click here. 

Dr. Subhasish Banerji is the inventor of “SynPhNe” ,  and he founded Synphne Pte Ltd., Singapore, commercializing his invention as the world’s first wearable device that helps train brain and muscle as ONE system. Dr. Banerji is a research fellow at the National University of Singapore, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Department of Paediatrics where he works on human motion analysis, progression of ageing, functional recovery in cerebral palsy, research co-ordination and data analytics. More at

Art to Lunch coverReception, Sat., Oct 24, 6-8 pm
Art to Lunch: Thinking Outside the Bag with Cartoonist Mike Jenkins After a 25 year career as an Editorial Cartoonist, Mike Jenkins left the newspaper business but is still recovering (though he occasionally falls off the wagon). He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife Tish and daughter Maggy and works primarily as a caricaturist. He started his company Capital Artworks to provide caricaturists for events around the DC area as well as custom artwork for corporate, government and private clients.

When his two older children left for college, he started doodling on Maggy’s school lunch bags. When she mentioned one night during dinner that all the kids in cafeteria would run to see her lunch bag every day, they knew they were onto something. Mike’s wife posted the next bag on Facebook, and they were stunned by the positive reaction. That’s when Mike knew the pressure was on, and he was back to facing a daily deadline!

PLUS! Art to Lunch: Thinking Outside the Bag, a Handmade Storybook with 17 of Mike’s Lunch Bag art which will be available for sale at the reception.

Mike’s work can be seen daily on Instagram and Twitter @CapitalArtworks and on his website at
You are invited to WritingPAUSE: 
Try any one of our weekly WritingPAUSE Sessions in Oct! Sign up for Monday, Oct 12, 19, or 26 from 7-8:30 pm and write inspired by the art in the studio. $15. Space limited so buy your PAUSE here.
LLA-FamLegBHMgroupendSat., Oct 31, 11am-2 pm, Alexandria Black History Museum
A Halloween Family Legends Bookmaking Workshop
A taste of pumpkin pie, a glimpse of a ghostly ancestor, the memory of playing in fallen leaves, all possible inspirations for the next Family Legends Bookmaking Workshop led by Sushmita Mazumdar.  Children and their adult family members are invited to share their stories with each other and make them into Family Legend storybooksReservations for this popular program are required. For more information, contact the Museum at 703/746-4356.

Sept 2015

2 Years of pause

Designing and editing We PAUSED!, a little book full of the awesome stuff that goes on at Studio PAUSE.

Sat., Sept 19, 6-8 pm
Celebrating 2 Years of PAUSE! Come join us in celebrating the many ways in which the community enjoyed PAUSE at Studio PAUSE’s second year anniversary party. There will be art and writing on display by many who have visited—from an 8th grader who is into K-Pop to a 90 year-old retired librarian. From a stay-at-home mom to a travel agent. From a writer who tried her hand at art to an art professor who has just discovered writing.

I have also compiled We PAUSED, a little book full of a ton of ideas and inspiration from all the things we have enjoyed and done at the Studio. Just reading it you will feel like you are here, at Studio PAUSE, with us! We PAUSED will be for sale ($15) at the party and there will also be other artwork for sale. Yes, it is a fundraiser for a very special reason which will be revealed on Saturday—a real celebration of 2 Years! See you there!!! 

Aug 2015

FREEING! logo 1FREEING! An Artist’s Book by Sushmita Mazumdar:
Sushmita has received an Spotlight Grant from the Arlington Arts Commission for FY2016. Her project will be a book of stories about language access or inaccess converted into drawings. She will then bind these into a unique book which has no right-side up or upside-down and which you don’t need any language to read and enjoy. For more, click here.

There will be many workshops and events related to the project so stay tuned. You will get a chance to make the art for your own book pages and bind them as well.

Kick-off Event for FREEING!, Sat Aug 22, 6-8 pm
Community PAUSE with writer Kim O’Connell
KO-mediumWe kick-off this project with Arlington writer Kim O’Connell, reading her essay about her missed opportunity to learn her mother’s native language of Vietnamese, and how not understanding it sometimes creates a divide between them. And yet, even as O’Connell attempts to learn some phrases, they find other ways to connect—through a children’s song and cooking spring rolls together.

The reading will be accompanied by a display of versions of a treasured photo of Kim as a young child with her mother representing stages in their relationship, and the words of the Vietnamese song they sang.

With more than 22 years of publishing experience, Kim’s writings have appeared in Ladies Home Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, National Parks,, Civil War Times, and American History, among others. She is also involved in preserving and commemorating the settlement of Vietnamese refugees in Arlington after the end of the Vietnam War, when Clarendon was known as “Little Saigon.” More at
More about Kim at

Workshop, Sat, Aug 8, 12:30-2 pm
Cecilia & Vera’s Vase: A Writing and Art Workshop
write and draw
Some years ago Cecilia was buying other people’s junk and came across a vase at an estate sale. She doesn’t know why she bought it but she did. And then one day she found the name Vera carved under it – presumably the maker of the vase. Since then she’s wondered about “Vera”? Who was she? What did she look like? Why/how did she make the vase? What is/was Vera’s story?

At a recent writer’s retreat Cecilia attended writers had to find an object and write about it. In this fun PAUSE Session you will write and sketch and be inspired by one object – “Vera’s Vase”. The session explores how an object can loosen up writing and help find the story – and also how art can do that too.

Max 8. Fee $20. Email me to register.

July 2015

Reception, Sat, July 11, 6-8 pm

Emily Kayser, gelatin silver print

Hay Rake, Loudoun Co., by Emily Kayser, gelatin silver print

Places and People and People and Places: Black and White Photos by the Positive Printers. 

The people in the group Positive Printers have all taken an Adult Education class in black and white film photography at the Arlington Career Center. The class has been taught for almost forty years. The Career Center has one of the two public darkrooms left in the county. These photos were taken with film cameras, hand developed with chemicals in canisters, and finally created with enlargers in a darkroom. The universal components for creating a good photograph and the skills for using a film camera have been achieved by these photographers. They also have accomplished the fine discipline of printing the pictures while using an enlarger and filters. The richness of tones we believe can only be achieved in the darkroom. The fine art of black and white photography lives.

June 2015

Sun, June 14, 4-6 pm
Inside/Outside: An Afternoon with Artist Sharmila Karamchandani and Author Jameela Alter. You are invited to an afternoon full of stories from around the world told through art and words by a local artist and a local author. Join them as they explore the worlds inside and the world outside, which we are constantly trying to fit in.

Kathak MotionThe Dancer Within: Artworks by Sharmila Karamchandani

Sharmila Karamchandani is an Indian-born artist and graphic designer with a passion for working in arts education and community non-profits. A full-time professor of graphic design at The Art Institute of Washington—Dulles; Sharmila also works for a local non-profit Empowered Women International. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, jewelry making, mixed-media collages, photography, calligraphy and henna painting. She aims to one-day have her own art school.

“I consider myself to be free spirited and carefree with the soul of a gypsy. A global woman, I have love for all art forms, styles, and media.  I am deeply moved by different forms of art and different people and love dancing. I wanted to be a dancer when I was young but couldn’t pursue it as my family didn’t approve. But my soul didn’t stop singing and dancing—it found an outlet in painting.  My dance series has been an exploration of motion, movement, form, grace, and understanding the dance within.” To contact Sharmila e-mail her at


Hailing from cultures that are worlds apart, Jameela Alter intertwines the lives of four young adults, all of whom are Barwalas (Outsiders): Omar, from Afghanistan, is the victim of fanatical brainwashing… Farida, a staunch Muslim, grows up in London but can’t wait to leave ‘hateful England’… Joy lives in the United States with her reclusive father… and Goonga chooses to hide behind a world of self-imposed silence in an orphanage in India.

Jameela Alter deftly moves from one country to another, from dystopian to utopian worlds, in a soulful, uniquely woven novel of love, heartbreak, and hope, of good and evil that is creatively, and sometimes humorously, tinged with the essence of the times we live in. Her soulful writing reflects her multicultural upbringing and life experiences based on living in India, England, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and the USA.

“In this beautifully written book about being different, one can’t help but root for the characters who love, lose love, but still find peace after life happens.   Where it is raw at times, it is also revealing about how fragile we all can be – especially young adults – in our quest for unconditional love and acceptance and how religious differences can tear families and worlds apart.” — Michelle Singletary, author and Nationally Syndicated Personal Finance Columnist, The Washington Post

Jameela’s book is available on Amazon and she will have copies for sale at the event as well.

May 2015

SUSH_travel journal1Off-Site Workshops for Kids:
ImaginAsia: My Travel Storybook
When: Sat., May 23, Sun. May 24, Sat. May 30, and Sun. May 31Time: 1-4 pm Where: ImaginAsia classroom, Sackler Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, join the staff of the Freer|Sackler and Sushmita Mazumdar, lead artist of Studio Pause, for a bookmaking workshop which allows children to play with maps, papers, paintings, and photos. Even stories and poems! Start with a guided tour of the exhibit The Traveler’s Eye: Scenes of Asia, and then share your stories of travel and heritage to create a handmade book. Pick a session and sign up soon! Space is limited!

April 2015

EWI Fundraiser, Apr 17-19
PAUSErs for a CAUSE 2015: Raising an EWI Scholarship!


There would be no Studio PAUSE if it were not for Empowered Women International! EWI gave me the training, courage and confidence to launch Studio PAUSE. Now, to express my gratitude and appreciation I’m pleased to be able to co-sponsor a fundraiser to support their great work.

EWI is an Alexandria-based non-profit that creates social empowerment and economic opportunity for immigrant, refugee and American-born women in the metro D.C. area. I attended entrepreneurship training there in 2008. Studio Pause will help EWI get a jump on its April 22 Spring2ACTion Day fundraiser, by holding Pausers for a Cause the weekend before, Apr 17 – Apr 19.

The money we raise will be a scholarship for a woman who cannot afford to pay for EWI’s three month long training program, Entrepreneurship Training for Success. It is the least I can do to help someone realize their dream and see their business idea become real.

Come in for any of the Studio fundraisers, have fun, try something creative, and meet people who have tried it and enjoy Studio PAUSE, like in the photo (above) from last year’s fundraiser.

Donate online now to book your spot! And thank you.

Reception, Sat., April 4, 6-8 pm

Paper/Letter/Image: Artwork by Paige Billin-Frye







“I am an artist living in Washington, DC, working as an illustrator for children’s publishing and making fine art that incorporates cut paper, bookmaking and lettering art. I am always exploring how to work with new materials and enjoy the cross-pollination of different ideas and techniques, jumping between digital art and materials I can touch with my hands. My work tends toward the whimsical and reflects what I see around me as I observe way that people, plants and the city – all the things that grow – come together to make the community around me.”

Paige is a member of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington and The Washington Calligrapher’s Guild. She works in a studio over a hardware store in Takoma Park, MD, and has recently learned paper-making at the Art League, Alexandria. “It’s all about where we’ve come from and where we’re heading,” Paige says.

University of Salisbury, MD., Sat., April 11
2015 Children’s and Young Adult Literature Festival

















Join me at the University of Salisbury, MD., where I will present on Multicultural Storytelling and, as usual, share some ways to make books which encourage children and families to share their stories and learn about others’. More…

April 17-19
The Blossom Walk and the PoeTree is Back!

Last year, at the request of a first-grade teacher from Oakridge Elementary school, I designed a field trip where children could walk from their school to my Studio while observing all the changes that spring brings. They write a haiku or other poem celebrating their observations on a slip of Asian paper, read them aloud, and hang them up on The PoeTree, a leafless broken branch we “planted” in a pot. The PoeTree comes to life with the children’s art and poems, celebrating April—which is National Poetry Month—much like how poem slips enliven cherry blossom trees in many Japanese screens I have seen in museums.

This year, 115 students will visit along with parents and teachers, and the PoeTree will be on view at the Studio April 17-19 so do drop by and enjoy some art in the community. To see pictures from last year click here, and click here to see pictures of the PoeTree when it visited Oakridge.


Feb 2015

Freer & Sackler Galleries of Art, Washington DC, Sat, February 21, 2015, 11 am–4 pm
year of the SheepLunar New Year Celebration!
Celebrate the Lunar New Year with a day full of festivities hosted by the Freer|Sackler and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. Explore the many countries in Asia that celebrate the holiday through family-friendly tours, hands-on activities, cooking demonstrations, and illustrated book readings. Join Sushmita at the ImaginAsia classroom to make pop-up Year of the Sheep cards to give friends and family. More…

Reception, Sat., Feb. 28, 6-8 pm
Whale in BerlinWhales in Berlin, Flying Guinea Pigs, etc.: Oil Paintings by Saurabh Naithani
Saurabh is a DC-based emerging artist. His artwork is inspired by Japanese anime and prints, poster art, and Tintin, among other visuals. He uses oil paint to create ‘quirky’ artworks, infusing humor, lightness and imagination into landscapes and themes. The paintings he creates are strictly by commission at present – through a process of discussions with the recipients on themes and colors that they want, love, and can relate to. His paintings can be found in South Sudan, Germany, Italy, Canada, and across the United States. His work can be viewed online at:
Saurabh is also an International Development professional and his work has taken him to Afghanistan, Sudan and South Sudan.

Registration Open! Dates: April 6-10, Ages: 8-12.
My Storybook, Your Storybook: Spring Break Camp at Glen Echo Park, MD
Explore innovative book formats, using colorful handmade papers, black ink, and all kinds of materials to make storybooks like I do, complete with my story in them. Then, write your own story to put in another similar book you create. Start each day learning bookmaking techniques, exploring materials, and end the day sharing your stories. Take home 2 books everyday-one created by me and assembled by you, and the other, inspired by mine but created by you! Details here.

January 2015

Hometown PAReception, Sat., Jan. 24, 6-8 pm
The first Studio PAUSE Members’ group show, Hometown is about memories and experiences, nostalgia and history, connections old and new. And as Studio PAUSE members are everyday folk exploring their creativity, what will the word mean to the writers and artists, hairdressers and travel agents, researchers and band moms?

Read our new blog post, Hometown: Columbia, Maryland, by Studio member Kori Johnson, where she shares her story with us.

The painting on the Studio Facebook page cover photo is by Studio member Vanessa Vo. (While you are there Like us please!) What do dandelions and weeds have to do with her story of growing up in Annandale, VA?

Come, find out! Guests respond to the works as well making it an evening of sharing and learning. And celebrating the creativity in the community.

Free. Light refreshments will be served.

NEW Date! Exploration Series Workshop: Fri., Jan 30, 7-9 pm
Mapping Our Way Home
The first workshop of our new Exploration Series, Mapping Our Way Home is a 2-hour exploration of “Home” through art, writing, and quick and simple book-making with writing instructor and editor Nina Sichel, and book artist and owner of Studio PAUSE, Sushmita Mazumdar.
$20. Max 10. Email to register. 

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