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When he’s not teaching painting as an adjunct professor at the Corcoran School, artist and Corcoran School of Art + Design alumnus Jeff Huntington is trying to expand the street art scene in Annapolis, Md, where he resides.

His latest piece, a public mural entitled “Agony and Ecstasy Live Together in Perfect Harmony” has attracted praise from Annapolis residents and criticism from those who feel it interferes with the city’s historic vibe.

We spoke to Huntington about the story behind his work and his time at the Corcoran School of Art + Design. His responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Hatchet: This mural you painted has been gaining quite a bit of attention recently. What is the meaning and inspiration behind it? 

Huntington: It’s an image I’ve been playing with a little bit. The image is made up of two portraits: a black and white portrait superimposed with a color portrait. The black and white portrait is an image of a film still of an injured nurse from the 1925 Sergei Eisenstein Film “Battleship Potemkin” and for me that has always signified pain and suffering. And the other image I put on top of it is a Buddha which has always signified peace overcoming, bliss, happiness, nirvana and so forth. It’s just a yin and yang thing, something that I think extends to all religions and all people and all living things. That’s what that is. If there’s any message from me, that’s what the message is behind that piece.

Hatchet: You painted the mural on the side of a restaurant. Why did you choose this particular location to display your piece? 

Huntington: For a while now I’ve been wanting to figure out a way to introduce more public art in Annapolis because there’s a huge presence of very talented visual artists and musicians, but they have no voice because of the rules that a very small minority of the Historic Preservation Commission Enact. I would never want to paint on historic structures at all so I look for places where art would fit in really well and I think that the historic nature and contemporary art by local artists can co-exist really well here as it does everywhere else in the world. [Tsunami] knew that this is what I do so they were given a citation to paint the building because of peeling paint.

Hatchet: What are some of the responses to the mural that have stood out to you the most? 

Huntington: Overwhelmingly positive responses for sure. Thousands of people versus one or two negative responses. But the negative responses that stand out the most were on the Capital Gazette paper, they’re online comments. There were two comments I found following two different articles that said I am disrespecting nurses and that nurses have a hard enough time as it is and that they’re the only ones that will take care of drug dealers and gangbangers. And that my art is nothing but hipster trash. So I thought that was interesting. They don’t know me, I don’t know who they are but both of my parents were nurses. So it’s just an interesting response to me because people are willing to go out there and post things and say things without any information. I’m pretty sensitive and I probably would have been in tears if I read that, had there not been an overwhelmingly positive response.

Hatchet: You attended the Corcoran School of Art + Design and graduated in 1995. What drew you to Corcoran? 

Huntington: I grew up just being an artist because my older brothers were artists, my father was an artist, my grandmother and grandfather were artists so when I came into the world I thought this is what I was supposed to do. When I was 15, I stole a car with my best friend and we stole his parents’ car and we ran away to Florida. I had a hard time learning, and reading and studying in school and when it came time to go to high school, I freaked out. So I left and I learned how to hustle and eventually I started following the Grateful Dead around the country and I started using art, making tie dyes and things, among other illegal hustles, to make a living. I passed my GED test and I got so excited about that I thought, ‘I could go to college with this thing and I didn’t even go to high school.’ So I proceeded to do that but the only thing that made sense to me was art school and the Corcoran was pretty close by.  I thought an art school were masters already so I could get better by making 300 paintings the year before I entered art school. I wanted to make 300 paintings in one year and I did. They asked for 20 slides and I sent them 60. I guess I overwhelmed them and they were like, ‘Sure, you can go here.’

Hatchet: You became an adjunct professor to teach painting in 2013. What made you come back? 

Huntington: I never set out to be a teacher but I got a call from them in 2012 and they asked me if I would come and teach and I had a panic attack. The following year, we sorted it out and I started coming in and teaching and it worked out really well. I started teaching a class called advanced teaching special topics, but since I’m an adjunct and GW doesn’t know who I am, they decided to give my class away to a full-time GW professor and the only thing they’re allowed to offer me now to teach is beginning painting. So they hired me and allowed me to sort of teach in the only way I know how, which is basically share my experiences. But now I have to learn how to teach by-the-book and teach structure, which I think will be good for me and help me learn to be a better teacher.

Hatchet: What are some projects you’ve got planned for the future? 

Huntington: I am going to Brazil next month to create a show down in Sao Paolo. And then I’ll do a mural project while I’m there as well with some local artists from Sao Paolo who we brought up to Annapolis last year to do a mural project. And in September, they’re going come back up here and continue doing murals here in Annapolis.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015 2:19 p.m.

Tweeting trumps everything for @Donald_4_GW

To get to know the anonymous student behind @Donald_4_GW, the parody Twitter account for presidential candidate and real estate mogul Donald Trump, we simply tweeted.

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For lunch this weekend, forget the pricey food trucks on H Street and sample free Olive Garden grub from its Breadstick Nation food truck.

The chain, known for its endless portions of garlic-slathered breadsticks, will serve its new chicken parmigiana and Italian meatball sandwiches on the National Mall on Thursday and in Farragut Square from noon until 5 p.m. on Friday. Over the weekend, the Breadstick Nation food truck will park its carbo-load at the Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle on Pennsylvania Avenue between 9th and 14th streets.

Of course, the new sandwiches will be served between sliced breadsticks.

For the $12 entry fee, attendees of the 23rd annual Barbecue Battle can sample food from D.C. eateries and watch teams of barbecue connoisseurs compete for a $40,000 prize. An Amstel Light beer garden, wine tastings and the world’s largest grill are also part of the two-day festival.

Besides the food truck shtick, Olive Garden is also looking into take-out options at select locations. Should you miss the Breadstick Nation truck, the closest spots to campus are in Falls Church, Va. and Hyattsville, Md.

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Friday, June 12, 2015 11:56 a.m.

Party all day at the D.C. Pride Festival

It’s time to dig up your rainbow attire and beaded necklaces — the D.C. Pride Festival is back on Saturday.

This year, the 40th annual celebration  which brings together students, politicians and everyone in between to celebrate LGBT pride — will feature your favorite guilty pleasure musicians performing at the Capitol Concert Stage, from 1990s girl group Wilson Phillips to “Call Me Maybe” singer Carly Rae Jepsen.

Produced by Capital Pride, the festival is also an opportunity to learn about LGBT history. Before the parade kicks off at 4:30 p.m. at 22nd and P Streets, you can check out a 10 a.m. historic gay walking tour by Dupont Circle to learn about D.C. LGBT movements that date back to the 1960s.

If music and dancing are more your thing, head to the Monument Festival Stage to see drag show cabarets and performances that showcase local artists like the Oasis Dance Company and R&B singer Shenna. At the Dupont Dance tent on 6th and Pennsylvania Avenues, you can spend the day jamming to disc jockey sets by artists like D.C.-based DJ Keenan Orr and U.K.-based DJ Jacq Jill. Pride events are free, but $5 to $20 donations are suggested.

And keep the post-Pride excitement going after-hours. For $20, you can hit up Town Danceboutique’s Pride party at 11 p.m. (and for $40 check out the drag show that will feature “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winner Violet Chachki). Your favorite concert halls will also be hosting parties — for $15, you can see DJs Matt Bailer and Shea Van Horn at  9:30 Club or headliner DJ Kim Ann Foxman at U Street Music Hall at 10 p.m. for $10. At the retro-themed Underground Throwdown party at Dance Loft on 14th Street, your $30 ticket proceeds will go towards funding Capital Pride.

If you’re still not tired, you can dance until daylight for $35-$40 at the Cherry Fund and Capital Pride Afterhours charity event at Tropicalia. Doors open at 3:30 a.m. to see DJs X Gonzales and Sean Morris spin techno music until 9:30 a.m.

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“Black” is back.

At the end of Season 2, we saw inmate Miss Rosa make a jailbreak (and take down antagonist Vee along the way), Figueroa resign as prison director after being exposed for embezzlement and inmate Daya try to cover up her pregnancy by blaming prison guard Mendez.

If you didn’t pull an all-nighter Thursday to watch the episodes released early, bring the party to Litchfield Penitentiary on Friday night by catching up on Season 3 with this drinking game.

Drink if…

Pennsatucky recites a Bible verse

Morello wears red lipstick

Someone calls Mendez “Pornstache.”

Healy sends someone to solitary confinement for no reason.

Two inmates become each others’ prison wives.

Sophia gives someone an edgy haircut.

The opening credits are so long that you almost lose interest.

Take a shot if…

Crazy Eyes’ story line makes you tear up.

An inmate can’t get what she wants from the commissary.

Someone else finds out about Daya’s pregnancy.

You learn a new vocabulary word from Taystee.

Red plots a new way to take over the kitchen.

Two inmates get in a fist fight.

Someone using the phone next to Piper is sobbing uncontrollably.

Finish your drink if…

Piper and Alex end up happily ever after.

You actually start to miss Larry.

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Whether you’re new to D.C. or a seasoned visitor, you probably can’t wait to explore the city once you get to GW. You’ll have four years to tour the monuments and catch a show in Lisner Auditorium, so make sure to take full advantage of your brief free time during Colonial Inauguration.

From outdoor festivals to late-night bites, there’s nothing like summer in the District  and CI-goers shouldn’t miss out.

Night No. 1

D.C. Outdoor Movies

Your first day of CI will be jam-packed  from the trip into D.C. to setting up in Thurston Hall and getting to know your CI group. If you need to unwind but you’re still itching to see the city, try checking out a free outdoor movie.

Movies during CI sessions include Selma on June 11 and The Princess Bride on June 18 at Capitol Waterfront, as well as The Bicycle Thief in Adams Morgan on June 23 and Grease at NoMA Summer Screen on July 1. Bring a lawn chair and be on time — movies start at sundown.

Kramerbooks and Afterwords Cafe, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW

If you’re feeling restless and looking for some more action than just a midnight monument walk, Dupont Circle is always buzzing with nightlife. Catering to the late crowd, the Kramerbooks and Afterwords Cafe is open until 4 a.m.

Whether you want to enjoy some live jazz and rock music or find a quiet space to browse the eclectic mix of books, make sure to come to Kramerbooks and Afterwords with an empty stomach  desserts include triple chocolate cake and the “dysfunctional family sundae” loaded with hot fudge, whipped cream and an amaretto brownie, both for around $8.

Wiseguy NY Pizza, 300 Massachusetts Ave. NW

Go-to joints for late night food like Crepeaway and Jumbo Slice will likely become a staple in your diet by the end of your first semester. But with a whole night to explore the city, you can check out some other junk food joints.

You have all night to fill up on a slice of New York-style pizza for around $3 – Wiseguy stays open until 5 a.m. on weekends, 3 a.m. on Thursdays, and 1 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday.

Night no. 2

The Source Festival, Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW

If the CI skits whet your appetite for theater, check out some performances at the annual Source Festival. At the Source Theatre in the trendy U Street corridor, the festival showcases experimental works from upcoming playwrights and performers.

Tickets go for $10 to $15 to see everything from full length plays to 10-minute plays and “artistic blind dates,” which allow three different groups of artists to collaborate on a new works.

Jazz in the Garden, National Gallery Sculpture Garden, 7th St. and Constitution Ave. NW

You won’t want to skip the outdoor jazz concerts in the Sculpture Garden that are only available during the summer.

The music begins every Friday at 5:30 p.m. While enjoying the music among the fountains and modern art, you can grab a bite to eat  like the smoked brisket sandwich or summer vegetable sandwich for $10 at the garden’s Pavilion Cafe.

Pleasant Pops, 1781 Florida Ave. NW 

Dessert on your last night in D.C. is a must, and you might think to check out the long lines at one of Georgetown’s cupcake shops. But Pleasant Pops offers some lighter fare so you can cool off after a day of exploring.

Tucked in the lively and colorful Adams Morgan neighborhood, Pleasant Pops has been serving ice pops in eccentric flavors like blueberry pancake and the “guac pop” with avocado and lime for five years.

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Drop everything you’re doing right meow.

D.C.’s first cat cafe, Crumbs and Whiskers, announced that it will open its doors on Saturday, June 20.

But you’ll have to get in line — in a blog post on the Crumbs and Whiskers website, founder Kanchan Singh revealed that the visiting schedule goes live online on June 18. Members of the cafe’s Gentlemeow’s Club can begin arranging their visits on June 15 while donors that have funded the cafe on the website Kickstarter can register on June 10.

Singh added that there will be a sold-out launch party on June 19 and a series of backstage parties from June 15 to 18 for donors, but don’t worry if you didn’t make the list — you can keep up with the parties with photos and videos that will be posted live on Crumbs and Whisker’s social media pages.

Crumbs and Whiskers first announced that it would open in November.

Located at 3211 O St. NW, the cafe will feature cushioned seating on the ground, so guests can play with cats while enjoying their beverages.

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You’ll no longer have to trek out to The Diner in Adams Morgan to satisfy your midnight pancake cravings.

Olivia’s Diner, a 24-hour restaurant that will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, is slated to open at 1120 19th St. NW, a 10-minute walk from campus near Dupont Circle.

According to a Craiglist hiring ad posted last month, the diner aims to be up and running on June 8, although construction workers told the D.C. news blog Borderstan that the renovations will last for a few more weeks.

The ad said that Olivia’s is a family-operated establishment that will be serving food made from scratch.

Borderstan reported that the owner, Tri Nguyen, also co-owns the D.C. chain Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza.

The new diner’s address was previously occupied by eateries Jonathan’s Gourmet and G Street Food.

A sign in front of the restaurant said that it will seat 130 people, with a sidewalk cafe that seats 32 people.

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Updated: June 2, 2015 at 5:06 p.m.

At a preview of “Campus Cover-Up,” a VICE on HBO special about the smokescreen universities operate behind when it comes to sexual assault, it was clear that the federal government is slowly but surely turning a murky system on its head.

By the time the event began, organizers were turning people away from the already full Jack Morton Auditorium in the Media and Public Affairs building. Attendees included representatives from the D.C. Rape Crisis Center and the It’s On Us campaign.

Gianna Toboni, a VICE on HBO correspondent, introduced a 15-minute-long snippet of the episode, “Campus Cover-Up,” before conducting a Q&A with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. and Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., both major proponents of sexual assault legislation on the Hill.

Gillibrand had invited Emma Sulkowicz, the recently Columbia University graduate whose protest-turned-thesis Mattress Performance sparked the Carry That Weight campaign and a nationwide debate about universities’ commitment to students’ safety, to the State of the Union this year.

She and McCaskill hope to push the the Campus Accountability and Safety Act through Senate this year when Congress passes an education bill, which they said it has bipartisan support. The bill calls for a survey to be conducted at every university that receives federal funding every two years. Students will be asked how safe they feel on campus and how they think their university handles sexual assault reports.

Gillibrand, who attended Dartmouth University and was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, said the bill will make schools more accountable and provide a snapshot of how safe students feel at their school.

She added that the survey, which universities will have to post on their websites, will “change the colleges’ interest in getting it right. This will completely flip the incentives and [make] them take cases seriously,” she said.

Last year, McCaskill conducted a survey of 440 universities and found that 41 percent were “failing” students who by not conducting any sexual assault investigations in the last five years, a fact she called “ludicrous” on Monday night.

Under the federal Clery Act, universities are required to report every crime that happens on campus, including sexual assault. McCaskill, a former auditor, said she was confident in the results of the survey because universities were assured that their names would not be revealed.

Gillibrand said sexual assault is typically premeditated and that the men who sexually assault fellow students are typically serial rapists who commit these crimes about six times during their tenure on campus.

“If I were a college president, I would want the tools to get a rapist off my campus,” Gillibrand said.

The senators emphasized the importance of training campus officials and police officers on how to conduct professional interviews with survivors in the days or even hours after a sexual assault.

Under the bill, the first person the survivor speaks to would be trained to explain the survivors’ options to her, Gillibrand said.

In “Campus Cover-Up,” a sexual assault survivor at the University of Arkansas wears a hidden camera to a 90-minute panel, where she informally testifies against an athlete who, she said, attacked her in the dorm room.

One panelist asked the survivor if she had bruises on her arms – not just her pubic area – and another panelist asked if she felt pressured, even after the survivor said she had “never said ‘no’ so many times in [her] life.”

The panel, Gillibrand and McCaskill said, exemplified that those determining the fate of the alleged rapist obviously did not understand the violent nature of sexual assault.

McCaskill cited the incident at Pennsylvania State University involving members of the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity posting photos of naked, unconscious women in a Facebook group as an exemplar of change.

“Somebody in that circle had to be brave and say, ‘what are you doing? You are sick,’” she said. “It’s not just the survivors that need to get amped up about this. Anybody who is silent is part of the problem,” McCaskill said.

The episode premieres on Friday at 11 p.m. on HBO.

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Are you a recently engaged bookworm? You may be in luck.

The D.C. Council gave D.C. Public Library the power to host private, revenue-generating functions – like weddings – when the Council tentatively approved the fiscal year 2016 budget last week.

D.C. Public Library operates the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Chinatown and 25 other libraries in the District. The change is not set in stone, but it means that D.C. libraries will be partially funded by fees collected under the initiative, which will help pay for library expenses.

Richard Reyes-Gavilan, executive director of D.C. Public Library, told the Washington Business Journal that there will be a passport acceptance facility at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library and that the historic branch may serve as a space for private receptions by as early as this fall.

Mayor Muriel Bowser’s $13 billion budget plan designates at least $146 million to homeless services and housing, as well as $7 million for free Metro passes for public and charter school students and would fund the purchase of 2,400 body cameras for each police officer.

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