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photo of Cathy Abramson

The city — it's pulse, stories and color, captivates me. The city changes moment to moment not just in appearance but in its narrative. My representational paintings examine the transitory nature of city life and the effect of rapid change on the urban environment. The artwork explores the physical backdrop as well as the connections or estrangement of people as they go about their daily lives. I see poetry in the ordinary and although I paint particular people and scenes, my local paintings of Washington, DC and the DMV resonate with everyone.


I explore the urban environment through the more painterly aspects of my subject matter; the linear quality of buildings under construction and the effect of light and shadow on the geometry of the built environment. I use squeegees, rollers and brushes to convey textures and surfaces. Recent paintings explore the dichotomy of artifact and the new in the built environment as well as change in people's lives. In my current practice I imagine the stories behind the people and places I paint and examine what lies beneath the surface.


Woman's National Democratic Club, "Local Color", Washington, DC, 2022-2023.

Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center at Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria Campus, Fisher Gallery, October 2019.

Interfaith Works Women's Center, retrospective, Rockville, MD, 2019.

Artists & Makers Studios, “In the Moment”, Rockville, MD, 2019.

Gallery O on H, “District Details”, Washington, DC, 2018.

Glen Echo Park, Stone Tower Gallery, “Cityscapes”, Bethesda, MD, 2018.

Culture Coffee, “Kennedy Street”, Washington, DC, 2017.

Featured Artist, Waverly Street Gallery, Bethesda, MD, 2017.

Dr. Nishan Halim, dental office, Washington, DC, 2016, 2020.

Somerset Town Hall, Featured Artist, 2016.

Artists & Makers Studios, Mini Solo Exhibition, Rockville, MD, 2015.


Calloway Fine Art and Consulting, "All About the DMV", Washington, DC, 2023.

Washington County Museum of Fine Art, "Cumberland Valley Artists and Photographers Exhibitions", Hagerstown, MD, 2022.

Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art, "Salon des Refusés", juried, Wausau, WI, 2022.

Phillips Collection, "Inside, Outside, Upside Down", juried invitational, 2021.

District Arts, ”Ordinary Objects, Extraordinary Times”, juried invitational, Frederick, MD, 2021.

The Resilience Project, international invitational exhibition, online show and catalog,, 2020.

District Arts, “Night and Day,” juried invitational, Frederick, MD, 2020.

Athenaeum Gallery, “Speak Your Truth, Black Lives Matter”, 2020.

Atheneum Gallery, “Human Condition”, invitational group show, Alexandria, VA , 2020.

4th Biennial Maryland Regional Juried Art Exhibition University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, MD, 2019–2020.

Fusion Art, “Highways and Byways”, international online exhibition, 2019.

Montpelier Arts Center, juried show with glass artist, Jill Tannenbaum, Laurel, MD, 2019.

Signal Financial Credit Union, duo show sponsored by the Compass Atelier, Washington, DC, 2019.

Creative & Therapeutic Arts Services at Children’s National, “Compositions in Color”, Invitational – International Visions Gallery, 2019.

Salon Show, International Visions Gallery, invitational, 2019.

Strathmore Hall, “Night”, juried show, Bethesda, Maryland, 2019.

Artists & Makers Studios, Members Show, Rockville, MD, 2019.

Superfine! Gallery O on H represented a number of their artists. Washington, DC, 2018.

SR/A la Collection, Fall Art Collection, invitational group show, Bethesda, MD, 2018.

Doors of Make Room, exhibit and auction: National Building Museum, Washington, DC, HUD, Washington, DC, Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, VA, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, 2018.

Kensington Labor Day Art Show, Kensington, MD, 2018.

Atheneum Gallery, “Old School, New Concept / The Compass Atelier,” invitational group show, Alexandria, VA, 2018.

HerStory, Award of Excellence winner, online juried exhibition, 2018.

SR/A La Collection, “Real Art on a Shoestring”, invitational group show, Bethesda, MD, 2018.

Culture Coffee Too, “Transient Moments”, Washington, DC, 2018.

Compass Atelier, Master Art Program, “Thesis Show”, Rockville, MD, 2017.

Member’s Show, The Yellow Barn Studio and Gallery, Bethesda, MD, 2016.

BWI Airport, group exhibition, reproduction of painting in large scale format, Gallery in D/E Connector, Baltimore, MD 2016.

Yellow Barn, “Beyond Color”, The Critique Group, group exhibition, Glen Echo, MD, 2016.

Artists & Makers Studios, Members Show, March 2016.

Historical Society of Washington, DC, “For the Record”, Washington, DC, 2016.

Linus Galleries, Los Angeles, CA, “Reflections”, online exhibition, 2016.

Fourth Annual Garrett Park Invitational Exhibit, Penn Place Gallery, Garrett Park, MD, 2016.

Open Regional Juried Art Exhibition: Hill Center, Washington DC, 2015.

CHAL Juried Exhibit at The Hill Center, Washington, DC, 2016.

Linus Galleries, Los Angeles, CA, “City-Scapes”, online exhibition 2015.



Somerset Town Hall, Mayor Jeffrey Slavin's office, 2020.

"Washingtonia Collection" by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, 2017, 2022.



"Wild Washington: Animal Sculptures A to Z", Illustrator and book designer, Annapolis Publishing Company,2005

"Simple Secrets of Parenting: Easy as ABC", John Q. Baucom, Illustrator and book designer, Child Welfare League of America, 1996.

Designed numerous books and other publications for the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.



District Arts, “Night and Day”, Best in Show award, Frederick, MD, 2020

Fusion Art, “Highways and Byways,” international online exhibition, second place winner, 2019.

Kensington Labor Day Art Show, Awarded Honorable Mention, Plein Air, Kensington, MD, September.

"HerStory" Award of Excellence winner, online juried exhibition, 2017, 2018, 2019.

Judge for Congressional Art Competition, Rep. Jamie Raskin 8th Congressional District, MD, 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023.

“Long Way Home” image used in “Professional Artists Magazine”, 2017.

Finalist in the Portraits/Figures category of “The Artist's Magazine 33rd Annual Art Competition”, 2016.

Member’s Show, The Yellow Barn Studio and Gallery, Bethesda, MD, Awarded Second Place, 2016.

Historical Society of Washington, DC, “For the Record”, Washington, DC, – 3rd place winner in painting, 2015

CHAL Juried Exhibit at The Hill Center, Washington, DC, Best in Show, 2015

Artsy Shark Featured Artist, August., 2015

Capitol Hill Art Workshop, Featured Artist, September 2015.





District Arts Gallery, Frederick, MD current

International Visions Gallery, Washington, DC 2017–2020

Gallery OonH, Washington, DC 2018 – 2019

Waverly Gallery, Bethesda, MD 2017 – 2018


Masters Art Program, Compass Atelier, Rockville, MD (program completed 2017)

University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Dallas, Dallas, TX (B.S. 1975)

SUNY at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY (B.A. 1973)

Work can be seen at:

Instagram  @cathya_email

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