A Revolving Art Exhibit Right In Your Community

Signal has partnered with The Compass Atelier to showcase ongoing monthly exhibitions of visual artists from the Washington Metropolitan area.


We’re excited to have partnered with The Compass Atelier in a program allowing their art students to showcase their paintings inside one of our local branches. Each month, the City Center location morphs into a revolving art exhibit, giving the Master Artist Program students a platform to display their visual artwork and be recognized among the community. A new artist is highlighted each month, with an opening reception on the first Thursday of every month. Come by and enjoy music, light refreshments and complimentary beverages as we acknowledge and celebrate the artists of our very own community. Check back monthly to see which artist we’ll be featuring next.

January art exhibit featuring Debbie Cohen and Richard Svec

For the new year, we’ll be showcasing the paintings of two artists from The Compass Atelier, Debbie and Richard. Their lively and vibrant paintings will be on display from January 8 – January 31 at our City Center location with a celebratory reception on Thursday, Jan. 9 from 6pm – 8pm. Hope to see you there!

Meet the Artists

Debbie Cohen is a Silver Spring, Md. native. In 2001 Debbie’s life changed when she suddenly lost her husband. She started painting to find a place of peace that had a centralized creative focus. She left her home in Israel and traveled back to the United States in 2009.  Through her mother, she met Lillian Abensohn, an avid oil painter and in 2010, she started working with Glen Kessler.

Debbie’s work has changed over time as dynamically as has her life. She now paints professionally. She has remarried and she attributes her development of her creative self, and her change in style, to her new relationship. Her work is brighter and shows more nuance and delicacy.

Debbie always donates part of the proceeds of her sales to the Save a Child’s Heart foundation.  Her late husband founded the organization to give children in developing countries access to life-saving cardiac care and surgery.

Artist Statement
In honor of her late husband, she painted the flowers her late husband brought her every Friday on the Sabbath. Her heritage, culture, and love are reflected in these blooms. 

In 2009, she met Lillian Abensohn, an avid oil painter.  Lillian and Debbie became fast friends and Debbie attributes her experimentation and transition from acrylic to oil to this friendship.  Community, camaraderie and a feeling of shared creativity motivates Debbie to paint.


Richard Svec worked for five decades in the graphic arts industry.  After retirement, an affinity for fine arts, in particular the Impressionists, began to emerge.  His affinity matured into his own interest in learning how to draw and paint.

For the past four years, Svec has studied with numerous local artists.  In 2013, he began a three-year certificate program offered by The Compass Atelier.  His work has improved greatly and he is now at a point where he is taking his “second career” more seriously. 

In his new space at Artists & Makers Studios, Richard continues his artistic study at The Compass Atelier and looks forward to honing his artistic voice.

Artist Statement

Richard Svec’s oil paintings explore the sublime beauty and quiet power of mountains and the energy and charm of cityscapes. These subjects are deeply rooted in the artists’ past and present.  A native of New York’s Mohawk Valley, nestled between the majestic Adirondack and Catskill Mountains, Richard spent his early years surrounded by majestic beauty. While serving in the United States Air Force, Richard also worked daily along the picturesque Lake Champlain.

Richard’s representations of formidable mountains and expensive waters speak to the stunning beauty of his geographic origins. However they also speak to the indomitable spirit of his parents, early century immigrants from the western region of Slovakia.

The stately mountains and vast waters in Richard’s work allude to the longing, endurance and resilience of those who, in the face of fear, crossed waters to find hope. As Richard forged success, serving as the rock for a loving family, he has had the fortune to share with them a cosmopolitan life, traveling the world and enjoying the refined offerings of other cultures.

Richard’s cityscapes offer a charming view of the frenetic comings and goings of inhabitants in some of the world’s most sophisticated locales. They offer an up close portrayal of intimate connections amidst the cities grandeur, conveying the joy and optimism of his worldview.

Photographs and/or videos will be taken at the opening reception event.