Love Original Artwork? Buy Local.

Check out the East Coast Art Collective, a consortium of area painters and mixed-media artists.

Local artist Ann Marie Coolick. Photo courtesy of Ann Marie Coolick

Ann Marie Coolick is a painter who never uses brushes. “I paint exclusively with palette knives. They give the texture I’m looking for,” says the artist, whose pastel flowerscapes, oversized-dot matrices and color-saturated abstracts feature thick, frosting-like surfaces.

Coolick grew up in Manassas and moved to Arlington in 2004 for a residency program with the Arlington Arts Center. Today she often shows her work at Covet in Bluemont and at Leesburg’s Cooley Gallery.

Like her stuff? Then you might also like some of the other painters in East Coast Art Collective, the artists’ consortium that Coolick founded in December. Together, they team up to stage online shows and sales, often based around a theme. “It’s a way for us to get together, introduce our clients to new artists and share our marketing channels,” Coolick says.

The group includes more than a dozen East Coast-based artists, including locals such as Monica Stroik, an Arlington Public Schools teacher who works with spray paint to create graphic works in technicolor; Jaqui Falkenheim, a native of Buenos Aires (now Arlington resident) known for her whimsically dreamy paintings, illustrations and collages; Kristin Try of Gingham & Grosgrain, whose color-washed canvases are available at Red Barn Mercantile in Alexandria; and Artomatic exhibitors Lory Ivey Alexander and Kasey O’Boyle.

For information about upcoming exhibits and pop-up sales, follow @annmariecoolick and @eastcoastartcollective on Instagram or visit

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