The radiator in the entry hall is art. The piece, by DC sculptor Ben Jurgensen, is fitted out with speakers, and when you plug it in it snaps and crackles, just like the real thing. Kristi and Isaac Maiselman live at Penn Quarter's Mather Studios, in one of the building's 12 dedicated "artist lofts" — live/work spaces that were offered to creatives in 2003 at a special rate.
Avid collectors, the Maiselmans are steeped in the arts: Kristi is a research associate for development at the National Gallery of Art, and Isaac is a principal at The Photographers Gallery, a commercial photography studio. The building suits them.
Presently the loft is flooded with light, a perk that Kristi and Isaac hadn't anticipated — there used to be a building next door that sat 24 feet from their own. It has since been demolished, but a taller building is being constructed to go up only 8 feet from their window. When they renovated two years ago, they did so with this in mind, selecting paint colors and installing the ceiling track fixtures to maximize ambient lighting.
As for their art collection, it's growing bit by bit — they give each other new artwork for every birthday, holiday, and celebration. Standouts in the space right now include the large, colorful canvas over the dining table ("A Reunion," by Adam de Boer) and a pair of drawings by Cara Ober that bookend the bedroom gallery wall and feature images of Woody Allen and Jesus Christ (strange bedfellows, yes). Their latest addition was a gift from Kristi to Isaac, a William Powhida print that is stacked on the wall in Isaac's "man corner," with his speakers and his record player.
"And ironically," Kristi tells me, "it's called 'Why You Shouldn't Buy Art.'"