The Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory is pleased to present “A Carnival of the Absurd,” the highly anticipated solo exhibition of original new works by John Hartt, painter of strange and wonderful things.

A Carnival of the Absurd features new paintings that blend themes of the carnival sideshow, Sunday morning cartoons, conspiracy theory and just plain weirdness in a way that only John can present them. Hartt’s oddball style can be described as a mix of lowbrow art, pop Surrealism and cartoonism.

The dates for this show are September 4 through November 2. The opening reception is Saturday, September 14 from 6-9 p.m. 

Regarding this art show Hartt stated, “I’m really excited to have a show at the Center for the Arts. The art scene in Manassas has really taken off and the Center for the Arts has played a big role in that growth. I’m thankful to be a part of this vibrant creative community.”

The Center for the Arts is open daily from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday to Friday and 1-5 p.m. on Saturday. 

About John Hartt:

John has been painting in earnest for the past three years and debuted his work in his exhibition “A Peculiar Perspective” at The Hall in Manassas, VA in September of 2017.

Most of his paintings start as one or two lines scribbled in a sketchbook.  From those lines he looks for a shape or a character or just a feeling and builds on it ‘til it’s a finished drawing. Once he’s essentially taught himself how to draw the piece, he brings it to life with his colorful palette of oil paints that make his subjects jump off the canvas.

Artist Statement

My goal is simple, I want my art to make people smile.

I love being a fly on the wall and watching people’s reaction to my art. I’ll get the smiles I’m looking for as well as the puzzled head scratches and I love listening to people’s interpretation of my art. Occasionally I’ll catch someone who seems totally engrossed in what I’ve done and is “connecting” with something about the piece. Making that “connection” is the “high point” about being a creative, you’re not just communicating with someone through art, you’re giving that person a piece of yourself that can’t be given in any other way.

John can be reached by email at online at or on instagram at @jo.rtt.

Center for the Arts, Jordan Exum: 703-330-2787 -

9419 Battle St, Manassas, VA 20110 / instagram: @cfamanassas

Past dates

Download schedule


  • Starting Wednesday, September 4th, 2019, repeated every week on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday until Saturday, November 02, 2019 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm


Center for the Arts

9419 Battle Street
Manassas, VA


Center for the Arts

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