Curated by Monique Muse Dodd
With mentorship from Dawne Langford
September 6th – October 13th
Opening Reception: Friday, September 6th, 7PM – 9PM Artist Talk: Sunday, October 6th, 3PM Closing Reception/Artist Talk: Sunday, October 13th, 5PM
Comprised of US-based artists descended from enslaved Africans, using photography, sound, projections, installation, and public programming, Reparations Realized invites artists to envision what 40 acres and a mule would look like, and how this country has fallen short on its debt– moving past the question of why and into the when. Featuring Ada Pinkston, Dee Dwyer, Deyanne Moses, Denae Howard, Lionel Fraizer White ii, and Hadaiyah (Yaya) Bey.
Exhibiting artists: Antonius Bui, Monique Muse Dodd, Tsedaye Makonnen, John Paradiso, and Jade Yumang.
Queer(ing) Pleasure illustrates the radical queer potential of pleasure, challenging the too-often limited, white, hetero-centric logic of the erotic. Ignited by Audre Lorde’s inquiry, forty years ago, into the erotic as power, the exhibition investigates the ways in which pleasure is an “unexpressed and unrecognized” feeling. Through performance, photography, embroidery, video, and sculpture, the artists trace new and existing networks between pleasure, erotics, and queerness.
Image: Jade Yumang, Torso Floret, cut out on gay pornographic magazine, 19”x13”, 2010
Opening Reception: Friday, April 13, 7-9pm Artist Talk: Sunday, May 20, 5pm
Curated by Andy Johnson
Mentor Curators: Zoë Charlton and Tim Doud
Exhibiting artists: Eames Armstrong, Antonius Bui, Hoesy Corona, Alexandra “Rex” Delafkaran, Myles Loftin, Stephanie Mercedes, and David Vassalli.
Queer(ed) Performativity points to a rise in the production, distribution, and consumption of queerness in both mainstream American culture and media. The performativity of queerness and the queer(ed) body has, within the past two decades, served as a note of comedic and anxious relief, a catch all for the uneasiness felt from the deconstruction of gender binaries and the shifting attitudes towards the fluidity of sexuality. The crux of Queer(ed) Performativity raises attention to the fact that the queer(ed) body is lauded, celebrated, and put on display when in the service of white heterosexual consumption. The exhibition underscores the incisive ways in which artists respond to, subvert, and refuse a politics of respectability and heteronormativity vis-a-vis both art objects and the body. Whether through the hyper-performance of queerness, the refusal to perform the role of the queer, or somewhere in between, the artists question the role of “queer” within late-capitalist neoliberal circles.
Technology and the Natural World
Curated by Sarah Burford
Mentor Curator: Rebecca Cross
October 6 – November 12, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, October 13, 7-9pm Closing Reception: Sunday, November 5, 5pm
Ryan Hoover, Joanna Platt, Rachel Schmidt, Fabiola Yurcisin
Technology has dramatically changed human relationships with the natural world, yielding both revelatory and destructive results. Imagined futures, ghostly pasts, the detritus of technological progress, and tensions between the organic and artificial are all central to the pieces in this exhibition. In video, mixed media, creative coding, and 3D printed works, these artists offer deep and nuanced visions of our impact upon, and contemporary relationship to, the natural world.
Image: Ryan Hoover, Arborescent Algorithm Series – Seed 5008-AL, 2015, nylon 3D print, aluminum, walnut, 27″ x 15″ x 9″
Curated by Rebecca Cross
Apprentice Curator: Sarah Burford
Exhibition Dates: April 28 – May 28, 2017
Opening Reception: April 28, 7-9pm Closing Reception and Artist Talk: May 12, 5pm
Damon Arhos, Michael Corigliano, Hector Emanuel, Timothy Johnson, Mark Newport, Joseph Daniel Robert OLeary, Kate Warren, and Dawn Whitmore
Definition from the Oxford English Dictionary:
1. a man who is aggressively proud of his masculinity.
“Macho” takes as its point of departure recent debates about the role of men in contemporary society. As we began exploring ideas for this exhibition, we continuously came across examples of work showcasing people who were “projecting” an air of strength and masculinity rather than openly revealing their authentic male selves. These remarkable artists all react, in their own ways, to the promulgated notion that “masculinity” itself is not a trait that simply exists, but rather one that needs to be worn like a mask. Masks of real and imaginary uniforms, physical poses and symbolic props, aid the figures in projecting this shroud of self-aggrandizement. The concept reaches far beyond the limits of a single exhibition, but we present this provocative group of artists making engaging, surprising and challenging art around this subject as a means of furthering the existing dialogue, exposing both the disturbing and comical evocations of our title to engage with the conflicting realities of post-modern manhood.
IMAGE: Michael Corigliano, Stumbling Forward, 2015, Photographs, 84″ x 96″
Curated by Martina Dodd
Mentor curator, Thomas Drymon
September 9 - October 16, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, September 9, 7-9 pm Performance + Second Viewing: Thursday, September 29, 6:30-8:30 pm Artist Talk and Closing Reception: Sunday, October 16, 5 pm
Nakeya Brown, Adrienne Gaither, Danielle Smith, Khadijah Wilson
DC Arts Center presents Public Displays of Privacy, an exhibition featuring four local women artists who explore the complexities of identity, memory and subjectivity in relation to Black
Womanhood. Performance + second veiwing on September 29 at 6:30 pm: Special performance of Communal Restriction by Khadijah Wilson and Lionel Frazier White. Bond together by a mask constructed by Wilson, the two struggle for independence as they visually transform from collective unit to individual entities, forcing their viewers to reexamine the narratives of self and community.
With a particular focus on hair, the body acts as a site of agency for Nakeya Brown, as her photographs draw attention to the ways beauty standards can reflect politics, cultural memories and racial identities. Khadijah Wilson’s installation physically binds her subjects together using deconstructed material and applies pressure to their communal existence, causing them to literally tug at their freedom. Their strained necks mimic the double burden of race and gender experienced by Black women, while their limited mobility hints at a loss of individual agency.
Using images of family members as her source of inspiration, Adrienne Gaither investigates the social
constructs and constraints of familial ties by “merging traditional techniques of painting and digital
manipulation.” Danielle Smith’s soft brush strokes portray intimate moments of joy, pain and vulnerability as she distinguishes between reality and perception. This group exhibition blurs the lines set in place to demarcate what is kept private and what is for public consumption and examines how personal and collective experiences shape our existence
Curatorial Initiative: Sip and Paint Van Gogh’s The Starry Night
Curated by Thomas Drymon
Apprentice curator: Martina Dodd
April 29 - May 29, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, April 29, 7-9 pm Happy Hour: Thursday, May 19, 6:30-8:30 pm Artist Talk, Q&A, and Reception: Sunday, May 22, 5-7 pm
In Sip and Paint Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, curator Thomas Drymon brings together 34 artists to interpret the same work of art—Van Gogh’s The Starry Night. As an image, The Starry Night has been so overly commodified that one might question its value in art history. In asking the artists in the exhibition to participate in the commodification of this work, we examine the intrinsic value of The Starry Night further, as well as the value of fine art in contemporary culture, and how each artist chooses to interpret the piece and how it relates to their own practice.
Opening Reception: Friday, September 11, 7-9 pm Gallery Talk: Sunday, October 11, 5 pm
Amy Hughes Braden, Roxana Geffen, and Jackie Milad
We’re conditioned as respectable art patrons to appreciate the art we love at a distance – from beyond the other side of the glass. We’re also conditioned to respect the preciousness of a work of art – that it should be preserved, treasured, literally placed on a pedestal and otherwise untouched, unmoved, indifferent from ourselves and our changing environment. We believe in the permanence of art so much so that “adaptability” is an unheard of characteristic. Art exists in a fixed state and is not thought of as being capable of change.
Surprisingly artists – at least many contemporary artists – feel quite differently. While to us, the art patrons, the mere thought of changing an established artwork brings fears of sacrilegious destruction happening in war-torn lands across the globe, to artists Amy Hughes Braden, Roxana Geffen, and Jackie Milad, it is simply part of the art-making process. Studio Sacrilege takes the viewer down the rabbit hole of the artist’s real art-making existence, where perfectly good canvases already adorned by paint at the artist’s hand, are frequently reused to create new art – or expand upon ideas from the original piece. Here, the audience must divorce itself from expectations of the exalted artwork to fully appreciate the power of the process. Each artist presents confirmed masterworks worthy of appreciation for aesthetics alone – but what unites them is their uncanny willingness to revisit such works to create anew.
The exhibit explores art’s singular capacity to revisit the past through experiences, processes, and memory in visual form. The perspective of the artist is achingly present as the viewer examines the layers of each work, shocked by the profound completeness of the work underneath, and moved by the beloved process of destruction, manipulation, and recreation. We get a glimpse of the tension, anxiety, thrills, and woes of making of art, for which the artist contends with in everyday practice.
Amy Hughes Braden, Roxana Geffen, and Jackie Milad explore what it means to be an artist through efforts in revisiting and reworking their past. Studio Sacrilege obliterates the norms of preserving and maintaining art in pristine untouched conditions by metaphorically thrusting the viewer out of the gallery and into the artist’s studio.
Curated by Jefferson Pinder
Apprentice Curator: Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell
April 24 - June 14, 2015 Opening reception: Friday, April 24, 7-9 pm Artist talk & closing reception: Sunday, May 17, 5 pm
In his first solo exhibition in Washington, artist Justin D. Strom presents seductive surfaces that express an aesthetic based on the human image as shaped by, and reflecting, our digital age: an age that attempts to dissolve the distinction between the virtual and the corporeal. Employing a hybrid of photography and digital printmaking, Strom navigates a world of microbiology and abstraction. Strom references opulent Dutch still life paintings through a rich canvas of constructed scenes that act as symbolic reminders of transformation and impermanence.
In Strom’s work, deepened black spaces deploy a sensibility towards negative space while vibrantly colorful surfaces draw you into a world of unfamiliar objects. These objects reference imagery of botanicals and life itself. The chiaroscuro-like space is a stage for these strange figures to consume your attention, yet a sense of danger lingers beneath the surface—a warning against the luxurious and opulent feeling of these objects, referencing the brevity of life.
Engaging with issues in microbiology, cloning, and genetic sequencing with a sensibility for the fantastical sci-fi films of the late 60s and early 80s, Strom toes the line between reality and fiction and considers our place in both. Abstraction becomes mutation, sequencing becomes the repetition of forms, and the line between art, science, technology is entirely blurred.
Of the body, of science and its fiction, of digital imagery itself, these works are a heightened sense of the immediacy of today’s major issues, concerning universal and personal experiences with technology, change, and our environment.
A Mixed Media Exhibition curated by Gia Harewood
Mentor Curator: Jarvis DuBois
September 12 – October 12, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, September 12, 7-9 PM Panel Discussion: Wednesday, October 1 at 7:30 PM Closing Reception: Sunday, October 12 at 5:00 PM
Sheila Pree Bright (GA), Andrea Cauthen (NY), Alonzo Davis (MD), Vanessa “Agana” Espinoza (CA), Nery Gabriel Lemus (CA), Wendy Philips (GA), Favianna Rodriguez (CA), Jerry Truong (MD), Amare S. Worku (MD), and Ruee Gawarikar (NJ)
Although immigration is one of the biggest issues in the Americas today, the narrative about immigration in the US is very narrow. Media coverage is largely negative with tremendous focus on illegality, anxiety, and fear. Art offers a new way into these complicated debates. Baggage Claim showcases ten artists who invite audiences to consider different perspectives. Come explore the nuances.
The Curatorial Initiative reflects DCAC’s commitment to curatorial practice as an integral part of supporting emerging and under recognized artists. Each year an apprentice curator is selected to gain experience in the process of planning and mounting an exhibition by working with an experienced mentor curator.
(in)Visible & (dis)Embodied: Repositioning the Marginalized
Mentor Curator: Jarvis DuBois
Apprentice Curator: Gia Harewood
April 25 to June 1, 2014
Opening: April 25, 7-9 pm Panel Discussion: May 14 at 6:00pm Gallery Talk: June 1 at 5:00pm
Andrea Chung, Ivan Forde, Ramiro Gomez, Dafna Steinberg, and Jason Edward Tucker
In (in)Visible & (dis)Embodied examines and reclaims the bodies of people who are often marginalized in mainstream American and Caribbean societies, such as immigrants, domestic workers, black and/or gay men, and women. It seeks to relocate these groups to the center of discussions on class, race, gender, and sexual orientation, by challenging their inaccurate depictions as “others.” Each work explores the artist’s’ own sense of “otherness,” alongside those they visually represent.
The Curatorial Initiative reflects DCAC’s commitment to curatorial practice as an integral part of
supporting emerging and under recognized artists. Each year an apprentice curator is selected to gain experience in the process of planning and mounting an exhibition by working with an experienced mentor curator. The program results in two exhibitions each year: in the spring the mentor curator selects artists and plans the exhibition and accompanying catalogue with the assistance of the apprentice; in the autumn, the roles are reversed and the apprentice plans and executes an exhibition with the assistance and advice of the mentor.
Curatorial Initiative: Non Serviam: New Directions in Graphic Design
Curated by Jessica Palone
Mentor Curator: Helen Frederick
September 14 – October 13, 2013
Panel Discussion: Sunday, Sept. 22 at 5 pm
Benjamin Critton, Anther Kiley, the collaborative team of Keetra Dean Dixon and J.K. Keller, Martin Venezky and Carolyn V. Marsden
These featured artists create works that blur the lines between traditional definitions of design and fine art. Their oeuvres move beyond functionality and the traditional client-designer relationship into the realms of individual and personal expression. As stated by curator Pavone, “They expand and radicalize their field, rebuking the strictures of functionality.”
The exhibition features compelling works that fuse typography and image in a variety of print media including “old school” letterpress, offset, lithograph, web, risograph, and 3-D printing.
Curated by Helen Frederick
Apprentice Curator: Jessica Pavone
April 26 – June 2, 2013
Opening Reception: Friday, April 26, 2013 from 7 to 9 pm
Shahla Arbabi, Ed Bisese, Colby Caldwell, David Carlson, Mei Mei Chang, Michele Colburn, Nick Collier, Anna U. Davis, Sam Holmes, David Page, Annette Polan, Joyce J. Scott, and Julia Kim Smith
Curator Helen Frederick elicits the reactions of thirteen Baltimore-Washington DC based artists, who use various art mediums to question our current problematic conditions with regards to social issues and justice, in the exhibition FEAR STRIKES BACK.
This exhibition examines how we handle our fears and anxieties culturally, and how we build upon distortions of information fed to us by various types of media and social networking. One of the most urgent challenges facing society today is how we live with people who differ economically, racially, religiously, and ethnically. The thirteen artists selected were asked to present works that may transfigure suffering into other concepts, depending on their sensibilities.
All the artists in the exhibit are, in various ways, dedicated to community work and observing realities that affect their particular dilemmas and their unique positions in their communities, voicing their opinions without turning their backs. These major artists feature installations, new media, sculpture, video, sound, and two-dimensional works on paper and canvas.
The theme FEAR STRIKES BACK is derived from James Elkin’s book The Object Stares Back that supplies reasoning for how we see and how we don’t. The title also refers to how we too often “look back” in terms of concerns of social justice. The work in FEAR STRIKES BACK, allows us to observe our 21st century overexposure to the troubling, violent, and sometime staged images, which can lead us to mixed emotions – enjoying the spectacle of a horrible situation or sobering subject, while wanting it to stop or be stopped.
Susan Sontag professes in Regarding the Pain of Others that “the image as shock and the image as cliché are two aspects of the same presence.” Sontag also declares that there is not collective memory but collective instruction. In photography for example “The problem is not that people remember through photographs, but that they remember only the photographs….this…eclipses other forms of understanding, and remembering.” Sontag goes on; “At the beginning of modernity, it may have been easier to acknowledge that there exists an innate tropism toward the gruesome.” When we apply these concepts to the information that we are fed through our contemporary media and social networks, it is apparent that subversive influences are part of our lives.
Curated by: Amanda Jirón-Murphy
Mentor Curators: Sondra N. Arkin and Ellyn R. Weiss
September 7 – October 7, 2012
Opening Reception: September 7, PM
Selin Balci, Edmond Van Der Bijl Victoria Fu, Joseph Shetler
In a petri dish in a science lab, bacteria breed, wage war and grow on a microscopic level. Meanwhile, thousands of miles away in space, a solar flare punctures the expanse of the darkness while planets silently slip in and out of another’s orbit. These magnificent biological events, visible on a small and large scale, serve as the inspiration for the works in Microscapes. The artists in this exhibition pay homage to these elegantly entangled phenomena through their work as well as their practices, each one capturing the humbling and fascinating flux of the universe on both the smallest and largest scale. Using this source material, the artists examine and re-imagine these occurrences, creating immersive micro-universes within their work.
Opening Reception: May 4, 7-9 pm Panel Discussion: May 23, 7-9 pm Artists Talk: June 10, 3-5 pm
JS Adams, Tom Block, Scott G. Brooks, Richard Dana, Anna U. Davis, Thomas Drymon, Adam Dwight, Claudia Aziza Gibson Hunter, Pat Goslee, Michelle Lisa Herman, Ryan Hoover, Michael Iocovone, Elizabeth Morisette, Michael Platt & Carol Beane, and Ruth Trevarrow
What is the collective consciousness when newsfeeds from our neighbor’s bedroom compete for attention on the same level as nuclear warheads?
Zeitgeist is a German word meaning “spirit of the times,” as reflected in the cultural, political and intellectual mood of a moment in time. Evidence continues to indicate that our brains are being altered by the current information surge and the means by which it is delivered. Curators Sondra Arkin and Ellyn Weiss are interested in the responses of 15 artists to the effects of the increasing streams of information coming to us from an evergrowing array of devices and directions.
Zeitgeist III: Too Much Information? is the third in a series of periodic exhibitions that brings together groups of artists for exploration by the curators Sondra N. Arkin and Ellyn Weiss.
The first Zeitgeist exhibition was mounted in 2008 at the Nevin Kelly Gallery in Washington, DC. Titled Under Surveillance, it presented artists responses to the increasingly diminishing zone of personal privacy available to us as we are data mined, sorted and observed by a growing array of government and corporate entities.
In the fall of 2009 Zeitgeist II: What’s Important Now? was presented as the backdrop of then then new president’s first days and months featured Bernie Madoff and many others of his ilk, the stock market meltdown, foreclosures, and a daily body count of bank failures.
Curated by Metasebia Yoseph
Mentor Curator: Isabel Manalo
September 9 – October 9, 2011
Opening: September 9, 7-9 pm Happy Hour Reception: September 22, 6:30-8:30 pm Artist talk: October 9, 5 pm
Organic Plasticity features works by Selin Oguz Balci and Natalie Cheung, highlighting the organic vs. artificial manipulation of forms. The work of Selin Oguz Balci is produced through the stimulation of organisms whose by-products result in colorful biological close ups reminiscent of scientific texts. The work of Natalie Cheung utilizes the chemical to capture the natural reactions to light and air, leaving behind crystallized formations that evoke forgotten landscapes. Although their methods and materials are very opposing there is a familiarity ever present in the patterns they’ve created.
Works by Victoria Greising
Curated by Isabel Manalo
Apprentice Curator: Metasebia Yoseph
May 13 – June 12, 2011
Opening Reception: May 13, 7-9 pm Artist Talk: June 12, 5 pm
Webbed installations of manipulated fabric and cord proposes to the viewer an experience that is at once sculptural as well as environmental. These landscapes of collected and woven three dimensional lines elucidate a symbolic coming together of a specific grouping of family and friends, as well as a manifestation of an enigmatic logic of determined handiwork.
Curated by Pam Rogers
Mentor Curator: Trudi Van Dyke
September 10-October 10, 2010
Opening Reception: September 10, 7-9 pm Artists Talk: October 10, 5 pm
This exhibition presents the work of 6 contemporary artists in a variety of media exploring the elements with abstract presentations. Artist included in this exhibition are Jessica Beels, Graham Boyle, Katie Cassidy, Vincent Colvin, Suzanne Izzo, and Stu Searles.
Work by Kate Carr, David D’Orio and Lisa Hill
Curator: Landria Shack
Curatorial Mentor: Laura Roulet
September 11 – October 11, 2009
Opening Reception: September 11, 7-9 pm
The Poetics of Material explores the role of materiality in contemporary sculpture, featuring three artists who explore and exploit a variety of materials and processes. The resulting work marries the conceptual with striking formalism, drawing from and expanding on the legacy of post-minimalism.
Curated by Laura Roulet
Apprentice Curator: Landria Shack
May 8 – June 7, 2009
Opening Reception: May 8, 7-9 pm Gallery Talk: June 7, 3 pm
Cynthia Connolly, Edgar Endress, Helen Frederick, Inga Frick, Muriel Hasburn, Dennis O’Neil, Thomas Campbell, Joseph Casseus, Julia Kjelgaard, Gillian Brown, Jennifer O’Neil, S. Dukachev
Inspired by Lewis Hyde’s classic 1979 book The Gift, Gift Exchange presents the work of six accomplished Washington D.C. artists paired with six works by associated artists received in exchange. Relationships between artists such as teacher-student, mentor-acolyte, and collaborators are conveyed in the stories of these exchanges. The notion of art as a gift rather than a commodity, but also a gift as talent, as inspiration, and as catalyst for change, underlies the exhibit.