CulturalDC News

headshot_biondo (2)
04.02.14

ARTIST Q&A: EMILY BIONDO

Emily Biondo + Bradford Barr open their exhibit, Touch Me, on April 4 at Flashpoint Gallery. Find more about Emily and her history of crafting in our latest artist Q&A!

headshot_biondo (2)Who is your favorite living artist? Why?
I don’t have one favorite, but some of my current favorites are: Lynda Benglis for her experimentation with material and form; Nina Katchadourian for her imagination; Diana Al- Hadid and Yayoi Kusama for their otherworldly transformation of ordinary material and provocation of awe; Ai Weiwei for his bravery; Glenn Ligon for his spot-on culture selfreflection/brilliance; Tomás Saraceno for immersing viewers in his work and compelling them to interact; Ernesto Neto for using the often discarded sense of smell in his work; and Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller for their inspiring audio interactions. I am constantly amazed by Cardiff’s 40 Part Motet.

Who is your favorite deceased artist? Why?
Eva Hesse and Louise Bourgeoise—Eva Hesse for her intricate use of textiles and text and Louise Bourgeoise for creating such honest, emotionally groundbreaking work.

What kind of soundtrack motivates you or inspires your work?
I always watch movies or TV series instead of music. Recently it’s been Walking Dead, Dexter, True Detective and Breaking Bad (I just got Netflix). Following plot lines make me think about concepts for work more than hearing music.

How did you begin your work as an artist?
Probably when my mother’s family taught me how to craft. Crafting and writing has been an extensive part of my history, which led to my undergrad work, grad work, ultimately shaped my art interests into what they currently are. It wasn’t until grad school that I discovered the vast world of electronics, but since then it has always played a part in my concepts.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
A digital and print designer (which I also am). My retirement plan is to open a bakery.

What role do you see art fulfilling in the greater community?
I want art—particularly mine—to provoke dialogue about societal truths, quirks, and commonalities. Additionally, I want to see work that spans multiple genres (tech and art, architecture and art, art and design, design and politics) to flourish and provide greater understanding within the community for both fields through their combination.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve found yourself doing for your art?
Doing repetitive tasks (crocheting, folding, cutting, soldering) for weeks while fully knowing that they can be done in hours with the use of an already invented machine. Isn’t every art practice considered weird?

What is your favorite piece/project you have worked on?
This project would have to be my favorite. I love collaborating because I always learn so much from my collaborators, and this project has been the largest-scale work I’ve ever constructed. The education I received from this installation has been priceless.

03.05.14

CAREER OPPORTUNITY: CULTURALDC DIRECTOR OF CONSULTING SERVICES

CulturalDC, a non-profit organization that creates opportunities for artistic innovation, connecting artists, arts organizations, developers and government agencies to facilitate economic and cultural vibrancy in the Washington DC area, is accepting applications for a full-time Director of Consulting Services. Our consulting services are dedicated to creating opportunities to include sustainable arts spaces and public art installations. We spearhead creative placemaking initiatives through our work with developers, property owners and government agencies to facilitate the inclusion of art in real estate projects. The Director of Consulting Services will join CulturalDC’s Programs team and will report to the Executive Director.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Consulting Services
Lead consulting practice, including advising developers, neighborhood-based institutions and government agencies on all aspects of arts space development projects, including artist studios; live/work housing; rehearsal and performance; exhibition and gallery; and arts administration.

  • Nurture and manage positive relationships with clients, local government agencies, community stakeholders, nonprofit partners, artists and arts organizations;
  • Conceive and implement creative and sustainable arts space solutions for real estate projects;
  • Create pro formas and manage project budgets;
  • Direct leasing activities for artist studios and live/work housing projects, including:
    - Identifying and recruiting prospective tenants;
    - Administering application + selection process;
    - Maintaining database of artists seeking space and project wait lists;
  • Manage arts spaces and tenants, including:
    - Facilitating regular communication and activities to foster a strong and collaborative artist community;
    - Conceive and implement strategic marketing activities and special events;
  • Oversee administration of DCSpaceFinder.org;
  • Work with local government offices to advocate for the arts;
  • Assist with grantwriting as it pertains to the above mentioned focus areas.

Public Art

  • Oversee project planning and coordination of all temporary and permanent public art projects and off-site programming, including:
    - Collaborate with clients, partners, architects, artists, government leaders and community members;
    - Manage artist recruitment and selection;
    - Develop budgets for public art projects;
    - Conceive and execute community outreach plans, and attend public and community meetings;
    - Oversee and develop concurrent public programming (e.g. walking tours, artist talks) when appropriate;
    - Negotiate and oversee contracts with artists, property owners and other partners;
    - Secure insurance, permitting and liability coverage, as necessary;
  • Secure insurance, permitting and liability coverage, as necessary;
  • Create materials for proposals, grants, guidelines, reports, permit applications and other materials; and
  • Advise on other visual arts-related consulting projects, as necessary.

Business Development

  • Cultivate business opportunities for new projects, including arts space development and public art projects;
  • Develop and expand CulturalDC’s relationships and collaboration with the local commercial real estate and economic development industries to facilitate the incorporation of art and art spaces in real estate projects;
  • Create proposals for new business opportunities; and
  • Manage pipeline of new opportunities, including tracking major real estate projects slated for development, public RFPs and pending opportunities.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in the arts, arts administration, business, marketing; degree in urban planning, real estate and/or economic development a plus.
  • Minimum of 5 years experience in business, arts, arts management; experience in urban planning and/or real estate development a plus.
  • Strong project management skills, attention to detail and ability to organize and coordinate multiple tasks on an ongoing basis.
  • Experience collaborating with multiple partners and/or government agencies.
  • Excellent written and verbal skills, strong design aesthetic and computer skills (Photoshop or InDesign a plus).
  • Understanding of the arts industry, arts administration and nonprofit management.
  • Thorough knowledge of public art best practices, artist selection processes, (including collaborative and community-based approaches), material selection, fabrication and installation.
  • Knowledge of contemporary art, particularly in the DC region and access to both local and national artists a plus.
  • Comfort working in a cooperative environment that represents a broad range of artistic, cultural and social points of view.
  • Flexibility to work some evenings and non-work week days, including receptions, community meetings and special events.

Salary:
Commensurate with experience.

How to apply:
Submit a resume and cover letter to:
hr@culturaldc.org OR
CulturalDC
916 G St NW
Washington, DC 20001

Deadline:
Applications accepting until the position is filled.

 

carmen wong
03.04.14

ARTIST Q&A: CARMEN WONG OF BANISHED? PRODUCTIONS

Mead Theatre Lab alum and Monroe Street Market studio artists of banished? productions have spiced up the Arts Walk at Monroe Street Market with their ARTillery tool library and more. Learn more about one of the artists behind banished? productions, Carmen Wong, in our latest artist Q&A.

Who is your favorite living artist? Why?carmen wong
Janet Cardiff. Her sound installations and walks deliver feeling and narrative depth. No other artist has made me think, “I wish I thought of that first!” as much as she does. Then there are food designers like Bompas & Parr and Marije Vogelzang, whose food design concepts really challenge my ideas for gastro-performance. I’m always psyched when I find out about their latest projects and try to find resonances with what I’m working on.

Who is your favorite deceased artist? Why?
Maya Deren continues to fascinate me in her distinct avant-garde interdisciplinary practices, her fiercely independent spirit and explorations in ethnography and ritual. For purely aesthetic and sentimental reasons, Egon Schiele also makes the cut. Every line in his drawings to me trembles with indescribable loveliness and loneliness.

What kind of soundtrack motivates you or inspires your work?
Classic jazz (mostly with female vocalists) is often played in my head or on iTunes, but recently a lot of contemporary Scandinavian shoe-gazey stuff has burrowed in. When I need energy, 80’s music like ELO, BritPop or Shonen Knife help bring verve. In times when I need to focus on verbal elements (reading/writing scripts or applications), I count on Charles Trenet, Soapkills or the Charlie Brown soundtrack.

How did your work begin as an artist?
I don’t think one decides when/how to begin, they are gripped by a project and they do the work: researching, testing, making things up as they go, seeing what surfaces. In that way, the work is happening at all times, beginning, growing, ending. I have learnt that the important part is to let it all come and trust in some of the coincidences and associations you make, and learn along the way.

Or maybe I should read the question differently and answer with “I started as an intern/volunteer a decade ago at a Berlin dance-theatre company named Dorky Park, then developed a student project where I tested my own version of hybrid theatre and it just kept going from there….”?

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I once aspired to be a pâtissier. My family wanted me to be a lawyer. I guess I would have been very argumentative pâtissier?

What role do you see art fulfilling in the greater community?
Art has the immense power of allowing its viewers a chance, however fleeting, to consider another perspective or way of thinking, and in some (successful) instances, inspiring them to embark on a paradigm shift, small or seismic.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve found yourself doing for art?
Where to start? Starching hundreds of girls’ and baby dresses? Stuffing a chicken leg with ball bearings and roasting it? Picking mulberries off the streets of Anacostia with strangers? Immersing in a tankful of warm milk a performer holding a bowl of warm milk (that you can dip crackers in)? I’m sure weirder things are to come.

What is your favorite piece/project that you have worked on?
As a series Tactile Dinner has been a true joy to work with, and I feel so fortunate that this form has allowed me to bend and shape it to whatever I may be exploring or trying to understand better at the moment. It has also allowed me to travel and experience other cultures in ways I may never have considered.

Which work are you most proud of?
I must say that I’m most proud of the self-evolution and growth that Into the Dollhouse (which premiered at Flashpoint’s Mead Theatre Lab program) has seen. Seeded in my own recollections and experience of growing up, and fused with those of my fellow-collaborators, the piece is now showing its strengths, places in need of development and opportunities for adaptation. I can’t wait to see where else it goes!

02.26.14

Career Opportunity: CULTURALDC TECHNICAL & FACILITIES ASSOCIATE

CulturalDC, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for artists and cultural organizations that stimulate economic development and improve quality of life in the DC metropolitan area, is accepting applications for a Technical and Facilities Associate. This position services the theatre spaces at Flashpoint and Source, multi-user facilities housing a gallery, rehearsal studios, performance spaces and collaborative office space serving area artists and arts organizations.

Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate day-to-day technical operations of CulturalDC performance and rehearsal spaces including:
    -    maintenance of lighting and audio equipment;
    -    management of load-in and load-out schedules;
    -    production walkthroughs with producers and presenters;
    -    black box schedule coordination with CulturalDC staff; and
    -    procuring equipment, materials and other technical services;
  • Manage rentals of facility equipment;
  • Procure new production equipment;
  • Perform in-house facility repairs and maintenance or coordinate with contractors;
  • Manage facility telephone, photocopier/printing, security and safety systems;
  • Assist with production aspects of CulturalDC special events;
  • Assist staff and residents with IT related issues, assist regular network maintenance tasks, and act as a liaison with IT support vendors;
  • Provide technical theatre / artistic production expertise for consulting projects;
  • Provide technical support during Source Festival and other CulturalDC events as needed
  • Provide general administrative and operations support, as needed.

Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience;
  • 5 years of experience in technical theatre and related industries;
  • Experience operating multiple venues;
  • Comprehensive working knowledge of lighting systems, ETC software, and theatrical audio systems;
  • Ability to identify and repair problems with lighting and audio equipment;
  • Comfort working in a cooperative environment with a broad range of artistic, cultural and social points of view;
  • Familiarity with modern computer networking technology;
  • Familiarity with commercial/industrial facility HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems;
  • Superb customer service, communication and organizational skills; and
  • Willingness to work flexible schedule and weekends as programming demands.

Salary:
Commensurate with experience

How to apply:
To apply, submit a resume with cover letter to:

CulturalDC
Technical Associate Search
916 G St NW
Washington, DC 20001
hr@culturaldc.org
Fax: 202.315. 1303

Deadline:
Applications accepted until position is filled.

02.25.14

Q&A with Alejandro Pintado

Monroe Street Market studio artist Alejandro Pintado creates drawings, paintings and scale-models for large sculptures and installations. Learn more about him and the long days he spends in the studio in our latest artist Q&A!

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Who is your favorite living artist? Why?
This is a tough one, but if I can only choose one it has to be Francis Alÿs.

Who is your favorite deceased artist? Why?
The Spanish Baroque artist Francisco de Zurbaran. When I think of painting I think of him. He is the first master that I studied before being in art school, and the way he uses color and how he made his transparencies are a complete joy.

What kind of soundtrack motivates you or inspires your work?
It depends on the day and the process I am involved in at the time. When I start working, I usually play some classical music. As the day goes on, I move to contemporary and  later to electronic, drum and bass or house.

How did you begin your work as an artist?
I guess it started the day I saw the work  of Hieronymus Bosch at El Prado Museum. I wanted to know where that universe came from and how he made it. From then on, I guess, I went on with trying to answer the same questions.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Probably a chef or an inventor.

What role do you see art fulfilling in the greater community?
More than ever art is changing the way people see the world, not only because it involves ideas that are happening right now but because people are more exposed to it. Art is a platform to expose ideas in a neutral form, if it is not contaminated, it can invite the viewers to reflect on life-changing ideas.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve found yourself doing for your art?
Since my work involves a lot of research, I sometimes spend my days in the studio with no sense of time, not answering calls,  wearing the same clothes and eating little food.

What is your favorite piece/project you have worked on?
A project titled Incision to Romanticism that took around five years to make. It started with the idea of  making a three-dimensional landscape painting. I didn’t know what would come out of it but traditionally I am more accustomed to working in painting and this was a monumental sculptural piece. I spent some years looking for materials and ways to produce it. Finally in 2010 I presented the proposal for El Museo San Carlos in Mexico city and they loved it and agreed to produce it.

What work are you most proud of?
It has to be Path of Knowledge, which is an exhibition I made involving the work of 19th century artist Jose María  Velasco. For several years I had been working on the idea of juxtaposing different languages and forms of art, playing with perception, memory and history. This was a not only an honor for me but a great opportunity to set these ideas in play with actual works of art from the past.

 

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02.19.14

Q&A with Cindy Cheng

Visual Artist Cindy Cheng’s show  The Hero and The Villain opens at Flashpoint Gallery on February 21, 2014 and will feature a series of dynamic drawings, object arrangements and constructions that activate the wall, floor and surrounding space. Find out more about Cindy in our latest artist Q&A!

Who is your favorite living artist? Why?
I love Sarah Sze, Phoebe Washburn and Jessica Stockholder for a lot of reasons both visual, conceptual and in terms of approach – all of which become apparent when you look at my work. But my all time favorite is Andrea Dezso – she has no qualms about pursuing whatever ideas interest her and is totally unselfconscious about her love and connection to craft, folk art, narrative and fantasy. I really admire artists who don’t care about convention and cutting edge fads but just pursue what they love.

Who is your favorite deceased artist. Why?
Louise Bourgeois for so many reasons, but she is a pillar of bad-ass. She worked until the very end of her 98 years – and don’t we all hope to have that kind of fortitude?

What kind of soundtrack motivates you or inspires your work?
I’m somewhat tone-deaf so I don’t listen to music very much, but when I’m in the studio I always play a podcast – Radio Lab, This American Life, New Yorker Fiction, Freakanomics, On the Media and the Moth are all favorites.

How did you begin your work as an artist?
My Drawing I/II teacher in college, Carleen Sheehan, was amazing and inspiring and she really got me going with making work.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
A medieval manuscript conservator or deep-sea marine biologist and explorer.

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02.13.14

FLASHPOINT GALLERY CLOSED TODAY, 02.13.14

Due to the snow storm, Flashpoint Gallery will be CLOSED today, February 13, 2014. Check back here for more updates!

Baye & Afrika
02.05.14

Q&A with Baye Harrell

Baye & Afrika

Baye unveils his work-in-progress, How the B-Side Won, on February 10. Find out more about him below!

Who is your favorite living artist?
One artist who has consistently inspired me is Stevie Wonder. Everyone says Stevie, but the diversity of his musical ear and the beauty of his social vision nurtured me as a person. The album “Stevie Wonder’s Journey through The Secret Life of Plants” changed my life, artistically and spiritually.

What kind of soundtrack motivates you or inspires your work?
If I’m not in a silent mood, I can appreciate anything that evokes emotion from me; I used to DJ so my taste is all over the place. Years ago, there was radio station called WGAY 99.5FM which played easy listening music: The Carpenters, Simon and Garfunkle, Dionne Warwick and the like. Earth, Wind and Fire, Michael Jackson, Nas or Bob James also does the trick. I also get inspired by some newer artists like Kendrick Lamar. Oh, and did I mention Stevie Wonder yet?

How did you begin your work as an artist?
I watched my family and the creativity of my mother, father and sisters. I unified with some brothers in my hip hop generation and we began to collectively create and inspire one another. We wrote a bunch of songs and drew a stack of pictures in the 1st grade. Then a teacher put us on stage, and I haven’t gotten off of it since.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Probably a heavy consumer and a mega-shopper. I wouldn’t be me.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve found yourself doing for your art?
Before the release of Hueman Prophets’ first CD, my producing partner Jabari Exum and I had taken on a street promotion campaign. Fliers and posters were plastered all around the city. We had agreed to appear on our boy’s radio show. On the evening of the program we discovered we had no car to get to the station, but we did have one bike between the two of us. We made it to the interview riding that bike together, taking turns peddling and standing on back, our locks blowing in the wind behind us. I recall someone on the streets of northwest DC pointing and saying “that’s them dudes from the flier!” We were ridiculous, but dedicated.

What is your favorite piece/project you have worked on?
I particularly enjoyed the children’s play “Zomo the Rabbit” at Imagination Stage in 2009. Every day I woke up just vibrating with purpose. The cast has since become like an extended family to me and we always look for excuses to reconnect. And look, we’ve done it again with this show! (Thanks Psalm and Paige)

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Thembi Duncan
01.24.14

Q&A with Thembi Duncan

Playwright Thembi Duncan will reveal her Work-In-Progress, WTF Happened to Baby Sister? on February 3, 2014. Find out more about Thembi in our latest Artist Q&A.

Thembi DuncanWho is your favorite living artist? 
Kehinde Wiley is by far my favorite living artist. He paints huge, vibrantly-colored portraits of black and brown people in front of classical European backgrounds, placing them in classical poses with contemporary dress. The scale and detail of his work are visually arresting, and the cultural, gender-related and racial juxtapositions are provocative and inspiring. He constantly makes bold statements about the ownership and expression of identity, and that strikes a chord with me because I am often exploring various constructions of identity in my work.

Who is your favorite deceased artist? Why?
June Jordan, the poet, is my favorite deceased artist because I discovered her work when I was at a crossroads of yes, you guessed it – identity, in my life. Her poetry is so visceral and unforgiving… there are no dark corners to hide in, so self-delusion dissipates. As I ravenously experienced her work, her truths became my truths and I found myself falling in love with her every phrase. Her accounting of her own journey provided me inspiration for my own artistic and personal quests.

What kind of soundtrack motivates you or inspires your work?
The music that inspires my work is from of the time period and/or cultural setting of whatever project I’m currently working on.

How did you begin your work as an artist?
One day I decided that if there was a play that I wanted to see, then I’d better write it.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Definitely a courtroom attorney. A prosecutor or a public defender — I’ve always vacillated between which one I preferred.

What role do you see art fulfilling in the greater community?
Experiencing and executing art helps us process and communicate about complex ideas and themes. Art exposes us to multiple perspectives and gives us various access points to see, hear, smell, touch and taste the world around us.

What work are you most proud of?
My teenage daughter Nadia, who is now an artist in her own right.

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01.16.14

CulturalDC and George Mason University Announce Partnership at Flashpoint Gallery

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PRESS RELEASE
CONTACT: CARA POMPONIO
cara@culturaldc.org | 202.315.1330

WASHINGTON, DC – CulturalDC and George Mason University’s School of Art and Arts Management program are pleased to announce a mutually enriching collaboration that will bring more academic rigor to CulturalDC’s Visual Arts Program and provide real world experience in arts management for GMU Fellows (selected GMU Master degree Candidates).

CulturalDC’s Visual Arts Program, designed to bolster the careers of emerging contemporary artists by providing presenting, mentoring and other professional development opportunities, will be the platform for this artistic exchange. The combination of deep arts management experience informed by academic prowess offers exciting new possibilities for participating artists, GMU Fellows and associated art professionals. The collaboration encompasses CulturalDC’s Flashpoint Exhibition Program (six exhibitions from January – September 6, 2014) and its 2014-2015 Artist Exhibition Selection Process.

CulturalDC Executive Director Juanita Hardy and GMU School of Arts Director Peter Winant conceived of this partnership, which offers promising benefits to both organizations. “Partnerships and collaborations are a strategic priority for us and we are very excited to partner with the GMU School of Art,” said Hardy. “In addition to participating visual artists and CulturalDC’s artistic team, the collaboration combines distinguished curators and collectors from our Visual Art Advisory Panel and GMU graduate students, professors and researchers into a delicious creative stew.” Hardy envisions innovative new approaches to exhibition curation, programming and audience engagement.

GMU Fellows will work closely with the CulturalDC artistic team to execute six exhibitions at Flashpoint Gallery in the 2014 Season. GMU Fellows will also engage with CulturalDC’s Visual Art Advisory Panel to select exhibitions for the 2014-15 Flashpoint Season, enabling exchange with some of the most dynamic visual art leaders in the nation’s capital including panelists: Hasan Elahi, Artist and Associate Professor of Art, University of Maryland; Melissa Ho, Assistant Curator, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Laura Roulet, Independent Curator; Schwanda Rountree, Independent Curator and Collector, Rountree Art Consulting; Luis Silva, Artist and Associate Professor, American University; and Vesela Sretenovic, Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Phillips Collection.

“Students will get to practice at CulturalDC what we preach in the classroom,” said Winant. “Our Fellows will be able to apply best practices in arts management and groundbreaking research while gaining new skills and experience that will better prepare them as art leaders of the future. They will also explore their creative sensibilities in ways that we expect will enrich and expand CulturalDC’s Visual Arts Program. It’s a win-win.”

The program leadership team includes CulturalDC’s Director of Artistic Programs Jenny McConnell Frederick and GMU Professors Nikki Brugnoli-Whipkey, Helen Frederick, Claire Huschle and Donald Russell. The 2014 collaboration will serve as a pilot program for what both organizations hope to be a deeper partnership in coming seasons.

CulturalDC purchased Flashpoint in June 2013, allowing the organization to secure a permanent foothold. The purchase ensures that emerging contemporary artists and small art organizations will have access to affordable space in Downtown Washington and that audiences will continue to be served there with affordable high quality theatre, art exhibitions, and other cultural programs.

ABOUT CULTURALDC
CulturalDC makes space for art by creating opportunities for artists and arts organizations that foster economic development and enhance quality of life in Washington Area communities. CulturalDC is generously supported by Bank of America Charitable Foundation, The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, Graham Holdings Company, The Kresge Foundation, the MARPAT Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Prince Charitable Trusts, The Share Fund of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region and many other generous partners. Marvin is CulturalDC’s 2013-14 Wine Partner.

CulturalDC
916 G St NW • Washington, DC 20001
General:
202.315.1305 Press: 202.315.1330 Fax: 202.315.1303
Email: cara@culturaldc.org


ABOUT GEORGE MASON SCHOOL OF ART
The School of Art is located within the College of Visual and Performing Arts and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in art with concentrations in Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Printmaking, Critical Art Practices, Graphic Design, Photography, and New Media. Our M.F.A. program prepares students for employment in higher education or to pursue other scholarly and professional artistic endeavors, and our M.A.T. program prepares students with a BFA degree for PK-12 art licensure by the Commonwealth of Virginia. For more information please visit http://soa.gmu.edu/about/.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is CulturalDC undertaking a partnership with George Mason University?
Partnerships and collaborations that build on the collective strengths of the respective organizations is a strategic priority for CulturalDC. In June 2013, the CulturalDC board approved a strategic plan, which included partnerships and collaborations as a core value of the organization.

Flashpoint Gallery exhibits cutting-edge and experimental contemporary art and provides a springboard for emerging visual artists. Since opening in 2003, Flashpoint has exhibited the work of over 100 visual artists. Flashpoint Gallery encourages artists to take creative risks and explore new ideas in an environment free from commercial expectations.

Jenny McConnell Frederick, formerly CulturalDC’s Director of Performing Arts, has assumed the role of Director of Artistic Programs. Frederick is a theatre director and producer with more than 17 years experience working with professional artists in a variety of disciplines. Combining CulturalDC’s Visual and Performing Arts Departments under one leader provides a unique opportunity for artists to cross traditional barriers between disciplines and to benefit from a variety of partnerships and perspectives they might not otherwise encounter. Frederick’s team will consist of a mix of professionals with backgrounds in the visual and performing arts.

GMU’s School of Art and Arts Management program have excellent academic and personnel resources that align well with the attributes we seek in a University Partner: a highly skilled academic team of practicing artists and experienced arts administrators and researchers; Navigation Press, a state-of-the-art laboratory enabling innovation in printmaking, and Provisions Library, a resource for catalyzing art projects about social change. This partnership supports our commitment to create opportunities for artistic innovation by combining GMUs deep academic resources with CulturalDC’s 15-year history and extensive experience nurturing and enabling emerging contemporary artists both locally and nationally.

What does each respective organization expect to gain from this partnership?
CulturalDC and GMU are excited for the opportunity to work together to provide exciting hands-on professional development opportunities to the next generation of arts leaders . GMU Fellows will have the chance to learn the inner workings of a nonprofit gallery – from issuing a call to artists to exhibition installation, and from marketing an exhibition to closing a sale. Fellows will shadow Flashpoint Gallery’s Advisory Panel of prestigious visual arts leaders and observe the exhibition selection process, as well as support CulturalDC’s professional staff to implement the visual arts program.

Will CulturalDC continue its Visual Arts Program (exhibition and selection of emerging contemporary artists) in the future?
CulturalDC will continue its role as a leader in supporting emerging contemporary artists. An open call for artists and a distinguished advisory panel will continue to be the foundation of CulturalDC’s selection process. The panel, comprised of a rotating group of some of Washington’s most dynamic visual arts leaders, will continue to provide guidance and perspective during the selection process and later by serving as mentors to individual artists. The panelists for the current season are: Hasan Elahi, Artist and Associate Professor of Art, University of Maryland; Melissa Ho, Assistant Curator, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Laura Roulet, Independent Curator; Schwanda Rountree, Independent Curator and Collector, Rountree Art Consulting; Luis Silva, Artist and Associate Professor, American University; and Vesela Sretenovic, Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Phillips Collection.

How or will CulturalDC’s Visual Arts Program change as a result of this announcement?
It is our hope that a partnership with GMU will yield a fresh new perspective for CulturalDC’s Flashpoint Gallery. GMU’s visual art and arts management graduate students will have the opportunity to gain real world experience and explore their ideas, while networking with industry leaders. CulturalDC’s reputation as the source of groundbreaking innovations will continue and expand.

What are the plans of the partnership after this exhibition season?
We see this as the beginning of a long and satisfying marriage. As we envision this long-term strategic partnership, our signature Flashpoint Gallery Program will continue and be bolstered by our partnership with GMU. At the same time, we will make space for fresh innovations in visual arts via exhibitions and programs that we will conceive and deliver together with GMU. The details of this long-term partnership will be shaped by our work together during this first phase, the current Flashpoint exhibition season, which continues through August 2014. We look forward to sharing exciting details over the coming months.

Is CulturalDC planning other partnerships?
Absolutely. CulturalDC is exploring strategic partnerships with other arts organizations whose work complements our mission and enables us to make even more space for art and serve even more artists and art organizations, as well as audience members in the DC region. CulturalDC purchased Flashpoint in June 2013, and will launch a campaign to renovate the space in order to maximize arts uses and cultivate sustainable strategic partnerships. Look for more details as our expanding partnerships unfold!

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