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CulturalDC extends Devan Shimoyama’s ‘Mighty Mighty’ in Mobile Art Gallery

WASHINGTON, DC – CulturalDC ends its 20th Anniversary Season by bringing The Barbershop Project to the LGBTQIA+ friendly 14th St neighborhood following a summer-long residency at Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC). The Barbershop Project is a multidisciplinary arts activation inspired by the art of hair, performance of styling and the cultural institution that is the barbershop. The extension runs September 11-October 6 at the corner of T and 14th St NW.

The Barbershop Project is anchored by Mighty Mighty: a collaboration between artist Devan Shimoyama, Barber of Hell’s Bottom owner Kelly Gorsuch and designer/furniture maker Caleb Woodard. They have transformed CulturalDC’s Mobile Art Gallery into an immersive art installation and fully functioning barbershop.

In Mighty Mighty, Shimoyama’s paintings come to life, engaging individuals in a dialogue about how to evolve from stereotypes of performed hypermasculinity in barbershops and how to cultivate a safe, welcome environment for all.

While at THEARC, Mighty Mighty provided over 350 haircuts and participated in neighborhood events like the Craig Shields Foundation Community Cuts for Kids. CulturalDC programmed several artist events that were presented in conversation with the exhibit including: Sheldon Scott’s fade featured in the By the People festival, Holly Bass’ Come Clean & Cultural Preserves, pOPERA (pop-up opera) with The In Series, and portrait workshops with ArtReachGW.

“CulturalDC had a wonderful experience at THEARC and are grateful that our inclusive barbershop exhibit became a neighborhood staple. We’re looking forward to bringing Devan’s work to more communities in DC,” says Kristi Maiselman, Executive Director of CulturalDC.

Continuing our work of offering barber themed engagement, CulturalDC and Darius ‘Sunny D’ Davie of Groom Guy will present an evening of critical dialogue and networking for local barbers at CulturalDC’s Source Theatre on Sunday, September 29. The barbers and invited guests will engage in a discussion about celebrating different racial, gender, and sexualities within the personal grooming sphere. More details coming soon.

The Barbershop Project presented by CulturalDC runs September 11-October 6, 2019. Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Thursday from 4-8pm; Fridays from 4-10pm; Saturdays from 10am-10pm and Sundays from 10-6pm. Located on T St NW at the corner of 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009. Admission is free. 



Devan Shimoyama is a visual artist working primarily in self-portraiture and narratives inspired from classical mythology and allegory. The work of Devan Shimoyama showcases the relationship between celebration and silence in queer culture and sexuality. Shimoyama’s composition is inspired from the canons of the masters Caravaggio and Goya, though adding a more contemporary expression and sensuality. With the usage of various materials: splattered paint, stencils, black glitter, rhinestones, and sequins, Shimoyama creates pieces that capture the magical spirit of human beings.

Shimoyama’s work has been exhibited throughout America on numerous occasions. He has been featured in The New York Times, Vice Magazine, ARTnews, Hyperallergic and GQ. His exhibition Cry, Baby was on view at the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh from October 13, 2018 – March 17, 2019.

Shimoyama was born in 1989 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and graduated from Penn State University in 2011 with a BFA in Drawing/Painting before obtaining his MFA at Yale University School of Art in 2014. He is represented by Kavi Gupta Gallery in Chicago and De Buck Gallery in New York. He is currently based in Pittsburgh, PA.


Kelly grew up in a hairdressing family. He has spent over two decades in all aspects of the industry, including coloring, cutting, barbering, runway, editorial, platform, teaching, managing, owning, and speaking. Kelly currently owns two luxury salons (Immortal Beloved) and four luxury men’s grooming salons (Barber of Hell’s Bottom) in Washington, D.C. and Richmond, VA. Kelly designs and builds all of his salons and barbershops. Those environments are steeped in what Kelly calls an Americanized version of Wabi Sabi that lends a natural and mysterious feel to the spaces.


Caleb Woodard (born in 1979) is a designer and second-generation furniture maker. In 2005 he founded his original studio in Washington, DC. In 2013 he moved his studio to the historic district of his hometown in Springfield, Tennessee. In 2015, he began designing and creating a series of functional, yet sculptural lighting pieces. In 2017, a new gallery space was added to the studio, allowing visitors the opportunity to have a personal interaction with his work. His designs continually push the boundaries of form and function with a passion for the organic. He works in wood, metal, stone, and glass. He personally designs and creates each piece with his small team.


CulturalDC ( celebrates its 20th year of creating affordable, sustainable artist spaces in the Washington, DC, area. Since 1998, CulturalDC has brokered more than 300,000 square feet of artist space, including: the Arts Walk at Monroe Street Market, Atlas Performing Arts Center, GALA Hispanic Theatre, Source Theatre and Woolly Mammoth Theatre. In addition to providing space, we facilitate opportunities for and present innovative visual, performing and multidisciplinary artists. CulturalDC’s Mobile Art Gallery is DC’s first moveable artspace and a commitment to use art as a catalyst to build community. Each year, CulturalDC serves more than 1,000 artists and welcomes 40,000 audience members and participants who patron local businesses and contribute an estimated $1 million to the local economy.

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