activating unexpected spaces across the district for innovative, multidisciplinary and mobile arts
CulturalDC’s Mobile Arts Program breaks down the barriers to art often found in traditional presenting venues. We offer the ideal space for nationally and regionally prominent artists to engage with audiences in new, exciting ways. The Mobile Arts offers an artistic dialogue on national, local and grassroots levels. Alongside opportunities for workshops, lectures and community engagement, The Mobile Arts demonstrate the ability of innovative, provoking art to cut across cultural, social and economic boundaries. By offering residents of the nation’s capital direct access to unique creative experiences, CulturalDC is determined to keep high-quality art where it belongs—at the center of community.
ONGOING: PODCAST SERIES
CulturalDC partners with Caandor Labs to produce podcast episodes featuring interviews with our artists and collaborators!
On this episode, we hear from Devan Shimoyama about his Mobile Art Gallery exhibit that anchored CulturalDC’s ‘The Barbershop Project’. In Mighty Mighty, Shimoyama’s paintings come to life, engaging individuals in a dialogue about how to evolve from said stereotypes of such performed hypermasculinity in barbershops and how to cultivate a safe, welcome environment for all.
On this episode, we hear from artist Jefferson Pinder about his performance art piece “This Is Not A Drill” performed at The Source on 14th Street in mid June 2019. Jefferson Pinder is an artist whose work provides evocative commentary on race and forms of struggle, aiming to investigate aspects of personal identity through the materials of neon, found objects, performance, and video. Pinder is joined in conversation with Dr. Jordana Moore Saggese to discuss Pinder’s new work and its inspirational ties to The Red Summer of 1919.
On this episode, we hear from Mobile Art Gallery artist Jamea Richmond-Edwards about her exhibit Stay Fly, on view at CityCenterDC through April 13. She’s joined by Desiree Venn Frederic and Howard University Professor Dr. Melanee Harvey. They talk about fashion and the power of the Black consumer. Thanks to our friends at Eaton for hosting this important and timely conversation.
Our first episode features a conversation between CulturalDC’s Executive Director Kristi Maiselman and critically acclaimed artist Jennifer Rubell about the exhibit you’ve probably heard of: Ivanka Vacuuming. A Q&A portion with the live audience follows. CulturalDC, as part of its 20th Anniversary Season presented this limited engagement performance art piece in early February 2019. Inspired by a figure whose public persona incorporates an almost comically wide range of feminine identities – daughter, wife, mother, sister, model, working woman, blonde – Ivanka Vacuuming was simultaneously a visual celebration of a contemporary feminine icon; a portrait of our own relationship to that figure; and a questioning of our complicity in her role-playing.
CulturalDC partners with Source resident opera company The In Series for an exciting new pop-up initiative that pairs world-class opera with our Mobile Art Gallery. Enjoy short, digestible programs featuring curated songs that are in conversation with the exhibit.
We’ve featured Elizabeth Mondragon as part of Nara Park’s exhibit Enduring Memories, Jarrod Lee and Nigel Rowe as part of The Barbershop Project featuring Mighty Mighty by Devan Shimoyama.
the barbershop project featuring devan shimoyama’s mighty mighty (May-October 2019)
As the centerpiece of CulturalDC’s 20th Anniversary Season, The Barbershop Project was a multidisciplinary arts activation inspired by the art of hair, performance of styling and the cultural institution that is the barbershop.
The Barbershop Project was centered around Mighty Mighty: a collaboration between artist Devan Shimoyama, Barber of Hell’s Bottom owner Kelly Gorsuch and designer/furniture maker Caleb Woodard. They transformed CulturalDC’s Mobile Art Gallery into an immersive art installation and fully-functioning barbershop which offered free haircuts to the community.
ivanka vacuuming by jennifer rubell (february 2019)
CulturalDC, as part of its 20th Anniversary Season, brought critically acclaimed American conceptual artist Jennifer Rubell to the nation’s capital for a limited engagement performance art piece.
Inspired by a figure whose public persona incorporates an almost comically wide range of feminine identities – daughter, wife, mother, sister, model, working woman, blonde – Ivanka Vacuuming is simultaneously a visual celebration of a contemporary feminine icon; a portrait of our own relationship to that figure; and a questioning of our complicity in her role-playing.
"Art can offer a truth that politics can’t. It can create a portrait of things that contradict each other. This is a great gift of art and a great defect of politics. There’s no greater clarity than the piece itself.” ~ Jennifer Rubell, Refinery29
stay fly by jamea richmond-edwards (february-april 2019)
CulturalDC presents its 10th installation in their Mobile Art Gallery: Stay Fly by DC-based artist Jamea Richmond-Edwards. The Mobile Art Gallery is hosted at CityCenterDC.
As part of CulturalDC’s 20th Anniversary Season, Stay Fly engages viewers around the concepts of haute couture and status symbols. Like her paintings, the exhibit draws attention to the historical and often complex relationship between Black consumers and luxury goods.
Jamea’s colorful, textured portraits are inspired by the flamboyant style of the 90’s, growing up in Detroit, Michigan and Ebony magazine’s “Fashion Fair” spreads, which featured beautiful Black models dressed in the latest couture.
“Jamea’s installation in particular highlights the potential of CulturalDC’s Mobile Art Gallery. We are providing a unique opportunity for an artist to display their work directly next to the subjects they are in conversation with. We’re also thinking critically about other artistic disciplines, like fashion, and their representation in our curatorial repertoire,” says Kristi Maiselman, Executive Director of CulturalDC.
FLASHPOINT GALLERY (2003-2017)
For 15 years, CulturalDC operated Flashpoint Gallery in downtown Washington, DC. The visual arts programming at Flashpoint nurtured talented emerging and mid-career artists by providing exhibition space and opportunities for peer learning and mentorship. Each exhibition season showcased bold, new work from artists working in a variety of media including site-specific installations, performance, new media, and other experimental forms. As a nonprofit gallery free from the constraints of commercial expectations, Flashpoint provided artists and curators a unique opportunity to take creative risks. Each year, an advisory panel of noted artists and arts professionals in the DC-area made programming recommendations for the gallery and provided mentorship and support to exhibiting artists and curators.
MEAD THEATRE LAB (2005-2017)
For 13 years, CulturalDC ran the Mead Theatre Lab Program in downtown Washington, DC. The performing arts program offered intensive production and development assistance for performing artists, writers, directors, producers, and independent theatre companies. CulturalDC encouraged artists to develop new, risk-taking work, explore the artistic process in innovative ways, and collaborate with artists working in a variety of disciplines. The result was an eclectic group of innovative, edgy productions, and an environment in which emerging performing artists could grow. Each season, projects were solicited through a competitive open call process. Selected productions were recommended by an advisory panel of prominent DC-area arts professionals who also provided mentoring and professional development throughout the creation of each production.
the mobile art gallery
CulturalDC continues its strong history of presenting cutting-edge artwork and emerging artists through a Mobile Art Gallery. By outfitting a portable shipping container as a multi-functional space for art CulturalDC ensures that communities experience and engage in groundbreaking works. DC's first Mobile Art Gallery moves across the District with a new exhibit and free public programming in every neighborhood it visits.
While many recognized arts centers are located Downtown, CulturalDC is committed to delivering high-quality art directly to neighborhoods in the nation’s capital. The Mobile Art Gallery is building bridges of access to arts and culture for all. In each new location, CulturalDC works with key stakeholders like BID's, ANC's, community organizations, schools, Main Streets, artists, and more to provide an immersive experience.
We throw a family-friendly Kick-Off Party featuring community performers, program free artist-led workshops, and work with the hosting organization to craft other neighborhood-specific events.
We’re so thankful to the 9 artists who kicked off the first season of the Mobile Art Gallery with fantastic exhibits!
Vincent and Pam Ammann, Julie Chase, Jonathan Cutler and Paula Parsons, Elissa Davidson, Victoria Davis, Steven & Tanya Hilton, Brigid Hynes-Cherin, Gerald Musarra and Carlos Ortiz, Phil Perkins and Margaret Allen, Peter and Sara O'Keefe, Olwen and Don Pongrace and Stephen Stein