Arts & Entertainment, Gallery Beat

A Warm Welcome to the DMV!

By F. Lennox Campello

A city’s visual arts scene, as I’ve noted multiple times in various forms, is like a gorgeous tapestry made of many pieces of diverse cloth and threads.  The DMV visual arts tapestry ranges from such great chunks of royal clothing as the Torpedo Factory, the Arts League, the BlackRock Center for the Arts, the Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art, all the museums on the Mall and at our area universities, all the hard-working independently owned commercial art galleries, cooperative galleries, independent art studios, embassy galleries and many others, too many to list, to single artists struggling and creating art in their basements or laundry rooms.

One such key organization is the Washington Project for the Arts (WPA). Now in its 48th year, the WPA is “a trailblazer among the region’s contemporary art institutions, with a dedicated project space, bookstore, and gallery. WPA’s mission supports the development of experimental projects that build community through collaborations between artists and audiences, with an emphasis on dialogue and advocacy. Artists are invited to curate and organize all of WPA’s programming as an extension of their own intellectual research, and their resulting projects may assume a variety of forms including exhibitions, publications, performances, workshops, symposia, community dinners, and more.”

And a few days ago, the WPA’s Board of Directors announced the appointment of Travis Chamberlain as its next Director. Chamberlain is described as “a curator and director with more than 20 years of experience in museum, non-profit, and for-profit contemporary arts spaces in New York City.”

“We feel very fortunate to welcome Travis Chamberlain as the next Director of Washington Project for the Arts,” said Board of Directors Co-Chairs Ashley Givens, Ph.D. and Jocelyn Sigue. “His decades-long commitment to community organizing through art and his extensive experience as a curator, producer, and institutional leader working at a local, national, and international level will be a tremendous asset to WPA and the greater region.”

“Washington Project for the Arts is an incubator for new art that is unrestrained by discipline and anchored by ideas that seek to inspire positive change in the world,” Chamberlain notes. “The fact that WPA is in DC, so close to the Capitol and all that comes with it, only makes the questions we ask and the answers we explore together all the more resonant for artists and communities everywhere. I am excited to join the staff and board in furthering their commitment to facilitating collaborations between audiences and artists. Through our work together, WPA will also become a catalyst for nurturing an exchange of ideas and resource sharing among creative communities on a more global level, with DC as the hub from which all WPA collaborations will flow.”

Welcome to the DMV!

Over the years I’ve sat many times in the award selection panels of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, a wonderful organization and a terrific asset for DMV area artists for grants, workshops, exhibitions, and Art Bank, which is the process via which the City acquires art for its collection.

And since I’m in the welcoming mood this month, I want to extend a warm welcome to Andrea Brown, she’s the new Arts Learning Coordinator for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She says that “I’m new to the Agency, having started in my role this past April. I’ve always known I wanted to be an Artist. My earliest memories as a child were of my father drawing things he saw around the house, in the newspaper, and in nature. Even now, there are stacks of his illustrations in sketch books around my childhood home that I can vividly remember him leisurely drawing with such skill and grace. My aunt (his sister) would sew clothing and make beautiful dolls, varying in scale, and material. I was always in awe seeing her create things out of what started out as ordinary piles of fabric.”

Brown attended Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland where she majored in Fibers. “I would go on to sew themed fashion collections each spring with a cohort of my peers that would culminate into MICA’s annual Spring Fashion show,” she adds, “contributions from ticket sales supported need-based scholarships for incoming minority students.”

Welcome to the DMV!

About the Author: F. Lennox Campello’s art news, information, gallery openings, commentary, criticism, happenings, opportunities, and everything associated with the global visual arts scene with a special focus on the Greater Washington, DC area has been a premier source for the art community for over 20 years. Since 2003, his blog has been the 11th highest ranked art blog on the planet with over SIX million visitors.

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes