EYES OPEN: DC Artists in Real Time
curated by and featuring work by Rose Jaffe
Dec 14th 2018 - Jan 20th 2019
“EYES OPEN: DC Artists in Real Time” aims to shed light on artists living and working in the nation's capital today. As the city moves through rapid change, artists remain a critical lense; reflecting on the expansion, growth and subsequent loss experienced by the people and places of our communities. Seven artists use their mediums to express direct messages of political dissent, explore experiences of their personal lives in the city and/or use process in which creating the art is a meditation of escape. With rising rent and studio space costs, DC artists can feel squeezed in their own home, creating tension that shows in their work whether intentional or not.
This work most often plays with identity, specifically portraiture. Capturing bodies and faces that reflect themselves, or more playfully celebrate tough realities is a way to add their voices and subvert mainstream narratives too often seen in the arts. “EYES OPEN” reflects on how these artists see themselves in the greater context of living in a city with such national and global attention. At times some local artists feel conflicted with the reality of living in the shadow of internationally recognized institutions like the Smithsonian, whose collections - though stunning - at times fall short of reflecting the direct artist communities that surround them. The voices, visuals and and existence of DC artists are crucial to preserve, support and foster as the city around us continues to evolve.
Of course this is a mere fraction of the vibrating artists community in the nation’s capital.
It is imperative to continue to provide space and resources to our cities creatives amidst such rapid change, and to foster artistic expression from a young age. These artists use their voices, paints, photographs, found materials and digital tools to communicate a critical story. We cherish our city and are dedicated to maintaining and upholding the artists here today and working towards preserving a place for tomorrow.
All the artists involved with this show are local and accept commissions. You can find them:
Marie Amegah @open27hours
Esteban Whiteside @esteban.gallery
Ann Gill @annlgill
Jordan Sanders @jordanhamlettsanders
Rose Jaffe @rose_inks