Art and The City: Lifting Voices Up

379
View of sculptures in The Kreeger Museum’s grounds. Photo: Anna Savino.

The Kreeger Museum & Washington Sculptors Group “Still Something Singing”
Through January 27, 2024

Currently on view on The Kreeger Museum’s expansive grounds, visitors will find a group sculpture exhibition titled “Still Something Singing,” a collaborative endeavor between the museum and Washington Sculptors Group. Betsy Johnson, Assistant Curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, guided this artistic exploration. Outdoor sculpture has been curated to capture “[…]the role of art in our contemporary moment,” according to the exhibition catalog.

“Still Something Singing” introduces viewers to a captivating collection of eight artworks, each serving as a catalyst for a fresh perspective on our surroundings and our own viewpoints. These pieces encourage a shift in how we see the world, promote the practice of compassion, uncover the beauty found within life’s dissonance, and inspire a sense of unity and healing. They carry the profound message that art holds the power to empower individuals to effect change in the tapestry of our world, even in moments when we might feel powerless.

Among the featured artists contributing their creative visions to this exhibition are Adam Bradley, Donna Cameron, Roger Cutler, Hyunsuk Erickson, Donna M. McCullough, Barbara Josephs Liotta, Maryanne Pollock, and Steve Wanna. “Still Something Singing” is a significant component of The Collaborative, an initiative initiated by The Kreeger Museum in 2021, aimed at supporting local artists from the Washington, DC region.

“Still Something Singing” stands as a poignant reminder that, even in challenging times, art remains a source of inspiration and empowerment, capable of driving meaningful change. 2401 Foxhall Road, NW. Sun.-Mon.: Closed. Tue.- Sat.: 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. (Grounds close at 4:15 p.m.). 202-337-3050. Ticketed entry required.

“Julie Packard” by Hope Gangloff Acrylic on Canvas, 2019. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; funded by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Board of Trustees. Copyright Hope Gangloff

National Portrait Gallery “Forces of Nature: Voices that Shaped Environmentalism”
October 20, 2023 – September 2, 2024

“Forces of Nature: Voices that Shaped Environmentalism” at the National Portrait Gallery introduces a selection of influential individuals, including scientists, politicians, activists, writers, and artists, who have played pivotal roles in shaping American attitudes toward the environment. This exhibit offers a historical journey, tracing the evolution of the environmental movement in the United States from the late 19th century to the present day.

The exhibition explores the transition from early 20th-century conservationism to mid-20th-century environmentalism, the subsequent challenges faced, and the contemporary efforts focused on environmental justice, biodiversity, and climate change. Drawing predominantly from the National Portrait Gallery’s own collection, “Forces of Nature: Voices that Shaped Environmentalism” showcases over 25 portraits of individuals who have left a lasting impact on how the public perceives the natural world.

Among the featured figures are well-known luminaries like Rachel Carson, George Washington Carver, Maya Lin, Henry David Thoreau, and Edward O. Wilson. The exhibition ingeniously combines portraiture, visual biographies, and, wherever possible, the subjects’ own words to delve into the intricate and multifaceted history of the environmental movement.

Guest curated by Lacey Baradel, a science historian at the National Science Foundation, “Forces of Nature: Voices that Shaped Environmentalism” provides an insightful exploration of the individuals who have shaped America’s environmental consciousness. 8th and G Streets, NW. 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Closed December 25.

Peter Clarke (1929-2014, South Africa), “That Evening Sun Goes Down”, 1960, Gouache on paper, 21 1/2 x 17 in., Fisk University Galleries, Nashville, Gift of the Harmon Foundation, 1991.313 © 2022 Peter Edward Clarke / DALRO, Johannesburg / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy American Federation of Arts.

The Phillips Collection “African Modernism in America, 1947-67”
Through January 7, 2024

In the pivotal year of 1967, Fisk University received a transformative collection of modern African art courtesy of the Harmon Foundation, a prominent American organization dedicated to supporting and promoting African and African American artists. This significant gift marked a two-decade period during which African artists gained increasing visibility among American audiences. This era unfolded against the backdrop of profound social and political changes in Africa, the United States, and the world.

Following the upheavals of World War II, there was a renewed commitment to Pan-Africanism as a cultural and political movement that fostered racial solidarity among people from Africa and its Diasporas. As independent African nations emerged from colonial rule, artists crafted new visual languages in response to the changing times. Organizations and institutions such as the Harmon Foundation, historically Black colleges and universities (including Fisk University in Nashville), the Museum of Modern Art, and Merton D. Simpson’s New York gallery provided fresh opportunities for engaging with African modernisms. Through their presentation of African artists, they encouraged American audiences to recognize shared aesthetic and political concerns.

This vibrant period, marked by the Harmon Foundation’s gift, serves as the foundation for “African Modernism in America, 1947-67.” Featuring the works of 50 African and African American artists, this exhibition is the first to explore the intricate connections between modern African artists and American patrons, artists, and cultural organizations. It unfolds within the intertwined histories of civil rights, decolonization, and the Cold War, revealing a rich network of transcontinental cultural exchange.  1600 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC. Tue.-Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed Mondays. 202-387-2151. Ticketed entry required.

University of Maryland Global Campus Gallery “Eternal Paper”
October 22, 2023–May 19, 2024

The Eternal Paper Exhibition at the University of Maryland Global Campus is a must-see event for art enthusiasts and anyone interested in exploring the creative boundaries of paper as a medium. This exhibition brings together 20 exceptionally talented artists who have collaboratively crafted intricate hand-formed art on and with paper. What sets this exhibition apart is the diversity of artistic approaches on display, ranging from representation to abstraction, and an exploration of pressing political, ecological, and social themes.

The exhibition is curated by renowned artist Helen C. Frederick, a master printmaker, educator, and the visionary behind Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, a leading Maryland organization specializing in contemporary printmaking.

“Eternal Paper” is a remarkable exhibit that offers a thought-provoking exploration of various perspectives, showcases the triumph of collaboration while reimagining paper as both an art form and as a medium. This endeavor could only have come to fruition from a group of artists who come from incredibly different backgrounds but who are all accomplished in their own right.

Artists in the exhibition include Maria Barbosa, Elsabé Johnson Dixon, Nicole Donnelly, Cheryl Edwards, Susan Firestone, Helen C. Frederick, Claudia “Aziza” Gibson-Hunter, Alexis Granwell, Ellen Hill, Ken Polinskie, Tongji Philip Qian, Randi Reiss-McCormack, Tara Sabharwal, Soledad Salamé, Preston Sampson, Gretchen Schermerhorn, Joyce J. Scott, Buzz Spector, Mary Ting, and Anne Vilsboell.  3501 University Blvd. East, Adelphi, MD. 9 a.m.–9 p.m. daily.

Phil Hutinet is the founding publisher of East City Art, DC’s visual art journal of record. For more information visit www.eastcityart.com