Art and the City

Hill Center Galleries: Herman Murno, “Helios Descending into Poseidon’s Realms.” Image courtesy of the artist

Franz Jantzen: May 18-June 29

Franz Jantzen’s current exhibition at HEMPHILL Artworks highlights his meticulous approach to digital photography, reflecting his dual roles as an archivist and an artist. Jantzen’s process involves a painstaking documentation method, perfected over decades. He spends countless hours layering individual images, stratifying visual information to create compositions that convey deeper meanings. His latest series, “The Great Trek,” reimagines a journey undertaken by his father’s family, depicted through intricate renderings of paving stones in Pompeii.

This image may be used by Hemphill Fine Arts, and/or reproduced for exhibit promotional purposes if it remains uncropped and is properly credited – for all other usage contact Franz Jantzen at (202) 904-0282.

Jantzen shares his personal connection to the work as follows: “In 1880, a group of pacifist Mennonites, including my father’s family, followed a doomsday prophet from Russia across the desert to Uzbekistan, where they believed God would arrive in 1889. Although my family left before reaching the final destination, they experienced both the kindness of strangers and significant hardships. My series traces six geographic locations from their journey, in the order they encountered them.”

Through his work, Jantzen invites viewers to delve into the rich layers of his images and the historical references they encompass. By presenting variations of his compositions, he hopes to evoke a sense of wonder and careful observation, encouraging audiences to appreciate the intricate connections between past, present and future. The exhibition offers a thought-provoking exploration of history and personal legacy coupled with an innovative use of contemporary digital art. HEMPHILL Artworks is located at 434 K St. NW. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and by appointment. 202-234-5601

Hill Center Galleries
Capitol Hill Art League (CHAL)
Juried Exhibition and “The Art of Healing”
May 14-Sept. 7

Two intriguing new exhibits are now on view at Hill Center Galleries through the summer ‒ Capitol Hill Art League’s annual juried exhibition and “The Art of Healing.” These exhibitions provide a varied showcase of artistic talent and creativity, highlighting diverse perspectives and the therapeutic power of art.

The Mansion at Strathmore: Ameena Fareeda, “Peacock Pareidolia.” Image courtesy of the artist

The 2024 Capitol Hill Art League Juried Exhibition features works by 50 CHAL member artists, selected by Hill Center Galleries director Nicky Cymrot and artist Alan Braley. The exhibition, which includes a wide variety of media and viewpoints, can be viewed both in-person and online. All exhibited artworks are available for purchase, providing an excellent opportunity to support local artists.

Complementing the CHAL member exhibit, “The Art of Healing” is an inspiring intergenerational exhibition which showcases the artistic contributions of the military-affiliated community. This exhibition emphasizes collaboration among veterans, active-duty personnel, military families and caregivers, showcasing how art can serve as a powerful tool for healing and expression.

The exhibitions at Hill Center Galleries not only celebrate artistic excellence but also demonstrate the profound impact of art on individual and communal well-being. They offer insight into the healing power of making art while providing an opportunity to appreciate the talent of community-based artists. Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital is located at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 202-549-4172

National Portrait Gallery
May 31, 2024, through June 8, 2025
“Picturing the Presidents: Daguerreotypes and Ambrotypes from the National Portrait
Gallery’s Collection”

As the 2024 presidential election approaches, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has unveiled a timely new exhibition titled “Picturing the Presidents: Daguerreotypes and Ambrotypes from the National Portrait Gallery’s Collection.” Running through June 8, 2025, this exhibit, curated by senior curator of photographs Ann Shumard, features historic photographic portraits of 11 US presidents.

National Portrait Gallery: Abraham Lincoln, Artist: George Clark.
Copy after: Mathew B. Brady. Ambrotype campaign pin. 1860. National Portrait Gallery,
Smithsonian Institution

Among the exhibition’s highlights is the 1843 daguerreotype of John Quincy Adams, the earliest surviving photograph of a US president. Another standout piece is an ambrotype pin from Abraham Lincoln’s 1860 campaign that showcases Mathew Brady’s first photograph of Lincoln ‒ an image widely credited with helping secure Lincoln’s election victory.

“These vintage daguerreotypes and ambrotypes are among the treasures of the Portrait Gallery’s collection,” Shumard stated. “They offer visitors a unique opportunity to view some of the earliest photographic likenesses of our nation’s Presidents.”

The exhibition also includes representations of presidents whose terms predated the advent of photography in 1839. Visitors can view a daguerreotype of Gilbert Stuart’s 1796 painting of George Washington and an ambrotype of Andrew Jackson based on a painted miniature. Other featured presidents include Martin Van Buren, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan and Chester Arthur. Additionally, a modern daguerreotype documenting Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration serves as a fitting conclusion to these early presidential images.

Although daguerreotypes and ambrotypes were one-of-a-kind objects with limited circulation, they inspired numerous popular prints that reached countless American households. The exhibition includes three such prints featuring John Quincy Adams, Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan.

“Picturing the Presidents” complements the museum’s renowned “America’s Presidents” gallery, which showcases portraits of all past US presidents in various media. This exhibition offers a unique historical perspective, connecting early photographic techniques with the broader narrative of American presidential history. The National Portrait Gallery is located at Eighth and G streets NW. Open seven days a week, 11:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Closed Dec. 25. 202-633-1000

The Mansion at Strathmore
Translation through Art
May 14-July 27

Strathmore Mansion’s current exhibition, “Translation through Art,” curated by Emon Surakitkoson, features work by Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) artists from the greater Washington and Baltimore region. The exhibition includes a variety of media such as painting, photography, collage, digital illustration and sculpture, highlighting the diverse artistic expressions of AAPI artists.

The exhibition aims to provide a platform for AAPI artists to share their stories and cultural heritage, fostering a sense of community and encouraging meaningful conversations among visitors and artists. By increasing the visibility of AAPI artists, the exhibition offers opportunities for connection, healing and growth.

Viewers will experience a blend of traditional and contemporary art forms with each work, reflecting each artist’s personal story and cultural identity. For those interested in
exploring the rich and varied works of AAPI artists, “Translation through Art” at Strathmore Mansion offers a compelling and insightful journey. The Mansion at Strathmore is located at 10701 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland. Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 12-4 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; closed Sunday and Monday. 301-530-5109

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