Anacostia Community Museum To Host CulturalDC’s “Block Watch”
The Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum, in collaboration with CulturalDC, will host Washington, D.C.’s Mobile Art Gallery from April 25 through May 26. “Block Watch” is the fifth exhibition in CulturalDC’s Mobile Art Gallery tour. Local artist Amanda Burnham, who used input from the Anacostia community, created the installation. Gallery hours are Wednesday–Friday, 12–5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. A Community Kickoff event will be Saturday, April 28, from noon, to 2 p.m. Admission is free.
CulturalDC’s Mobile Art Gallery presents cutting-edge artwork by local artists in a 40-foot portable shipping container transformed into a mobile art gallery. Moving across Washington, the Mobile Art Gallery connects local communities to a new exhibit by a local artist in every neighborhood it visits. CulturalDC solicited exhibitions through a competitive open-call process. Project submissions were reviewed and selected by an advisory panel composed of noted artists and arts professionals in the Washington area.
“We are so thrilled to partner with CulturalDC and host Amanda Burnham as she creates ‘Block Watch,’” said Museum Director Lori Yarrish. “To see an artist collaborate with community members and translate their stories into living art is truly inspirational.”
Burnham’s acrylic paintings weave together imagery from archival photographs and observations of the present landscape of Anacostia to create an abstract representation of the community, its history and its future. Visitors will be invited to contribute their own words and images into the work’s three-dimensional, collaged layers of drawings.
“Cities interest me as teeming containers for everything,” Burnham said. “As a reflexive, intimate space, the Mobile Art Gallery gives me the ability to reflect the attitudes and lives of the community the gallery inhabits.”
“We see the arts as an essential part of the health of our communities in the District,” said CulturalDC Executive Director Tanya Hilton. “With our Mobile Art Gallery and its interactive exhibits such as ‘Block Watch,’ we find that people all across the city feel empowered to engage in new creative experiences.”
About Amanda Burnham
Burnham makes drawings and site-specific installations based on her explorations and encounters with the city. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally; past venues include the Volta Art Fair, Halle Nord, the Delaware Contemporary, the Toledo Museum of Art, the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Benrimon Contemporary, Bridge Gallery, Christina Ray Gallery and the Dorsch Gallery. She has been the recipient of a Ruby’s Grant from the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance; Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council in 2010, 2013 and 2015; a Mayor’s Art Award via the Creative Baltimore Fund in 2014; and was named a Sondheim Art Prize semifinalist in 2012, 2013 and 2014. She has been invited to residencies at the Embassy of Foreign Artists in Geneva, the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai and Antenna Projects in New Orleans. A graduate of Harvard College and the Yale School of Art, Burnham has been a professor in the Department of Art+Design, Art History and Art Education at Towson University since 2007.
About the Museum
The Anacostia Community Museum was founded in 1967 as an initiative to bring national culture into a local, inner-city environment. Under John Kinard, the museum’s founding director, its mission changed, and it became a place for people in an urban neighborhood to voice their concerns about city life and examine their roles in society. The museum served as a safe space for encouraging local forms of cultural expression.
Today, the museum explores social issues affecting diverse populations of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area to promote mutual understanding and strengthen community bonds. The museum’s work focuses on the arts, environment, community history and urban studies, and researching, interpreting and sharing the stories of diverse communities.
CulturalDC has a 19-year history of creating affordable, sustainable artist spaces in the Washington, D.C., area. CulturalDC has brokered more than 250,000 square feet of artist space, including the Arts Walk at Monroe Street Market, Atlas Performing Arts Center, GALA Hispanic Theatre, Source Theatre and Woolly Mammoth Theatre. Each year, CulturalDC serves more than 1,000 artists and welcomes 30,000 audience members and participants who patronize local businesses and contribute an estimated $1 million to the local economy.
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