"4th of July" by Steven M. Cummings.
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The Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum continues its Call & Response: Community and Creativity exhibition series with two installations, “Artuaré” by Steven M. Cummings and “Conversations in the contemporary” by Creative Junkfood, currently on view through April 29. The Community and Creativity Initiative examines and highlights the expression of creative acts—from traditional arts to the artistry of roller skating—that can be found in the community. The final part of the series opens in June 2012.
Cummings weaves his largely autobiographical tale through a trail of photographic images and typewritten prose. He documents his awakening as an artist discussing his early influences, professional career—which includes a stint at this Smithsonian museum—and pivotal relationships with his professor at Maryland Institute College of Art and, finally, with artist BK Adams where the focus of the installation lies. “This installation is a sharp divergence from Cummings earlier more technical photography work and really highlights his creative genius,” said curator Portia James.
“Conversations in the contemporary” offers a multimedia installation incorporating film, video animation and visual art in a discussion on identity between the movie and the work on the walls. The Anacostia-based multimedia company, founded in 2010 by Candice Taylor, Nabeeh Bilal and Thomas Mobley, collaborates with five visual and three video/performance artists from the community to do this, its first exhibition piece. Through spoken word, animation and film, the three-minute video observes the relationship between what people say and do and who they are.
“‘Conversations’ introduces us to another side of the young and innovative business talent in our midst,” said James. “This exhibition continues the theme of our research—uncovering in the community, creative responses to life.”
The Anacostia Community Museum was opened in southeast Washington in 1967 as the nation’s first federally funded neighborhood museum. Renamed in 2006, it has expanded its focus beyond African American culture to documenting, interpreting and collecting objects related to the impact of historical and contemporary social issues on communities. For more information, the public may call (202) 633-4820, (202) 633-1000 or (202) 633-5285 (TTY). Website: anacostia.si.edu.
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Marcia Baird Burris