Finding Our Place: The Geography of Art


For many artists, the words of writer Wendell Berry ring true – “if you don’t know where you are, you don’t know who you are.” A sense of place can be an essential element in artists’ creative life, and frequently informs their subject matter, materials, style, approach, studio location, and more. Whether it be ones childhood “primal landscape,” full of memories of home and family, or the pull of a dramatic landscape, or a connection to a particular place based on historical and cultural events, geography calls to the imagination. As the world shifts to a focus on the virtual, how has this impacted artists’ work? Has it resulted in a weakening of a sense of place, or has the meaning of place simply adjusted to this new reality?

This exhibit invites artists to explore this issue from either or both sides, and to celebrate what place means to them. What informs your work? A physical location or a virtual world? Do you know “where you are?” All media welcome; small to large-scale installations; new media encouraged; indoor and outdoor works accepted; cash awards.

Submission Deadline: 08/14/2015

Contact Name: Melissa Langley
Contact Email:
Click here for a PDF of the prospectus.

15th Annual Hip-Hop Theatre Festival


The DC Hip-Hop Theater Festival showcases local, national and international artists leading Hip-Hop’s multi-medium expression with dance, workshop and classes. The Festival displays the genre’s multi-faceted forms: the 10-year anniversary of the one-woman show from Anu Yadav called “Capers,” a youth summit, Music on the Mall and more.

In addition to performances, panel conversations and development series create discourse and dialogue to foster a growing and innovative Hip-Hop ecology in Washington, DC. The “New Works in Development Series” display local playwrights, performers and dancers who have new works in various phases of development. The series includes readings, staged readings, choreographers showcase and productions. In addition, to support the future of Hip-Hop theater, a “Youth Hip-Hop Theatre Showcase” will be presented at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage.

Click here for the full schedule.

Dance with me! Friday, July 17

Dance with me-web

PulseDc: Dance with me!

The Hand Dance Experience, Official Dance of the Nation’s Capital!

Friday, July 17, 7:00 – 10:30 PM

GATEWAY DC at St Elizabeth East, 2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20032

Performances by 1960’s Doo-Wop group The Jewels, Brencore Allstars with a tribute to Motown and an Interactive Hand Dance workshop with the National Hand Dance Association.

Open dance floor, lawn chairs welcomed.

The event is free and open to the public.

Mayor’s Arts Awards Call to Producers

The Mayor’s Arts Awards are the most prestigious honors conferred by the city on individual artists, organizations and patrons of the arts. Mayor’s Arts Awards are presented in the following categories: Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education, Excellence in an Artistic Discipline, Outstanding Emerging Artist, Innovation in the Arts and Outstanding Service to the Arts. In addition, Mayor’s Arts Awards for Teaching are presented in Language Arts, Performing Arts and Visual Arts.

Since its inception in 1981, the Mayor’s Arts Awards has recognized artistic excellence and service among artists, organizations, and patrons in the District, while bringing awareness to the presence and vitality of the arts community in the city through on-stage performances. Past Award recipients include extraordinary members of our community including Leonard Slatkin, Roberta Flack, Shirley Horn, Peggy Cooper Cafritz, George Stevens, Howard University’s Division of Fine Arts and Sweet Honey in the Rock. The ceremony has attracted over 1,200 attendees including dignitaries, government officials, and distinguished awards presenters.

Click here for a PDF of the scope of work and instructions.

Deadline is Thursday, July 16, 2015.

DC’s Hot Hits and Hidden Jewels; Friday, June 26 – Sunday, June 28

Check out this weekend’s Hot Hits & Hidden Jewels from, your link to the Arts in Metro DC.

Source Festival 2015Source Festival
Source Theatre.
Source Festival debuts 24 original works for the stage including three Full-length plays, evenings full of 10-minute plays and more. Produced by CulturalDC and performed at the Source Theatre on 14th Street.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are DeadRosencrantz
Folger Theatre.
In a world where heads always wins and pirates can happen to anyone, this fabulously inventive, existentialist tragicomedy thrusts two of Shakespeare’s most incidental characters into the limelight.

Rachel Schmidt: Forgotten FuturesRachel Schmidt
Flashpoint Gallery.
Forgotten Futures presents a series of sculptures, installations and animations that work in chorus to tell the future myth of the last elephant.

CultureCapital. Your Metro DC Arts Alliance for over 30 years.

Music on the Mall Spotlight: Head-Roc

Head-Roc by Sydney Thomas
Head-Roc by Sydney Thomas

This is a profile of one of our 2015 Music on the Mall artists, Head-Roc.

Q: Are you from the Washington, DC area originally?
A: Yes. I was born in DC proper and in my early years raised in Brightwood NW. Between 8-18 yrs of age I was raised in Hillcrest Heights, Marlow Heights, and Temple Hills, MD before returning back to my Brightwood NW roots as a Young Adult.

Q: Where have you studied/gone to school for your art?
A: My mother is a gifted Visual Artist, and I am primarily a Self-taught artist that has benefitted tremendously from being in the company of other self-taught and classically trained artists (multidiscipline) within the community I come from.

Q: Favorite advice you’ve received from a teacher/mentor/colleague?
A: “Never Give up Head-Roc… Keep Going… the People ABSOLUTELY support what you do.“ – All my Teahcers/Mentors/Colleageus.

Q: Favorite neighborhood in DC?
A: Rock Creek Park (I know it’s not a neighborhood).

Q: Favorite food (and best place to get that in DC, if you want to share that, too)?
A: My Salvadorian Friends with the outdoor Kitchen set up in the parking lot on 14th Street between Otis and Parkwood Sts. NW.

Q: Favorite game (board game, card game, video game, etc.)
A: All Games played with my Daughter are my Favorite (Go Fish, Soccer, Capoeira, and Pretend Character Play).

Q: What book are you currently reading?
A: “Funk” by Rickey Vincent.

Q: What is your motto?
A: You GODISHEUS! (Pronounced Gotta-See-Us).

Q: What would your superpower be?
A: My Super Power is unparalleled Communicative and Show rocking ability being decidedly Conscious Artist living my Life as Black Rock Star Super Hero!

Q: Three artists (living or dead) whom you would want to have dinner with?
A: Nina Simone, Everyone in 3LG (DC Hip-Hop), Everyone in Infinite Loop (DC Hip-Hop).

[You can catch Head-Roc at Music on the Mall, on Tuesday, June 30, 2015.]

Join us for DC’s Biggest Dance Party tomorrow!

BiggestDanceParty-web DC’s Biggest Dance Party is tomorrow night!!

Thank you to everyone who has RSVP’ed so far. For everyone else who is still thinking about it, we put together this list of top 10 reasons to join us.


  • Is good for the body
  • Is good for the mind
  • Reduces stress
  • Increases energy
  • Boosts memory
  • Improves your balance
  • Helps your heart
  • Makes you happy
  • Is a way to meet new people
  • Is a way to feel connected to people

So start this weekend at an outdoor dance party with DJ’s spinning your favorite hits from the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and today! Featuring DJ Quicksilva and DJ Rusty B with All Good Funk Alliance and line dance lessons by Music2YourFeet.

Click here for more information and to RSVP.

Please note admission to the event is first come, first served. RSVP’s are for internal tracking purposes and do not guarantee admittance.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Collage

[A guest post from Artist John Deardourff, as part of a special Designed to Recycle series]

Superhero comic books, like hip hop, are a pure American art form. They were a form of escapism for a young, unathletic, suburban American nerd like me. Lately I’m less concerned with the melodramatic space operas and adolescent male power fantasies. Now I am interested in the vocabulary of comic book art: exaggeration, movement, energy, the interplay of sequential imagery, black contour line, and, most importantly, artificial, oversaturated color. First I dig through the pages of my comic book collection, or go searching for old issues in stores and on the internet, and then I excavate certain passages that emphasize that vocabulary. I reconstruct these splinters into landscape and still life collages. These compositions end up looking fragmented and abstract, like dreams, memories, or broken mirrors. The imagery is loud, rough, and bittersweet, similar to ‘ruin porn’ in the way that it aestheticizes destruction and violence.

The Dawning of a New Age of Supernatural Enlightenment by John Deardourff, collage on paper
The Dawning of a New Age of Supernatural Enlightenment by John Deardourff, collage on paper

My collages sometimes become the basis for screen prints. Before computers, separators colored comics by hand using a four-color (CMYK) method. For instance, separators would print a yellow ink over a blue ink in order to achieve a green color. I use screen printing to mimic this process.

I couldn’t resist applying for Designed to Recycle because it sounded super freaking cool. But more importantly, the Designed to Recycle project presented me with a magical, alchemical opportunity to translate the imagery I’ve been working with onto a larger, movable scale, and to transform something familiar and mundane into something intriguing and unexpected. The way I use collage is similar to recycling: taking discarded fragments, breathing new life into them, and reconstituting them into a new, different whole. To make the artwork for my truck, I took my process a step further and collaged together sections from my screen prints. I was looking for passages that emphasized movement, energy, and the juxtaposition of abstract and familiar imagery. I named the truck “The Cap City Cruncher” because I was thinking about how cool it would be to enter this baby in a monster truck rally. I’m so excited about how the truck looks in real life and so glad that I get to share my artwork with the city in this way. If you see it in the streets, take a pic and send it to me. And don’t forget to recycle!

The Cap City Cruncher by John Deardourff
The Cap City Cruncher by John Deardourff

John Deardourff, Designed to Recycle Artist

[Designed to Recycle, a public art project collaboration between the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the DC Department of Public Works, was developed to create mobile canvases featuring the work of local artists to highlight the importance of recycling.  Over the course of spring and summer 2015, ten recycling trucks will be wrapped in the work of local artists.]

CALL FOR ENTRIES | Materials: Hard and Soft National Contemporary Craft Competition

MHS-CALL-web-banner3The Greater Denton Arts Council announces the opening of its 2016 Call for Entries for the 29th annual Materials: Hard & Soft National Contemporary Craft Competition and Exhibition. Recognized as one of the premier craft exhibitions in the country, Materials: Hard & Soft began in 1987 and was originally initiated by area artist Georgia Leach Gough. The exhibition celebrates the evolving field of contemporary craft and the remarkable creativity and innovation of artists who push the boundaries of their chosen media. Drawing hundreds of applications from across the United States each year, approximately 70 works will be selected for exhibition by our 2016 Juror, Elizabeth Kozlowski. As the curator of the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Kozlowki has over 12 years of curatorial and gallery experience with a specialty in contemporary ceramics. Of the works selected, Juror Awards in the amounts of $1,000, $750, $500 and $250 will be presented.

NEW! Online submissions and prospectus available at

SUBMISSION DEADLINE | September 4, 2015 by 5:00 p.m.

2016 EXHIBITION | February 5 – April 1, 2016 at the Patterson-Appleton Center for the Visual Arts in Denton, Texas.

Inquiries may be directed to the Arts Council at (940) 382-2787 or

Submission Deadline: 09/04/2015
Contact Name: Caroline Holley
Contact Email: