BENEFIT AUCTION ON ARTSY MAY 6 -20, 2021
WASHINGTON PROJECT FOR THE ARTS
COLLECTORS’ NIGHT VIRTUAL PARTY MAY 6, 2021 +
WPA BOARD OF DIRECTORS Ashley Givens, Ph.D., Co-Chair Jocelyn Sigue, Co-Chair Brittany Bansak Jennifer Baxter, M.D. Martha Blalock Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell Zoë Charlton Kate Christenberry Ryan Dattilo Nekisha Durrett Michael Hickok Lauren Hilyard Sam Lewis Andrea Limauro Deirdre Ehlen MacWilliams Marvin Morris Michael S. Pollack, D.D.S. Angie Shah Blair Wunderlich Frederick P. Ognibene, M.D., Emeritus William C. Paley, Emeritus
WPA STAFF Emily Fussner, Events Manager Alexa Kaye, Individual Giving & Development Director Jordan Martin, Curatorial Production Manager Peter Nesbett, Executive Director and Keeper of Imaginative Futures Alexandra Silverthorne, Resident Historian and Bookkeeper Nathalie von Veh, Storyteller and Regrants Manager
Design: Emily Fussner Printing: The Prolific Group, Winnipeg, MB, Canada Copyright: Washington Project for the Arts
CONTENTS LETTER FROM COLLECTORS’ NIGHT CO-CHAIRS
AUCTION THEME + PREVIEW GALLERY
COLLECTORS’ NIGHT 2021 SUPPORTERS
AUCTION ARTISTS + SPOTLIGHTS
Why Artist-Organized Programming Matters
Q&A with WPA Board Co-Chairs
AUCTION INFORMATION How to Purchase Artworks Auction Terms & Conditions
LETTER FROM THE CO-CHAIRS 6 WPA COLLECTORS’ NIGHT 2021
DEAR FRIENDS OF WPA, It’s hard to believe that 12 months ago we were preparing for a 400-person party to take place in April of 2020, with no idea what the world had in store for us. And yet here we are, one year later, envisioning the top half of our party outfits, chilling the champagne, and charging our devices, brimming with excitement for WPA’s virtual Collectors’ Night 2021 benefit party and auction!
And so we look with great enthusiasm to the brightest spot of all this spring, WPA’s 40th annual Collectors’ Night benefit party, which marks the opening of a two-week auction hosted by Artsy. The auction features incredible works by the artists you’ll see featured in this publication, plus nearly 100 more. While we wish we could gather to celebrate in person, we’re thrilled to share this celebratory moment with you. Your involvement, as a supporter of WPA, host committee member, sponsor, artist, or party guest, means so much to us, and enables WPA to continue producing artist-organized projects now and into the future. Thank you for supporting this event, and for being a friend to WPA. Warmly,
Brittany Bansak Co-Chair
Martha Blalock Co-Chair
LETTER FROM COLLECTORS’ NIGHT CO-CHAIRS
With all the challenges this year brought, we are using this occasion to celebrate the bright spots and inspiring moments. In 2020-21, WPA reaffirmed our commitment to our artists, successfully adapting every one of our artist-organized programs for remote engagement. In turn, we were rewarded by the much needed joy, laughter, and human connection that these programs brought. We came together as a community for dance, films, conversation, visual art, storytelling, and even cooking (we can still smell the sweet corn flour from our Virtual Arepera). We supported one another, from gentle reminders to “unmute” to our COVID recovery initiative that led to the distribution of over $100,000 in artist relief grants. We are proud that WPA stepped up to meet the challenges of this time. We are also proud of the work that WPA is doing now, and will continue to do in support of artists and their ideas, research, and exploration as we enter a phase of recovery and renewal.
AM I ALTERING YOUR AURA? 7
AM I ALTERING YOUR AURA? This year’s auction theme—Am I Altering Your Aura?—comes from the work of poet and activist Audre Lorde. In submitting work for the auction, artists were asked to consider the following quotation:
Am I altering your aura, your ideas, your dreams, or am I merely moving you to temporary and reactive action? —Audre Lorde, “Poetry is Not a Luxury”
ABOUT AUDRE LORDE: Audre Lorde (1934-92) was “a Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” who was, she would sometimes add, “doing my work, coming to ask you if you are doing yours.” Lorde penned her essay “Poetry is not a Luxury” in 1977. To this day, it remains one of her best-known works. It encourages an embrace of feeling and a mining of one’s many selves in the service of action. As Roxana Gay has written: “Rethinking and reframing paradigms is a recurring theme in Lorde’s writing.” Toward the end of her life, Lorde changed her name to “Gamba Adisa,” which means “Warrior: She who makes her meaning clear.”
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There Are No Shadows Here: The Perfect Moment at 30 curated by Tiona Nekkia McClodden, July 2019
COLLECTORS’ NIGHT PREVIEW GALLERY WPA invites you to preview a selection of the auction artworks in person at our gallery space in Shaw. The Collectors’ Night Preview Gallery, presented by Bernstein Private Wealth Management, will feature work by artists including Gerardo Camargo, janet e. dandridge, Catherine Day, Don Kimes, Monsieur Zohore, and more. The gallery will open by reservation only from April 13 - May 20. Please contact Alexa Kaye at email@example.com for reservations or more information.
PRESENTED BY BERNSTEIN PRIVATE WEALTH MANAGEMENT
AM I ALTERING YOUR AURA? 9
FEATURE 10 WPA COLLECTORS’ NIGHT 2021
COLLECTORS’ NIGHT 2021 SUPPORTERS
AM I ALTERING YOUR AURA? 11
PLATINUM Bernstein Private Wealth Management CityCenterDC The Gary and Pennie Abramson Foundation
GOLD Foulger-Pratt Lightility Shah & Shah Distinctive Jewelers West End Plastic Surgery
SILVER Black Robin Media Capital One Grosvenor Americas JBG SMITH MRP Realty Of Place Streetsense Wegner CPAs
SUPPORTERS 12 WPA COLLECTORS’ NIGHT 2021
Brittany Bansak, Co-Chair Martha Blalock, Co-Chair Nekisha Durrett Nicole Hollander Philippa Hughes Angie Kang Andrea Limauro Dale Mott Schwanda Rountree Caroline Wright
HONORARY HOST COMMITTEE
Helen Chason The Kreeger Museum Melissa Chiu, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Dorothy Kosinski The Phillips Collection Emily Wei Rales Glenstone Kim Sajet National Portrait Gallery Stephanie Stebich Smithsonian American Art Museum
HOST COMMITTEE Michael Abrams & Sandra Stewart Brittany Bansak & John Crenshaw Christina Batipps Hayley Cutler* Martha Blalock & Chris Delucchi Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell & Nathan Greenwell Ryan & Jamie Dattilo Elissa & Tom Davidson Jessica Stafford Davis Fabiola R. Delgado* Olvia Demetriou // Peter Hapstak Jarvis DuBois Jacqueline Francis, M.D. Katherine & Paul Friedman David Galligan Ray Garcia & Fruzsina Harsanyi Ashley & J.K. Givens Peter Hapstak Hilyard Art Advisory Angie Kang & Colin Shah
Melissa Ho Elise Hoffmann & Chris Niemczewski Madeline & Connor Locke Anna Mackler Deirdre Ehlen MacWilliams Tsedaye Makonnen* RL Martens* Sophia McCrocklin & Bill Isaacson Faride Mereb* Jonathan Monaghan* Marvin Morris Dale Mott Jessica & Ragan Naresh Frederick P. Ognibene, M.D. Mary Margaret & Scott Plumridge Robin Rose & Judy Penski Hannah Rose Paul G. Ruff IV, M.D., F.A.C.S. Judy & Andrew J. Sherman Jocelyn Sigue & Jair Lynch Daniel H. Squire Henry Thaggart Caroline Wright Art Advisory Blair Wunderlich *Indicates WPA 2020-21 Artist-Curator
Susan Fisher Sterling National Museum of Women in the Arts
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*Indicates Auction Artist Spotlight
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Ebtisam Abdulaziz Sobia Ahmad Polly Apfelbaum Eames Armstrong Mary Anne Arntzen Sasha Baskin Kyle J. Bauer Robin D. Bell* Wesley Berg* Sarah Black-Sadler Julia Bloom Miguel Braceli Akea Brionne Brown* Gerardo Camargo Deborah Castillo* Mahari Chabwera Schaun Champion* HSIN-HSI CHEN Natalie Cheung William Christenberry* Michèle Christine Colburn Hoesy Corona* Martin Creed Sheila Crider Nancy Daly janet e. dandridge* Leigh Davis Kyrae Dawaun Catherine Day Rex Delafkaran* Brian Michael Dunn Zakkiyyah Najeebah Dumas O’Neal
Nekisha Durrett Dee Dwyer* Alex Ebstein Courtney Applequist / Edgar Endress Odette England Yacine Tilala Fall Lloyd Foster FAIX Gerard H. Gaskin* Janis Goodman Dominic Anthony Green* Rachel Guardiola Avi Gupta Susan Hiller* Amy Hughes Braden* Adam Janes Jabari Jefferson Kaitlin Jencso Don Kimes* Khánh H. Lê Cary Leibowitz (“Candy Ass”)* Andrea Limauro Kim Llerena Ayana Evans / Tsedaye Makonnen* Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann Matthew Mann James Maurelle Antonio McAfee Maggie Michael Greg Minah Jonathan Monaghan* Giancarlo Montes Santangelo
Amanda Muhlena Hays MJ Neuberger Betsy Packard John Paradiso Jefferson Pinder Rodrigo Pradel Akil Ransome D’Metrius Rice Simon Roberts E. Brady Robinson Amber Robles-Gordon Esther Ruiz* Kate Sable* Hasani Sahlehe* Nicole Salimbene Kim Sandara Katia Santibañez* Josh Sender James Siena* Johab Silva Viva Ventura Dafna Steinberg A.L. Steiner* Dan Steinhilber Liz Stewart* Leigh Suggs Ira Tattelman Paul Thulin-Jimenez Kyna Uwaeme* Elena Volkova Sue Wrbican Monsieur Zohore*
96 ARTISTS 190 ARTWORKS
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Photo by Elman Studio
MONSIEUR ZOHORE BALTIMORE, MD
Monsieur Zohore’s practice is invested in the consumption and digestion of culture through the conflation of domestic quotidian labor with art production. Using performance, sculpture, installation, and theater, he explores queer histories, as well as his Ivorian-American heritage, through a multi-faceted lens of humor, economics, art history, and labor. Zohore received his BFA from the Cooper Union in 2015 and his MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2020. His work has been exhibited in numerous venues including The Baltimore Museum of Art; The Columbus Museum of Art; Ethan Cohan Gallery, New York; Palo Gallery, New York; Terrault Gallery, Baltimore; as well as at the 2020 Material Art Fair, Mexico City. Zohore is one of the 2020 recipients of the Wherewithal Research Grant, funded by the Warhol Foundation and managed by Washington Project for the Arts.
“In my studio practice, I incorporate domestic materials to explore interpersonal and socio-economic inequities. For instance, my ‘paintings’ use Bounty paper towels and bleach to elicit the idea of the bathetic body—toxic, wasteful, and disposable, they are metaphors for the treatment of marginalized domestic workers. The material begins to imply AUCTION ARTIST SPOTLIGHT
a laboring body—or a typically marginalized laboring body— equally durable and disposable.”
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Messy Bitch 2 (For Erin), 2019 Paper towel and fabric dye on canvas 80 x 60 in. Retail Value: $7,500 (cropped view)
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A.L. STEINER BROOKLYN, NY
A.L. Steiner, a self-described “skeptical queer ecofeminist androgyne,” has spent decades in activism and collaboratives, but as an artist is known for collagelike installations that often include images of people she has known and places she has lived. They function as autobiographies, biographies, and archives, but Steiner is aware of the slippery nature of these categories. Steiner is co-curator of Ridykeulous, co-founder of Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.), and a former member of the performance art/electroclash ensemble Chicks on Speed. She is Senior Critic in Film/ Video and Assistant Dean for Planning and Relations at Yale University’s School of Art. Steiner is featured in permanent collections such as the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, Hammer Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Marieluise Hessel Collection of Contemporary Art at CCS Bard College, and The Museum of Modern Art.
AUCTION ARTIST SPOTLIGHT 18 WPA COLLECTORS’ NIGHT 2021
Winning/Losing, 2015 Color pigment print Open edition 11 x 14 in. Retail Value: $850
“How much can we rely on individual action and thought? How much can we do in solidarity with one another? And how will destructive multinationals be forced to radically transition or be eliminated? How, when, and where do we use our energy? As Audre Lorde said—and I’m paraphrasing—the current system makes you work to earn bread money, but doesn’t allow much else beyond survival, for most. All-out global human survival is part of some kind of everyday questioning—it’s a very
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violent, strange, and confusing time. It’s a time of great loss, of course.”
AM I ALTERING YOUR AURA? 19
SCHAUN CHAMPION BALTIMORE, MD
Schaun Champion is an international photographer and filmmaker. Using both analog and digital cameras, she creates intentionally cinematic and honest imagery. She is inspired by classic films, music, and all things vintage, and her intention is to illustrate the drama within the familiar while exploring themes of diversity and nostalgia. Her subjects include Oscar-nominated cinematographer Bradford Young fashion designer, Bishme Cromartie, actor/director Radha Blank, television actors, independent and Grammy-winning musicians, as well as friends, family, and the people she meets. Champion’s work is in both public and private collections across the world. She has exhibited her work at museums such as the Baltimore Museum of Art and James E. Lewis Museum of Art, Baltimore; and Antipode Gallery, Paris. Her work has been featured in Allure, Cultured Magazine, Essence, The New York Times, NPR, and The Washington Post.
“Have you ever seen a black flower? They exist. Alive, vibrant and just as beautiful as any other flower or arrangement. This project’s intention is to capture Black joy, beauty, and extraordinariness, using flowers as a metaphor. Focusing on their strength, delicateness, and natural beauty, as well as the care AUCTION ARTIST SPOTLIGHT
needed for them to grow and thrive.”
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A Black Bouquet - Leticia No3, 2020 Photography Printed on High Press Bright paper 3 of 12 20 x 16 in. Retail Value: $1,800
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JONATHAN MONAGHAN WASHINGTON, DC Drawing on wide-ranging sources, from historical artworks to science fiction, Jonathan Monaghan makes otherworldly artworks that embody our subconscious anxieties about technology and consumerism. Monaghan is a finalist for the 2021 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize. He has exhibited at The Sundance Film Festival, The Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, and Palais de Tokyo, Paris. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Vogue, and The Washington Post, and is in numerous public and private collections, including Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and the DC Art Bank Collection.
“Sentinel I appears to be an alien altarpiece, however there are details in it that are very familiar and banal, such as an Apple loading cursor or a washing machine knob. For this work, I made a sculptural frame with little 3D-printed gold ornaments, so it feels like a devotional artifact from an alternate reality.
Sentinel I, 2019 Dye-sublimation on aluminum, 3D printed gold-plated brass, MDF frame Edition 2 of 3, 1 AP 22 x 16 x 1 in. Retail Value: $4,000 Courtesy of bitforms gallery, New York
that I envision where consumer electronics take on a life and mythology of their own.”
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Photo by E. Brady Robinson
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The piece comes from a world
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JAMES SIENA BROOKLYN, NY
James Siena’s work is driven by a self-imposed, predetermined set of rules, or visual algorithms, which find their end result in intensely concentrated, but beguiling freehand geometries. “The assumptions that viewers make when they first look at a picture,” he says, “are contradicted by direct examination.” Siena is represented by PACE, New York. His work is held in numerous public and private collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT.
“This engraving is the most technically ambitious of the five that I made with the print publisher Harlan & Weaver. It consists of eversmaller nesting loops, each of which is one of two; roughly dividing the space defined by its outer loop. What was challenging about the work was twofold: having to turn the plate while pushing the burin constantly and with consistent pressure, and returning to the starting point of each loop, smoothly. It relates to much of what I do in my practice generally in that constraints drive the generation of the image, and those constraints vary from work to work; sometimes slightly, sometimes wildly. The title refers to a classic EC comic book AUCTION ARTIST SPOTLIGHT
titled Weird Science, in which many of the aliens depicted in the stories, when speaking, merely said: Squa Tront!”
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Squa Tront, 2005-10 Engraving on Lanaquarelle paper 19 1/8 x 15 in. on 27 x 22 3/4 in. paper Edition of 28 Retail Value: $3,000 Printed by Harlan & Weaver, New York (cropped view)
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DEE DWYER WASHINGTON, DC
Dee Dwyer is a photographer from Southeast, DC. Her work has been featured by BET, Bloomberg, Businessweek, The Guardian, The New York Times, Vogue, Wall Street Journal, and more.
“Art, to me, is ‘Life.’ I use photography as a form of art. It is a way to stop time and reflect on a moment that can possibly shift history going forward. This particular photograph captures a moment of empowerment. It represents a movement fighting to permanently terminate the ongoing killings and racial inequality caused by racists and the American system.”
AUCTION ARTIST SPOTLIGHT 26 WPA COLLECTORS’ NIGHT 2021
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Fuck White Supremacy, 2018 Print on archival paper Edition 3 of 150 16 x 16 in. Retail Value: $3,000
AM I ALTERING YOUR AURA? 27
CARY LEIBOWITZ (“CANDY ASS”) NEW YORK, NY Cary Leibowitz leads a double-life. By day, he is the co-head of the Editions Department at Phillips auction house. At night, he is an artist whose work draws in equal parts on the legacies of Fluxist irreverence and Borscht Belt humor. Leibowitz’s work was recently the subject of a retrospective, titled simply Museum Show, that was organized by the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, and shown at the Contemporary Art Museum Houston and ICA, Philadelphia. His work has been included in the landmark exhibitions Too Jewish? Challenging Traditional Identities at The Jewish Museum, New York; In a Different Light at the University Art Museum, UC Berkeley; and Bad Girls, New Museum, New York; and in addition to being presented in museums and institutions across the globe.
“Mr. Leibowitz plays sleight of hand with art, history, and identity, suggesting that you use whatever materials are at hand, from self-deprecation to cheap ceramics. He describes himself as a ‘loser’—and yet he’s a gallery-represented artist with a second career in managing art auction houses. In this context, marginality and power are complicated. In true AUCTION ARTIST SPOTLIGHT
borscht-belt fashion, Mr. Leibowitz wickedly turns the tables, advising that when current politics and the odds are stacked against you, you should make fun of the whole thing.” —Martha Schwendener, The New York Times
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Joan Collins has a Headache, 2017 Collage (label maker tape on found photograph) Unique 10 x 8 in. Retail Value: $2,000
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HASANI SAHLEHE AUGUSTA, GA
Hasani Sahlehe’s paintings incorporate a luminous palette, synthesize the relationship between the body and paint, and reference philosophies about life and death. Sahlehe has exhibited at SCAD Museum of Art, NADA Miami, and has work in the current Atlanta Biennial. Art Maze, Art Papers, Burnaway, and New American Paintings have published his work. He received his BFA in Painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2015.
“My work asserts the parallels between person and paint by articulating the medium’s diverse characteristics. How can paint be cast, poured, stained, and airbrushed? How can a friend heap kisses, laugh, provide memories, and then die? These paintings abstract how nature
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Photo by Alex C. Williams
imitates humanity, uncovering an inner life.”
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Won’t Be Long, 2020 Acrylic on canvas 58 x 45 in. Retail Value: $4,500 Courtesy of Resort, Baltimore, MD
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AYANA EVANS + TSEDAYE MAKONNEN NEW YORK, NY / WASHINGTON, DC In 2017, Ayana Evans participated in A Person of the Crowd, a performance art survey which included Marina Abramovic, Tania Bruguera, and William Pope L., held at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. Her international work includes FIAP, a performance festival in Martinique, and Chale Wote festival in Ghana. Evans has been an artist-in-residence at El Museo del Barrio, and Artist Alliance Inc., New York; a Fellow at EFA Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, New York; and is an awardee of the Franklin Furnace Fund for performance art. Recently she had a solo exhibition at Medium Tings Gallery in Brooklyn.
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Photo by Dominique Duroseau
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Tsedaye Makonnen is a finalist for the 2021 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize, and is a recent recipient of a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. She has performed at the Venice Biennale; Art Basel Miami; El Museo del Barrio, New York; Fendika Cultural Center in Ethiopia, Festival International d’Art Performance, Martinique; Queens Museum, New York; Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, DC, and many more. Her work has been exhibited at the August Wilson Cultural Center, Pittsburgh, and National Gallery of Art, DC.
Tsedaye Makonnen and Ayana Evans utilize performance art as a way to navigate and denounce negative portrayals of Black women’s bodies and to demonstrate how art can be a means of refusal, a force that creating new visualizations and narratives. They’ve been collaborating officially since 2017, but met in 2015 through the school of Panoply Performance Lab in Brooklyn. Oat Milk Latte Queens, 2019 Performance & photography, printed by Picto NY on Hahnemuhle Baryta 315g Edition of 5 + 2 AP 20 x 30 in. Retail Value: $3,000
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claims space, and a tool for the healing of historical traumas—while also
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WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY WASHINGTON, DC (D. 2016)
William Christenberry was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. After a brief stint in New York, in 1968 he moved to Washington, DC, where he taught for decades at the Corcoran College of Art & Design. His work was recently the subject of the survey exhibition, Memory is a Strange Bell: The Art of William Christenberry, at the The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans. It is in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC; and J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; among others.
“My father was born and raised in Alabama and had deep, visceral ties to his home state. Although he left Alabama as an adult, every year he would return there to photograph the landscape and the vernacular architecture that so interested him. He took this photograph on one of his annual visits. He was taken with how the road disappears into the distance, swallowed up by the pervasive kudzu vine. Both kudzu and the area’s unique red AUCTION ARTIST SPOTLIGHT
soil are common subjects in his work.” —Kate Christenberry Director, William Christenberry Studio
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Photo by Chan Chao
Kudzu and Road, Hale County, Alabama, 1996 (August), Printed 2006 Brownie photograph 3 x 5 in. image on 8 x 10 in. paper Retail Value: $3,000 Courtesy of Kate Christenberry
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AMY HUGHES BRADEN WASHINGTON, DC Amy Hughes Braden has spent the past ten years exhibiting in a range of contexts, from DIY house shows, alternative nonprofits, and commercial galleries. She has also curated and produced various projects, including Rips at Red Dirt Studio, Rainer, MD; and Tilling Phase, an expansive group show in an old Florist Shop in Hyattsville, MD. Braden has been a guest artist in DC Public Schools, as well as Corcoran School of Art at GW. She has received multiple DCCAH grants, including several to fund her residency project for artist-mothers, Artist Mother Studio (AMS). In 2018, AMS partnered with Washington Project for the Arts for the second iteration of the residency, in addition to producing a conference and zine, Maternal Journal, which highlights the overlapping issues of caregiving, gender, and oppression. AMS partnered with Project for Empty Space to produce the second issue of Maternal Journal, which was released in Fall 2019, and was recently acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s library.
“I first painted the man in the square twelve years ago. I’d asked my paternal grandmother for information about my ancestors and she included a photo him. I falsely believed that because he was a Union soldier, I could dodge the truth that all white people are complicit in the myth of AUCTION ARTIST SPOTLIGHT
white supremacy. The field of neon pink is a signature color that I use in my work, and he now rests against it to connect to a deeper understanding of my responsibility to root out white terror in my life.”
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Ancestor, 2020 Acrylic, drop cloth, oil painting, stretcher bars 42 x 46 x 1 ½ in. Retail Value: $3,600
AM I ALTERING YOUR AURA? 37
AUCTION ARTIST SPOTLIGHT 38 WPA COLLECTORS’ NIGHT 2021
W-44, 2020 Gouache and graphite on paper 23 x 22 in. Retail Value: $900 Courtesy of Adah Rose Gallery, Kensington, MD
WESLEY BERG NACOGDOCHES, TX Wesley Berg is a visual artist who uses graphite and gouache watercolor to create moments of visual curiosity. His artworks explore delicate balances of weight and tension, culminating in a drawn suspension of belief. They are playful and bold, intended to be sparse of material, deep in spatial construction, and seemingly light in mood. Berg has exhibited at the Watermill Center, New York; PULSE Miami Beach; Adah Rose Gallery, DC; and Drawing Discourse, Asheville. In 2019 and 2021, he was awarded grants for drawing projects in Japan and Utah. Berg is represented by Adah Rose Gallery, Kensington, MD, where he will have an exhibition in September of 2021.
“I am interested in creating moments of visual curiosity through a distilled vocabulary of mark making. The work explores a playful relationship
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between chance and intention.”
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AKEA BRIONNE BROWN BALTIMORE, MD
Akea Brionne Brown is a visual journalist, photographer, writer, curator, and researcher. With a particular focus on the ways in which history influences the contemporary cultural milieu of the American Black middle class, she also explores current political and social themes in relation to historical forms of oppression, discrimination, and segregation. Brown was the 2019 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Winner. Her work is featured in the Smithsonian’s Ralph Rinzler Collection and Archives.
Still Separate, Still Unequal, 2019 Neon sign Edition 2 of 3 16 x 24 x 5 in. Retail Value: $5,000
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“This work embodies a reality that for many is often overlooked. The reality is that in many ways, we are still separate, and we are very much still living in a way that is not only unequal but inequitable. Combining this statement into a with little movement to change them.”
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neon sign also speaks to the consumption of these ideas, but
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DON KIMES WASHINGTON, DC
In 2003, a catastrophic flood wiped out an important part of artist Don Kimes’ work and its documentation. He has since used digital scans of the residue as the starting point for abstract paintings. “I am using the second part of my life to repaint the first. The flood turned out to be a gift, an exquisite interruption,” he writes. Kimes’ work is included in numerous collections and has been exhibited in more than 150 exhibitions internationally, including at America Haus, Munich; the Brooklyn Museum, NY; Florence International Biennale; Katzen Museum, DC; Rueda Museum, Madrid; and many others.
“I began working on ovals a few years ago, in part because I realized that nature, perception, and life are not comprised of straight lines, right angles, and rectangles. Life happens in the chaos of an endless series of circles, spirals, ovals, and O’s. Yellow is a color that to me feels optimistic, and in this piece it serves as a metaphor for that protective sensibility.”
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Shield, 2017 Acrylic, digital image, collage 16 x 13 x ½ in. Retail Value: $2,000 Courtesy of Denise Bibro Fine Art, New York, NY
ROBIN D. BELL WASHINGTON, DC
Game Over, 2021 Inkjet print on archival paper 24 x 36 in. Retail Value: $2,000
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Outside of the Beltway, Robin Bell became widely known through the press for his acerbic agit-prop projections onto the facade of the Trump Hotel and other symbols of power (and its abuses). But his practice extends to video collage, documentary films, and public art installations. “Whether I’m working on a social justice documentary, paying tribute to everyday citizens via projected portraits, or transforming a public space with colorful images and sound,” writes Robin Bell, “my work as an artist is about interrupting the ordinary.” Bell was trained as a classical printmaker but now works almost exclusively in the digital realm. He has presented his work at The Kennedy Center; 9:30 Club, and The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC; Central Park SummerStage in New York; and The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. He was the lead video editor for the PBS television show Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria, and he also taught video classes at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. His feature length documentary, Positive Force: More Than a Witness: 30 Years of Punk Politics In Action, premiered in 2014.
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“My intention is to create art that promotes systemic change and shifts the conversations that happen between the public and systems that govern. The last four years have been brutal and this work represents the end of the Trump presidency and the beginning of holding him and his AUCTION ARTIST SPOTLIGHT
enablers accountable for their actions.”
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KATIA SANTIBANEZ NEW YORK CITY, NY
Katia Santibañez was trained in Microbiology before getting her degree in 1990 at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. She then moved to New York and has exhibited widely in the US since. She works in painting, drawing, printmaking, video, and photography, and is represented by DC Moore Gallery in New York, and by Texas Gallery in Houston. Her works are included in private and public collections. In 2021, she received a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation.
“Since 2012, I have been exploring the subject of the spiral. This mesmerizing form is to be seen throughout nature. Like the spiral, the world around us is in perpetual flux between order and chaos. Variation XX is part of this endless investigation. This spiral has been distorted, referring to the rise of lies, distortions in the political world fueled by politicians, and hypnotizing social media. Beauty can hide the AUCTION ARTIST SPOTLIGHT
beast, but the truth could reverse the direction of the spiral.”
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Variation XX, 2020 Acrylic on canvas 20 x 16 x 2 in. Retail Value: $8,000 Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery, New York City, NY
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GERARD H. GASKIN JERSEY CITY, NJ Gerard H. Gaskin has been photographing the House Ballroom community since 1993, and nearly a hundred of his works were published in Legendary: Inside the House and Ballroom Scene. Reviewing the book, historian Deborah Willis wrote, “Gaskin’s awareness of the effect the performers have on the audience is a crucial aspect of his vision. Through his lens, he conveys the showmanship these actors and artists exude, their knowingness of the spectacle created by their flair.”
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Gaskin’s photographs have been featured in solo and group exhibitions including at the AfricanAmerican Museum, Philadelphia; The Brooklyn Museum, New York; CM2A, Madrid; Fototeca de Cuba Habana Vieja, Havana; and The Queens Museum, New York. His work is represented in the permanent collections at Duke University, Durham; Museum of the City of New York; National Museum of African American History and Culture, DC; Philadelphia Museum of Art; and Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York. As a freelance photographer, his work has been published in newspapers and magazines including: The New York Times, Newsday, Politiken, Black Enterprise, Ebony, Teen People, Caribbean Beat and Inc. Magazine.
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DeDee Lanvin at Miyake Mugler Ball, 2019 Archival inkjet print 16 x 24 in. Edition 1 of 15 Retail Value: $2,000
“The balls are a celebration of Black and Latinx urban gay life. They were born in Harlem out of a need for Black and Latinx gays to have a safe space to express themselves. . . . The images I’ve included in the they capture the formation and representations of new families through houses, which call themselves glamorous names like Blahnik and Xtravaganza. Often ousted by their biological families, these ‘children’ have makeshift ‘parents,’ who are ten years older than them. These parents mentor and teach their children to walk with a switch and act worthy of true pageantry.”
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auction are just a small sample of my twenty-eight years of work, but
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DAN STEINHILBER WASHINGTON, DC
“Dan Steinhilber was trained in drawing and painting, but in his work he is continually pushing everyday materials—often found and then altered—into large-scale sculptural forms. He has worked with garbage bags, chain-link fencing, plastic water bottles, and obsolete household appliances. The artist finds beauty and wonder in the mundane—creating visual poetry from the commonplace. Transformation is a key theme in Steinhilber’s practice.” Catalog text for State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now, at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (2014-15). Steinhilber has had solo exhibitions at The Hirshhorn Museum of Art and Sculpture Garden, DC; The Contemporary Art Museum Houston; Baltimore Museum of Art; The Mattress Factory Art Museum, Pittsburgh; The Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville; Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY; and The Kreeger Museum, DC. His work has been included in group exhibitions at ArtSpace, New Haven; Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; the Des Moines Art Center; Dumbo Art Center, New York; MassMOCA, North Adams, MA; The Palazzo delle Papesse Centro Arte Contemporanea, Siena, Italy; and The Walters Museum, Baltimore. Steinhilber is a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant and a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship.
“This artifact points to journeys, drifting, imagination, the unknowable.” AUCTION ARTIST SPOTLIGHT 50 WPA COLLECTORS’ NIGHT 2021
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Flip-flop, 2020 Driftwood and plastic strapping 3 x 4 x 8 in. Retail Value: $5,000
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DOMINIC ANTHONY GREEN BALTIMORE, MD Dominic Anthony Green is a multidisciplinary artist and storyteller. From a young age, he has been fascinated with the duality of good and evil. This fascination was rooted in a spiritual upbringing, and stories found in biblical texts and science fiction. He developed a curiosity around the backstories of the characters, and how a moment seemed to shape the rest of their lives. Today, he uses his lens and writing to explore this central tension and inherent questions of fairness and bias. Green has exhibited around the DC region including at the Bowie Arts Committee, Bowie, MD; The Cheshire, DC; Sustainable Culture Lab, DC; and The Nicholson Project, DC.
“The piece Set Your Soul Down represents the vulnerability to lay down our burdens before a multitude of altars to gain the strength and will to go on. In my work, setting your soul down, or bowing, is an acknowledgment to a higher creative force that are supposed to.”
Set Your Soul Down, 2020 Photography Edition 1 of 2 30 x 20 x 1 in. Retail Value: $900
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allows impactful messages to reach the people they
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KATE SABLE RESTON, VA “A painting becomes interesting to me,” Kate Sable says, “after I’ve really spent time responding and reacting to the surface.” Within the constraints of shallow space— and relating to the sense of touch, shapes, and objects—she paints sensations both familiar and peculiar. Recent exhibitions include a solo show at Pazo Fine Art, Kensington, MD; DREAM JOURNAL, a three-person show curated by Alex Ebstein at Goucher College; and We Go Fast curated by Ryan Travis Christian at Left Field Gallery, Los Osos, CA. Originally from Virginia, Sable earned her MFA from American University and her BFA from Virginia Tech.
“I See Neon Lights (I See You) was one of those paintings that spent a lot of time in the corner of the studio, unfinished. I ultimately was able to resolve it during the beginning of the pandemic. I’d been thinking about a recent trip to New York, that gained this new magic when I realized I wouldn’t be traveling again anytime soon, and I wanted to encapsulate that feeling in this piece.”
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I See Neon Lights (I See You), 2020 Oil on linen 36 x 36 x 1 ½ in. Retail Value: $3,000
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KYNA UWAEME WASHINGTON, DC
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Kyna Uwaeme uses her photography to share her view on the world and to provide a platform for others to do the same. Her style is described as raw, honest, relatable, and uplifting. A lot of the work she does is intentionally made to empower her subjects, primarily women of color living on the margins of society.
Don’t Mute DC, 2019 Digital photography Printed on archival lustre paper 24 x 36 in. Edition 1 of 10 Retail Value: $10,000
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“My practice is a mixture of portraiture, street, documentary, and editorial. I’m a hybrid shooter meaning I shoot both digital and film. I’ve been experimenting with different creative ways of storytelling by combining all my different practices into one body of work. I want to create a body of work that can impact change.”
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HOESY CORONA BALTIMORE, MD Hoesy Corona creates otherworldly narratives centering marginalized individuals to investigate what it means to be a queer Latinx immigrant in a place where there are few. Reoccurring themes of queerness, race/class/gender, nature, isolation, celebration, and the climate crisis are present throughout his work. Corona is a finalist for the 2021 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize. He was a recent Halcyon Arts Lab Fellow, DC (2017-18) and a Tulsa Artist Fellow, Tulsa (2019, 2020). He has exhibited widely in galleries, museums, and public spaces in the United States and abroad. His colorful wearable sculptures have been presented at The Baltimore Museum of Art; Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, DC; The Reach at The Kennedy Center, DC; Transformer, DC; and The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.
“My ongoing project Climate-Immigrants is a multimedia installation and poetic performance that considers the impending plight of climate-induced global migration AUCTION ARTIST SPOTLIGHT
and its effects on people of color. I choreograph large scale performances where the performers wear ‘Climate Ponchos’ like the one here. The vinylcutouts depict displaced communities on during their long-distance exodus.”
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Climate Poncho, 2020 Hand cut vinyl on vinyl 55 x 49 in. Retail Value: $8,000
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REX DELAFKARAN WASHINGTON, DC Rex Delafkaran is an Iranian-American interdisciplinary artist and dancer whose practice is rooted in methods and acts of translation. She uses the languages of performance art, dance, and objects to translate ideas physically. By embodying language, she tenderly explores failure as a means to pose questions. Delafkaran holds a degree in Ceramics and Performance Art from the San Francisco Art Institute. She has exhibited and staged performances at the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC; Panoply Performance Lab, Brooklyn, NY; Southern Exposure Gallery, San Francisco, CA; and the Textile Museum, Washington, DC; among others. Delafkaran was the Exhibition Director of Hamiltonian Artists in DC for 3 years before co-founding an artist run storefront project called “but, also” in 2021. Delafkaran curates independently, teaches movement and ceramics practices, and continues to perform and exhibit nationally and internationally.
“Looks Like is a study inspired by the four-iwan design of a mosque in Isfahan, Iran where my grandmother’s family originated. It distills the architectural element to an abstract and abject ceramic slab AUCTION ARTIST SPOTLIGHT
to call attention to how easily transferable cultural forms can be, and to how their meanings can shift.”
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Looks Like, 2020 Ceramic with cinder blocks 36 x 5 x 10 in. Retail Value: $1,200
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LIZ STEWART WASHINGTON, DC
Elizabeth Stewart is an artist and mother who specializes in afrofuturistic portraiture and landscapes. She has participated in many group shows including BLK Creativity at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. She is originally from Los Angeles but received her BFA from Howard University in DC.
“My inspiration for The Procession starts with the mythology of the African Dogon tribe, which is represented by the masked figures. They believe humans are direct descendants of beings that come from the stars, or as I like to think of, the heavens. I feel that in the uncertain times we’re in, it’s important to follow the ethereal parts of ourselves and remember that we will be the light in darkness.”
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The Procession, 2020 Acrylic painting 40 x 40 x 1 1/2 in. Retail Value: $3,000
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DEBORAH CASTILLO BROOKLYN, NY Born in Venezuela but now Brooklyn-based, Deborah Castillo makes artwork that dissects the idea of power and its structures. She enacted her first act of disobedience in 2012 when Hugo Chávez was president, licking the boot of a military official in a public performance. This cynical and dangerous act resulted in government intimidation. Chávez himself declared her an enemy of the state on national television.
Slapping Power, 2015 Video performance Edition 1 of 3 03:49 run time Retail Value: $5,000
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In Slapping Power, which she has performed at the Broad Museum in Los Angeles and elsewhere, she physically disfigures the clay bust of a man. Her hands destroy rather than create, transforming a sculptural act—that of molding and shaping—into a confrontational act. “As the artist slaps the wet clay that makes up the bust,” writes the art historian Sara Garzón, “it destroys the incarnation of the nation, the father figure, and the structures of established power. Each slap deforms the Liberator’s beautifully modeled face until his iconic figure disappears, and his unrecognizable head bows metaphorically and materially. Perhaps more than any other work, Slapping Power better demonstrates the performativity of destruction.”
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Castillo has been granted numerous awards and residencies, including the NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program (2015) and The Banff Center Artist-in-Residence Program (2015). Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Arts and Design, the New Museum, New York; Rufino Tamayo Museum and Carrillo Gil Museum, Mexico City; “SIART” the Bolivian Biennial; ICA, London; and Palais de Tokyo, Paris; among others.
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ESTHER RUIZ NEW YORK CITY, NY
Esther Ruiz creates objects that operate as miniature landscapes (not pictured) or portals to these fictional landscapes (pictured). As sparse and concise as these pieces are, they are replete with conflicts in the way she positions synthetic and natural materials together. Past exhibitions include at Reynolds Gallery, Richmond; yours mine & ours, New York, Brooklyn Academy of Music; and Platform, Baltimore. Her work has been featured in Art F City, ARTnews, VICE, and The Washington Post.
“I use colored mirror because of the way it changes the reflection. Whether it’s the color of the neon or the reflected space that changes, I think it more overtly mimics a portal or wormhole to another dimension or reality.” —Megaphone Magazine
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Well XX, 2020 Neon, Plexiglas, MDF, paint, hardware Edition 4 of 5 24 1/2 x 18 1/2 x 3 1/2 in. Retail Value: $4,300 Courtesy of Reynolds Gallery, Richmond, VA
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Proposal for an Aquarius New Age Intergalactic Typewriter (Version 2 of 10 versions), 1972 Unique hand-coloured offset print 16 1/2 x 11 5/8 in. Retail Value: $6,000 Courtesy of the Estate of Susan Hiller
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Photo by Nanda Lanfranco
SUSAN HILLER LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM (D. 2019) Susan Hiller (1940-2019) was born in Tallahassee, Florida. After studying film and photography at The Cooper Union and archaeology and linguistics at Hunter College in New York, she went on to a National Science Foundation fellowship in anthropology at Tulane University in New Orleans. In the early 1960s she settled in London, where she lived until her death two years ago. Hiller’s work has been the subject of survey exhibitions at Bloomberg SPACE, London (2020); The Polygon, Vancouver (2018); Officine Grande Riparazioni, Turin (2018); Pérez Art Museum, Miami (2017); Samstag Foundation, Copenhagen (2014); Les Abattoires/Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Toulouse (2014); Tate Britain, London (2011); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2007); ICA, Philadelphia (1998); and ICA, London (1986). Hiller’s work features in numerous international private and public collections including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Ludwig Museum, Cologne; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Tate Gallery, London.
WPA: You said that this work is a “kind of play on the idea of codifying or systematizing the human capacity for imagination and mysticism.” Could you talk a little more about that, especially in relationship to your mother’s work? GC: The print shows a diagram for a typewriter layout, but instead of letters the keyboard characters are abstract, randomly generated shapes. They’re very arcane-looking, though, and so they seem to suggest some sort of occult symbolism or extraterrestrial alphabet—which Susan emphasized
with the work’s title. She was always interested in the human tendency to read some kind of design or significance into chance shapes and patterns, and she often used strategies inherited from Minimalism to apply a rational framework to products of the unconscious. In the case of this piece, which dates from very early in her career, the orderly, keyboard format is used ironically, as if the complexity of an alien language, or the mystery of human imagination, could ever be so straightforwardly communicated. WPA:
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WPA talked to Gabriel Coxhead, an art critic and curator based in London, who is Hiller’s son and manages her estate, to learn more about Proposal for an Aquarius New Age Intergalactic Typewriter (1972):
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piece have to future artworks and ideas of hers? GC: It ties in to a whole strand of works where she explored what she called ‘contemporary visionary experience.’ Belshazzar’s Feast (1984), for instance, a video work depicting flickering, dancing flames, was about British press reports of people seeing ghostly faces or messages in the television static after daily broadcasting ended, and how rather than acknowledging the basic human capacity for reverie and fantasy, the press speculated the cause was transmissions from UFOs. Witness (2000), a vast, immersive audiosculpture, also focussed on UFOs, this time in the form of thousands of spoken accounts of encounters from around the world. But perhaps most relevant is her lightbox series From India to the Planet Mars (1997-2017), which gathers together historical examples of mediumistic and trance-induced writing, including several supposed extraterrestrial languages. WPA: Was there a political dimension to her interests in the paranormal and Supernatural?
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GC: Yes, definitely. Her art was all about questioning cultural certainties, and revealing the structures of power and knowledge that underlie what we take to be normal, consensus reality. That’s why she was so interested in other people's stories and personal accounts, in their attempts to make sense of the sorts of liminal, irrational experiences which didn’t sit easily inside everyday language—dream states, near-death
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experiences, beliefs in auras and psychic abilities, and so on. It wasn’t that she herself necessarily believed in the paranormal or supernatural—but she believed in the people who did, if you see what I mean; she believed in the value of their experiences. Her art was extremely democratic in that way. WPA: How did your mother hope to alter people’s perception through her artwork? What kind of future did she envision or what messages does her work leave for the future? GC: Her works typically began with a cultural artefact—whether social or material—that was overlooked in some way, that was ignored or forgotten about or disparaged. And while many of her pieces explored the category of the so-called paranormal, she investigated plenty of other cultural phenomena too—unnoticed street signs all across Germany that pointed to a past Jewish presence; recordings of extinct languages that had previously languished, unheard, in anthropological archives; the unacknowledged and anonymous contributions of female artists to British seaside postcard traditions. So in a very literal way her intention was to alter people’s perception, to bring into view what otherwise might remain lost or invisible. As she stated in a text from Sisters of Menon (1977-79), a key work that documents and analyses her own experience of automatic writing, ‘messages suppressed by a culture do not cease to exist.’ She thought it was the job of an artist to be alive to these sorts of messages, and bring them into the open.
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ABOUT WPA Washington Project for the Arts (WPA) is a platform for collaborative and experimental artist-organized projects, dialogue, and advocacy. We also run Wherewithal Grants, a regranting program for independent artists and artist collaboratives.
WHY ARTIST ORGANIZED PROGRAMMING MATTERS BY NATHALIE VON VEH
WHY DO ARTISTS ORGANIZE?
Artists may choose to step into an organizer role to build relationships with like-minded artists outside of their studio, deepen their intellectual research, and experiment in new directions. When artists organize group exhibitions, performances, lecture series, or other programmatic activities, the process can become the artwork itself. Often artist-organized projects feel intimate and porous. Stepping into the role of organizer allows artists to deepen their relationships with the audiences they wish to reach, and to continue to build upon their projects after an institutional engagement concludes.
HISTORY OF WPA AND THE ARTIST-AS-ORGANIZER Washington Project for the Arts (WPA) opened in 1975, as an alternative art space for multidisciplinary work and experimental projects. Most of WPA’s early projects were organized by curators, though a few notable exceptions were organized by artists. The inimitable Maida Withers brought movement artists to DC from New York, establishing a strong link between the two cities. WPA and New York’s Collaborative Projects Inc. (Colab), an artist collective, together presented The Ritz in the 40 rooms of an abandoned hotel in downtown DC in 1983.
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Much like the alternative art spaces that emerged in the 1970s, these artistcurated exhibitions challenged norms and pushed the boundaries of what an exhibition or a work of art could be. Over the next several decades, and as alternative spaces became more professionalized, artists didn’t stop curating and organizing. Exhibitions became a mode for ideological exploration, political organizing, and non-hierarchical collaborations between artists and audiences. Some examples of artist-organized projects which transcend categorization include: Hélio Oiticica’s Apocolipopótese, a series of participatory events and performances
that took place in Rio de Janeiro in 1968; Group Material’s Democracy, which from 1988-1989 transformed Dia Art Foundation’s spaces into public forums; David Hammons’ (Untitled) Store at Knobkerry, which took place in a shop devoted to African and Asian art and artifacts in New York and involved the artist mixing his own work into the store’s existing displays; and Tania Brugera’s Cátedra Arte de Conducta, established in 2002 in Havana as an alternative education space for artists. These are just a few instances of artists transforming and redefining the presentation of visual art through organizing.
music scenes are legendary, and in the visual arts there is an equally rich, if lesser known, history of independent artist collaboratives and artist-run spaces. Among these are Botswana, Decateur Blue, Delicious Spectacle, and Fight Club. In 2017, WPA supported the first effort to document this history in the publication, We are so not getting our security deposit back: A Guide to Defunct Artist Run Spaces (copublished by the DC-artist collective Beltway Public Works and Art F City). The project made apparent just how much of its artist-organized culture this region has lost over the past two decades.
WPA’s decision to support artists in this way is the result of our own research into the existent needs of our community. In 2016, we surveyed more than 100 local artists and found that most felt a decreasing sense of agency, following the shuttering of many of the city’s artist-run spaces. The DC region has a storied history of D.I.Y., self-organized artist culture. The Go-Go and Punk
WPA’S “ARTIST-DRIVEN” PROGRAM MODEL In 2018, WPA officially adopted a new program model that empowers artists to organize the types of shows and events they want to see. We offer artists near total agency over their project’s resources and event calendar, while supporting them fully throughout. Artists view their projects as extensions
WHAT IS ARTIST-ORGANIZED?
WPA’s interior space photographed by Michael Bussel in June 2018 during Paper Cuts Live, a bookshelves project curated by artist Christopher Kardambikis and Alt(e)r Call | No Church in the Wild curated by Dr. Daniel Church
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of their intellectual research. They begin with a kernel of an idea or research question—and proceed to collaborate with other artists or thinkers, building upon this idea and transforming their research into a series of public activities. These activities can take many forms, from conversational dinners, exhibitions, field trips, film screenings, grass-roots organizing meetings, and installations, to lectures, performances, podcasts, publications, symposia, workshops, and more. Artist-organized programming combines the best of “artist-run” and “artist-centered” program models. It is closer to the former because artists organize all of the programs. It differs, however, in that WPA’s model provides an infrastructure that many “artist-run” organizations don’t have. By putting artists in charge in this way, our goal is to advance contemporary artistic practice and discourse in the DC area. We value artists as public intellectuals, critical thinkers, idea generators, and organizers, and we believe that through collaboration and experimentation, artists can shape the meaningful discourses of our time. Allahyari presenting her public lecture and performance, On Monstrosity and Re-figuration on February 27, 2020
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ARTIST-ORGANIZING DURING COVID The past year has been tough for arts organizations, but WPA’s new model has been a source of strength for us. The focus on ideas rather than fixed-inplace exhibitions made it easier to adapt and reimagine all of our scheduled projects in response to the pandemic. In addition to optimizing online platforms, artist-organizers utilized postal mail to reach audiences near and far. In June, artist RL Martens mailed 25 care packages to DC-area residents as part of their bookshelves project, Perfect Knowledge of the Ground. The care packages included a reader with texts on decolonizing landuse, as well as heirloom seeds and planting instructions. In our most recent project—titled Notions of Exile, about the cultural impact of the Venezuelan exodus—artist and co-curator Faride Mereb conceived an international, collaborative artwork for which she mailed 300 passport facsimiles to participants across the Americas and as far away as Australia, India, and Lebanon. Here are some more highlights from the past year:
Top: Install view of Morehshin Allahyari, Aisha Qandisha from the series She Who Sees The Unknown, 3D animated video Right: Artist-Organizer Jonathan Monaghan introducing Allahyari during a public lecture on February 27, 2020
MOREHSHIN ALLAHYARI: SHE WHO SEES THE UNKNOWN In February 2020, DC-based artist Jonathan Monaghan organized an exhibition and performance by New York-based artist Morehshin Allahyari. Allahyari is an artist, activist, writer, and educator, born and raised in Iran and living in the United States since 2007. She uses 3D modeling, 3D scanning, 3D printing, and storytelling to re-create monstrous female/queer figures of Middle Eastern origin. Throughout her work, Allahyari mines the traditions and myths associated with these supernatural creatures to explore the catastrophes of colonialism, patriarchy, and environmental degradation in relation to the Middle East, “re-figuring” the past to activate and preserve what may have been forgotten or misrepresented. Artist-organizer Monaghan’s own highly-crafted, fantastical artworks use technology and sources ranging from art history to science fiction. This project furthered Monaghan’s own artistic practice by expanding his network and engaging DC audiences with the ideas that Allahyari brings forth through her research-based practice.
WHAT IS ARTIST-ORGANIZED?
Organized by Jonathan Monaghan
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BLACK WOMEN AS/AND THE LIVING ARCHIVE Organized by Tsedaye Makonnen In spring 2020, DC-based interdisciplinary artist Tsedaye Makonnen organized Black Women as/and the Living Archive, a multi-part project about the modes in which Black women encode, preserve, and share memory through community. Central to Makonnen’s inquiry was Alisha B. Wormsley’s film, Children of NAN: Mothership, which serves as a metaphor for the survival and power of Black women in a dystopic future. The project was first planned to be an exhibition with screenings and live performances but Makonnen, in collaboration with WPA’s staff and graphic designer Rheagen King, adapted it to web and a printed catalog in response to the pandemic. Makonnen brought together Wormsley and many of the cast and collaborators of Children of NAN: Mothership, including artists Li Harris, Autumn Knight, Jasmine Hearn, and Ingrid LaFleur, for a film screening, a reading, two performances, and public discussions. The programs occurred virtually during the ongoing statesanctioned violence against Black people and the Black Lives Matter uprisings, providing space for both collective processing and additions to the living archive by and for Black women begun by Wormsley’s film. Left: Poster for Black Women as/ and the Living Archive designed by Rheagen King
Right Center: Still from Mama Memory [& Care], a conversation on June 13, 2020 between WPA’s Jordan Martin, artist-organizer Makonnen, and all seven artist participants including Jamila Reagen, Ingrid LaFleur, Alisha B. Wormsley, Jasmine Hearn, Li Harris, Autumn Knight, and Ola Ronke; Right Bottom: Publication cover designed by Rheagen King
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Top: Jasmine Hearn’s performance, Pleasure Memory, on June 10, 2020 via Zoom;
Next month, WPA will publish the Black Women as/and the Living Archive publication in collaboration with Makonnen and the ICA London. The book follows the project from its inception to its presentation, and serves as a repository for interactions between the artists and audience members. In addition to contributions from the spring programs, it includes newly commissioned writing by Jessica Lanay, Jo Stewart, Ladi’Sasha Jones, and Yona Harvey, and an annotated bibliography by Ola Ronke, creator of The Free Black Women’s Library in Brooklyn.
WHAT IS ARTIST-ORGANIZED?
Right: still from Autumn Knight’s performance, The Length, on May 28, 2020 via Zoom.
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Juliana Ponguta’s performance, Muysua
Organized by Hayley Cutler Choreographer and performance artist Hayley Cutler first pitched KUVV to us in fall 2019 and the project was realized one year later in September 2020. KUVV explored the relationship between home, familial lineage, and the body, and culminated in an evening-length, live-streamed, series of performances. The artists—Emily Ames, Antonius and Theresa-Xuan Bui, Jamie Garcia, Akela Jaffi, Juliana Ponguta, and Vyette Tiya—worked independently and in conversation with each other over the summer to create intimate responses to Hayley Cutler’s prompt: How does your familial lineage live in your physical body today, and how does that contribute to your sense of home as it relates to your identity? As Cutler has written about the project: “To live in a body is to carry with you not only your immediate past but the actions—some chosen, many not—of your ancestors. [...] It is important that viewers of the culminating work understand that it is a shared physical expression of survival, strength, and persistence.”
Each final performance was itself a collaborative project framed within Cutler’s larger project, KUVV. Some artists worked with a team of costume designers, videographers, and choreographers, while others relied on more intimate groups consisting of their family members and immediate household members. While experienced by the audience virtually over Zoom, the performances all took place at site-specific locations throughout the region including the Vietnam Memorial, private apartments, and on the Eastern Shore. The full video archive for this project, including a talk by ethnomusicologist Tomie Hahn, artist talks, and final performance, can all be found on our Vimeo page.
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Top: One of three artist talks for KUVV, this one with Emily Ames, Akela Jaffi, artist-organizer Hayley Cutler, and WPA’s Jordan Martin Right: Antonius & Theresa Bui’s performance, UPON SKIN UPON STONE
If this all sounds exciting to you, there are many ways you can get involved in our artist-organized programs, either as an artist or as a supporter of the arts. Artists, we invite you to pitch us your ideas on an ongoing basis. We review submissions quarterly and you can find the link on our website at wpadc. org/about. We are eager to hear about the ideas that you are exploring in your practice and to discuss how we could
build a collaborative research project around those ideas. Patrons and friends, you can support our work through your Collectors’ Night auction artwork purchase, by making a donation to WPA, or by attending our future artist-organized programs. The best way to learn about our projects is by following us on Instagram @wpadc and by signing up for our Newsletter at wpadc.org/content/your-inbox.
WHAT IS ARTIST-ORGANIZED?
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?
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Q&A WITH WPA BOARD CO-CHAIRS ASHLEY GIVENS + JOCELYN SIGUE What distinguishes WPA from other arts organizations?
What gets you most excited for the future of WPA?
Ashley Givens: Our long history certainly sets us apart in DC, but our artist-organized program model sets us apart nationally. Very few long-standing arts organizations invite artists to conceive of and curate everything! We adopted the model in 2018 and have watched artists thrive in this new system, with the support and collaboration of our Curatorial Production Manager and the rest of the staff.
AG: We get to be part of artistic collaboration and experimentation, and that never gets old! We are increasingly recognized on national and international levels for the work we’re doing, and I am so grateful that we have such a dedicated community of supporters who, for example, participate in the auction year in and year out. What gets me most excited, though, is the way in which WPA makes space for artists to create and commingle.
Jocelyn Sigue: WPA has always been supportive of Washington, DC artists at all stages of their careers. At our core, we are about the cultivation of artistic talent and creativity and we hope our model continues to inspire artists to bring their ideas to the organization and the larger community.
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JS: WPA has worked with many innovative and thought-provoking artists as our mission has evolved and become more focused on collaboration. I’m always surprised by what’s coming next. The last few years have been so challenging politically and socially. WPA, true to its roots, embraced the challenges of these times. I look forward to our
What do you find most rewarding about your leadership role with WPA? AG: We are privileged to work with a dynamic and engaged group of board members who serve this organization with their hearts and minds. We reach so many artists in the DC community and support their projects and their practices in ways that we would never be able to do as individuals. JS: By taking on this leadership role we become more deeply involved in all aspects of WPA’s work, which enables us to better understand the needs of artists. It’s gratifying to work with our WPA team—the staff and fellow board members—a diverse and thoughtful group who share the same commitment to helping artists create. How would you describe WPA’s role in the DC arts community? AG: As the longest-standing visual arts organization in the city, we have historically been a leading force in the arts community. Our role has consistently been one of taking action on behalf of artists. For example, we exhibited Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs in 1989 when no other local organization would. JS: And we confronted local government in 2018 to protect artists when they were at risk of being silenced. At the start of the pandemic, WPA was front and center in the effort to provide artists with emergency relief.
In each case, the staff and board quickly recognized the urgency of the moment and acted with determination. We hope that the community continues to look to WPA for this type of leadership. Can you share a little bit about your personal experience with “patronage.” In what ways do you support individual artists, as well as the artist community? AG: As a former museum curator, I have supported artists in a professional capacity, but serving on the board of directors at WPA has provided me a different way to engage with artists and their work and a lens for viewing that work. I am learning so much about the values that artists hold dear and the type of engagement they hope to secure from patrons. I apply this to my own collecting in the hope of establishing long-term relationships with artists, and I try to inspire friends and family to see the importance in enjoying art every day. It is fundamental to me that everyone should have access to art and all its benefits. JS: I believe the work of artists is essential to the wellness of our larger community. Artists did their part to help all of us survive the pandemic, keeping us engaged through their creativity, commentary, and varied perspectives. My support for artists starts with that message. But artists need more than words to continue their work. I encourage friends to start or continue their own collections by joining us at the annual auction gala. Collectors’ Night was one of the first events that I attended after joining the board in 2011 and it continues to be one that I look forward to each year.
Q&A WITH WPA BOARD CO-CHAIRS
continued work in support of artists as the community rises from the ashes.
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HOW TO PURCHASE ARTWORKS WPA’s Collectors’ Night auction offers a rare opportunity to purchase artwork for your home or office, while directly benefiting artists, as well as WPA, during this critical time. The auction will be held on Artsy, the online sales platform, from May 6 to May 20, 2021.
REGISTER TO BID To place bids on Artsy, the first step is to create an account at artsy.net. You can register to bid several days in advance of the sale opening, or at any point during the sale period. When the auction is open for registration, it will appear in the “Upcoming Auctions” section of this page: artsy.net/auctions. When the auction is live and open for bidding, at 6:30 pm on May 6, it will appear in the “Current Auctions” section. USING YOUR IPHONE OR IPAD If you would like the convenience of
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browsing the sale on your iPhone or iPad, you can download the Artsy app from the Artsy website. BROWSING THE SALE & MAKING INQUIRIES When you see a lot you wish to bid on, you can view more information by clicking the thumbnail. You can also connect with an Artsy specialist by clicking “Ask a Specialist” for any additional questions, or you can contact WPA directly, by calling Peter Nesbett at 202.631.5438 or Alexa Kaye at 617.710.3829 PLACING A BID You can bid in two ways, a) enter a bid that is higher than the existing bid, or b) place a maximum bid and allow the system to bid on your behalf (in predetermined increments) up to your maximum bid amount. Please note that maximum bid amounts are only
PAYMENT The bidder with the highest bid when the sale ends at 6:30 pm on May 20 is the purchaser of the artwork. Note that the Artsy website will not take payment; WPA staff will contact you via email or phone on Friday, May 21 to confirm the artwork(s) you have won and to process payment. You can also arrange payment on your own initiative after the sale ends by calling Alexa Kaye at 617.710.3829. SALES TAX WPA will charge sales tax on purchases made to all DC residents. Sales tax will also be charged to non-residents picking up artwork from WPA. The sales tax rate is 6%. Buyers requesting sales tax to be waived must provide documentation of tax exemption prior to processing. Regulation 402.3 of the District of Columbia Code provides that the gross receipts for the sale of items acquired by a semi-public or social organization for the purpose of resale at a planned function are subject to the 6% sales tax. ARTWORK SHIPPING & DELIVERY When WPA staff contacts you for payment, they will ask you to confirm whether you will pick up your artwork at WPA’s office, would like to request local delivery, or would like to request shipping to a non-local address. If you are in the DC area, WPA asks that you please try to pick the artwork up, or we can help you arrange delivery, in DC or within 10 miles of the city, for a flat-fee of
$100. If you are not local, WPA can ship your artwork for an additional fee. The shipping fee is noted on the sale page for each lot. Shipping is not calculated by the recipient’s address, but will fall into one of three flat-rate categories depending on the size, weight, and material of the artwork. Shipping or delivery fees must be paid at the time of purchase. Pickup, delivery, and shipping timelines will be communicated at the time of payment, depending on your location and schedule, and how the artwork will be transported. WPA will make every effort to unite you with your artwork within 21 days of receiving payment. PURCHASING ADDITIONAL ART AFTER THE AUCTION Unsold artwork may be available for purchase through the WPA office for one week after the benefit auction ends. Please call Alexa Kaye at 617.710.3829 for more information.
HOW TO PURCHASE ARTWORKS
executed if there is a competing bidder up to that amount.
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AUCTION TERMS The following terms & conditions are provided to you courtesy of Washington Project for the Arts (WPA). These are in addition to the Artsy Conditions of Sale, available for review on the Artsy website at www.artsy.net/conditions-of-sale. The property offered in this sale will be offered and sold by WPA solely. Any questions should be directed to WPA.
1. (a) WPA does not assume any risk, liability, or responsibility for the authenticity of the authorship of any property offered at this auction (that is, the identity of the creator or the period, culture, source of origin, as the case may be, with which the creation of any property is identified). (b) ALL PROPERTY IS SOLD “AS IS” AND WPA MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND OR NATURE, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, WITH RESPECT TO THE PROPERTY, AND IN NO EVENT SHALL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CORRECTNESS OF ANY CATALOGUE,
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BID SHEETS, OR NOTICES OR DESCRIPTIONS OF PROPERTY, NOR BE DEEMED TO HAVE MADE, ANY REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTY OF PHYSICAL CONDITION, SIZE, QUALITY, RARITY, IMPORTANCE, GENUINENESS, ATTRIBUTION, AUTHENTICITY, PROVENANCE, OR HISTORICAL RELEVANCE OF THE PROPERTY. No statement in any catalogue, notice, or description or made at the sale, in any bill of sale invoice or elsewhere, shall be deemed such a representation or warranty of any assumption of liability. WPA makes no representation or warranty; expressed or implied, as to whether the purchaser acquires any reproduction rights in the property. 2. Any property may be withdrawn by WPA at any time before the actual sale without any liability therefore. 3. At the closing of the auction on May 20, 2021, and the documentation of the highest bid by Artsy, the highest bidder shall be deemed to have purchased the offered lot subject to all of the conditions
+ CONDITIONS payment of any deficiency, all other charges due hereunder, and incidental damages. 4. Any checks should be payable to Washington Project for the Arts. 5. These Conditions of Sale, as well as the purchaser’s and WPA’s respective rights and obligations hereunder, shall be governed by and construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the District of Columbia. By bidding in this auction, whether in person or by agent, absentee bid, telephone, or other means, the purchaser shall be deemed to have consented to the exclusive jurisdiction of the state and federal courts sitting in the District of Columbia.
AUCTION TERMS + CONDITIONS
set forth herein and thereupon (a) assumes the risk and responsibility thereof (including without limitation damage to frames or glass covering prints), (b) will sign a confirmation of purchase thereof, and (c) will pay the full purchase price therefore or such part as WPA may require. If WPA is unable to unite you with your purchases through no fault of its own within 30 days of the purchase, the artwork will be sent by WPA at the expense of the purchaser to a public warehouse at the expense of the purchaser and such additional charges will then be added to the purchase price of the object. If the foregoing conditions and other applicable conditions are not complied with, in addition to other remedies available to WPA by law, including, without limitation, the right to hold the purchaser liable for the bid price, WPA at their option, may either (a) cancel the sale, or (b) resell the property on three days’ notice to the purchaser and for the account and risk of the purchaser, either publicly or privately, and in such event the purchaser shall be liable for
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LET YOUR HAIR DOWN
Lobby of 1550 Crystal Drive
Marriott in National Landing
THE GARAGE SHAFT
POSITIVE COMMUNITY MURAL
The Garage Shaft at Center Park
Kora in National Landing
BY STUART HARTLEY
BY JOSHUA PEARSON & GREG BYRON OF PEP RALLY
BY MARCELLA VERCHIO
BY MARCELLA VERCHIO
WPA’S ARTIST-ORGANIZED PROGRAMMING IS MADE POSSIBLE IN PART BY the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Bloomberg Philanthropies; The Corcoran Women’s Committee; The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; Greater Washington Community Foundation; Glenstone Foundation; Hickok Cole; and many other generous foundations, corporations, and individuals.
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING ARTISTS + WPA To register for the May 6, 2021 Collectors’ Night Virtual Kickoff Party, visit wpadc.org. The Collectors’ Night Benefit Auction will open at 6:30pm on May 6, 2021 at artsy.net/wpabenefit. Please note that the sale page will not populate with this year’s Collectors’ Night artwork lots until exactly 6:30 pm. The auction will close at 6:30pm on May 20, 2021. For more information about Washington Project for the Arts, visit wpadc.org. WASHINGTON PROJECT FOR THE ARTS 2124 8th St. NW Washington, DC 20001