Thursday, December 16, 2010

In Unison: 20 Washington, DC Artists @ Kreeger Museum

In Unison: 20 Washington, DC Artists 
Saturday, January 15, 2011 -  Saturday, February 26, 2011


Martha Jackson-Jarvis, Spirit Bones II, 2010, 30” x 22”, monoprint and chine collé

"It is experimental, improvisational, it is ‘found', like jazz. It is the history of what's here, taking another step." –Sam Gilliam, artist

The Kreeger Museum is proud to present In Unison: 20 Washington, DC Artists, the culmination of a project initiated by renowned artist Sam Gilliam, consisting of 20 established artists from the DC community, working in different styles and mediums. The artists were invited to come together to create a series of five monoprints each, one of which was selected for the exhibition. "The ideas of creating a group portfolio and exhibiting together express the ideas of unity and identity that are underlying motives of the project, and which are vital to sustaining a thriving artistic community," says Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D., art critic and art historian. In Unison is a continuation of The Kreeger Museum's support and encouragement of artists in the DC metro area.

The exhibition is sponsored by Millennium Arts Salon that has been serving the Washington, DC arts community for over 10 years. Millennium extends special thanks to the George Mason University School of Art for use of its print studio.

Kreeger Museum
2401 Foxhall Road, NW
Washington, DC 20007
202-337-3050 phone


1 comment:

  1. Comment on the article by Kriston Capp appearing in the Washington Post, January 13, 2011. This post by Melvin Hardy at

    Kriston: Yours is a remarkable recitation of context for what you observed as the production of this sampling of a body of works of art created at GMU. What you could not have observed was the origination of vision of a major artist in Sam Gilliam, and its interplay under the sponsorship of a local arts-advocacy and arts-community building organization in Millennium Arts Salon.

    Your attribution of the "patronage" of Kandinsky and Klee is a wonderful gift from you as an established art critic to each of the "In Unison" artists hanging at the Kreeger. It is lost on no one that Judy Greenberg's willingness to accept this exhibition represents a major advance in the careers of many of the artists.

    In this, perhaps you may have missed the point with your focus on "looking back" to the restrictions imposed on innovation and creativity by our local Washington artists, by a less-than-assertive Washington cultural infrastructure. Your highlighting the preponderance of African American artists in the exhibition dismisses completely the sponsor's and project team's structured framework for persons across the spectrum of cultural, ethnic, aesthetic, experience, gender, and age identities to experiment with artistic and aesthetic dialogue whilst in the process of creation of works.

    You could not have known Sondra Arkin's frustration with running her typical encaustics through a press only to work with the master printmakers to innovate in finding process to present her beautiful details. You could not have known the truly vanguard applications of tools by Akili Ron Anderson in the creation of his works, and for which each of the five "small paintings" he created are tour de force works of art.

    To what many observers of this important exhibition, perhaps like yourself, might immediately attach to recent historical reference, "looking back" in your parlance, you may miss the prospective references to our national need for modeling how Americans, regardless of station, cultural, or ethnic identity, can find ways to interact in the spirit of innovation, in the finding of new ways to re-calibrate our national dialogue for building a sense a national identity, an American culture.

    The project team was lead by: Sam Gilliam in identifying the artists who would inspire a new Washington signature in collaborative creativity; Juanita Hardy of Millennium Arts Salon who initiated and funded the enterprise; Helen Frederick and Susan Goldman who "mastered" the printmaking and counseled many of the artists in innovation; Claudia Rousseau, who provided art historical and critical context; and Judy Greenberg, who housed this new vision of the American experiment with American inter-culturalism.

    Of course, none of this is possible without the creatives themselves, and we are all grateful that the artists would lend themselves to this highly managed strategy. It is refreshing to read your review of the exhibition, Kriston, as your "backward looking" perspective provides that essential balance that fuels those of us in the creative classes to look forward to our leadership in the better America that is to come.