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The work of artists who live or work in Ward 5 will be showcased this weekend at Off-Rhode Gallery at Art Enables.
“When we moved into the space in 2010, we made a commitment not only to our artists in featuring their work, but we also wanted to be… open for the community,” Beth Baldwin, arts coordinator of Art Enables, says by phone. Art Enables also supports artists with disabilities, selling and showcasing their work.
While the showcase continues to support local, self-taught artists, the artists featured this year are more established throughout the city than those in the previous three years.
“The first year, it was kind of like ‘Everybody got in!” Baldwin says with a laugh, “And now we’re able to, you know, jury the show a little more carefully.”
This year, artists Lisa Marie Thalhammer, Marcelle Fozard, Aaron Wilder, Scot McKenzie, Kim Bursic, Denise Helm, Lloyd Foster, and Alexis Cohen will be featured. Thalhammer will lead a workshop on portraits. Other than their connection to the ward as residents and artists, the showcase doesn’t have any unifying theme.
Over the past few years, Ward 5 has become the epicenter for new artist spaces, including the Monroe Street Market Arts Walk, 52 O Street Studios, Off the Beaten Track, and ReCreative Spaces, a pop-up art space temporarily occupying a building on Rhode Island Avenue NE. This proliferation of art spaces is an exception rather than a rule within D.C. Recognizing Ward 5’s unique position as a sort of watering hole for local artists and creative ventures, Art Enables always wanted to welcome the community into its doors.
“There’s just a lot of creativity happening right now in Ward 5 which is really exciting to see, and it’s always a great opportunity to be an incubator for that talent,” Baldwin says.
The Ward 5 artists exhibition takes place Sat., July 11 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Art Enables, 2204 Rhode Island Ave. NE. Free. art-enables.org.