Façade Renovation Project (2021)
sponsored by Peter Grimm
The Façade Renovation Project commissioned by Capitol Hill Arts Workshop and sponsored by Peter Grimm and Tech Painting Co, was part of artist Carolina Mayorga’s most recent series “ARTidotes in Color”; an exploration of color influenced by her daily walks around Northeast and Southeast D.C. Observations of new and restored mural works by local artists served as a reminder of the Washington Color School. Mayorga incorporated the use of vibrant tones inspired by colorful city gardens and influenced by the work of artist Henri Matisse, as well as 17 years of serving as a teaching artist at CHAW’s Youth Arts Program. Mayorga returned to CHAW after working alongside Bruce McKaig and Scott Hunter on the façade renovation project of 2009, where she designed four steel sculptures that lived on the columns for the past eleven years.
The project also includes new banners illustrating unique aspects that tell the story of the diverse group of people that belong at CHAW. As CHAW enters its 50th year in 2022, the organization celebrates what the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop has meant to so many people over many years. CHAW celebrates the treasure trove of creativity that has not only left a collective legacy that anchors the community, but one that propels bigger thinking about the future.
50 States Project (2019 – Present)
The 50 States Project is a mobile artist residency traveling to all 50 states in partnership with CHAW. Artists Kate Fleming and Tom Woodruff are traveling to all 50 states while conducting visual research, visiting arts and community organizations, and collaborating remotely with CHAW’s Youth Arts Program.
In November of 2019, they set out to travel to all 50 states in one year, painting and photographing our way across the country. After 17 states and nearly 5 months on the road, the pandemic hit. It was no longer safe to travel. Kate and Tom returned home to the DC area — but continued the work of documenting America while in social isolation. The 50 States Project began as an epic road trip and grew to become something even larger: a study of before and after in a country forever changed by the events of 2020.
Now that Kate and Tom are vaccinated, they’re back on the road finishing what they started. They plan to continue traveling, painting, and photographing throughout 2021, completing the second half of their year of travel.
Capitol Hill Alphabet Animal Art Project (2014, 2019)
The CHAAAP story began back in 2011, when local Capitol Hill resident Stephen Young was walking around the neighborhood with his two daughters. As they passed the lettered street signs, he pointed them out and said, “E St. E is for Elephant! K St…K is for Kangaroo.” And in that moment, a creative idea was born: why not share that fun, educational experience with all Hill residents by installing animal sculptures on the street signs?
Stephen brought the idea to CHAW, and of course, it was right up our alley!
In 2014, CHAW received a pilot grant from the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) and sent out a call for artists. With the artistic direction of Bruce McKaig and a panel of experienced jurors, we selected an initial 10 artists to create fantastical, whimsical, unique, and artistic representations of animals for each of ten streets in the SE quadrant of DC.
Funded by a recent grant from the DC Community of the Arts and Humanities and in partnership with Eastern Market Main Street (EMMS) and the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT), the Alphabet Animal Art Project has installed 10 additional sculptures throughout Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6B to intentionally broaden the span of the Alphabet Animal “path.” As a continuation of the previous 2014 project, the Alphabet Animals will follow in the footsteps of their predecessors. CHAW has engaged with a roster of nearly all the original artists including Beth Baldwin, Charles Bergen, Undine Brod, Susan J. Champeny, Breon Gilleran and Mary Frank in collaboration, Carolina Mayorga, Davide Prete, Evan Reed, and Maureen Smith.
Our goal is to help create a more vibrant, livable, walkable community for all of our neighbors.
Read more about the project in this exciting feature in the Washington Post.
Migrant Quilt Project (2019)
“Quilts reside squarely at the intersection of art and stories; of form and function,” says Amy Moore, CHAW’s Executive Director. “Like the AIDS Memorial Quilt, the Migrant Quilt Project introduces a meta level for understanding the complex interplay of social, political, and emotional planes of a hot button topic in America (and elsewhere) as only art can.”
The quilts in this 18 piece collection memorialize the immigrants who have died in the Arizona desert each year since 2000. Materials used in the quilts were collected at migrant layup sites used for rest and shelter on established trails in the Sonoran Desert. The name of every one of these individuals is inscribed on the quilt, with the word “unknown” or “desconocido” used to designate an unidentified person’s remains.
“Our goal with this exhibit is to increase awareness through visual storytelling of issues facing immigrants coming to the United States and to promote a better understanding of their lived experiences,” says Moore. “Our hope is a collective consciousness-raising that can positively impact the way in which people treat each other.”