DC Loft Gallery is one of the newest commercial galleries to enter the local art scene, at 1926-B 14th Street NW. The gallery, owned by Fairfax resident Joseph Teshome, opened its doors in September and presented its first exhibition of East African Diaspora Art a month later.
The current exhibit, “Social Network in the Neighborhood,” features the work of 12 Mid City Artists including Chuck Baxter, Groover Cleveland, Thomas Drymon, Glenn Fry, Charlie Gaynor, Regina Miele, Mark Parascandola, Dave Peterson, Richard Siegman, George H. Smith-Shomari, Bill Warrell and Robert Wiener. The work of artist Brian J. Legan is also part of the exhibition which runs until the end of the year.
Teshome envisions DC Loft Gallery as more than a gallery space for local artists; he also hopes it can serve as a convenient event space for organizations and businesses. He plans on seeking opportunities with the art community including the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and looks forward to continue working with Mid City Artists.
Teshome himself does not come from a typical art background. In addition to managing properties for JBG Companies, he has experience in the information technology and services industry as a software engineer. Teshome’s appreciation for the arts developed from frequent gallery visits, as well as through interactions with local artists at Mid City Caffe.
According to Teshome, a combination of the changing landscape of the 14th Street corridor and his personal interest in the arts encouraged him to create a business plan for the gallery. In addition, his established business relationship with JGB Companies, which owns the property, presented a promising opportunity. “I have a great relationship with JBG Companies and I wanted to grow with them,” Teshome said.
The desire to create an outlet for local artists and students was also a driving force behind DC Loft Gallery. In the near future, he hopes to expand the gallery’s reach by offering art lessons for all age groups and skill levels. Teshome’s five-year-old daughter enjoys creating art as well. “That motivates me more every day,” he said.
For more information about DC Loft Gallery, visit their website. Remember that the gallery is upstairs and not readily visible from the street, so look for the sign on the door at 1926 14th Street NW.