Borderstan Area Named One of America’s Top ArtPlaces

by January 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm 0


U Street and Adams Morgan are two of the top most art-centric places in the country. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Kathryn Ciano. Follow her on Twitter @katciano. Email her at  kathryn[AT]

DC Mayor Vincent Gray’s office announced this week that Adams Morgan and U Street, together, are one of America’s Top 12 ArtPlaces in the country. ArtPlace, a community-based collaborative focused on “creative placemaking,” selected these two neighborhoods for the title, among other cities, such as Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle.

According to the press release, ArtPlace selected Adams Morgan/U Street and the rest of the honored neighborhood list based on a set of six indicators identified by a consulting firm that specializes in the study of metropolitan economies:

Four indicators measure the ingredients of vibrancy: the number of retail and service businesses; the percentage of independent businesses; the neighborhood’s Walk Score; and the percentage of workers in creative occupations living in the neighborhood. Two arts-related indicators were also used: the number of arts-related non-profits and the number of arts-related businesses. Finally, neighborhood scores were normalized for family income so that neighborhoods with the highest concentration of income did not skew the results.

This is the second time ArtPlace has recognized the District as a creative community. In 2011, ArtPlace granted $250,000 to fund Arts and Culture Temporiums in four emerging DC neighborhoods: Anacostia, Brookland, Deanwood, and Central 14th Street NW (Spring Road to Longfellow Street NW).

Enjoy our creative neighborhood and get to know your neighbors by checking out the upcoming exhibits at local galleries this weekend — there are almost too many to name. My short list is below, but you can always check out Borderstan’s semi-weekly gallery roundup, or this link for Borderstan’s year-end exhibition roundup for more complete lists of nearby art spots:

  • At Longview gallery, 1234 9th Street NW, Colin Winterbottom’s “Gothic Resilience” presents a series of photos of the national cathedral restoration starting January 10 (including photos of artifacts and architecture damaged in the Aug. 2011 earthquake)
  • Gallery plan b, 1530 14th Street is showing mosaics by Ted Milligan and Michael Curry, starting January 12.
  • Curator’s Office, 1515 14th Street NW, Ste. 201, “Periodically invites a curator (museum curator, critic, artist, collector, educator, promising student, gallerist) to display a tightly focused presentation of an artist or art collective’s work. The invited curator provides an explanation for the selection and defines the cultural significance of that particular artist to contemporary art practice. From time to time, artists are invited to interpret the ‘office/micro-gallery space.”
  • Transformer Gallery, 1404 P Street, is a tiny space hosting an exhibition called “Cabinets of Curiosity,” starting January 19.
  • Hamiltonian Gallery, 1353 U Street NW, opens Here Not There on January 12: “Joshua Wade Smith began Here Nor There with a two-day long urban trek in which he walked along the train tracks from his home in Baltimore to DC. On the second leg of the trip, Smith recorded his walk through Washington, DC from the train tracks near New York Avenue to the doors of Hamiltonian Gallery. The project concludes on opening night with an in-gallery performance. Smith will send runners sprinting down a 40 foot-long racetrack toward a mirrored wall, thereby forcing his performers to undergo the same physical and perceptual challenges he experienced on his solo journey.”
  • Randall Scott Projects, 2030 8th Street NW at V Street, opening in DC in January. Randall Scott has been in and out of the Borderstan area–most recently occupying a 2,400 square foot Shaw studio until that was demolished this fall. See this space for Botticellian and schoolgirlish soul-wrenching figures.

Check the galleries’ websites for exhibition opening info. Most of these galleries are open late enough in the evening so that you can stop in and poke around for a sec on your way home from work. Openings are always the best time to come, when you can meet the artist, and sip wine while you browse. Enjoy!

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