March 2, 2016

Rachel Schmidt: Daydream Believer

written by Olivia Desjardins, AAC Curatorial and Exhibitions Intern

Daydreams in the Anthropocene, installation view. photo by Dawn Whitmore
Daydreams in the Anthropocene, installation view. photo by Dawn Whitmore

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in another geological era? Would you go back to roam the earth with dinosaurs? What about exploring an era that was created by the actions and activity of humanity?  

AAC Resident Artist Rachel Schmidt explores this idea in her solo exhibition: Daydreams in the Anthropocene.

You can find Rachel’s Daydreams on the Upper Level in the Wyatt Resident Artists Gallery, just follow the melodic sounds drifting down the front stairs. This exhibition, consisting of familiar materials: paper, light, and sound, is an immersive installation that will draw you into a delicate, yet unnerving, future world…

 Daydreams in the Anthropocene, installation view. photo by Dawn Whitmore
Daydreams in the Anthropocene, installation view. photo by Dawn Whitmore

To create her hypnotic sound component, Rachel collaborated with DC-based band and art collective Beauty Pill. The arrangement was composed by band members Chad Clark and Drew Doucette.

Rachel says, “The piece examines the new behaviors and emotions created by animals who live their lives behind glass.” Myths and emotions from these imagined futures in the Anthropocene are core concepts woven throughout Daydreams in the Anthropocene.

This installation touches on the possibility that humanity has actually entered a new geological era, the Anthropocene, one brought about by humanity’s uncontrolled, and arguably invasive, growth. Rachel explains her fascination with the co-evolutionary relationship humans have with animals and the planet.

“I have created an installation that acknowledges and addresses climate change and the growing impacts that urbanization has on the planet,” states Rachel. This idea of human activity negatively affecting the animal kingdom is a key belief she has illustrated throughout her exhibition.


Rachel SchmidtAfter being a Resident Artist at AAC for more than 5 years, Rachel is leaving to continue her practice in a home studio!

In her time here she has exhibited at Hillyer (DC), Arts in Foggy Bottom Outdoor Sculpture Biennial (DC), and Flashpoint (DC), among many more.

Before being inducted to the AAC Resident Artist program, Rachel was selected for our 2010 Spring SOLOS. You may remember Damsels and Daemons, her first solo show as a Resident was back in 2011.

Throughout her years at AAC, Rachel has grown and evolved as an artist, moving through her background in textiles to teaching herself animation and 4D design. She’s equally comfortable with pen and ink as she is with immersive installation construction. We will miss her, but are excited to see what she creates in the future!


You won’t want to miss Rachel’s LAST installation as a Resident Artist! Come see her show, along with the main exhibition, King of the Forest: Adventures in Bioperversity, now on view until April 3, with a panel discussion and closing reception slated for April 2.
Also, come take a look at our Instructor Select 2016 exhibition in the Jenkins Community Gallery located on the Lower Level! This show features work by our talented instructors and students from our adult classes.
Our galleries are free and open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 5 pm. We’re located across the street from the Virginia Square Metro station, and we have a parking lot…it’s tiny, but it’s there and you can park there if you’re visiting us!

In Conversation: Nekisha Durrett + Zaq Landsberg

Saturday / April 27 / 1pm-3pm

Innovation Studio + Store

Join artists Zaq Landsberg and Nekisha Durrett for a conversation about the rewards and challenges of public art and the complex nature of monuments and memorials.

Performances by Isa Leal & Liz Ensz + Skye Fort in conversation with NO GRIDS NO MASTERS

Saturday / April 20 / 6pm-8pm

MoCA Arlington

An evening of performances by Isa Leal and Liz Ensz + Skye Fort in conversation with Ensz’s exhibition NO GRIDS NO MASTERS currently on view at MoCA Arlington.

2024 Art Classes for Kids, Teens, and Adults!

Register now! Classes begin April 7!

Less than 2 weeks left to register! Sign up today to secure your spot in one of MoCA Arlington’s award-winning programs! From drawing and painting to ceramics and mixed media, you are sure to find an inspiring art class. Enrich your creative journey with our talented instructors and explore the world of art in a fun and supportive environment.

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