Reflecting On 2016: AAC’s Year-in-Review
All good things must come to an end and 2016 has indeed been a great one for AAC! Without your participation and support our building stands empty and alone, but through your pursuit of creativity and inspiration, you’ve made AAC a part of your life! As we enter into the new year let’s reflect on the year we’ve had. Check out some of the highlights of 2016, and see what’s coming up in 2017!
With only 19 instructors we managed inspire more than 1200 students this year! That comes to 1118 hours of creativity, art-making, and socializing.
With one of our most popular classes being My First Portfolio, which strives to promote the development of cognitive, social, and motor skills in preschool-aged children. At the other end of the spectrum, we saw record numbers of students in our Intro to Acrylic Painting for adults!
Coming up this winter, you’ll get a chance to see work by AAC’s adult and children students! Tales Told: Bookmaking & Illustration is an exhibition featuring final projects by AAC students in bookart-focused classes instructed by Jennifer Penick.
This is not only a chance for the greater public to see what kind of work we do in our classes, but also an amazing opportunity for students to experience the development of an exhibition, and how displaying your art among other pieces can change how you view it. Tales Told will be on view January 21 – March 26.
This year we presented 15 exhibitions featuring contemporary artists from around the Mid-Atlantic Region, as well as the DC Metro area.
You may remember we kicked off 2016 with King of the Forest: Adventures in Bioperversity. This collaborative hit, curated by Megan Rook-Koepsel, featured 13 artist whose work explored humanity’s relationship with nature through the lens of human species-privileging, or speciesism.
Later that year we stepped away from the organic to embrace the mechanic in our 2016 Spring SOLOS. Who could forget the sound of Adam Robert Hager’s re-purposed Chevy 350 block?
Over the summer we invited you to explore a variety of Strange Landscapes throughout our galleries. Curated by Blair Murphy and Karyn Miller, this exhibition featured 11 contemporary artists, and revisited our interest in humanity’s relationship with the world around them.
Continuing this theme into our Jenkins Community Gallery we featured Materialized Magic: Mythical Creatures in Yarn Artistry Habitat, an entirely community-sourced collaborative, next-level yarn-bombing organized, coordinated, and curated by Stacy Cantrell and Erika Cleveland became one of our most popular installations this year.
As usual, our annual Dia de Los Muertos exhibition and celebration boasted an amazing turnout on opening night! Generous amounts of pan de muerto and hot chocolate kept bellies full, while performances by Los Gallos Negros and Ballet Folklorico Mi Henrencia Mexicana kept guests entertained. And finally, we wrapped the year with another set of the region’s best contemporary artists in our Fall SOLOS 2016. Thanks to all of the amazing artists who put countless hours of energy and time into making the art that inspires us, moves us, and brings us together!
Our resident artists had stand-out exhibitions this year! Alice Whealin presented Third Patterns, her final solo show as an AAC resident artist. After completing her six-year residency at AAC, Alice has moved to the Columbia Pike Artists Studios.
This year we also said goodbye to rockstar residents Bridget Sue Lambert and Rachel Schmidt. We’re so sad to these amazing artists go, but forever grateful for the inspiration they brought to AAC, and super-excited to see what they’ll do next!
Even as we said goodbye to old friends, we were welcoming some new faces to our studios! Ryan McCoy joined us last March, along with Negar Ahkami – who had previously completed our short-term residency. Lyric Prince and Olivia Morrow were our 2016 short-term residents.
You may remember Lyric’s amazing crowd-sourced mural, which stayed up throughout our summer camps. Olivia’s short-term residency continues through this year, and stay tuned for announcements on the new long-term resident. (We are accepting applications for a new studio artist until January 9!)