January 6, 2017

Reflecting On 2016: AAC’s Year-in-Review

AAC Summer Campers take a break at the Spielschieff photo by Kate Ingram
AAC Summer Campers take a break at the Spielschieff. photo by Kate Ingram

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!


AAC Summer Campers (ages 7 - 10) go 3D with a magical forest creation!
AAC Summer Campers (ages 7 – 10) go 3D with a magical forest creation!

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!

Tales Told: Bookmaking & Illustration. Featuring work by youth and adult students led by Instructor Jennifer PenickComing 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.


Selin Balci, Territory (detail), Microbial growth on yupo paper covered with scientific watch glasses, 2015-16
Selin Balci, Territory (detail)

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.

Guests give Tune a spin at the opening reception in April. photo by Kate Ingram
Guests give Tune a spin at the opening reception last April. photo by Kate Ingram

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.

Visitors discuss the artwork in the Dia de los Muertos exhibition. Photo by Patricia Lake
Visitors discuss the artwork in the Dia de los Muertos exhibition. Photo by Patricia Lake

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!

Resident Artists

Alice Whealin, photo by Dawn Whitmore
Alice Whealin pictured here with some of her work. photo by Dawn Whitmore

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.

Lyric Prince discussing her mural with a studio visitor. Photo by Kate Ingram
Lyric Prince discussing her mural with a studio visitor. Photo by Kate Ingram

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!)

There’s no doubt that we had an inspiring, creative, and colorful 2016! And as we move into 2017 we’re committed to continued growth, renewal, and hope through the arts. Thanks to everyone who made it great! HAPPY 2017!

AAC has exciting things lined up for 2017! Starting January 21 our winter exhibitions will be on view:

Curators Spotlight

Pam Rogers: Working the Ground

Tales Told: Bookmaking & Illustration

Opening reception: February 11, 6 – 9 pm!

Our winter 2017 classes will run from February 3 – April 4; registration is now open!

Finally, the call for long and shot-term resident artists deadline is Jan. 9. Apply before it’s too late!

Golden: Fifty Years of New Classics

June 15 - September 8, 2024

Curated by Al Miner
Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington is proud to present Golden: Fifty Years of New Classics, an exhibition celebrating the organization’s 50th anniversary.

Summer Camp Registration

June 17 – August 16

Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington offers a wonderful and wide range of creative summer camps for your creative students! Camps are offered for kids starting at age 5 and up to teens ages 18.

Zaq Landsberg: Reclining Liberty

August 5, 2023 - July 28, 2024

Front Lawn
MoCA Arlington and Arlington Public Art are thrilled to co-sponsor the installation of Zaq Landsberg’s celebrated Reclining Liberty on the Museum’s front lawn.