Wrapping Up 2015: AAC’s Year-in-Review
It’s almost time to make your New Year’s resolutions, but before we go merrily onward into 2016, let’s go down memory lane to review some highlights of AAC this year. Now, we may be a bunch of artists but we can still do math, so let’s get into some numbers shall we?
Here are some quick fun facts to get the ball rolling:
It would take 52 metro rail cars to fill up the amount of visitors who attended AAC this year – that’s more than 6,000 people who came in for classes, workshops, exhibitions, and events in 2015
We presented 160 curators and artists in 13 exhibitions this year alone
It took 48 volunteers and interns to make it all happen
We relied on 23 instructors to bring the best arts education to our students
Our 18 board members supported and guided us throughout this year of change and success
And 4 staff members to pull it off
This year alone AAC has enrolled 974 students (ages 2 to adult), with 97 classes and workshops, that’s a 32% increase in overall classes this year compared to 2014!
If we break it down, that would mean students used 76,122 sheets of paper (that’s more than half the surface area of the Washington Monument!) to create awesome artwork.
They spent more than 1,000 hours making that artwork! Just this summer 622 children were enrolled in our summer camps. An eager 8-year-old camper calculated that she spent 75 hours making art this summer. That’s a lot of art making!
We’ve also had a great year of exhibitions; AAC has showcased 13 this year. You might recall our Emerging Curators Spotlight: Instigate. Activate – a newly presented exhibition comprised of four emerging curators (Ellen Chenoweth, Danielle O’Steen, Megan Rook-Koepsel, and Caitlin Tucker-Melvin) who created exhibitions with the theme of their choice, and introduced us to sixteen emerging artists.
One of the many great installations in Instigate. Activate. showcased a public art piece The Wormhole (Rainbow Worm) by Samantha Rausch which covered the front and side lawns in January 2015.
Another stand-out this year was this summer’s Play: Tinker Tech & Toy exhibition. If you were driving or walking down Wilson Blvd, you might have noticed the huge kite stuck in the tree or maybe the Frisbee lying on the roof or definitely the larger-than-life dart stuck in the grass. No, those weren’t leftover toys from a giant kid. It was a public art piece installed by Cory Orberndorfer for Play.
Thirteen artists were selected to showcase their artistic play on play. Play even garnered a full-color spread in The Washington Post weekend section. The show was very influential in our workshops and summer classes.
We brought our students into the galleries to learn more about the artists and their techniques, which they then brought back to the classroom to create works of art inspired by the exhibition.
Our resident artists have been hard at work burning the midnight oil too, 11,520 hours in the studio to be exact. AAC houses 10 studios with a total of 12 resident artists. Both in AAC and in outside venues, our residents were featured in more than 68 exhibitions in 2015.
Moreover, AAC’s residents have 24/7 access to their studios; creating art is a full time job. You might remember their group exhibition Yes, and curated by Caitlin Melvin-Tucker. The title of the exhibition was inspired by the improvisational tenet “yes and” which Caitlin attributed to the atmosphere and creative energy she felt while working at AAC.
Rated ART – Best Night Ever!
Who could forget Rated ART? We can’t wrap up 2015 without a shout-out to our amazing spring gala! We partnered with eight of your favorite restaurants and chefs to bring you a night of discovery and invention. This smashing success brought in more than $20,000 to support our programs. With more than 250 art-lovers and supporters in attendance, the house was packed!
All in all we’ve had a fantastic year! We can’t wait to see what’s in store for us in 2016! If you want to make sure that we continue bringing the best contemporary art to Arlington and providing outstanding arts education all year to all ages, please donate now.
Your support is vital to the achievement of our mission; none of these accomplishments would be possible without you!
Join us next year as we come fully-loaded into 2016 with another great season of classes, and an exciting new exhibition!