Hamiltonian Artists on U Street NW are currently exhibiting some of the most promising artists from the greater DMV area — Kyrae Dawaun, Cecilia Kim, Ara Koh, Samera Paz and Matthew Russo — for the annual “new. now” exhibit on display until January 29.
The five new fellows at Hamiltonian Artists are in their first months of a two-year program that supports artists by teaching them about business practices, creating formal mentorships with other artists in the District, offering an honorarium and fostering a supportive cohort of peers artists. From writing a bio and drafting a CV to art handling, packing, and installation, the program offers the tools and strategies for a sustainable and successful practice as professional artists. This includes both the “new. now” early group exhibit for the new fellows and a second solo exhibit for those in their second year of the residency.
“What we see is who they are right now as artists,” shares Lily Siegel, executive director at Hamiltonian Artists. “At this point, we ask fellows what work they would like to include in this show, to think about what they’ve done in the past, what they’re working on now and what they might be thinking about doing in the future.”
She says this is a chance to “telegraph” what the audience should expect to see from the artists the following year.
“This cohort of artists does not have a cohesive curatorial thesis yet; that is for their second year.”
D.C.-based painter and sculptor Kyrae Dawaun utilizes traditional gallery space and creates site-specific works, notably Black portraits, and will display previously unshown drawings for this exhibit.
A Trawick Prize finalist currently residing in Richmond, Cecilia Kim creates immersive experiences in her video installations that often focus on her identity as a Korean woman living and working in America.
Ara Koh, born in Seoul and living in D.C., communicates through her ceramic works the landscapes of place and memory.
Multidisciplinary D.C.-based artist Samera Paz focuses on socially conscious and community-based works, creating compositions that are highly autobiographical. Siegel notes Paz is now moving towards more performance pieces.
“We are seeing a big shift in her practice,” Siegel says.
Matthew Russo, also based in D.C., creates playful sculptures, considering how to be welcoming to viewers while challenging the notion of “thingness” in thoughtful ways.
In addition to the exhibit, there is also an artist talk on January 20 at 6 p.m. and a closing reception on January 29 at 4 p.m. Looking at the impressive roster of 60 former fellows since 2008 whose works are changing the landscape of the region’s arts scene, attending “new. now” allows you to see some of tomorrow’s greatest artists at a pivotal moment in their careers.
“new. now” runs until January 29, Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Entry is free, but donations to support Hamiltonian’s programming is appreciated.