When opportunity and funding intersect, emerging artists are often shut out from realizing their artistic expression due to a lack of financial resources. In Washington, studio space STABLE Arts is working to shift the narrative around accessibility.
Founded in 2017, STABLE is a non-profit that supports Washington’s contemporary visual arts through its affordable residency program. The three-floor studio space and exhibition hall is located in Eckington, and currently houses 26 resident artists.
On June 4, STABLE will host “Exhibiting Practice,” a day-long occasion featuring an array of in-house workshops. Notably, the event will include a lithography workshop, an introduction to film looping and a sound bath led by Eaton DC. The workshops will transition into an exclusive VIP hour, followed by a late-night after-party.
Marking a new chapter in STABLE’s development, “it’s an opportunity to meet artists, collectors, and art enthusiasts — all in one place at one time,” Executive Director of STABLE Maleke Glee says.
For Glee, “Exhibiting Practice” represents STABLE’s reemergence and reintroduction into the community after the turbulent effects of the pandemic on the art world.
“June 4 is almost like an appetizer for what’s to come for the rest of the rest of the year,” he says. Referencing the triangulation of the event’s workshops, VIP hour and subsequent dancing, “each element is a sample of its fuller life.”
At the helm of the organization’s ethos is to create a culture of arts inclusivity in Washington. Where race, class and gender intersect, STABLE wants to ensure that people of any background can pursue art.
After a board change in 2020 following concerns over equity, Glee joined the organization as executive director in 2021. Glee emphasized that diversity, equity and inclusion is the utmost priority for the organization.
Furthering STABLE’s commitment to DEI, the organization is currently assembling an arts advisory council that will reflect the makeup of the creatives it serves.
Glee notes the council will serve as “a think tank of producing ideas from a diverse body of persons.”
Five years on from its establishment, the organization is making another major modification to its facility. STABLE is in the process of revamping a coworking space, the “peerspace,” where artists of any medium can engage in conversations that support art-making and collaboration.
Glee explains this change will open STABLE up other creators that operate within the art world, such as writers, art historians and screen-based creators.
“As of right now, we are really cognizant of the holistic wellness of the arts ecosystem,” he says. “And what that means to me is not just opportunities for visual artists, but for those who are auxiliary.”
Glee equates the aura of the peerspace to that of a salon or café culture — an opportunity for creatives to connect in a welcoming environment that promotes open forum dialogues.
STABLE’s expansion is indicative of the organization’s desire to foster inclusive engagement for its resident artists and patrons. “Exhibiting Practice” serves as an introductory flavor into STABLE’s new season of growth, and will provide the Washington community an opportunity to peek into the organization’s promising future.
“Exhibiting Practice,” is on June 4, with the first workshop starting at 12 p.m. To learn more about all the workshops at the event and to get tickets, visit here.
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