Logan Circle’s Transformer gallery has been celebrating artists in its FlatFile program through winter exhibit “Evoking the Senses.” As the exhibit comes to a close after several months, Transformer is going out with a bang thanks to their Heartbreakers Ball this Sunday, February 14.
“For the past four years, Transformer’s Heartbreakers Ball has been presented as an in-person event,” says Victoria Reis, founder and artistic director of Transformer. “It’s taken many eclectic shapes and formats – from karaoke battles to pizza and dance parties, radio programs to performance art events with kissing booths – but always celebrating our love for the emerging artist community, and debuting new artists and artworks in our FlatFile program.”
While an in-person iteration of this year’s ball isn’t possible, Reis and her team are still finding innovative ways to engage participants while avoiding the Zoom burnout she notes so many are experiencing. With that in mind, there are three unique facets to this year’s iteration of Heartbreakers that are all worth experiencing. Dubbed “Heartbreakers Ball – In a Box,” each offering, as Reis puts it, will warm hearts this Valentine’s Day.
The first is a partnership with Gerald Addison, Bammy’s co-owner and co-executive chef, and culinary artist Kiran Saund, who together have crafted a special takeout option that will feature dinner, drinks and dessert inspired by Caribbean cuisine (and purchases support both Bammy’s and Transformer). The meal for two is available for both pickup and delivery on Sunday, perfect for all Valentine’s Day dinner needs.
“Bammy’s mission very much aligns with Transformer’s mission to connect and promote emerging artists of all backgrounds based locally, nationally and internationally through innovative and inspiring platforms that create meaningful experiences for artists and audiences, [and] advance cultural dialogue and understanding of our shared humanity,” Reis says.
Second on the docket is a special option curated by Reis herself. Dubbed the “Box of HeART,” she’s put together limited-edition, archival box sets of art from the FlatFile collection. That includes five unique artworks, an artist-designed tote bag and “additional sensorial surprises.” You can grab your box now through the end of the month to support Transformer and emerging artists, and add some lovingly curated works to your collection.
“The Box of HeART is a fun way for Transformer to further promote collecting of emerging artists’ works, build further momentum around our FlatFile program, and offer an incredible gift-giving opportunity for savvy Valentine’s heartbreakers and lovers,” Reis says. “Flowers die – art lives on!”
And last but not least (and free to participate in) comes the Heartbreakers Video Valentines, crafted by artists Muse Dodd and Maps Glover. You can get this sensory treat right in your inbox simply by signing up for Transformer’s emails. And be on the lookout for other Transformer alumni partaking in this one-of-a-kind experience when it hits your inbox.
“Historically, we have been very fortunate to have so many people, [including] lots of new and emerging art collectors, attend and support Transformer and our FlatFile artists through sold-out Heartbreakers Ball events,” Reis adds. “We hope to meet our fundraising goals with this year’s offerings. One very bright side to working virtually this year [is] it allows us to extend our gratitude and love to more and more people with just a few clicks on our website, our Instagram and email inboxes.”
And while Heartbreakers Ball marks the conclusion of “Evoking the Senses,” Transformer works year-round to support artists, emerging collectors and everyone involved in their FlatFile programming. On the calendar is Transformer’s annual Collector’s View series, currently in the works for late April or early May.
“This [is the fourteenth] year of the program, which provides intimate, insider perspectives on the motivations, interests and passions behind the artworks and collections of a different select, diverse group of D.C.’s prominent contemporary art collectors each year, reimagined once again with a mix of artist and collector interviews,” Reis notes. “We are currently imagining this year’s program as a series of conversations between D.C. area chefs and restaurateurs in conversation with artists whose artworks inspire them. “
Additionally, Transformer is planning storefront installations at their gallery that call attention to local artists, with details to come next month. As they wrap up an atypical but successful exhibit and move on to the next great effort to support emerging artists, there’s always a new way to engage with their work – pandemic or not.
For more on the Heartbreakers Ball and to partake in this weekend’s events, click here. Be sure to sign up for emails, and visit www.transformerdc.org and follow @transformerdc on Instagram for the latest.
In addition to the aforementioned upcoming events, stay tuned for the relaunch of their Framework Panel series , the eighteenth year of their Exercises for Emerging Artists Program, and announcements of planning for the 17th Annual Silent Auction & Benefit Party.
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