Down to Earth, a creative project partnership between the Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, Caandor Labs, and Capital Fringe with the purpose of shining a light on the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and Ward 7’s past, present, and future with a sharp focus on the climate emergency and its intersectionality with systemic racism. Using the creative process and through a diverse collection of media, we grapple with the preparation, incubation, and illumination that comes along with creative work and community advocacy. We evaluate our learning along with each season’s artist as they fulfill their creative visions of the community and environment. This exhibition presents how each season’s artist, partners, and community members used and journeyed through the creative process while keeping the past, present, and possible futures of the Kenilworth area’s land, water, wildlife, and humans at the center of their work. The artwork exhibited from clothing, maps, oral history, and oil paintings exemplifies the abundance, fear, struggle, and joy that is all around us.
Rik Freeman, Winter Season Artist, is a DC-based, narrative figurative painter. Born in Athens, Georgia, in 1956, he began his professional career as an artist in Washington, DC, in 1989, where he has painted numerous murals throughout the area. These works include Learn from the Past for the H.D. Woodson High School and Knowledge, commissioned by the DC Public Library for the Dorothy I. Height Library. Two of his most prominent commission are Shaw Rhythms for the Washington Convention Center and Arl@200 at the Arlington County Courthouse (removed by the Arlington County April 2022).
Nikki Hendricks, Spring Season Artist, is a DC native who grew up drawing her own fashion magazines and got her first sewing machine at the age of 12. A MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) graduate whose collections have been seen at New York, Paris, and Milan Fashion Weeks, and was the Designer in Residency at DC Fashion Foundation Incubator program at Macy’s. Nikki draws inspiration from the futurism genre and emphasizes underlying content about race, religion, gender, and sexuality.
Siobhan Rigg, Summer Season Artist, is an artist, teacher, and writer who’s creative and research interests center on social and environmental micro-histories. Their work is concerned, most immediately with the unequal impact of the toxic legacies of the built environment, and more broadly, with theoretical and material explorations of governance and resource extraction. Based in Maryland, Rigg is a faculty member at the George Washington University Corcoran School of the Arts and Design and a resident artist at Red Dirt Studio, a studio community located in Mt. Rainier, Maryland.
Fall Season Artists, a collective is comprised of Thomas Stanley, a sound artist, broadcaster, writer, and professor of sound art at George Mason University; Malik Thomas (Discipline99), an independent hip hop producer and DC native and Mark Cooley, a professor of new media and eco-art at George Mason University.
Julianne Brienza, a Montana native and just this year a DC resident for 20 years. Brienza is the founder of Capital Fringe, an arts non-profit with a mission to celebrate cultural democracy and art for everyone. For nearly two decades, Julianne has guided Capital Fringe’s vision, its evolution, and community development. Under her leadership, Capital Fringe has won numerous awards, including two Mayor’s Arts Awards and the Washington Business Journal’s “Non-Profit of the Year.” Julianne is a recipient of the Helen Hayes Award for Innovative Leadership in the Theatre in 2012 and 2016 DC Mayor’s Arts Award for Visionary Leadership.
On view, April 1 – 14 Honfleur Gallery 1241 Good Hope Rd SE Tues – Fri 10am – 4pm & Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens,1550 Anacostia Ave NE, daily 8am to 4pm.
Down to Earth is supported by DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (CAH), Greater Washington Community Foundation, Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME), Prince Charitable Trust, Share Fund, Max & Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, Honfleur Gallery, and Fringe individual donors.
Catering provided by DC Vegan
Image Credit A Self-Reliant Community, by Rik Freeman Winter 2021, canvas 4’ H x 6’W; painted in oils
Learn More http://downtoearth.capitalfringe.org/