Which DC art space got its start through petitioning Mayor Walter Washington to take over a room filled with broken parking meters?

Which nonprofit gallery dedicated to women in the arts opened its doors in a former doctor's office located inside a leaky English basement apartment? 

To find out, join us for the release of We Are SO Not Getting the Security Deposit Back; a Guide to Defunct Artist-Run Spaces (DC Edition). This zine is the first of a series conceived by the NYC-based art blog Art F City, and co-published by the DC-based artist initiative Beltway Public Works with curator Blair Murphy. It documents spaces from the 1970s to the near present, and includes long-running entities like Market 5 Gallery and the Washington Women’s Art Center and short-term projects such as FLEX, which ran for two days in an unrented ground-floor retail space. Publishing these stories makes visible the role of artist-run spaces in the cultural fabric of the city. As Paddy Johnson writes, projects like these, "made with love and tears" are "the ones least likely to be archived — and most precious to us."


Art F City is a non-profit publication that supports the creation of more sustainable artist-run projects through a mix of criticism, special projects and professional development opportunities. Our initiatives include an online publishing program, a project space and a diverse event program which serve to curate emerging practices, commission new art, and build IRL and online communities.  We believe culture makers function best with a supportive community. To that end, we're working toward a more socially conscious art community by facilitating the sharing of ideas, resources, and skills.


Beltway Public Works is a new cultural initiative made up of artists, curators, and educators active in the Beltway region and beyond who maintain deep ties to the area. BPW considers art to be a civic resource, like water or public transit, and is interested in championing the role of contemporary art in the lives of Beltway residents. Beltway Public Works evolved out of FURTHERMORE, a DC-based research and development lab for visual culture. Opened in 2010 as a print studio specializing in digital editions, FURTHERMORE has since expanded its scope of activities, working with artists, curators, institutions, and the public to create and disseminate contemporary art and ideas. Recent FURTHERMORE projects have included Intersection Mixtape, a community-sourced audio portrait of Mid City DC, curated by the Van Alen Institute with support from the Kresge Foundation and DC Office of Planning, and McGyver School of Arts & Design, a crowdsourced reimagining of arts education in the 21st century. Beltway Public Works is led by Natalie Campbell, James Huckenpahler, Patrick McDonough, and José Ruiz, with a growing list of partners.


Blair Murphy is a DC-based curator, writer, and arts administrator. She was a Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellow of the Whitney Independent Study Program from 2014 to 2015. Her recent projects include exhibitions in DC and beyond, including shows at Flashpoint Gallery (Washington, DC), Field Projects (New York, NY), The Kitchen (New York, NY), DC Arts Center (Washington, DC), Arlington Arts Center (Arlington, VA), and Washington Project for the Arts (Washington, DC).

Image of FightClub courtesy of Anthony Smallwood


Washington Project for the Arts
2124 8th St NW
Washington, DC 20001


Thursday, October 5, 6-8pm