Umbrella Gathers Creatives, Brings Out Crowds

Meredith Forte at her framing and wall design exhibit

With even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D -NY) showing up, No Kings Collaborative and Madison Investments must realize that their weekend event was creative genius.

#Umbrella14, a three day pop-up art exhibit and experience, which took place April 12-14th at a location that will now be torn down to create a mixed-use development project called Collection 14, was supposed to be all about art, but turned into a festival of community support… and starting conversations.

A visitor takes in multimedia artist Reggie Black and Monochrome Collective’s installation

With over 240 works by local DC artists, including Kelly TowlesNaturelMonochrome CollectiveWashington Project for the Arts (WPA), Fabiola R. DelgadoPAKKERock Creek Social ClubDistrict Dodger, and JAB, visitors had a range of pieces — even performance art! — to appreciate.

Intriguing, and often irreverent, almost all artwork was available for purchase, and priced (uber affordably for the art world) at between $250 and $3,000, with a portion of sales donated to Feed it Forward.

A performance artist uses glass bowls to make sound

Some of the exhibitions made political statements, like Mark Kelner‘s Russian hard sell propaganda works; or started a social conversation, like Mollie Ruskin and Xena Ni’s “Transaction Denied” exhibit, which brought attention to DC’s hunger and food stamp concerns; or encouraged gender progress, like Maggie O’Neill‘s #TagUp, in which she invited other local female artists (who in turn tagged other female artists) to join her in her showcase space.

In just three days, Umbrella boasted some 11,000 visitors and sold over $100,000 in art. It also showed that DC’s arts scene is as vibrant as ever and will mobilize the community to show up and shout out.

Maggie O’Neill (center) and many of the female talents tagged to join her in her exhibit collaboration

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