Our opening was last night, and despite my own problems with crowded rooms, it was wonderful. Speaking for myself my goal was achieved, I told the history of the neighborhood and people got it, they really got it. I have been trying to tell a story of this neighborhood, this section of the Shaw School Urban Renewal Area I call Truxton Circle for over a decade on this blog. Maybe this blog was always too small and it story needed to be made more real and told with something that can be seen and touched.
But maybe it needed to be told with my colleagues artists Ira Tattelman and Brian Bakke who also told a story of Truxton Circle. Ira told the story the old traffic circle with his installation. People at the opening would look for the traffic circle on my maps. Hint: you can find the remnants of it on the 1970 "You Are Here" map where visitors from Shaw, east of 7th St can place a pin where they live, and an outline of the circle on the "Freeway Plan circa 1957-1960". I'll leave it to everyone else to argue about where exactly the circle was. Brian and I told the story of the people of Truxton Circle (though he doesn't call it that). Whereas I focused on demographics, Brian told stories of particular people, including one character we don't see around much anymore, Hollywood. You remember Hollywood don't you, bearded black man in Parliament-Funkadelic outfits, used to hang out at 7th & P and the BP Station across the street from the gallery (410 Florida Ave NW) where all this is taking place?
I really liked how everyone interacted with the art and the exhibit. And I hope those of you who came will come again to get the luxury of reading the captions and panels on a less crowded day. The gallery (410 GooDBuddY at 410 FL Ave NW) is open on Saturdays 12-2PM, Fridays 10AM-12PM until we shutter the thing February 17. Inauguration Day stop by we'll be open until 3pm that day, and we have an artists talk February 11th 2-4PM so you can ask us questions.
Thanks to BACA, the DC Humanities Council, ANXO, Right Proper and other sponsors, oh and Scott Roberts (Mr. Info).