Five art galleries you haven’t heard of

While the Hirshhorn and the National Gallery of Art are landmarks in the D.C. art scene, there are many smaller galleries throughout the District that offer fascinating exhibits in an equally creative space. Hatchet Arts has found a few galleries that should be at the top of your list.

Irvine Contemporary

(1412 14th St. NW –

Being one of the first white cube galleries – a spare white space that displays only the artwork – to become successful in D.C., Irvine Contemporary plays a significant role in the city’s art community. As the name says, it tends to focus on contemporary art, representing, for instance, graphic and street artist Shepard Fairey. Its current exhibition is called “On/Off the Grid” and showcases the work of 10 different artists. The show explores the meaning of the word “grid” and its relationship to social systems, and uses different mediums in the exhibition, such as video, drawings, paintings, and installation pieces.

“On/Off the Grid” will be on display until March 20.

Civilian Art Projects

(1019 Seventh St. NW –

Civilian Art Projects focuses on giving rising artists a venue to showcase their work, which is often very contemporary and comments on social or political issues. Its current exhibition features work from Gesche Würfel, titled “Go for Gold!” Her project follows the relationship between the urban development in London for the 2012 Olympic Games and the rest of the city, including the environment.

“Go for Gold!” will be on display until March 20.


(916 G St. NW –

Flashpoint offers not only an art gallery but also a theater, dance studio and office space for arts organizations and creative businesses. Currently, the gallery is showing work from local photographer Jennifer Dorsey. Her first solo exhibition in the area, “Alma Mater,” focuses on looking at everyday, mundane spaces in order to uncover their often overlooked beauty. She achieves this effect by photographing the interiors of two local high schools, National Cathedral School and St. Albans School, which are meant to be familiar places to people and reminiscent of the integral role adolescence plays in their lives.

“Alma Mater” will be on display until March 27.

Cre8 SpaceStudioGallery

(1314 Ninth St. NW –

Cre8 SpaceStudioGallery is a small gallery and creative space with a big mission: to provide a place for community involvement. Its current exhibition, “Unbelievable,” is based around hip-hop as a media source. The art includes installations and mixed-media collages from tract works, and features artists Aniekan Udofia, Alex Vallcorba, Moe Bradford Jr., and Matias Cueva. The following show, “Insatiable,” focuses on women’s sexuality through pieces from international artists Alyhana Childs, Claudia Olivos, Minni Hayas, and Ramon Menocal. During the run of the show, viewers will have an opportunity to participate in three workshops on women’s sexual health.

“Unbelievable” will be on display until March 13.

“Insatiable” will be on display from March 15 until April 19.

Project 4

(1353 U St. NW, 3rd floor – (

The architecturally innovative Project 4 provides artists with an eco-friendly space to present their work. During the day, the space uses natural light to illuminate pieces, which are mostly contemporary. Most of its programming features emerging and some mid-career artists, as well as many group-curated shows, such as the one opening March 13. “The Fantastical” features work from Justin Gibbens, Julie Hughes, Mel Kadel, Jordan Kasey, and Sophie Ruspoli, who are all exploring a fantasy world, albeit in darker tones that reveal fears, tensions and anxieties.

“The Fantastical” will be on display from March 13 until April 17. The opening reception will be held Saturday, March 13 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

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