Best art gallery: Dupont Underground

Media Credit: Phebe Grosser | Staff Photographer

Dupont Underground's newest exhibit, which will remain open through May 23, examines how democracy can influence architecture.

Readers’ pick: National Gallery of Art

Location: 19 Dupont Cir. NW

The best art gallery in Northwest D.C. is known for its nontraditional and thought-provoking exhibitions.

Dupont Underground was once an abandoned streetcar station before being converted into an artistic platform for creators and musical performers from around the world. The gallery presents events ranging from an exhibition of photography across the globe to an interpretation of women’s issues through cello music.

Unlike other D.C.-area art galleries that display traditional paintings and sculptures, Dupont Underground collaborates with several artists to put on events. From music concerts to photo exhibitions to social justice artwork, Dupont Underground finds new ways to showcase creators through imaginative means of artistic expression.

The gallery’s recent exhibitions include several political and social projects, like D.C.-based photographer Shedrick Pelt’s “rise up.,” both an on-site show and interactive virtual exhibit for photojournalists to show their experience documenting the Black Lives Matter movement last summer. Dupont Underground also recently featured an immersive light and sound projection and collaborated with the Argentinian Embassy to organize a cultural networking event.

The newest exhibit, “Architecture & the question of Democracy,” explores how democracy can influence architecture, and how the architecture of public spaces may in turn reflect democratic ideals. The exhibit, which debuted on April 9 and will run through May 23, prompts visitors to both think about architectural developments in Dupont Circle and the transformation of Portuguese architecture after the country’s transition from a dictatorship to a democracy.

Exhibitions at the gallery are often free or cheap, so a visit to Dupont Underground wouldn’t break the bank. The gallery is a 30-minute walk from campus, and the organization follows firm COVID-19 protocols and guidelines, including an enforced mask requirement and a contactless entry and exit.

If you’re looking for an art gallery that gets you to think deeply about sound and photo, head to Dupont Underground.

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