Saturday, August 06, 2011

DC Arts Center Decathlon

The District of Columbia Arts Center (DCAC) announces the DC Arts Center Decathlon. After centuries of specialization in art that has relied on labels like painter, sculptor, photographer, etc., the District of Columbia Arts Center has asked individual artists who work or reside within a 100 mile radius of Washington, DC to submit proposals that explore the significance of what being “unspecialized” means to being a working artist today.

Submissions have been narrowed down by DC Arts Center’s Visual Arts Committee to a slate of semi-finalists: Shanthi Chandrasekar, Lee Gainer, Lisa Rosenstein, and Mary Woodall. These four artists will exhibit their works in the following ten artistic events: Textiles/Fiber Art, Painting, Drawing, Printmaking, Photography, Collage, Sound, Video, Conceptual Art, and Sculpture.

During the six-month run-up to the exhibition opening on January 13, 2012, commentators will “cover” the progress of the decathletes as they create the work for the show. The selected commentators, Buck Downs, Ryan and Hays Holladay (Bluebrain), Patrick McDonough, and Karen Joan Topping, have each been assigned an artist and will visit that artist once a month. After each visit the commentator will post interviews, commentaries, photographs, and/or video on DCAC’s blog ( Artists are also encouraged to document their progress on the blog.

By hosting this good-natured competition, DCAC hopes to spark debate around the issue of what it means to be the best all-around artist, challenge individuals to try their hand at new disciplines, and give exposure to artists who already embrace working in various media. The competition will take place from July 2011 until the exhibition at DCAC from January 13 to February 5, 2012. The exhibition will culminate in a medal ceremony, but only one artist will walk away with gold.

The Facts:
DC Arts Center Decathlon
July 2011 – February 5, 2012
Opening Reception: Friday, January 13, 2012, 7–9pm
Closing and Medal Ceremony: Sunday, February 5, 2012
Contact:,call 202-462-7833, online at

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