Friday, December 20, 2013

An Abbreviated History of Moca DC

MOCA DC as we have known it for 21 years will end this week... There is a farewell party at Art Overnight - at 2328 Ontario Rd in Adams Morgan on Saturday, Dec 21st starting at 6 pm. Be on the lookout for the Grand Opening of Big Moca in the Sky.

Here is a guest post by MOCA's director David R. Quammen:
December 1, 2013
An Abbreviated History of Moca DC
Part One: 1992 to 2004 – The Formative Years
I’ve been sifting through records and media accounts of Moca DC from the time that Michael V. Clark started it in 1992, except he called it Clark & Company. That changed in 1995 after he married Felicity Hogan and they incorporated it as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit corporation, naming it the Museum of Contemporary Art.
It has always been a gallery, never a museum so over time the name was shortened to MOCA DC, since it’s a bit of a stretch answering the phone or discussing it in any other context. Michael changed his given name to Clark Hogan, later shortening it to Clark when he and Felicity split in 2003. He was going to close the gallery December 31st, 2004, having a tough time keeping it going, what with health issues and the divorce. He now calls himself Clark V. Fox, a name chosen when he was a co-exhibitor at a gallery in Houston.
I started modeling Halloween day 2000, shortly after turning 60; I enjoyed being part of a creative process but there were no directions for a novice and no list of places to model so I accumulated as much information as I could and started publishing a newsletter, Artists & Models, in February, 2002. It was well received but I published only 6 issues, terminating it after finding that it was going to take $300 a month to publish and deliver; I closed it the same month that the Figure Models Guild was formed.
In 2002, Clark let me use the gallery to form the Guild; the first formal meeting was in July of that year, a resounding success with about 50 models and artists in attendance. It continued to grow to the point that most of the colleges, universities, schools and groups from Baltimore to Annapolis and Winchester to Richmond were using it as a guide for their models. I told Clark that I would guarantee the rent and operate the gallery. He owned a condo in New York, so he agreed, moved to New York and on January 1, 2005 my status changed from model to model-gallery operator.
Part Two – 2005 to 2010 – A New Horizon
David R. Quammen