Wednesday, March 29, 2023

STABLE Arts Shakes Up the D.C. Arts Scene

 Like a great work of art, the name of D.C.’s largest art studio, STABLE Arts, has layers. There’s the literal: Its building is a former stable. Then there’s its collective meaning — a group of people sharing space and resources: a stable of boxers, of writers. When used to describe a structure or a person, it means “not easily shaken or dislodged.” In the often-irregular lives of artists, some stability can make a big difference. 

The studio, a demure brick building in Eckington, opened in late 2019 to provide local artists with affordable studio space. After several early shakeups, including the Covid-19 shutdown, personnel changes and community-led allegations of inequity, the organization hired Maleke Glee as its inaugural director in January 2021. They charged the Howard University and Goucher College alum with stabilizing the young organization and championing the past, present and future of art in the District, starting with its resident artists. 

“A studio is quite valuable because it gives an artist freedom to make without restriction,” Glee says. “A lot of our artists were previously working in their living rooms or basements. They were cautious of the materials they could explore. There’s a real value in having a designated space where you can get the walls dirty, the floors dirty.” 

Read this really good article by Chad Kinsman in District Fray Magazine here.