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Lumen8 Anacostia festival shines light on underrated art scene

Lumen8 Anacostia festival shines light on underrated art scene

For the first time in a while, the focus of the D.C. Arts scene moved east of the river with the Lumen8 Anacostia art, music and light festival, the kickoff to a three month-long art showcase in the historic neighborhood on April 14.

Lumen8 Anacostia, which took place on MLK Jr. Avenue, SE between Good Hope Road and Morris Road, was a multi-venue showcase of the burgeoning art scene which aimed to establish Anacostia as one of the premiere artistic communities in the District.

“It’s exciting to see people know that we are an arts community, because that’s not how people perceive the area,” Anacostia resident and featured artist Tommie Adams said. “I hope they end up doing this every year. It’s helping the community evolve, people are taking pride in this event. This is a neighborhood-changing event.”

Through June, temporary exhibits and “pop-up spaces” will be up every Saturday from noon to 5 p.m., making Anacostia a destination for art fans across the district.

Here is our guide to some of the highlights from the kickoff event and upcoming art events in Anacostia.

Carolyn Becker: “Threads Part 3”

Aether Art Projects, a program which focuses on curating shows in non-traditional places with an emphasis on performance art. Aether Art Projects sponsored five performances at the kickoff event, as well as several installation pieces throughout the warehouse, many of which were made by Becker in her signature pink thread.

Monica Canilao: “Home Mender”

Adams’ photography, which features nude male models in front of dilapidated urban backgrounds, aims to display the full range of emotion in the male nude figure. Resisting the saturation of female nudity in art, Adams highlights the male form and its ability to evoke pride, humility, vulnerability and strength.

Adams’ photography will be displayed on the top floor of the old Anacostia Bank building located at 1922 Martin Luther King Dr. He will also hold a free seminar on photographing the male form in natural light on April 28 from 2 to 3 p.m. at the same location.

Cherry Blast

The old evidence warehouse will also host an event this weekend for those over 21 called Cherry Blast. It is the art community’s wing of the Cherry Blossom festival, featuring exhibits by BLUEBRAIN and Evan Howell, AU grad Jackqueline Levine, musical performances and an all-around party.

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