National Museum for Women in the Arts hosts free Community Day

Crowds from D.C. and beyond experienced fashion, sculptures and paintings for free

National Museum for Women in the Arts hosts free Community Day

The Rodarte exhibit has been on display at the National Museum of Women in the Arts since November and ended on Feb. 10.

Art lovers from all over the country came together to appreciate art at the National Museum for Women in the Arts’ free monthly Community Day event on Sunday, Feb. 3.

The museum usually charges the general public a $10 entry fee. Since it’s not part of the Smithsonian collections, the monthly day of free entry is important for the D.C. community and surrounding areas, said Linda Stocker, a volunteer docent at the museum.  

“I’ve worked here for almost 11 years, and I’ve never seen it so crowded,” Stocker said. “We just keep getting busier and busier now that people know about us.”

Many attendees expressed how meaningful the free event was to them. Haley Spencer, a visitor from Clifton, Virginia, said it was another reason to revisit an old favorite. 

“I think having it open for a free community day is awesome,” she said. “I came here one day during the government shutdown and paid to get in, and it was just so cool that I think more people should know about it.”

The event also attracted first-timers at the museum. Dan Fitzgerald, a D.C. native, said that he was interested to see a museum that represented women in art. 

“In all of art, it’s very interesting to see where inspiration comes from, but it’s [also] very interesting to see where it comes from in the world of women, which is a very exciting thing,” Fitzgerald said. 

The National Museum of Women in the Arts is the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts, according to its website. With a platform dedicated to advocating for representation of women in the field, the museum drew a large crowd of female guests on Community Day. 

“There needs to be more places like this,” Spencer said. “[It provides] … a sense of community for women.”

The museum featured three notable exhibits, including the popular “Rodarte” exhibit that was designed and created by prominent fashion designers and sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy. It showcased more than 90 of the sisters’ pieces, which displayed luxury fashion and femininity. It also sampled their work from the silver screen. The exhibit ended on Sunday, Feb. 10.

On the first floor, Pakistani-American artist Ambreen Butt showcases her paintings riddled with political topics and contemporary female subjects. The exhibit is on display until Apr. 14. 

Outside the museum, Betsabeé Romero’s four-part sculpture stands proudly. The Mexico City-based artist utilizes interior lighting and intricate designs to communicate the themes of human migration and the environment as the newest addition to the New York Ave Sculpture Project. The sculptures will be on display until Sept. 20, 2020.

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