Being a city that boasts some of the most eminent art museums in the world, such as the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Art Museum of the Americas, and the National Gallery of Art, you better believe there are those who have been or are inspired artists living in the capital.
In fact, there is a whole corner in the eclectic and well-established Brookland neighborhood which holds 27 diverse art studios that are open to the public. Most of the studios mentioned here are part of that corner, dubbed the Monroe Street Market, with the exception of a few homes you can visit just outside of DC if you’d like to Uber, drive, or take an easy metro ride. Take a break from the history tours and museums to visit the homes and studios of people who are making history.
Fred Joiner – The Center for Poetic Thought
You wouldn’t think that poetry could have its place in visual arts, let alone have its own studio. That’s because their goal is to curate an exhibit that is a different way of thinking about poetry entirely. The co-founder, curator, and artist Fred Joiner uses poetry as a more symbolic expression by displaying how “poetry” happens in America and the world. The demonstrations of our everyday life “poetry” could be expressed through theater, dance, architecture, visual art, and music.
(The Arts Walk) 625 Monroe Street NE, Washington, DC, USA, +1 866 339 1487
The Center for Byzantine Material Arts
There are technically three artists who share this space (Colette Kalvesmaki, Wayne Hajos, and Karen Ward), all of whom are specialized in iconography. The center is a non-profit that is devoted to teaching about the ecclesiastical arts that were cultivated by the religion and culture of the Byzantine people (Russia, Greece, Italy, Balkans, etc.). They offer courses, retreats, lectures, and events throughout the year.
716 Monroe St NE #7, Washington, DC 20017, USA, +1 301 977 7297
This is a great place to go to get some gorgeous functional pottery. The space is owned and shared by artists Pegeh Shahghsemi and Lisa Ramber. Pegah has earned a degree in graphic design, and the modern lines with eastern elements found in her artwork display her Persian culture. Lisa holds a fine arts degree in painting and her Mediterranean and animal influences can be seen in her colorful pieces. Both artists have talents and experience that complement each other for a studio that creates beautiful functionality.
716 Monroe St. NE, Studio 18, Washington, DC, USA, +1 202 770 1674
With almost 30 years experience in repairing band instruments, this skilled craftsman has a studio any music lover would feel at home in. He has worked with some of the most respected music stores and professional musicians in the top symphonies and ensembles. Go check out his whimsical workspace to see the inner workings of all kinds of musical instruments.
Caitlin Phillips – Rebound Designs
This studio is a book lover’s dream. Caitlin takes poor, unwanted books and recycles them into usable, purchasable items. She has a variety of paperback wallets, book spine bracelets, book pendant lamps, and book journals. Everything is made in her studio, so be sure to check out how the books’ new stories begin.
Sue has a unique perspective that she narrates in a variety of platforms including photographs, sculptures, videos, and installations. They often examine time, place, culture, labor, and the weather. She combines her fanciful knowledge of poetry and her MFA in Photography to create pieces that one could say is her concept of life “poetry”. Maybe she should give Fred Joiner a call.
(The Arts Walk) 625 Monroe Street NE, Washington, DC, USA +1 866.339.1487
Wilfredo came to the United States by political asylum to escape his country of Honduras in a time of conflict, and although it was under unfortunate circumstances, we are happy he is U.S. citizen because he has contributed some fantastic artwork. With his BFA and MFA in sculpture from Maryland, he uses his skills and education to move past the traditional paradigms of cross-cultural art to make something truly unique.
Edward V. Valentine Sculpture
If you’re able to make a day of it, you can go see this historic 19th-century artist’s studio at the Valentine Richmond History Center. He was dubbed one of the most skilled southern sculptors after the Civil War and has a neoclassical style in his figurative works that depict American and international icons like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Robert Burns.
1015 E. Clay Street, Richmond, VA, USA,+1 804 649 0711
Gari Melchers Home and Studio
About an hour outside of DC, this 18th-century Belmont estate is well worth the drive. He was a master of many different kinds of painting including portraits, murals, and American Impressionists. His studio, which holds 1,600 works by Melchers, is in his home which contains all the original furnishings and personal art. There is also accessible 27-acre grounds that feature restored gardens and miles of walking trails.
224 Washington Street, Falmouth, VA, USA, +1 540 654 1015