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Katherine Sifers’: Access/Index, an exhibit that comes face to face with the socioeconomic inequalities in Washington DC, is composed of still life’s of the freshest produce available for $25 at local markets. The exhibit puts into focus the price and availability of fresh food in different parts of the city forcing the viewer to step back and contemplate food access in Washington DC.

The Anacostia Arts Center(AAC) is situated in a dilapidated neighborhood both literally and figuratively miles away from the clusters of art galleries that innocuously pervade throughout DC. The desolate location of this gallery makes it all the more important for AAC to showcase exhibits like Access/Index.

Far from the decadent opulence of Dutch seventeenth-century still life (vanitas) paintings that the artist is admittedly inspired by, these Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 3.52.29 PMbeautifully lit arrangements possess a quiet humility. The misshapen produce listed as coming from the Dupont Circle Farmers Market appears especially ordain, until contrasted with the produce from Wal-Mart.  $25 accrued Sifers so little in groceries from the farmers market and yet the produce appears so much fresher when compared to the poor bounty of produce hauled from the Georgia Avenue Wal-Mart.

The Vivid Solutions Gallery itself is a calm space inside the bustle of the Anacostia Arts Center, a space that invites reflection and consideration. In this exhibit, Sifers’ works are displayed attractively on the walls with the use of overhead projectors. The dim lighting and streams of dust motes in the projector glow bewitches the visitor. The mechanism of projection creates an artificial distance between viewer and artwork until the viewer steps directly in front of the projector, shattering the image. A note of poetry must be noted having such vibrant images of food just within reach yet ultimately unattainable in the Anacostia neighborhood. The Access/Index Exhibition succeeds in forcing the viewer to step back and contemplate food access in Washington DC while remaining visually appealing in its own right.

Access/Index is on display at the Vivid Solutions Gallery at the Anacostia Arts Center from February 1st-27th.

By Emma Bilski


  1. Cheap admission

You get an amazing experience for little or no cost at all.

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The Phillips Collection usually lets students in for free at the last 30 minutes before closing.

  1. They’re not on the Mall

Lay your favorite freshman year past time to rest. There’s so much more to do! Avoid the tourists, have some privacy and transform your date into a picture perfect experience!

Check out Studio Gallery – the first predominantly female art gallery in DC.

  1. It’s not just art

A lot of art galleries rent out their venue space for cool activities.

Blind Whino frequently hosts pop up arcade nights and other ragers.
The DCAC has naked girls reading (no, really), performances by the Washington Improv Theater and Molotov Theatre Group, America’s second oldest horror theatre group!
Toolbox Gallery offers spectacular Pilates courses on its second floor!

  1. Free booze

Nothing says romance quite like a fancy art party serving alcoholic libations.

Check out First Friday DuPont.

  1. They have that special home touch

For the stay-at-home couch potato couple, go to a home art gallery. We recommend visiting the lovely home art galleries of Q St Fine Art and Swann Street Art Gallery.

  1. Get to know your date… for better or for worse

Think of the date as a casual Rorschach test. If they look at Van Gogh’s  Starry Night and see dead kittens, maybe that’s a good heads up to steer clear.

  1. Take a breather from DC politics

…and immerse yourself into the glamour of DC art politics! (Which isn’t that much different)

  1. Little to no chance that you will be assaulted

Bright lights, lots of elbow room and clearly delineated security staff! These are luxuries that certain places in DC have failed to offer.

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  1. There’s something hip for the contemporary art lover…

Piece from David Molesky’s exhibit RIOT on display at The Fridge

  1. …and impressive for the impressionist fanatic