Curated by Makota Fujimura, N. Elizabeth Schlatter, Sally Troyer, Spencer Tunick, Bertram Ulrich. Artists include Wayne Adams, Chris Anderson, Charlie Becker, Chakaia Becker, Maureen Cavanaugh, Hsin-Hsi Chen, Kevin Clarke, the Clayton Brothers, Cynthia Connolly, Paula Crawford, Sheila Crider, Russell Crotty, Elizabeth Roberts Dalgard, Djakarta, John Drury, William Dunlap, Aylene Fallah, Nina Ferre, Julie Firth, Michael Fitts, Adam Fowler, Eve Fowler, Inga McCaslin Frick, Meghan Gerety, Kathryn Hillier, Sissie Kardell, Melissa Kennedy, Kevin A. Kepple, Karey Ellen Kessler, Gregory King, Cynthia Knott, Katie Krebs, Justine Kurland, Jenny Laden, Margaret Lee, John Lehr, Forrest MacCormack, Akemi Maegawa, Madalyn Marcus, Kristi Mathews, Crisley Mccarson, Maggie Michael, Reverend Jen Miller, Juliane E. Min, Allison Miner, Daniel Mirer, Pamela Moore, Salome Oggenfuss, Gina Phillips, James Powers, Andreas Rentsch, Ann Rentschler, Marie Ringwald, Steve Rogers, Fiona Ross, Richard Roth, Erik Sandberg, Kiki Seror, Sueraya Shaheen, John Skwiot, Anne Slaughter, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Tanja Softic, Dan Steinhilber, Betsy Stewart, Diane Szczepaniak, Denise Tassin, Spencer Tunick, Gerald Vaandering, Rebecca Veit, Chris Verene, F.L. Wall, Kathleen Walsh, William Wegman, Mindy Weisel, Trevor Young, Daniel Zeller
October 27, 2005
auction of 15 artists at Hickok Warner Cole in Georgetown, curated by Erin Mackay and Randall McLean
September 27, 2005
Screening of a documentary about the old 9:30 Club located at 930 F St
December 15, 2005 – January 8, 2006
Exhibition in former Staples store, Georgetown, curated by Frank Warren
You are invited to anonymously contribute a secret to a group art project. Your secret can be a regret, fear, betrayal, desire, confession, or childhood humiliation. Reveal anything—as long as it is true and you have never shared it with anyone before. — Frank Warren, November 2004
With these words, Frank Warren inaugurated PostSecret, a project that would become an enduring international phenomenon in which the WPA played a pivotal role.
PostSecret was set in motion in 2004 when Warren distributed 3,000 self-addressed postcards, printed with the text cited above, on the streets, in galleries, and in library books. The cards invited people to express their most intimate of secrets in any way they wished. “Be brief, be legible, be creative,” he urged. “Let the postcard be your canvas.”
Warren had no idea what secrets people would share, or if they would share them at all. Would they tell a stranger something so deeply personal that they had not revealed it even in their closest relationships? Could they find the courage to express what had always seemed too intimate or to painful to disclose? For some, the answer was yes: sporadically at first and then with relentless consistency, the cards began to arrive. The secrets took the form of drawings in pencil and crayon, paintings in watercolor and acrylic, digital images and collages; photographs and other personal items were combined with cutouts from magazines and newspapers; texts were handwritten and in typeface. “I still haven’t told my father that I have the same disease that killed my mother.” “I feel ugly because I am half-black, half-white.”
By the time the WPA PostSecret exhibition opened in December of 2005, the cards had been shown at several other DC venues, including Artomatic, where a sympathetic visitor had written “It’s OK!” on a card that read, “I love black girls and I am white.” The cards had been featured as well in the music video for the All-American Rejects’ “Dirty Little Secret” in the form of six-foot by four-foot billboards, which WPA in turn displayed along with a selection of the original cards. A long line of visitors filled the streets for the opening. Warren appreciated meeting “face-to-face with some of the strangers who had trusted me with their artful secrets: to hear the stories behind the secrets, and to see visitors walk through the secrets.” Warren’s own relationship with his father, who had accompanied him to the exhibition, was forever changed: “[my father] confessed a childhood memory to me that recast our relationship.”
By early 2010, Warren had received more than 500,000 postcard secrets from around the world. He publishes books illustrating selected examples; he posts others on his website, where they inspire discussion on a community blog; he encourages the posting of video secrets on YouTube; he tours college campuses and has partnered with the locally based Kristin Brooks Hope Center (HopeLine) to raise over $500,000; and he publishes follow-up stories he receives by email. Clearly, PostSecret has struck an enduring chord.
Confessions Are Good for the Soul by Michael O’Sullivan. Washington Post. Dec. 23, 2005.
October 6 – November 26
Show of 20 artists in former Staples building in Georgetown; curated by Dr. Libby Lumpkin. Philip Barlow, curator of Options 2005, was fired after publicly saying he would bar artists who had participated in the two city-funded projects, “Party Animals” and “Pandamania” from showing their work in the exhibition. He viewed the sculpture projects as “detrimental to local art.” David C. Levy, CGA director, says Barlow’s position “violated the institutional policy of freedom of expression.” Libby Lumpkin of California State University at Longbeach tapped to replace Barlow; she chose 20 artists from a field of 400. Artists include Julian Bayo Abiodun, Jorge Baumann, Anne Benolken, Sheila Blake, Chadd Caldwell, Kimberly Caputo-Heath, Tim Devoe, Suzanna Fields, Lynn Galluzzo, Emily Hall, Lori Larusso, Ryan Mulligan, Marc Robarge, Lindsay Rogers, Amanda Sauer, Gary Thompson, Georg “Gia” Tkabladze, Randy Toy, Susan Noyes Vaughan
June 30 – August 29, 2005
Artists: Virginia Arrisueño, James W. Bailey, Joseph Barbaccia, Lisa Bertnick, Margaret Boozer, Mark Cameron Boyd, Adam Bradley, Scott Brooks, Lisa Brotman, Jonathan Bucci, Diane Bugash, Graham Caldwell, Chan Chao, Manon Cleary, Kathryn Cornelius, Rebecca Cross, Richard Dana, Rebecca D’Angelo, Margaret Dowell, Mary Early, Chris Edmunds, Victor Ekpuk, Michael Fitts, Adam Fowler, Lou Gagnon, Fae Gertsch, Sam Gilliam, Matthew Girard, Pat Goslee, Kristin Helgadottir, Linda Hesh, Maremi Hooff, Michal Hunter, Scott Hutchison, Melissa Ichiuji, Susan Jamison, Michael Janis, Mark Jenkins, Sonia Jones, David Jung, J.T. Kirkland, Sonya Lawyer, Tracy Lee, John Lehr, Joey Manlapaz, Matthew Mann, Amy Marx, Jeanette May, Maxwell MacKenzie, Gary Medovich, Adrianne Mills, Allison Miner, Peter Photikoe, Sara Pomerance, Marie Ringwald, Molly Springfield, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Ben Tolman, Alessandra Torres, Kelly Towles, Rick Wall, Frank Warren, Sarah Wegner, Andrew Wodzianski, Denise Wolff, Samantha Wolov.
A seven-part group show of 65 WPA\C artists at Warehouse Gallery & Theater, curated by F. Lennox Campello with Sandra Fernandez & Adrian Schneck.