Announcing: Launch of the Jefferson Place Gallery Archive

A note from project director John Anderson:

I’m proud to announce the launch of the Jefferson Place Gallery (JPG) archive.

This project begins the process of archiving the 18-year history of DC’s first artist cooperative gallery. The JPG is significant for a number of reasons.

●    Sam Gilliam’s first “off the wall” canvases were showed at Jefferson Place
●    Rockne Krebs’ first “sculpture without object” laser installations were at Jefferson Place
●    It was the first place several of the Washington Color School would exhibit their best known work, including Gene Davis’ “stripes,” Thomas Downing’s “spots,” and Howard Mehring’s “all-overs.”

Rockne Krebs with his “Cat’s Cradle” installation at the Jefferson Place Gallery. Image courtesy Heather Krebs

The JPG archive functions as a companion to American University Museum’s exhibition, “Making a Scene: Jefferson Place,” a part of the Alper Initiative for Washington Art. As an art critic for the Washington City Paper, this opportunity to dive deep into the history of DC’s art world was illuminating.

View the Jefferson Place Gallery archive.

View the exhibition page on the American University Museum website.

The exhibition examines the first six years of the gallery: from its founding in 1957 through 1962, immediately after the gallery transitioned between it’s first director, Alice Denney, and it’s second, Nesta Dorrance. True to its title, the exhibition outlines the scene the gallery was attempting to cultivate. As companion, the Jefferson Place Gallery archive site contains additional work by the artists, plus important contextual information: press clippings, gallery announcements, artist bios, and a full timeline history of the gallery.

Sam Gilliam and Olivia Harrison in the Artist’s studio. Photo (C) Carol Harrison

A reception for the exhibition, which includes the website, will be this Saturday, September 9, 6–9 pm, at the American University Museum. 

The archive was developed by BRINK media with generous funding from the DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities, and the American University Museum, and additional support from the DC Public Library, and the Smithsonian Library.

I hope to see you at the opening Saturday night, and I will also speak at a salon-style event, “Free Parking”, at the museum on Thursday, October 12, from 5:30–7:00 pm.


John Anderson
Project Director, Jefferson Place Gallery Archive

DC Poet Project Winner Susan Meehan on WAMU

Washington, D.C.’s local NPR station, WAMU, featured DC Poet Project winner Susan Meehan, and her new book Talking To the Night, published by Day Eight. Here are a few excerpts from the article, and link to the full piece at the bottom.

by Ally Schweitzer:

Sitting in her living room in Dupont Circle, Susan Meehan slips on her glasses and begins to recite one of her poems. But first, she wants to make one thing clear.

“I swear to God,” she says, “this is a true story.”

She could prelude many of her poems in the same way. A longtime city employee and neighborhood leader in D.C., Meehan writes raw and descriptive poetry extracted from her autobiography. She arrived in Washington in 1964 like many do — a bleeding-heart liberal determined to make a difference — and became an early supporter of Marion Barry. After helping him win his first mayoral campaign, she embarked on a long career working on behalf of residents addicted to drugs and alcohol. All the while, she involved herself deeply in Dupont Circle politics and her Quaker church, accruing stories and turning them into verse…..

Meehan didn’t expect to be a published poet after all these years. She just lucked into it. She says she was watching TV one day and saw something flash across the screen about a local poetry contest with a generous prize.

“I thought, ‘I can do it. I can do it! I can win that,” Meehan says.

And she did.

After winning a poetry contest sponsored by nonprofit Day Eight, Susan Meehan published her first book of poetry, “Talking to the Night.” Her second book, also out this year, is “The Color of Truth.”Tyrone Turner / WAMU

Grace Cavalieri is a poet and radio host who helped Meehan select the poetry for her books. She says it’s rare to come across a poet making her debut at age 79.

“Never saw it before in my life,” Cavalieri says. “We have poets that get published at 50 … but I’ve never known anyone to premiere at almost their ninth decade…..”

Listen to the article or read the full story at:

Opportunity for Visual Artists: Seeking Local Art for Book Cover

Catch the flower in its bloom – 

it has no other life.

– Susan Meehan

Day Eight is looking for an image to license for the cover of a book of poetry we’re publishing this summer. This is not a commission: we’re offering $100 to license an existing image for the cover.

Are you a local visual artist, or do you know one that might want their work featured on the cover of the book? Email any images available for consideration to

If you’re an artist willing to let us use any image on your site you can email and let us know, “hey, look through my site, you could use anything on here,” or, you can also email url’s or jpg’s of individual images available for the cover.


The book we’re publishing is by Susan Meehan. Susan won the DC Poet Project in an open competition, and her book, The Color of Magic, will be published this summer through partnership with Brink Media, the DC Public Library, Upshur Street Books, LISC DC and support from the DC Commission on the Arts. Learn more about Susan here, and save the date for the book launch reading: August 12, 2017 2pm – 3:00pm at the Anacostia Public Library.

Thank you for forwarding this call for images to any artist you know that might be interested!