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Monthly Dupont walk showcases world of art

Dupont Circle BID collaborates with embassies and artists for a self-guided walk and performances
Monthly+Dupont+walk+showcases+world+of+art
Casey Bacot

Washington, D.C., residents and visitors gathered at Dupont Circle on Oct. 6 to enjoy an immersive cultural experience through the ArtWalk Dupont.

On the first Friday of each month, the Dupont Circle Business Improvement District organization collaborates with embassies, artists and cultural centers to offer ArtWalk Dupont, a free and accessible opportunity for people of all ages. The event features art galleries, museums and other venues that open their doors for “a self-guided gallery walk and live performances,” according to the Dupont Circle BID website.

The ArtWalk Dupont was originally called “First Friday Dupont” and was started by art galleries over 40 years ago, according to the Dupont Circle website

One of the participating exhibits is Q Street Fine Arts, currently featuring Venezuelan artist Rafael Gallardo’s pieces. Since 2011, Gallardo said he has showcased his work at Q Street Fine Art and other locations, including the Embassy of Venezuela. 

“From my perspective, everything points to an age of knowledge where art will be vindicated as a new renaissance, because art is one of the most influential things, if not existential things, that we can count on in all history,” Gallardo said. “It has ups and downs, but is always there.”

Gallardo said art has the power to impact everyone, and there is something relatable for each person within the world of art. 

The art featured at ArtWalk Dupont was not limited to visual art.

Champion fiddler Seán Heely performed for an audience at the Dupont Circle Hotel during ArtWalk. During his performance, a Scottish band played along. 

Georgetown University first-year Sally Mulvihill said she heard about the event through a friend and decided to explore the galleries herself.

“I think what’s great about these events is that you get to try little snippets of what your whole night could be,” Mulvihill said. 

Both students said the ArtWalk is a unique experience, and it is rare to find a city full of embassies and free exhibits. She also said that the experience was accessible to people from a variety of backgrounds.

Another exhibit was hosted by the Embassy of Portugal, which invited visitors to transport themselves to Portugal with Elizabeth Casqueiro’s exhibit, Terra Firme/Terra Frágil, which translates to “Firm Earth and Fragile Earth,” Casqueiro said. The exhibit explored the intersections between nature, human-made environments and the self through paintings inspired by Casqueiro’s own experiences in Portugal, according to the Dupont Circle BID website and Casqueiro.  

Casqueiro said that she believes that her work appeals to diverse audiences. 

“I would like to think my art has a kind of joyful, playful, youthful vibe,” Casquerio said.

Sandra Pires, the coordinator at the Embassy of Portugal who invited Casqueiro to showcase her work, shared her experience as a first-time participant in the ArtWalk.

“People loved her exhibition,” Pires said, referring to the arts festival that was held Sept. 29 and 30 throughout the district.

More of a physical art, Synergy and Serenity is one of the businesses showcased during the ArtWalk, which functions as a wellness center where participants explore “Art in Yoga.” Attendees partook in chanting and breath work led by a yoga instructor who also hung her paintings around the space.

Dameece Neal, organizer of “Art in Yoga,” said that the event was good for a local business like hers because it helped to increase foot traffic and exposure. Neal said the exhibit and practices at Synergy and Serenity are helpful for anyone susceptible to stress.

“We offer wellness, but we also offer a space, a safe space to talk and build community and to help one another with social issues that we all tend to kind of go through,” Neal said. “We just don’t know because we aren’t exposed to other people.”

Gallardo had similar thoughts in that art should be accessible to everyone and it is meant to change people. 

“I think that people who go to museums are better persons when they go out of the museums because it’s enrichment,” Gallardo said. “It’s unstoppable. Something is imminent, it’s there for everyone.”

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About the Contributors
Lizzie Graff, Staff Writer
Lizzie Graff (she/her) is a freshman studying Journalism and History. Graff enjoys DJing for WVAU, Glee nights with friends and making absurdly large orders from Costco.
Ava Ramsdale, Staff Writer
Ava Ramsdale (She/Her) is a political science major. Ramsdale loves to read as well as watch movies with friends, especially rom-coms. Ramsdale also has a passion for dance.