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Studio Sacrilege

September 11 – October 11, 2015 │ The DC Arts Center │ Washington, D.C.


Amy Hughes Braden Roxana Alger Geffen │ Jackie Milad


Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell was selected as the 2015 Curatorial Apprentice with DCAC, supported by mentorship of artist/curator Jefferson Pinder.  The Curatorial Initiative reflects DCAC’s commitment to curatorial practice as an integral part of supporting emerging and under recognized artists. Each year an apprentice curator is selected to gain experience in the process of planning and mounting an exhibition by working with an experienced mentor curator. The program results in two exhibitions each year: in the spring the mentor curator selects artists and plans the exhibition and accompanying catalogue with the assistance of the apprentice; in autumn, the roles are reversed and the apprentice plans and executes an exhibition with the assistance and advice of the mentor.  By nurturing new curators DCAC hopes to bring fresh blood into our own programming while assisting a new generation of curators who will take the knowledge they gain into our arts community and beyond.


We’re conditioned as respectable art patrons to appreciate the art we love at a distance – from beyond the other side of the glass.  We’re also conditioned to respect the preciousness of a work of art – that it should be preserved, treasured, literally placed on a pedestal and otherwise untouched, unmoved, indifferent from ourselves and our changing environment.  We believe in the permanence of art so much so that “adaptability” is an unheard of characteristic.  Art exists in a fixed state and is not thought of as being capable of change.

Surprisingly artists – at least not all contemporary artists – feel quite differently.  While to us, the art patrons, the mere thought of changing an established artwork brings fears of sacrilegious destruction happening in war-torn lands across the globe, to artists Amy Hughes Braden, Roxana Geffen, and Jackie Milad, it is simply part of the artmaking process. 

Studio Sacrilege takes the viewer down the rabbit hole of the artist’s real artmaking existence, where perfectly good canvases already adorned by paint at the artist’s hand, are frequently reused to create new art – or expand upon ideas from the original piece.  Here, the audience must divorce itself from expectations of the exalted artwork to fully appreciate the power of the process.  Each artist presents confirmed masterworks worthy of appreciation for aesthetics alone – but what unites them is their uncanny willingness to revisit such works to create anew.

The exhibit explores art’s singular capacity to revisit the past through experiences, processes, and memory in visual form.  The perspective of the artist is achingly present as the viewer examines the layers of each work, shocked by the profound completeness of the work underneath, and moved by the beloved process of destruction, manipulation, and recreation.  We get a glimpse of the tension, anxiety, thrills, and woes of making of art, for which the artist contends with in everyday practice.  

Amy Hughes Braden, Roxana Geffen, and Jackie Milad explore what it means to be an artist through efforts in revisiting and reworking their past.  Studio Sacrilege obliterates the norms of preserving and maintaining art in pristine untouched conditions by metaphorically thrusting the viewer out of the gallery and into the artist’s studio.


Press Release: Studio Sacrilege

The Washington Post: In the galleries by Mark Jenkins