ArtDC Hits Hyattsville

ArtDCCity Morphs Into Up-and-Coming Mecca for Local Artists

Hyattsville has a reputation of being a family-friendly town with bungalows and tree-lined side streets. Lately it’s becoming a Mecca for the region’s art community.

Local artists have partnered with developer EYA to open the artdc Gallery in a former Lustine Car dealership on Baltimore Avenue. The gallery is part of EYA’s Art District of Hyattsville, a new urban matrix of townhomes, retail shops, and community center. The gallery’s featured local artists such as DC Glassworks and Sculpture Studios, adn respected names in the art world such as sculptor Sy Gresser. “We were so pleased to have his work in the space – it’s just tremendous,” Jesse Cohen, a local photographer who was part of the campaign to create the gallery, says.

Hyattsville’s foray into the art scene started from a grassroots effort. Five years ago, local artist Antoinette Wysocki posted a message on Craigslist saying she was unhappy with the local art community. Wysocki wanted art to become fully integrated into the Washington social scene. This resulted in Cohen’s launch of artdc.org in 2004. The site provided a forum for local artists who setup impromptu, “pop-up” galleries. “We’d take over a commercial place that’s transitional ArtDC 2and make an art show,” Cohen says.

The shows got the attention of the EYA and a partnership formed to open the location in Hyattsville. But will the invasion of artists transform Hyattsville into another tony enclave? Cohen doesn’t think so. Something very unique, he explains, is developing in Hyattsville. “I wouldn’t want to compare it to Georgetown because it’s going to be something different but exciting at the same time.”

On the Web: www.artdc.com/art-space/