Opening: Saturday, September 26 from 3pm to 7pm
Craig Kraft, internationally known light sculptor opens the new metal and glass doors to his freshly renovated studio space on Good Hope Road in the Historic Anacostia Neighborhood.
“I love the energy of the area,” Kraft says, “it’s a neigborhood in transition and there is an eager anticipation for the arts development in Anacostia. I will be creating both monumental and studio works as well as teaching workshops.”
Two years in the making this opening celebrates this new energy and new work — both the artwork and the work he lovingly invested in the mixed-use building.
“After 23 years in Shaw, I bought this abandoned building and started from a pile of loose bricks from which I have created a modern sculpture studio and dynamic living space,” Kraft says. Kraft always keeps the historical value of space in mind and with that he restored original features when possible, updated others and created the compelling space.
A faculty member of the Smithsonian Institution Studio Arts Program, Kraft’s work has been shown in more than 125 exhibitions. For his Anacostia premiere, he will share the seminal beginnings of his new, never-before-seen work which is based on the universal urge to mark. This work is inspired by his recent travel to ancient caves in France and Spain containing early Homo Sapiens’ very first marks. Earlier works from the “Unintentional Drawing” series, “Ground Zero” series and the “Random Neon” series will also be showcased.
No stranger to Anacostia, Kraft was introduced to the neighborhood’s renaissance during the LUMEN8ANACOSTIA arts festival in 2013. That year he unveiled his site-specific “Random Neons for Anacostia” installation at the corner of MLK Jr. Avenue SE and Good Hope Road.
Three months later he was signing an offer to purchase his studio/residence at the opposite end of the block, sandwiched between the Anacostia Arts Center and the Honfleur Gallery— on which a 2006 commissioned piece, “Anacoiti” is installed.
The Anacostia Historic District, established in 1973, was expanded and listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The designation recognizes Anacostia’s unique architectural and cultural character, the neighborhood’s status as Washington’s first suburb and the first large subdivision to attract working-class buyers.
Kraft and his peers are part of a movement to preserve the unpretentious frame and brick structures built in what was an idyllic, semi-rural setting in the late 19th and early 20th
Craig Kraft Studio is located at 1239 Good Hope Rd. SE. To find out more about Craig Kraft’s work and his new studio, visit www.craigkraftstudio.com.