Event: Sunday, April 23 at 1pm to 4pm
The City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts partners with Washington-based artist Sheldon Scott for the Finest Amenities, an immersive performance and art installation inspired by Gadsby’s Tavern Museum.
the Finest Amenities brings together performance, video, installation, photography, and community dialogue. Scott uses the history of harvesting ice from the Potomac, and the storage and use of this ice at Gadsby’s, as his starting point. He layers in enslaved narratives and the history and ecology of the river to examine the crucial relationships between race, class, environment, luxury, and consumption.
Scott’s performance of the Finest Amenities takes place on Sunday, April 23. Scott will begin at the Potomac waterfront at King Street at 1 p.m. and will walk towards Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, located at 134 North Royal Street. There, harvested ice becomes an object of decadence as his performance explores class, race, and the environment—past and present. Visitors will experience a one-time immersive performance in a reimagined Gadsby’s Tavern.
In July and August, Scott continues the community dialogue surrounding the Finest Amenities with a micro-exhibition in the New Project Studio (Studio 8) at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, located at 105 North Union Street. The space will feature photography, video, and ephemera from this body of work. Video will also be projected throughout Alexandria via the Mobile Art Lab.
In March, Scott launched the Finest Amenities when he joined marine biologist Dr. Marvourneen K. Dolor, and historian Lance Mallamo for a roundtable talk on the intersection of art, science, and history, facilitated by public art specialist Todd Bressi. The group provided context to understand and interpret usability and accessibility of our natural resources, specifically the Potomac River. (Videos: Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3)
This project is the inaugural work for the Office of the Arts’ Time & Place series, which explores the intersection of contemporary art with Alexandria’s rich and multifaceted history. Using research-based practices and working in a variety of media, Scott—along with two Baltimore-based artists, Stewart Watson and Lauren Frances Adams—are creating thought-provoking temporary works that are inspired by the storied past of Gadsby’s Tavern.
“The Office of the Arts, though our public art program, is excited to have this opportunity to invite artists to create original contemporary work inspired by Alexandria’s rich history,” said Diane Ruggiero, director of the Alexandria Office of the Arts and Events. “Time and Place shines new light on familiar stories and uses the arts to draws connections between past and present.”
Time & Place is an initiative of the Alexandria Office of the Arts’ public art program, in partnership with the Office of Historic Alexandria. The goal of this compelling project is to foster exploration and dialogue about our region’s history and its continued reverberations within our community today. Follow #TimeandPlaceALX to join the conversation online. For more information, visit alexandriava.gov/94687.
The City of Alexandria is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request a reasonable accommodation or materials in an alternative format, contact Diane Ruggiero at 703.746.5590 (Virginia Relay 711) or [email protected]
About Sheldon Scott
Born and raised in the Gullah/Geechee Lowcountry of South Carolina in the small town of Pawley’s Island, Sheldon Scott now lives and works in Washington, D.C. as an artist. His work plays in the intersection of race, sexuality and economics, while impugning mythologies of black male supernaturality. Sheldon makes performance, sculpture, installation, photo-based work, spoken word, creative nonfiction, objects and ephemera. He is an alumnus of the Capital Fringe Theatre Festival and (e)merge Art Fair. His storytelling has been shared on the stages of Busboys & Poets, Story District, and The Moth, where he serves as host for the DC outpost. Scott’s Fine Art practice has enjoyed exhibits at the WPA Select Auction, Arlington Arts Center, Delaware State University, Goucher University, Art Miami the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, National African Art Museum, Katzen Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. He has been featured in Forbes Magazine, Blouin Art Info, Art 21 and Hyperallergic. His upcoming memoir Shrimp & Griots, is based on his storytelling narratives of the same name. In a quest for truth, Scott hopes to de-silo the disciplines of art, history and science through the use of shared language and practices. ConnerSmith Contemporary represents Scott’s Fine Art works while Ross & Yoon Literary Agency represents his written works.
Potomac waterfront at King Street to Gadsby’s Tavern Museum is located at 134 North Royal Street, Alexandria, VA.