The Phillips Presents Works by Artists of the Greater DC Region that Reflect Resiliency in Response to the Pandemic and Recent Social Upheaval

By Editorial Team on June 8, 2021

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and recent social upheaval, The Phillips Collection presents Inside Outside, Upside Down, a juried invitational on view from July 17 to September 12, 2021. The museum invited artists of the greater Washington area to submit recent artwork that addresses the unprecedented events of the past year. As part of the museum’s 100th anniversary celebration, the exhibition continues founder Duncan Phillips‘s commitment to present, acquire, and promote the work of local artists.

(Top left to right)
1. Nicolas Shi, I Am Not A Virus, 2021, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 x 1 1/2in., courtesy of the artist
2. Kim Llerna, Stonewall Jackson (dismantled), Monument Avenue, Richmond, Virginia, 2020, archival pigment print, 20 x 16 in., courtesy of the artist
(Bottom left to right)
3. Joseph Shetler, Untitled (quiet in the city), 2020, mixed acrylic ground, graphite powder, marble dust, and silverpoint on panel, 48 x 32 x 2 in., courtesy of the artist
4. Desmond Beach, #SayTheirNames 2, 2021, fabric and paper, 25 x 21 1/2 in., courtesy of the artist

“We invited all artists of the DC region to submit their work, not just established artists,” explains acclaimed DC artist and guest curator Renée Stout. “So emerging and self-taught artists are a part of this exhibition. This is another way that Inside Outside, Upside Down celebrates the strength of our local artist community, which has suffered but come together to make it through these challenging times.”

Jurors Elsa Smithgall (Senior Curator, The Phillips Collection), Renée Stout (DC artist and guest curator of the exhibition), Phil Hutinet (publisher of the local news source East City Art), and Abigail McEwan (Associate Professor of Latin American Art at the University of Maryland) reviewed over 1,300 artworks submitted by more than 800 artists, assessing works on their artistry, originality, and thematic relevance. The exhibition, comprising 65 works that span painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, mixed media, and video, will be organized into five themes: Innocence Interrupted, Days of Reckoning and the Right to “Be,” Bearing Witness, Introspection and Reflection, and Hope and Healing. The 64 artists are ages 19 to 84, work across styles, and are at varying stages of their careers, including those receiving their first museum exhibition.

Jurors will be awarding a first and second prize and three honorable mentions, which will be announced in July. Members of the public will also be able to vote for the People’s Choice Award on The Phillips Collection website; the winner will be announced in August. In order to support members of our local artistic community during this challenging time, contributors have the opportunity to sell the artworks included in this invitational, and retain all the proceeds.

“After an extraordinarily difficult year that has shaken the world, we feel it is important to join with our entire region to celebrate human resiliency, and especially the strength of artists and the arts,” says Vradenburg Director and CEO Dorothy Kosinski. “Duncan Phillips hosted this type of exhibition annually from 1935 to 1950, and we are proud to continue this tradition to support our talented community.”

“Last summer, as plans for our centennial progressed in collaboration with our community advisors, we felt an urgent call to elevate and uplift artist voices in our local artist community,” notes Elsa Smithgall, Senior Curator. “Now as we look with hope towards a post-pandemic era, these works are deeply moving affirmations of the hardships endured over the past year.”


  • Cathy Abramson
  • Simone Agoussoye
  • Maremi Andreozzi
  • Carol Antezana
  • Desmond Beach
  • Julia Bloom
  • Michael Booker
  • Kimberly Brammer
  • Nikki Brugnoli
  • Florencio Campello
  • Carlos Carmonamedina
  • Sandra Chen Weinstein
  • Peter Cizmadia
  • Wesley Clark
  • Dominick Cocozza
  • Robin Croft
  • Sora DeVore
  • Sarah Dolan
  • Mike Dowley
  • Nekisha Durrett
  • Tae Edell
  • Bria Edwards
  • Kate Fleming
  • Chawky Frenn
  • Amelia Hankin
  • Michael Hantman
  • Leslie Holt
  • Michael Janis
  • Jane Kell
  • Jean Jinho Kim
  • Katherine Knight
  • Ara Koh
  • Kokayi
  • Gary Kret
  • Kate Kretz
  • Catherine Levinson
  • Kirsty Little
  • Kim Llerena
  • Aaron Maier-Carretero
  • Timothy Makepeace
  • David Mordini
  • Barbara Muth
  • Werllayne Nunes
  • Zsudayka Nzinga
  • Jennifer O’Connell
  • John Pan
  • Judith Peck
  • Shedrick Pelt
  • Kristina Penhoet
  • Marta Pérez García
  • Lydia Peters
  • Junko Pinkowski
  • Dominick Rabrun
  • Mojdeh Rezaeipour
  • Marie Ringwald
  • Janathel Shaw
  • Joseph Shetler
  • Nicolas F. Shi
  • Tim Tate
  • Julio Valdez
  • Jessica Valoris
  • Ian White
  • Richard L. Williams Jr.
  • Colin Winterbottom