DC Arts Center Presents Ainsley Burrows Displacement

By Editorial Team on March 13, 2023

Fri, March 17 2023 — Sun, April 16 2023

Ainsley Burrows – The Long and Complicated History of America (Detail)
Opening: Friday, March 17 at 7pm
Artist Talk with Ainsley Burrows: Sunday, April 2 at 3pm

The DC Arts Center is proud to present Displacement, an exhibition of large-scale paintings by multidisciplinary artist, Ainsley Burrows, curated by Jerry Truong. Heavily influenced by his upbringing in Kingston, Jamaica, and Brooklyn, NY,  this body of work explores the complicated emotions and cultural meanings that represent the immigrant experience. The exhibition invites viewers to engage with the emotional landscape of migration and explore the artist’s powerful exploration of identity, culture, and history.

“As an immigrant, Burrows’ recent work examines the intricate emotions that arise from a sense of alienation and the struggle to belong,” says Program Manager and Curator Jerry Truong. “His artwork challenges dominant narratives of marginalization and exclusion faced by immigrants, advocating for a more inclusive and tolerant society.”

“Ainsley Burrows’ work is deeply connected to our organization’s mission to foster underrepresented artists in the greater Washington, DC area,” said Executive Director Sean Elias. “As we continue to expand the ways in which we seek to fulfill our mission, Burrows’ work reminds us that the subject matter and content of one’s work is just as important and meaningful as who creates the work.”

“I am a multidisciplinary artist exploring personal histories, inherited trauma, and the intersections of the visual and emotional with the written and physical,” says Artist Ainsley  Burrows. “My paintings communicate with my other creative pursuits—I am also a poet, musician, and performer. Working predominantly with acrylic on canvas, I lean into the tactility of the mediums I work with, using expressive gestures to apply paint and following its natural flow.”

“This exhibition offers a distinct opportunity to engage with the vibrant colors, textures, figures, and concepts that define Burrows’ art,” says Truong. “Through his art, Burrows invites viewers to explore the emotional landscape of migration, expressing the inherent disorientation, hope, and frustration that accompany displacement.”

Please join us in celebrating the opening of Displacement on Friday, March 17, 2023 at 7:00 PM. The exhibition runs through April 16, 2023.


Ainsley Burrows (b. 1974 in Kingston, Jamaica; based in Brooklyn, NY and Baltimore, MD) is a multidisciplinary artist who explores untold stories and unspoken emotions. He is a poet, musician, performer, and  painter, whose  different creative pursuits influence each other. Raised in Kingston, Jamaica, and Brooklyn, NY, Burrows paints with his upbringing in the foreground, referencing the many lessons and stories, historical figures and events, and movements and diasporas that have shaped his perspective.

Burrows’ practice mainly uses two methodologies: NeoChaos and Raktism. The former is characterized by expressive gestures and lines, and deep, passionate swathes of color. With it, he explores the reverberations of a history that continues to affect him, showing how the past is alive and how we must make its legacy visible. Raktism is defined by sharp, boundary-creating lines and visual echoes. It is an exploration of the fourth dimension and an attempt to understand the unknowable through systems of control. The flow of lines—sometimes connecting, sometimes separating—represent the many streams of sudden, painful, and historic phenomena; highways of time.

Burrows’ work has recently been showcased in solo shows at Rush Arts in Philadelphia, PA, and Creative Alliance in Baltimore, MD, as well as group exhibitions at 11:Eleven Gallery in Washington, DC, Amos Eno Gallery and 3rd Eye Sol-lation Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY, and Arlington Arts Center in Arlington, VA.


  • Opening Celebration: Friday, March 17, 2023, at 7:00 PM
    Free. Light refreshments and beverages provided.
  • Artist Talk: Sunday, April 2, 2023, at 3:00 PM
  • Closing Reception: Sunday, April 16, 2023, at 6:00 PM
    Free. Light refreshments and beverages provided.

About DC Arts Center

The DC Arts Center (DCAC) is the only institution in the greater Washington, D.C. area solely dedicated to fostering underrepresented artists in every discipline. We believe that by encouraging artists of all types and all levels to pursue their passion, community transformation is possible. Located in Washington, DC’s vibrant Adams Morgan neighborhood, DCAC operates a small arts facility which includes two art galleries, a 41-seat black box theater and office space. Founded in 1989 as an accessible alternative arts center in response to eroding support for local artists, DCAC has since become a hub of creativity in the visual and performing arts, receiving local, national, and international attention. Artists of all types, including poets, painters, actors, storytellers, sculptors and performance artists, have been drawn to DCAC from as close as around the corner to as far as from other continents.

DC Arts Center | 2438 18th ST NW.