Art Enables | Outside Forces

By Editorial Team on August 21, 2023

Sat, 09 September 2023 — Sat, 21 October 2023

L to R: Jamila Rahimi (Art Enables), Kim Bond (VaultArt Studios), Mike Barnes (Art Explorers)
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 9 from 5-7pm

Art Enables is excited to announce that our annual exhibition of self-taught artists’ work, “Outside Forces,” will open on September 5 and run through October 21.

Art Enables will host an opening reception for “Outside Forces” on September 9 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Art Enables welcomes independent artists and those from sister studios around the country for our 17th annual exhibition of work by self-taught artists! The term “outsider art” may call to mind a number of concepts, many that have been historically debated. Defined in the strictest sense, it may include only artists who work in extreme isolation, have little to no contact with other artists and art institutions, and who may not even have a concept of their own work as art.

Today, with outsider art gaining popularity and recognition, and under the ever-present influence of the internet, the term is often (sometimes controversially) used more broadly, focusing on self-taught artists. While an exact definition of outsider art can be difficult to pin down, one often feels they know it when they see it: inventive work of extreme individuality motivated by the artist’s own personal concepts and desires rather than the expectations of the mainstream art world.

Art Enables embraces these more expansive parameters in “Outside Forces.” Featured artists include individuals who are emerging and self-taught, are from traditionally underrepresented communities, and those with disabilities. All have paved their own way in the formation of their work, representing personal experiences and interests in individual styles developed outside the conventions of mainstream art education and culture. This exhibition began in 2006 as a way for DC-area groups working with self-taught artists to exhibit together. Over the last 17 years, the exhibition’s success has seen it grow to feature artists from across the nation alongside our resident artists. With a selection of affordable work in a wide array of styles, the show continues to be an excellent introduction to outsider art for those looking to start their own collection.

Participating Studios and Independent Artists: The Arts Access Program at Matheny, Art Enables, Art Explorers, Arts of Life, Creative Citizen Studios, Creative Growth, Cornerstone Montgomery: Studio In-sight, Imagine That!, Make Studio, North Pole Studio, Open Eye Gallery at Arundel Lodge, Out of the Box Studio & Gallery, Project Onward, SAGE Studio & Gallery, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Spindleworks Art Center, VaultArt Studio, VisAbility Art Lab, Visionaries and Voices, Avantika, Kanchan Balsé, Cour d’Blax-Neeck, William Boler, Jonathan Gabel, Sela Gebrechirstos, Miriam Julianna, Matthew Malone and Kurtis Ceppetelli (Duly Noted Painters), James Perreaoult Daniels, Rachel Pomponi, Emily Tironi

Art Enables is located at 2204 Rhode Island Ave NE.