Gallery Openings and Events

Formerly Was Group Exhibition: Liminal Space

E. Brady Robinson, Rainbow Over Fells, 2020, archival pigment print, 20 x 16 inches on 24 x 18 inch paper, framed.

On View: January 14 – February 27, 2021

E. Brady Robinson
Elena Volkova
Jill Fannon
Melvin Nesbitt Jr.
Rodney Choice

Formerly Was is pleased to present Liminal Space, an art exhibition featuring photographic installations by E. Brady Robinson, Elena Volkova, Jill Fannon, and Rodney Choice and collage work by Melvin Nesbitt Jr.  The five artists mark, record, and process a very “unfamiliar” year (2020) with pictures.

About the Work
“2020” is a photographic installation by E. Brady Robinson that incorporates intimate moments and personal observations of the social landscape and the natural world. Robinson employs her camera as a diary, using the snapshot aesthetic of small format cameras in her signature style. During pandemic Baltimore, she shares glimpses of her personal life combined with scenes of the public spaces and empty streets. Photographic prints are grouped with intention creating a visual narrative via sequence and juxtaposition.

Meanwhile is a photographic series by Elena Volkova that explores the concept of becoming. The images are observations of moments in constant flux, which poetically document what it means to live through the time of the pandemic and to be compelled to get to know one’s place in a deep introspective way. Through the lens of subjectivity, the artist offers glimpses of domestic environments juxtaposed with natural forms, inviting an escapist journey amidst the chaos.

Jill Fannon’s Care in the Garden is an ongoing photo series of individual accounts and stories of health care workers and those who facilitate care through portraiture, written words, and conversation. The project began during mandated stay-at-home orders in Maryland in early March of 2020, and has relied heavily on distance portraiture and screen-based interactions. The series catalogues those in close physical proximity to others during a time of profound distance. The face of Maria, a nurse in Baltimore, MD, one of the 8 images in the series, is presented “life-size”, allowing the viewer an opportunity for momentary togetherness.

The year 2020 reminded Rodney Choice of what initially drew him to photography while growing up in New York City: making pictures of persons in urban environments. The work entitled DC Streets is a small representation of his observations of people, protests, and politics during the pandemic. His pictures are dynamic. The content is spontaneous and the artist is present for it. His images show courage and heart.

Poverty and food insecurity weighed heavily on Melvin Nesbitt Jr.’s mind as the impacts of the pandemic left many parents without jobs. Holding Up the Line, one of the two collage pieces presented by the artist for this show, depicts a boy’s sudden awareness of the shame associated with being poor as all eyes watch his mother dig through her purse for just enough change to pay for a single bag of groceries. Continuing with his signature style, Nesbitt centers children in his visual narratives of the latest happenings in American life.

Formerly Was – once WAS gallery – is now located in Tenleytown, Washington, DC.

Gallery Hours:

  • Tuesday – Saturday: 11am – 6pm
  • and by appointment

Formerly Was is located at 4936 Wisconsin Ave. NW.