VisArts Gallery Presents Katie Kehoe Provisions in Washington, DC

By Editorial Team on August 15, 2017
Kehoe’s performance action, PROVISIONS at Jefferson Memorial, Washington, DC, July 14th, 2017. Courtesy of VisArts Gallery.
Performance: Saturday, August 19 at 1pm

VisArts’ Bresler Resident Artist Katie Kehoe invites audiences to consider the impact of climate change on low-lying areas of our Nation’s Capital in her performance action, Provisions in Washington, DC. On Saturday, August 19, at 1pm, Kehoe will lead a group of participants in carrying “provisions for buoyancy” through parts of Washington, DC that would be flooded if the sea level were to rise by 5 feet. Those interested in participating are invited to contact her directly for more information at or 647-868-8247.

“In light of our climate changing, I have growing uncertainty and deep concerns for what the future holds–this is reflected in my work,” Kehoe says.

This performance action will be the capstone of the four-month Fleur and Charles Bresler Residency at VisArts, whose goal is to provide a unique opportunity for a dynamic artist to create a new body of work in a stimulating, supportive environment.

About the Artwork:
While in residence at VisArts, Kehoe is creating, Provisions for Buoyancy, which involves working with refuse materials salvaged locally to make a series of flotation devices that will be used as props and catalysts for interacting with the public. Her process is being documented through a blog entitled Provisions for Buoyancy.

Kehoe will also produce a series of drawings that reflect the idea of expanded waterways. “I envision these to be drawn in a visual language inspired by topographical maps and composed of multiple repetitions of the word AND,” Kehoe says.

“An inventory of boogie boards, a rescue ring, a shack raft, and lifesaving vests is growing in Katie Kehoe’s studio at VisArts,” says Susan Main, Curator and Gallery Director. “Along with transforming raw materials into sea-worthy flotation devices, she is starting conversations. Her work addresses big issues – sustainability, shifting shorelines, rising sea levels – but she encourages discussions by gently disrupting the ordinary and generously including everyone. She is an artist for the 21st century.”

About the Artist:
(Born in Canada 1979) Katie Kehoe predominantly works in performance, installation and drawing, and often incorporates duration, site-specificity, photography and video as defining artistic elements. She completed her M.F.A. at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland (2011); and formerly completed the Canadian Film Center Media Lab’s Interactive Art and Entertainment Program, Toronto, Canada (2007); and earned a B.A. Honors from Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Canada (2002). Kehoe’s work has been presented across Canada and the U.S. and been reviewed by critics such as Gary Michael Dault (Canada’s leading art critic), Becky Hunter in Art Papers Magazine and Eames Armstrong in Performa Magazine.

In the vein of Darren O’Donnell’s Social Acupuncture, Jon Rubin’s Contextual Practices, and the infamous Marina Abramovic’s The Artist Is Present, Kehoe’s focus is an exploration of how performance art translates into a social practice.

Kehoe spent more than a year carrying a fishing rod and wearing rubber boots in Baltimore, MD, in One Year and Twenty-Four Days of Fishing (2010-11). A recognizable figure around the city, Kehoe uses ‘absurd objects’ as catalysts for interacting with the public. “A lot of people just want to be heard,” Kehoe said of the experience, “The fishing rod was an incredible device for engaging people.”

Kehoe’s installation, PIER/Platforms, appeared at over 30 locations throughout the Southwestern U.S.

In PIER/Platforms, Kehoe launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the project, which involved her traveling through the southwest, USA for 60 days, building a pier from salvaged materials and installing it in various unconventional locations that ranged from dense urban areas to isolated desert landscapes. Kehoe performed over 25 installations in deserts throughout the southwest, as well installing in a handful of urban areas, tourist destinations and galleries, like Prada Marfa, in Valentine, Texas, Freight Gallery in San Antonio and Red Line Contemporary in Denver. PIER/Platforms was chronicled through this blog.

Gallery Hours:

  • Wednesday & Thursday: 12 – 4pm
  • Friday: 12 – 8pm
  • Saturday & Sunday: 12 – 4pm

VisArts at Rockville is located three blocks from the Rockville Metro station at 155 Gibbs Street, Rockville, MD. For information, please visit or call 301-315-8200.