Watergate Gallery Presents Helen Zughaib and J. Ford Huffman Inside Looking Out

By Editorial Team on April 19, 2021
Helen Zughaib, Inside Looking Out, gouache on board, 20 x 15.
On View: April 24 – May 29, 2021
Meet with the Artists who will be at the gallery:
  • Saturday, April 24 5-7pm
  • Saturday, May 22 5-7pm

Masks will be required and we will be restricting the number of people inside the gallery however they welcome you to gather in front of the gallery before entering.

After a year of living with a worldwide pandemic Helen and J. Ford have done a body of work that reflects the impact that Covid-19 has had on their lives and thoughts. These sentiments represent what so many people have experienced during this time.

Helen Zughaib was born in Beirut, Lebanon, living mostly in the Middle East and Europe before coming to the United States to study art at Syracuse University, earning her BFA from the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Helen currently lives and works in Washington, DC, as an artist. She paints primarily in gouache and ink on board and canvas. More recently, she has worked with wood, shoes, and cloth in mixed media installations.

Her work has been widely exhibited in galleries and museums in the United States, Europe and Lebanon. Her paintings are included in many private and public collections, including the White House, World Bank, Library of Congress, US Consulate General, Vancouver, Canada, American Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, the Arab American National Museum in Detroit, Michigan, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Her paintings are included in the DC Art Bank Collection and she has received the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Fellowship award in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 Her work has been included in Art in Embassy State Department exhibitions abroad, including Brunei, Nicaragua, Mauritius, Iraq, Belgium, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. Helen has served as Cultural Envoy to Palestine, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia. Her paintings have been gifted to heads of state by President Obama and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

“As an Arab American, I hope through my work, to encourage dialogue and bring understanding and acceptance between the people of the Arab world and the West, especially since 9/11, our wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the more recent revolutions and crises in the Arab world, resulting from the “Arab Spring” that began in late 2010, leading to the current war in Syria and the massive displacement of people seeking refuge in Europe, the Middle East and America.”

My work is ultimately about creating empathy. Creating a shared space for introspection and dialogue. I ask the viewer to see through someone else’s eyes, to walk in another’s shoes. To accept the “other.” To reject divisiveness. To promote acceptance and understanding and to reject violence and subjugation of anyone anywhere. To give voice to the voiceless, to heal, to reflect in our shared humanity.

J. Ford Huffman, Insides Looking Up, mixed media assemblage,9 1/2″w x 13 5/8″h x 3 5/8″d.

J. Ford Huffman’s little theaters or stages are mixed-media “sculptures in the form of assemblage shadow boxes,” says the Art Registry. They’re theatrical. Architectural. Some are abstract, some are figurative, and some are in collections in Japan, Germany, France and throughout the United States.

Inside Looking Out is his first two-artist show at Watergate Gallery, where his works have appeared in six group shows.

Other galleries displaying his work in group shows include Hickok Cole + Washington Project for the Arts “Art Night” (2020), The Athenaeum in Alexandria, Strathmore Mansion, Capitol Hill Center Galleries, Target Gallery at Torpedo Factory and Gallery 102 at The George Washington University. National Building Museum commissioned a work for its Dream Rooms exhibition in 2016. He made his Washington gallery debut at a solo exhibit presented by Art Registry in Georgetown in 2009.

J. Ford also is an independent designer, writer and editor. His redesign of Las Vegas Review-Journal introduced in 2017, and he has trained journalists at Hindustan Times across India and at Gulf News in Dubai.

He designed sets for two world-premiere plays at Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theater in Wheeling, W Va and apprenticed at Shaw Festival theater-design department in Ontario. He resides in Foggy Bottom.

Gallery Hours:

  • Monday through Friday: 11am to 6pm
  • Saturday: 12pm to 5pm
  • or by appointment

Watergate Gallery is located at 2552 Virginia Ave. NW. For more information visit www.watergategalleryframedesign.com or call 202.338.4488.