Tagged: dc

“Show Me, Don’t Tell Me”

That was one of the first pieces of Photojournalism advice that I received during my first year at the Corcoran. What my teacher, Michael Connor, meant by that was to construct a visual narrative using ten photos that give the viewer mostly everything they need to understand and connect with the subject’s story. The captions that support these images should merely exist to provide situational context. You would think that the acclaimed work chosen to be on display at FotoWeekDC would at least do that.

This past weekend, I went to check out one of the photo exhibitions at this annual photo convention. One of the exhibits on display was the Women Photojournalists of Washington (WPOW) Annual Juried Exhibition. The work by WPOW is always great, but how the photos were organized in this show wasn’t made clear to the public. The exhibition showcased all winning images on the walls, but only one of the images was labeled “Best in Show” next to the photographer’s name; the rest of the photos were only accompanied by the photographer’s name and caption. In addition to those images not being labeled with the award they won, most of the photos appeared to be extracted from larger photo stories. Each photo was strong individually, but the presentation and organizational choices left me feeling disconnected from the stories captured.

Jacquelyn Martin received the Best in Show award for her photos about the Tanzania Albino Killings. She had two powerful images that were on display at this exhibit, but their meaning was not evident until reading the captions. After visiting her website and browsing through a larger collection of images in this story, I felt the impact and the significance of her work. At that point, the context in the captions became supplementary.


Photo by Jacquelyn Martin

I would have liked to see the full photo stories of the work done by WPOW, and at least know which category each photo was selected for. Because of these issues, I was left relying on the captions to learn about the images. I spent more time reading the captions than I did observing the photos, simply because I felt like the captions helped me understand what I couldn’t quite get from looking at each image. A poor job done by FotoWeekDC, in organizing and presenting some exceptional photos taken by WPOW members.


What “Gleesh” means to DC, hip hop.

By Travis Poffenberger

Tune into Yung Gleesh’s “Cleanside’s Finest” to see into a crystal ball, the future of DC rap in a fog of thick smoke.  Yung Gleesh is a rapper from Northeast, 18th and Monroe, District of Columbia. The style he embraces may very well be the future of his craft. If you don’t buy that I can at least guarantee it’s enough to keep DC on the map after Fat Trel blazed a recent trail. Gleesh delivers west coast Lil B style surrealism, and Dirty South trap-talk packed up in a box that reeks of DC. It’s a train ride of deep emotion, self introspection, and humor paired with trunk bumping tunes about selling “work”.  The album is action packed, drug fueled, and Glock shenanigans galore, but not lacking on unexpected tenderness. Cleanside’s Finest is stuffed with regional slang. It has a timestamp, and a return address, it has all the qualities of a quality album. If you don’t like it, you know where you can find Gleesh.


Few current rappers embrace the range that Gleesh does. From such differing lines like, “I’m drugged up, fucked up, lucked up, plugged up. Snub nose snugged up gon’ get your block slugged up.”  on “Dope Money” to “I’m just a young boy, and I gotta tote guns around my little city because I don’t feel safe… … I’m sorry that I gotta take, not sorry that I did take.” on “City Full of Dust”. The combined notions of being violent, and afraid, the aggressor and the hunted, remorseful that he’s in a situation that forces him to rob, all in the same album is as rare as a Charizard. This is a new model of hip hop, quasi-trap. The equally addressed, but totally opposing perspectives on his nagging girlfriend, and selling dope makes for a bizarre, but striking combination. 


Perhaps the most unique aspect of Gleesh’s style is his own brand of slang. The album is made complete by his personally crafted words which influence his style and rhyme scheme. In fact, a Youtube video “The Gleesh Chronicles Episode 1” features some explanations of what words and phrases like, “gleesh“, “know my ew“, “work wit da work“, “boof” and “fanaego” mean. He is an originator of terms, crafter of words; Shakespeare on Molly.


Even though Yung Gleesh is affiliated with Fat Trel and the Slutty Boyz, his style is majorly different. Nothing is vacant or simple about it; though he often sticks to the over harvested staples of modern trap music, women, drugs, guns, robberies, etc. he crafts the same old clay into something distinct. He raps about having children about early in life, and the problems ensuing (My Sanctuary). He expresses the ups and downs of the drug game, and wonders if he needs to make a change, his grandma likes his watch, but not his lifestyle (Change My Life). The blend of straight up glorification of his lifestyle, along with the closer examination of his choices is unique. A paradox disguised as a CD.


Gleesh is up and coming. Check out his mix-tapes and educate yourself, before you get rolled over.

Corcoran Students Unhappy with Potential Sale – Hang Protest Art

By Katie Dance
October 19, 2012

Photo via Katie Macyshyn’s tumblr

With the Corcoran contemplating selling the building and moving elsewhere, students have been expressing their concerns in the form of art.

Last week, students at the Corcoran arrived on Wednesday October 10th to huge signs spelling out, “4SALE” in the Corcoran senior studio windows. Katie Macyshyn, a student at Corcoran, posted on her tumblr:

Students arrive at the Corcoran Wed 10/10 to an unavoidable piece of protest art. At around 11 AM the artwork is taken down by operations, who liked the piece, but were following orders from the provost.

 When asking another student about the protest art, the artist KRH said, “I think it was about time for someone to do something artistically to shed light on the issues on hand.” KRH continues, “If the Corcoran isn’t going to put a for sale sign up, someone else has to.”

Students are not the only ones unhappy with the institution and the possible sale of the building. The activist group Save the Corcoran which argues the financial trouble rests on the board members, sent a letter to the Board of Trustees stating:

Regrettably, it has become clear that the Corcoran has been fundamentally and tragically mismanaged in recent years.

The letter also states:

After years of mismanagement and irrational spending, it is time to bring the arts community into the fold of the Corcoran’s leadership.

The Washington Post and Blouin Art Info reported Mimi Carter, the Corcoran’s spokesperson, said the Corcoran was, “surprised and stressed by many false statements and inaccuracies in the letter.”

Corcoran student and artist KRH commented, “It is unfortunate to see this great institution fall under the responsibility of individuals who cannot be accountable for the financial status of the Corcoran.”

It is unclear as to what the future will hold for the Corcoran Gallery and College of Art + Design, but it is evident that the students and public are unhappy with the potential sale.


Disclosure: The author of this article is a student at Corcoran College of Art + Design.


The Corcoran Speaking with NGA and GW About Future

By Katie Dance
October 17, 2012

Photo via Live in Washington D. C.

The Corcoran Gallery and College of Art + Design has been considering making some serious changes in the near future. Washington’s City Paper Artsdesk, originally reported back in June that the Corcoran is considering selling the building and moving elsewhere.

The Corcoran building, which houses the gallery and the college in the basement, has been in the prime location for 115 years. DCist reported back in June, Corcoran had looked at waterfront properties in Alexandria and contemplated leaving the District altogether.

Last week, Board of Trustees Chairman, Harry Hopper, sent out an email to faculty, staff, and students saying:

“The Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design is in conversation with both the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University.  These activities are in keeping with the Corcoran Board’s stewardship and commitment to explore and secure potential sustainable options for the future of both the gallery and the college.  No further details will be released at this time.”

This information was released to the public the same day.

Chairman Harry Hopper also said in the email that, “one guiding principle continues to inspire us every day – to preserve the Corcoran’s legacy and stay in the building.”

What does speaking with NGA and GW mean for the Corcoran?

It appears that the goal for the Corcoran is to remain in the building and continue as is, but with preliminary discussions with the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University underway, relocating has not been completely ruled out.


Disclosure: The author of this article is a student at Corcoran College of Art + Design.