Creative Life in the Gateway Arts District

Art Lives Here First Friday Recap: April 5th!

Art Lives Here Kick Off!

ALH logo1

Art Lives Here was proud to present our 2013 Artists this past Friday at Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville. Check out the full list of the line up HERE.

All the artists who applied for the Art Lives Here campaign were incredibly talented and full of wonderful ideas. We’re gratified to every artist who submitted a proposal. We regret that we don’t have the funding to bring all the amazing ideas we received to life, but encourage all artists who applied to subscribe to the blog and follow us on facebook and twitter in order to continue receiving updates about future Calls for Artists.

IMG_2049Friday’s Busboys and Poets Kick off quickly grew in size and scope as many Gateway Arts District artists, friends and family joined us to learn more about the upcoming Spring Season. We were fortunate enough to be joined by five of the talented artists we’ll be working with: Nehemiah Dixon III, Melissa Glasser, Will McKindley-Ward, Philippa Smith-Tyler and Maurice Johnson.


Nehemiah Dixon III

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“You know the old saying it takes a village to raise a child…? Well it takes an arts district to raise an artist.

My journey to become an artist started in the 8th grade.  My Junior High school had a local artist named Jerel Eaglin come and talk to our art class. He told us about the murals he was doing around Anacostia and showed us awesome paintings that he had created.  This was something special… this was something new. This guy lived in my neighborhood.  This man changed my life.

Knowing him got me into School Without Walls. Knowing him inspired me at the age of 15 to apply and win a scholarship to the Washington Studio School. Knowing him allowed me to attend Maryland Institute College of Art. So why do an art attack.  Why not?

IMG952013030795161640I get to inspire kids every day in art class at Joe’s Movement Emporium.  It’s time to let these kids inspire a community. Our community. Because Art Lives Here.

An Art Attack is a spontaneous art activity that takes place in a community where people live work and play. Similar to a flash mob the purpose of an Art Attack is to engage community members who would otherwise not have a visual arts experience.

photo (3)Now it’s your turn: 

Using the supplies provided, you will make your very own Art Lives Here Arrow!

Take your arrow into public places where you live, work and play, and take photographs of your arrow in action.”

Where you there? Did you make an arrow? Make sure to take a picture and send to


Melissa Glasser

photo“Having been a resident of the Gateway Arts district off and on since buying a home in Brentwood in 2004, I have been involved in many different ways with the Arts Community.  This involvement has brought me great happiness and satisfaction whether through creating murals, participating in exhibitions, creating relationships with other artists, or sending my daughter to Joe’s Movement Emporium over the years for camps and programming.  As a working artist in the community, I have always wanted to bring my painting and public art skills to the hub of the Arts District, especially a location near the traffic circle. Art Lives Here gives me a unique opportunity to share my gifts and give back to the community that I love and support.

melissa bird 2I hope that the Circle Deli artwork I am proposing will improve our corridor by brightening the view with lively colors, bold brushwork, and patterning.  I aim to impact viewers who use public transportation, are crossing Rhode Island Avenue, waiting at the bus stop, or frequenting the Circle Deli.  I hope all who see the artwork will experience the vibrancy and bright colors of our community, and have their days brightened by the artwork.  I hope they will be inspired and curious to look a little closer, to interpret the meaning of the symbols and respond to the playful visual language.

melissa bird1I am currently studying birds as subject matter in my own small works for exhibition and have chosen the hummingbird for its interpretative meaning as “one who seeks joy and beauty.”  I believe this image, in conjunction with the whimsical patterned elements and color palette, will combine for a joyous addition to Gateway’s visual landscape.”


Will McKindley-Ward


“I propose to install a “Launch Pad” performance education space for local, high school-age musicians and/or bands at either the Gallagher or Odd & Even space.

From April 1st to May 18th, the Pad would be made available to two acts – admitted by audition – for a series of facilitated practices and demo recordings.

These rehearsals would culminate in a final performance showcase on Mount Rainier Day with my band, Ugly Purple Sweater.

The chance to practice, record, and perform in a single location provides a unique opportunity for any budding musician. A good act always knows how place influences it’s sound and aesthetic, and my proposal would aim to spark this understanding in the early stages of musicianship.”

Check out pictures of the Launch Pad in progress below:


Philippa, Maurice and Friends

Thanks to all who attended! We look forward to seeing you at our next First Friday May 5th. Until then, be sure to how you can GET INVOLVED sign up for SWEEPING THE AVENUE and stay up to date with all the exciting events in our SPRING SEASON.


About neenajoe

Joe’s Movement Emporium is a cultural arts hub that acts as a catalyst for creativity and economic opportunity for all through productions and programs in education, artist services and work readiness. Located in the town center of Mount Rainier, Maryland within the Prince George’s County Gateway Arts District, the organization supports and promotes creative projects of local artists and community groups. For additional information on programs and events, please visit

2 comments on “Art Lives Here First Friday Recap: April 5th!

  1. Pingback: Art Project: Make Your Own ALH Arrow! | ART LIVES HERE

  2. Pingback: Art Lives Here Draws Attention to the Gateway Arts District | ART LIVES HERE

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