May Writing Workshops


Ida B. Wells-Barnett by Sallie E. Garrity C.1893/courtesy National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution


Strike a Prose: Historical Fiction

Date: Thursday, May 2, 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM or Friday, May 3, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Location: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution,800 G Street NW,
Washington, DC 20001
Cost: Free

With inspiration from “Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence,” we will create works of historical fiction, addressing themes of history, suffrage, democracy and freedom. The workshop will include reading, discussion and guided writing.

Continue reading “May Writing Workshops”

Life as Metaphor: Personal Essay Writing

writing womanLife is beautiful. It’s also messy. In this personal essay writing workshop, writers will use the messiness of real life for inspiration. Participants will practice drawing from experiences, asking hard questions, and diving in deep to reveal their true selves through their creative work.

Join me for this one-day workshop hosted by The Writer’s Center.

Date: Saturday, June 15, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Location: The Writer’s Center at Hill Center
921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE
Washington,DC 20003

Cost: $65 Register

Black Coffee & Vinyl Presents: Ice Culture

Black Coffee & Vinyl Presents: Ice Culture explores the beauty and mystery of our world’s ice, and reveals the necessity of ice to our human survival. The project explores the traditions and cultures of people connected to ice from the Arctic Circle to Antarctica, and raises vital concerns about climate change that can no longer be ignored. As climate change affects the weather and composition of our planet, our ice continues to melt. This reality affects all of us, regardless of where we live.

Untitled by Adriene Hughes

Black Coffee & Vinyl Presents: Ice Culture, a website ( and literary magazine publication, features art, music and literature by artists living and working in Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Canada, Germany, US and more. Mixing poetry, essays, interviews, visual art and sound art, the project explores the myriad of ways ice touches our lives.

As the managing editor and curator for the project, I selected work from more than 400 artists from around the world. The work is diverse and thoughtful. I am grateful to the artists’ for their contributions.

Check out the Black Coffee & Vinyl website, and get your copy of the gorgeous literary magazine here.

2019 Artist Grant

I am honored to be a recipient of a 2019 Artist Fellowship in the category of Humanities from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Also for 2019, I have a big new project coming up this year! Black Coffee & Vinyl Presents: Ice Culture is a multimedia project that will feature art, music and literature by artists working and living in Greenland, Norway, Iceland, Canada, United States and more. The project will be released in January. Stay tuned for more details!

March Writing Workshops

Image Credit: Beaumont Newhall Self-Portrait by Beaumont Newhall

The January workshops at the National Portrait Gallery have been rescheduled. Check out the new dates and register at the link.

Strike a Prose: Writing Self-Portraits
Date: Thursday, March 14, 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM or Friday, March 15, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Location: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, 800 G Street, NW, Washington, DC
Cost: Free

In this writing workshop inspired by Eye to I: Self-Portraits from 1900 to Today, we will create writing that reflects on how we see ourselves and how we obscure how others see us. The workshop will incorporate reading, discussion, and creative writing prompts.

Strike a Prose: Finding Footing in a Shifting Landscape
Date: Thursday, March 21, 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM or Friday, March 22, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Location: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, 800 G Street, NW, Washington, DC
Cost: Free

In this creative writing workshop, we will view Eye to I: Self-Portraits from 1900 to Today and develop new writing that explores the complicated ways that we construct our identities in an ever-changing social landscape. The workshop will include reading, discussion, and guided writing prompts that ask tough questions and allow for self-exploration.

Strike a Prose: Close Look at Eye to I
Date: Thursday, March 28, 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM or Friday, March 29, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Location: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, 800 G Street, NW, Washington, DC
Cost: Free

In this writing workshop, we will practice writing about visual art, using a critical perspective. We will view Eye to I: Self-Portraits from 1900 to Today in order to discuss curatorial themes and analyze particular works of art. This workshop is perfect for writers interested in writing about visual art critically or developing their ability to use visual art to inspire their creative writing.

New Exhibit Shows Jewelry Is Power

A New African Art Museum Exhibit Shows How Jewelry Is Power For Senegalese Women

Published in DCist on 10/23/18

Butterfly necklace
Butterfly necklace pendant on view in “Good as Gold” (Photo courtesy of the National Museum of African Art)

For the 20th century Senegalese women who wore gold jewelry from Wolof and Tukulor goldsmiths, it wasn’t just about donning beautiful works of art. The pieces also expressed culture, political affiliation, and economic status.

Good as Gold: Fashioning Senegalese Women, the new exhibition opening Wednesday at the National Museum of African Art, is the first major exhibition of Senegalese gold jewelry that focuses on the history of Senegal’s gold, and the complex ways that Senegalese women have used jewelry and fashion to present themselves.

“While most of the objects in the exhibition were made by men, the designs, styles, and names of such works are by women,” said guest curator Amanda Maples in a statement. “Good as Gold reveals the ways in which Senegalese women have historically used jewelry as a means of fashioning a cosmopolitan identity of power and prestige.”

Read the full article.

Art Review: Nordic Art Exhibition

New Phillips Collection Exhibit Proves Nordic Art Isn’t Just Snowy Landscapes

In the video installation Arctic Hysteria, now on view at the Phillips Collection, Pia Arke, a Danish artist from Greenland, crawls naked across the floor, sniffing and pawing at the black-and-white photograph underneath her. She slithers across mountains and icebergs, the landscape of her Greenlandic hometown, Nuugaarsuk, with her arms outstretched.

She begins to tear the photograph beneath her; first with curiosity, then with fervent excitement. The strips curl onto themselves until they resemble long blocks of ice piled up around her.

“The title of the work refers to Greenland’s colonialist past and the phenomenon of pibloktoq, later known as ‘arctic hysteria,’ the supposedly irrational behavior by Inhuit (Greenlandic Inuit) women first reported by the American explorer Robert E. Peary in 1892,” exhibition wall text for Arctic Hysteria states. “It was compared to Sigmund Freud and Josef Breuer’s diagnosis of female hysteria and most commonly ascribed to the lack of sun and long arctic nights but may also have been confused with shamanistic rituals of the Inhuit people.”

Arke’s video is one of the works challenging perceptions of Nordic culture in the new Phillips Collection exhibition Nordic Impressions: Art from Åland, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Featuring video, photography, painting, print, and mixed-media sculpture from 53 artists, the survey exhibition covers 200 years of Nordic art.

Read the full article at DCist

Shoplifter_Nervelings I-V
image: Nervelings I-V by Shoplifter


Creative Writing Workshops – November

Join us for a series of upcoming workshops at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The workshops are hosted in partnership with the exhibition Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now.

Image credit: Maibaum / Kristi Malakoff

The exhibition Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now explores this relatively unstudied art form by examining its rich historical roots and considering its forceful contemporary presence. The show features works from the Portrait Gallery’s extensive collection of silhouettes, such as those by Auguste Edouart, who captured the likenesses of such notable figures as John Quincy Adams and Lydia Maria Child, and at the same time, the exhibition reveals how contemporary artists are reimagining silhouettes in bold and unforgettable ways. Continue reading “Creative Writing Workshops – November”