Art Donation & Placement Program
The Art Connection in the Capital Region (ACCR) enriches lives by expanding access to original works of visual art within underserved communities throughout the Greater Metropolitan Washington, DC area.
Our mission is primarily achieved through the facilitation of an innovative art donation and placement program that brings together artists and collectors willing to donate their artwork with qualifying nonprofit community service or public equivalent agencies that have no funding for art purchases. An example of the types of organizations with which ACCR partners serve clients directly and includes: homeless shelters, children's centers, treatment facilities, and low-income senior housing agencies, amongst several others.
ACCR identifies artists and collectors interested in donating original artwork, organizes the work for inclusion in the Artists’ Gallery to be considered by recipient agencies, and guides the agencies throughout the selection and placement process. These works of art become the permanent property of the recipient agency.
By bringing art to more members of our community, we are contributing to the creation of nurturing environments and providing individuals who might not otherwise have the opportunity, to experience the beauty, inspiration and hope that art enables. In addition to enlivening the public spaces within an agency, donated artwork serves to integrate and engage community members and helps to foster positive associations between the agency providing vital social services and individuals accessing these services.
Participating artists are instrumental to our program, and contribute their work for many reasons. Perhaps they personally identify with an agency’s mission, or just feel the need to give back to the community. Maybe they are excited by the idea of their artwork being viewed by a large number of visitors and included in a permanent collection, or by the prospect that their work will have a profound and lasting effect on the lives of so many.
Sometimes, just one small painting or piece of sculpture can make a difference. This simple concept has guided ACCR in its programming, and together with the contributions of our artists and partnering agencies, has had a tremendous impact on the underserved communities we have been able to support.
Image: Guest viewing artwork by Eric Garner at CASA de Maryland
Marie Ringwald is a mixed media artist who since 1977 has kept her studio in a post civil war era brick building in Washington, DC that was likely originally designed to be a boarding house.
In speaking about her work, Marie says, “I'm fascinated with utilitarian buildings - warehouses, factories, Quonset huts, and all kinds of farm buildings - buildings for working in and for holding materials, animals and goods. For me these buildings embody hopefulness, possibilities, history and sometimes, mystery. I appreciate the elegant design elements, as well as the poetic and emotional associations, of simple vernacular architecture. I like that these utilitarian buildings are made with everyday materials that get wonderfully worn by time and weather, and are sometimes patched like a quilt. My sculptures are constructed and collaged with wood (painted, oiled or stained), rubber, glass and sheet metal - the same materials that make up the buildings that inspire me. I pick and choose appropriate materials - both new and used - and paint, stain, patina and work the surfaces. Some sculptures are based on specific buildings while others come from playing with forms or combinations of materials. Pieces range from fairly representational to abstract. Most are wall mounted while others are free standing.”
Born, raised and educated in the Bronx, New York, Marie earned a BFA from Hunter College, City University of New York in 1970 before completing a year of graduate studies at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. She moved to Washington, DC in 1971 and started working and showing with a loosely organized group of women artists.
Marie began teaching at the Corcoran College of Art + Design in 1976, and served as Chairman of the Foundation Department from 1986 to 1989 and 1996 to 2003. She was awarded full professorship in 1992, and after taking a leave of absence for the 2003-2004 academic year, resigned in order to work full time in her studio.
Image Top: The Lavendar Door on 10th Street; Image Bottom: Virgin Gorda BVI, Number 3
Featured Recipient Agency
Project PLASE works to end homelessness in Baltimore by providing transitional housing, permanent housing and supportive services to homeless adults. Since 1974 Project PLASE has provided both direct services and advocacy on behalf of this population. They serve the most vulnerable and underserved, including persons with mental illness, HIV/AIDS, addiction, developmental disabilities, as well as former offenders and ex-offenders. They empower each individual to restore their health, stability, security and a sense of self-worth, and most importantly leave homelessness and the street behind. Project PLASE residents build the skills and mental strength necessary to effect change in their lives, with PLASE’s active guidance. Today, Project PLASE serves nearly 500 of Baltimore’s homeless men and women per year in its transitional and permanent housing facilities.
In a conversation with Project PLASE’s Executive Director, Mary Slicher, we asked how the artwork has been received by the clients Project PLASE serves and how it has impacted the agency. She comments:
“Project PLASE, Inc. has benefited greatly from working with The Art Connection in the Capital Region. ACCR really took the time to get to know us, understand our population and match our needs. Our clients were able to get involved in selecting the artwork, meet the artists and are now living daily with the art pieces. The installation has increased the sense of ownership and pride that the clients have about their living space and its reflection on their journey and progress to a safe and stable future. It is about as complete a service as one could want!
I am so grateful for the generosity and kindnesses of the local artists. Their work graces our walls! Their paintings and sculptures add beauty and inspiration to our every day. We value the art as well as the creative process and this new association. We were able to meet talented persons who live and create right around the corner. Access to the art as well as knowing these generous persons would not have happened without The Art Connection! These relationships are valued because of the community ties merged. This link helps us see that life itself is creativity--in both your art and in our residents’ life’s work--and the correlation between them. This art work helps our residents know their value to others, as part of this community. This is perceived within the art. Their and your creativity are the same, at many levels- as each one touches their soul and makes it visible.
John Ruskin said, "what distinguishes a great artist from a weak one is first their sensibility and tenderness; second, their imagination, and third, their industry.”
These artists have all three. And with these, serve us all at PLASE! We Thank YOU continually!
Image Top: Artist Albert Schweitzer with his artowrk / Image Bottom: Cindy Birdsill, Holly Screen