Diana Adams, The Usual Suspects 

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 their clients directly and include: homeless shelters, children's centers, mental health 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.

View a list of our recipient agencies.       

                                                                                                               

Image: Guest viewing artwork by Eric Garner at CASA de Maryland                                                                                                                                                                           

Featured Artist


Ritamarie Moscola is an artist whose work in recent years has focused on the healing energy of art. A friend once asked her why she spent so much time drawing and painting. When viewing her work, he saw a watercolor that reminded him of his home in Bhutan. It was at that moment that he understood.

Ritamarie completed the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She lectures and offers workshops that encourage participants to explore creativity and experience art making.

 

Ritamarie was a member of the original group of artists who contributed to ACCR. In 2005, Calvary Women’s Shelter chose Nighttime Search and in 2008, Identity, Inc. chose And the Sun Shines On. The agencies hosted receptions celebrating the affiliations and the work, and many people were given the opportunity to experience original works of art in their daily environment. Ritamarie comments that it was extremely gratifying to be a part of this movement that brought art to people who had never experienced an exhibition.

In 2013 she participated in the ACCR/MICA: Art and Community exhibition. Remembering the good feelings and the void that her art filled, she submitted a piece. Her work, Wetland Spring, was chosen to be part of the juried exhibition at MICA and was selected for placement by Advocates for Survivors of Torture and Trauma.

 

She hopes that her artwork will continue to brighten community centers and will continue to inspire interest in community projects.

 

Images (top to bottom):

Autumn, Looking On, Scan 13

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Recipient Agency


The Women’s Collective (TWC) is a leading community health and human service agency in Washington, D.C. providing culturally-competent, girl- and woman-focused, and family-centered HIV/STD prevention, education, care, support, and advocacy services. Our mission is to empower women, girls, and their families by providing them with the skills and linkages to meet their self-defined needs, increase their access to care and support, and engage them so that they are best equipped to ‘own’ their health outcomes, improve their quality of life, and protect their rights.

We asked Jennafer Kwait, Director of Programs, to talk about the artwork the Women’s Collective received through ACCR and to share some of the staff and clients’ experiences surrounding the placement.

Staff and clients alike love the artwork – both the fun and beautiful pieces themselves, but also as a symbolic validation of the importance of our work, how much we value our clients, and the idea that physical surroundings matter to health and well-being. The pieces start conversations among staff and between staff and clients.  It is great to have new and vibrant artwork in our already colorful space – it perfectly complements the framed photos and posters that remind everyone why we are all here together. The artwork creates community, while also encouraging introspection and reflection.

We love all of the pieces, but the one in which staff became most possessive was Fefe! Everyone wanted her on the wall by their desk, so we compromised and she is hanging behind the front desk. Everyone is greeted by her wise and beautiful face as we enter our offices.  What is she thinking?

 

We had one staff member who loved Fefe so much that she was willing to move a large photo of her daughter as a child that she had placed on a wall across her desk, to another wall in hopes of having Fefe placed by her.

We placed HOPE in our client resource room -- I guess you can say for obvious reasons.  We are all here to keep hope alive.

In speaking about her experience, Pat Nalls, Founder/Executive Director of the Women’s Collective commented,

“The generous donation of art and the wonderful support of Julie and her visiting board members were important in so many ways – including just the incredibly  essential reminder and confirmation that EVERYONE deserves and needs art and beauty in their lives.”  

Images (top to bottom): Roberta Shute, Encounter; Victoria Rouse, Fefe; Marsha Hall, Hope; Cara Ober, Make Believe