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The Art Bank is a collection of fine artwork owned by the District overnment. Currently, there are over 2,500 artworks in the Art Bank Collection installed within nearly 145 District government agencies. DCCAH purchases each piece of work directly from local artists and galleries, providing them with financial support and professional benefits. The artwork is then documented, framed and installed in public areas throughout the city, improving the environment in public facilities for District employees and residents. A call for artists is initiated each year for local artists to apply and a selection committee is formed to review and select works made available for purchase.
The largest display of artwork from the Art Bank is the City Hall Art Collection located at the John A. Wilson Building in downtown DC entitled "The HeArt of DC." In 2006, the DC Creates! Public Art Program acquired 153 works of art representing 100 metropolitan area artists for the inaugural phase of the City Hall Art Collection. In 2008, the program made another acquisition bringing the number of pieces to over 200. The collection showcases the extent and depth of our local visual arts talent and history. Over 10 percent of the artists were born in the District, and most have lived here for over 20 years. In addition to supporting the work of living artists through art purchases, we were able to enhance the collection with the work of nationally recognized DC artists including the late Gene Davis and Alma Thomas. By presenting art outside traditional venues of museums and galleries, the City Hall Art Collection benefits the community and its visitors by increasing access to art, extending our cultural institutions’ reach, and providing artists with opportunities to expand their artistic practice and audience.
The collection, installed at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, is open to the public Monday–Friday, 9 am–5 pm. Free, guided tours of the exhibition are available upon request.
For more information, contact Zoma Wallace, Art Bank Coordinator or call (202) 724-5613.