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Mid City Artists and Room & Board Celebrate Dog Days 2019

Accompanying images, including examples of participating artists works, can be viewed starting on page 1 of the July 2019 issue pdf

By Charlie Gaynor*

Mid City Artists MCA), a neighborhood art collective, and Room & Board, the modern furniture and home décor at 14th and T Streets, NW, celebrated the “Dog Days of August” with a grand party on the 1st to kickoff the wide-ranging annual sidewalk sale <https://www.dogdaysdc.com> along stretches of 14th and U Streets. Joining with Room & Board in hosting this party were eight members of Mid City Artists displaying their works on the first and second floor sale galleries. Their art will continue on display throughout the weekend; in addition, on Saturday, from 10am to 7pm, and again on Sunday, starting at 11am to7pm, MCA artists will be available to talk about their art, the neighborhood, “Dog Days” and their collective.

How did this happen? When MCA notified our business supporters of our need to reinvent ourselves and that we would not be collecting the Business Supporter dues in 2019, Design Associate and Brand Liaison Mark Riddle at Room & Board reached out with the idea of using their showrooms to display MCA artwork during the popular Dog Days of August weekend.

Room & Board has always been a great neighbor to the 14th Street area by allowing various neighborhood groups to have public meetings on the fourth floor of its store. This year is the 100th Anniversary of their building that opened at the corner of 14th and T Streets as an automobile showroom in 1919; and is Room & Board’s 10th anniversary of opening in 2009. A large part of their success story is neighborhood outreach; they have become an active member of the community.

Mid City Artists, led by Sondra Arkin and several other local artists who had studios in the area between 9th Street and Connecticut Avenue, was organized about 15 years ago The main goal of MCA was to have annually two “Open Studios” events, <http://intowner.com/2018/04/17/artist-event-set-for-may> one in Spring and one in Fall. This was hugely successful in the beginning when there was nothing going on in the 14th Street and U Street areas — very few restaurants, no grocery stores, banks, hardware stores, and certainly no upscale contemporary furniture stores. MCA had a captive market for those adventuresome souls who would venture east of 16th Street.

As the neighborhood developed at record pace, MCA realized that fewer people attended our Open Studios — we were no longer the new kids on the block. Another big problem was that as prices of buildings shot up and rents increased in tandem, many of our fellow artists lost their studios and had to move out of the neighborhood. Nevertheless, we survive and are adapting to the times and are so grateful for the support of our friends and business supporters — and an especially grateful thank you to Mark Riddle and Room & Board!

Check out our member/artists work at, and please come to 14th and U Streets for the annual Dog Days of August weekend event (rain or shine). It’s a fantastic event!

*The writer, one of MCA’s long-time working artist members, serves as the group’s Business & Organizational Coordinator.

Copyright © 2019 InTowner Publishing Corp. & Mid City Artists. All rights reserved.