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One House Project Exhibit Features Immigration Stories by Local Artists

The “One House Project” exhibit brings together participants, both artists and community members, who have been given a simple wood panel measuring 12-inches square on which to tell the story of one of their ancestors who came to this country from elsewhere, whether voluntarily or involuntarily.

Participants who are themselves immigrants were encouraged to use the panel to tell their own story. Native Americans, who were the first inhabitants of this land, may honor any ancestor whose life story is important to them. Artist members of ArtWatch, the collective who organized the exhibition, have constructed an underlying structure — a house — and attached the completed panels to the outside, covering it completely. The “One House Project” exhibit also incorporates audio and video recordings of contributing participants telling the immigration stories.

The foundation of the “One House Project” exhibit is a large house structure built in the center of the gallery at BlackRock which displays panels created by nearly 300 participating artists, making it one of the largest collaborative art installations ever presented by artists from the Washington, DC region.

The panels pay tribute to a wide range of individuals who include Native Americans, those whose ancestors came on the Mayflower, artists who are themselves immigrants, and each of the great waves of immigration in

between. The collective presentation of individual panels on a single house is a powerful visual statement about the strength that diversity brings to this country. An online catalog, including an image of each panel, narratives submitted by its maker, and a catalog essay by independent curator Laura Roulet, can be found at: www.artwatchdc.com/one-house.

The “One House Project” was created by ArtWatch, a collective of artists from the Washington, DC area led by Ellyn Weiss and Jackie Hoysted who also organized the expanded exhibition at BlackRock. The “One House Project” was first exhibited in November 2017 at Touchstone Gallery in Washington, DC. ArtWatch is dedicated to using the visual arts to express their support for values such as tolerance, inclusion and unity.

The One House Project is supported in part by funding from the Montgomery County government and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, MD and the Touchstone Foundation for the Arts.

BlackRock Center for the Arts will present the “One House Project” exhibition in the Kay Gallery from through Saturday, December 15. Admission to the galleries at BlackRock is always free.

During the exhibition, ArtWatch will present a Panel Workshop on Saturday, December 1 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Artists from the collective

will guide participants through the process of creating a panel paying tribute to an immigration story, similar to those on display in the “One House Project” exhibition. Participants are encouraged to bring copies of photographs and documents, items to use for collage, as well as art supplies. Advance registration is required. $20 Workshop Fee, payable onsite by cash or check only, includes wood panel and glue.


Top: One House Project panel created by Laurel Lukaszewski.

Next: One House Project panel created by Lillian Fitzgerald.

Next: One House Project panel created by Helen Zhugaib.

Next: One House Project panel created by E. Tina Martin Wyatt.

Next: One House Project panel created by Hsin-Hsi Chen.

Images courtesy BlackRock Center for the Arts.

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