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Abstract image of artwork related to DC

Exhibit Dates: June 26, 2024 - January 9, 2025

Exhibit Location: MLK Library, Floor 5

About the Exhibit

"Capital Connections" is an art exhibition that showcases the work of seven artists, exploring the theme of the African American journey and its role in shaping the cultural narrative of the Washington, D.C. area. The artists aim to stimulate thought and conversation about how Americans may visualize their cultural experiences, using abstract expressionism as a design format. 

The central idea of the exhibition is to represent a visual multi-disciplinary approach to the interpretation of elements, with the goal of reflecting the cultural and historical influences of the Nation's Capital. The artists' work seeks to symbolize the creative unification of different ethnicities and how various images and social designs become associated with cultural ideologies. This exhibition spans a decade of artistic production, illustrating the impact of the DMV (D.C., Maryland, and Virginia) on these artists and their institutions. 

About the Artists

Michael A. Booker

Michael A. Booker

Through fineliner pen drawings, Mississippi-born, Maryland-based artist Michael A. Booker explores Black interiority and personhood. Deploying his usual lexicon of aesthetics to create complex images that oscillate between the figurative and abstract, the artist delves into the intricate interplay between psychological and emotional experiences and their ties to the Black community and culture. Frequently, heads in Booker's work are either hidden or turned aside, emphasizing the role of hair as the primary mode of expression rather than facial cues. This pose suggests that the figures may be concealing their emotions or engrossed in something beyond our immediate awareness. Vivid hues, subtle symbolism, and meticulously crafted details serve as channels for conveying inner reflections and their intersections with broader cultural contexts. They also convey how individuals perceive their place within or outside the collective cultural framework. Through the portrayal of the figure, viewers are presented with a chance to introspect and contemplate their own personal experiences.


Nikki Brooks

Nikki Brooks

Nikki Brooks is a multi-disciplinary artist that works specifically in installations and assemblage that are infused with digital and audio elements, paintings, sculpted text, and collage spaces.

Nikki is a Maryland based artist, born in Brooklyn and raised in Spotsylvania County Virginia. She received her M.F.A. from Maryland Institute College of Art, class of 2019. She has 17 years’ experience as an art teacher and currently works for Prince George’s County Public Schools.

“Activism has been embedded within me since the day my mother guided me to understand the origin of my culture and role within this society.”


Winston Harris

Winston Harris

As a resident of Prince George's County, Winston W. Harris earned printmaking degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University, (BFA) and Howard University (MFA). (2022-2023 Key-Holder Artist in Residency Program at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, (2016-2017) Finalist Artist: Purple Line Transit Partners Project and Sandy Spring Museum (Guest Artist Program). With 2022 Purchase Grant from Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission, four Grants and 2020 Artist Relief Grant from the Prince George Arts Council, Harris conducted artist in residencies and works with a selected group of established artists who assist with his growth as he strives to further his knowledge as a printmaker.  His strategy has been to challenge the constraints displayed in traditional and non-traditional techniques with experiences to create contemporary experimentation in printmaking.  His artwork introduce two or more disciplines into one format, transforming two dimensional print into three dimensional free standing structures, combine a combination of mediums onto the print surface and reinventing images by recycling past artwork into new identities. His artwork is currently in collections: Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission-Riverdale, MD, United States Department of State-Washington, DC, The Library of Congress-Washington, DC, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, The David C. Driskell Center-College Park, MD, D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities-Washington, DC, The Federal Reserve Bank-Richmond, VA. And Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Baltimore, MD etc…     


Shawn Hart

Shawn Hart

Years ago, as a young girl growing up in Washington D.C., I was exposed to the art galleries and all of the cultural events the city has to offer. My Father who was a gifted artist inspired me.  My Mother also helped to cultivate my talent by enrolling me in art classes at the Corcoran School of Art in the Summer.  Being a proud Black woman, she made sure I always had Black dolls as a reflection of myself. That instilled in me positive self awareness and identity. As I got older I noticed that the women on the magazine covers and on products were mostly depictions of the European standard. There was not much representation of women of color. Since I didn't see any images of Black women, I decided to create some of my own. I completed a certificate program in Fashion Illustration at Ardis School of Fashion design, obtained an undergraduate degree in Electronic Studio (Computer Graphics) and the Master of Fine Arts Degree in Design at Howard University. My thesis was titled - "Josephine Baker - Creating An American Icon through a Framework of Social Identity Theory."  The next progression in my journey was to create the products and BBS - Baker By Shawn was born!


Sarah Matthews

Sarah Matthews

Sarah Matthews' work reflects her commitment to exploring the complex issues of race, equality, and gender while shining a light on social injustice. Through her layered prints and artist books, she documents the struggles of breaking through barriers in our society. As an African-American, Mrs. Matthews has experienced firsthand the impact of negative media images that portray her community as inferior. Through her art, she aims to challenge these stereotypes and empower her audience to see all individuals' beauty, intelligence, and importance, regardless of race.

Sarah Matthews is a highly skilled printmaker and book artist with a background in art and business. She holds an MA in Art & the Book from the Corcoran College of Arts and Design at George Washington University, an MBA with a Marketing Concentration, and a BS in Sociology from Bowie State University. Her works have been exhibited internationally and are part of prestigious collections at institutions such as the National Museum of African American History & Culture Library, Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, George Washington University’s Gelman Library, University of Puget Sound, and Samford University. Mrs. Matthews is also a dedicated educator, teaching Artist Books at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and bookbinding and printmaking classes at various art centers and platforms.


Korey Richardson

Korey Richardson

Korey Richardson is a mixed media artist who grew up in the Washington metropolitan area. His artwork is deeply rooted in African American history and culture, as well as Afrofuturism, a movement that blends elements of science fiction and African mythology. Korey's use of unique symbolism in his work allows him to explore complex themes related to identity, history, and cultural heritage.

Korey has shown his artwork throughout the metropolitan area, and his work has been well-received by audiences and critics alike. His artwork has been collected by both public and private collections, including the prestigious David Driskell Center at the University of Maryland.

Korey's passion for art led him to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Fine Art from the University of Maryland College Park, where he honed his skills and developed his unique artistic style. Throughout his academic career, Korey was recognized for his artistic talent and dedication to his craft.

As a mixed media artist, Korey creates screenprints and paintings that are both visually striking and thought-provoking. His artwork challenges viewers to reflect on their own identity and cultural heritage, while also exploring themes related to social justice and the African American experience. Korey's artwork has the power to inspire and engage audiences, and his contributions to the art world are sure to leave a lasting impact.


Sharon Robinson

Sharon Robinson

I am a mixed media artist specializing in collage and assemblage.  Raised in New Jersey, I currently reside in Washington DC, after 33 years of residency between the east and west coasts. Although I earned a master’s degree in city planning and worked in the transit and urban design field for over 20 years, I have been a full-time artist, muralist, teacher, and arts program contractor since 2000.  I exhibit  in Washington DC, as well as other east and west coast cities, along with  teaching at The Art League in Alexandria, VA., the Smithsonian Associates and Howard Community College in Maryland.