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CAH Juried Exhibition: Fragile Beauty


Fragile Beauty

May 9 – July 1, 2022

200 I Street SE

Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm ET
Masks are required

With social injustice a common theme around the world, we are also currently witnessing the injustices committed against our natural environment. Like our ancestors, we sense nature’s vastness, yet we lack the same respect those indigenous peoples had for nature as a sentient being. We take the Earth’s vastness for granted. What we experience as nature pushing back is nature seeking balance.

With this exhibit, Fragile Beauty, 33 DC artists seek to bring a sense of balance to an array of environmental injustices. Their art and their vision advocate awareness, mindfulness, consciousness, and stewardship, offering pathways towards personal partnership with our planet. They tell their stories with painting, sculpture, prints, photography, and installations. They inform us of both the joyful and the sorrowful, the woeful and the hopeful. Their work will challenge, enlighten, and inform your sense of wonder for exploring the beauty, power, and magnificent mystery of our home planet. We thank these artists for their commitment to illuminating the importance of nurturing and protecting the fragile beauty of the place we all call home.

Fragile Beauty is the first juried art exhibition initiated by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. The new Juried Exhibition Grant provides support for DC artists to exhibit their creative vision to the residents of Washington, DC.

-Jarvis Grant

Juror essays in Spanish

Featured artists:

Tammy Barnes, Jeffrey Berg, Monica Jahan Bose, Elizabeth Casqueiro, Gloria Chapa, Michèle Colburn, Chris Combs, Shaughn Cooper with Kelsye Adams, Frank Hallam Day, Anna U Davis, R.A. Dean, Julee Dickerson-Thompson, Cheryl D. Edwards, David Allen Harris, Michael Iacovone, Michael Janis, Noel Kassewitz, Sally Kauffman, Barry D. Lindley, Patrick McDonough, Regina Miele, Steven Muñoz, Werllayne Nunes, Chelsea Ritter-Soronen, Lisa K. Rosenstein, Carly Rounds, Amanda Sauer, Alexandra Silverthorne, Ira Tattelman, Roderick Turner, Jessica van Brakle, Dawn Whitmore, Bahar Yürükoğlu.

Learn more about the artists

Artwork labels in Spanish


Elizabeth Ashe, sculptor, poet and curator
Claude Elliott, arts consultant and independent curator
Zsudayka Nzinga, artist, curator and educator
Jarvis Grant, photographer, arts educator and creative strategist


From Art to Action
Thursday, May 12, 2022

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm ET
I Street Galleries

To celebrate the opening of the exhibition Fragile Beauty, this panel will discuss Environmental Justice in art and action. Featuring artists Noel Kassewitz and Werllayne Nunes, and activist Kelsye Adams. Moderated by Michael Feldman, of the Theater and Policy Salon.

Film and Flood Resilience
Thursday, June 2, 2022

4:00 pm - 5:30 pm ET via Webex
Session Recording

A discussion focused on photographers, filmmakers and planners who address flood resilience in Washington, DC, New Orleans, and other locales with threatened shorelines. Featuring artists Alexandra Silverthorne and Bahar Yürükoğlu, New Orleans architectural designer and planner Jaime Ramiro (Rami) Diaz, and DC Department of Energy & Environment Equity and Engagement Program Analyst Allyson Criner Brown.

Climate Pledge Workshop
Monday, June 27, 2022

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm ET
I Street Galleries

Bangladeshi-American artist and climate activist Monica Jahan Bose will lead a hands-on sari climate pledge workshop as part of the closing of Fragile Beauty. The workshop will be outdoors (unless it rains), allowing us to connect with the Earth. Participants will discuss strategies for climate action and draw, paint, and write climate pledges on a hand-woven cotton sari in solidarity with women farmers of coastal Bangladesh, who are on the frontlines of climate change. For ten years, Bose has been co-creating saris with communities as part of her Storytelling with Saris art and advocacy project. The sari will be used in installations and performances and worn by Bangladeshi women, creating a direct physical and emotional connection that links communities together to fight climate change.

Top image from left: Elizabeth Casqueiro, A View From Every Window, 2022, Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 in. | Werllayne Nunes, Celeste, 2015, Oil and gold leaf on canvas, 60 x 72 in. | Patrick McDonough, 2121011-solar panel painting, 2021, Oil paint on salvaged solar panel, 59 x 27 in.