VeraCruz Art Gallery and Bar Grand Opening Party Tonight

2106-08 Vermont Avenue, NW

Last month we heard VeraCruz Art Gallery and Bar was going to open up above Duffy’s near the 9:30 Club. Their grand opening party is tonight. From an email:

About VeraCruz

VeraCruz is DC’s only and one of the world’s very few galleries dedicated exclusively to interior murals. The entire interior space is muralized every 6-8 weeks by local, regional, national, and foreign artists, creating a radically transformed space regularly throughout the year. But this is not uncurated graffiti. Rather we exhibit work created exclusively by highly skilled mural artists, featuring a juxtaposition of on wall and 2D work, the latter of which is for sale.

The gallery is also an art bar with a food program, both influenced by the diversity of Latin America as seen right here in the DC area. The beverage and food programs are centered on the best beers, spirits and affordable food from countries ranging from Mexico to El Salvador to Peru and well beyond within Latin America. The food program is executed via a joint venture with existing and excellent nearby pan-Latino restaurants.

About the current (first) exhibit & the artist

VeraCruz’s first mural installation will be by Brandon Hill, a.k.a “The BabyChicken,” a mural and street artist who has previously exhibited at the G-40, the Lamont Bishop Gallery, and a number of pop-ups.

“Tough Guys & Dames,” the debut exhibition, is a collection of work that exudes a 1950’s / 60’s “MadMen” view of the world with themes of macho and sexy. From depictions of Mexican Luchadors to the saucy women of Golden Era burlesque such Betty Paige and Tempest Storm, this show is a jubilant mixture of “vintage fringe.” “Tough Guys & Dames” contains all new works from the artist with a mural piece, 2D and sculpture.

Brandon Hill is a DC-based, Charm City-raised artist/designer. He says, “If art were the movies, I’m definitely the ‘Spaghetti Western,’ a cohesive mix trying to be both throwback and avant-garde.” He is a University of Maryland College Park graduate whose focus has become wood sculpture and painting. He is a multi-media artist often using repurposed steel and wood items. He has work in the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland, and various private collections.

Photo courtesy of VeraCruz

10 Comment

  • I know this comment from me is from only looking at the photo above but if this is supposed to be about showcasing art (in the traditional form, e.g., painting) then this shot of the place would make me inclined to be somewhat disappointed. It does not look like a gallery space first. Instead it smacks of a (sports) bar with empty wall space on which to hang art. I sure hope I’m wrong though.

    • The downstairs part is Duffy’s, which is more or less a sports bar. The new place is confined to the upstairs only and is totally separate, if I’m not mistaken.

  • I was thinking/hoping it would be totally COVERED inside with murals, otherwise what is the point? Amp it up, peoples!!!

  • Can’t judge from one photo, people! Sounds like a very cool idea…

    • I was being fair when I openly stated that my comment is based on that 1 interior photo. I also said that I hope I’m wrong and that it actually looks like a gallery that will showcase artwork because indeed that is a very cool concept. However, as someone who has spent an inordinate amount of time in fabulous galleries, that 1 interior photo doesn’t give me great confidence that it is anything more than just a small bar area with empty walls, where the plan to put artwork. I’ll repeat, I sure hope I’m wrong.

      • You were being fair. My assumption is that this shot was taken while still under construction – the bar is incomplete and in the lower left of the frame you can see either the artists materials or construction items.

        I am giving them the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. Hopefully it turns in to a unique space that showcases art that may not otherwise get a look in DC.

  • “But this is not uncurated graffiti.” Of course this is not “uncurated graffiti”, graffiti by nature is something done illicitly or without permission therefore how could this possibly be graffiti if it’s done in a gallery with consent of the gallery ownership? Aerosol Art, maybe?

    Please fill me in on what curated graffiti is?

  • COrnholioDC: Your assumption is correct, the interior photo was taken before everything was done. We welcome everyone to stop by and check out the finished exhibit! The artist will also be there to talk about his work.

  • Nice – I tried to post a link to another blog – Urbanturf – which posted more interior pictures of the gallery on their initial opening earlier this week, but for some reason POP did not let it show up here.

  • I checked this spot out last night and it is a great addition to the neighborhood. VeraCruz hosted the event, Sketch Lounge; details from Facebook:

    “A monthly event to unite and inspire the creative community.

    Sketch Lounge was inspired by an event that I came across while visiting San Francisco’s 111 Minna Gallery. I recognized that this event format could be brought to the east coast and this type of regular gathering of artists could be something valuable for the DC art community. It would provide a venue for their work to be seen, inspiration, sharing, and networking to local artists and to those within the creative community in an informal atmosphere.

    How it works

    – Between 6 and 8 featured artists are invited each month to create art on a small scale. Tables will be set up for the featured artists, identified with a name card.

    – When each piece is finished it is pinned on a board with the artists name and a price between $5 – $30. When you like the art on the wall you take it down and pay the artist directly, no commission is taken .

    – All artists are invited to participate in this event. You do not have to be a featured artist to be a part of the art making.

    – We provide tables and chairs.

    _ Artists need to bring their own supplies!

    – You do not have to be an artist to attend. We need an audience!

    Lucy Papaya will be spinning funky vibes to create and groove too.

    Cash/Credit Bar + Tacos!

    This months featured artists

    Rose Jaffe

    Martin Swift

    Rob Moore [email protected]

    Julian Lytle

    Shaunte Gates

    Clinton Rozelle

    VeraCruz Gallery is a new gallery in DC dedicated to interior murals. The bar has a selection of latino beers, rums, and tequilas.

    Currently on display is “Tough Guys & Dames”, the debut exhibition at VeraCruz Gallery showcasing artist Brandon Hill also known as “The Babychicken.” This show is a collection of work that exudes a 1950’s / 60’s ‘MadMen’ view of the world with themes of macho and sexy. From depictions of Mexican Luchadors to the saucy women of Golden Era burlesque such Betty Paige and Tempest Storm, this show is a jubilant mixture of ‘vintage fringe’. “Tough Guys & Dames” contains all new works from the artist with a mural piece, 2D and sculpture.”

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