Last Saturday, Arlington’s very own Artisphere celebrated its one-year anniversary with “The 1 Party” that was filled with DJs, dancing, dome lighting, and art made onsite.
Artisphere—which opened its doors last October—was created from a collaboration between Arlington county and local non profits. The venue houses multiple programs, events and workshops for all ages.
“One of our signature ideas is serving as a connection point between the artist and the audience,” says communications and marketing director, Annalisa Meyer. “Over the past year we’ve really worked to strengthen this connection.”
Saturday’s “The 1 Party” turned out a crowd of 400. “It was a really great evening. People really responded quite well,” says Meyer.
However, the art center, funded by Arlington County, hosted less than a third of their estimated 300,000 visitors in its first year.
They are currently requesting an additional $800,000 to supplement the original first year budget of $3 million.
The director, Jose Ortiz, admitted to the Washington Post that Artisphere did not meet their original “very ambitious” predictions (notes Meyer), but Oritiz and the rest of the Artisphere team are still maintaining a positive attitude.
They’re currently rewriting their business plan that will be presented to the county board later this fall.
Starting this week, Rosanna Ruscetti—who headed George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium for 18 years—will become the newest addition to the Artisphere crew. “We’re very excited about this,” says Meyer. “Ruscetti is incredibly knowledgeable about operating an art center of this size.”
The rough first year hasn’t disheartened the people behind Artisphere. They believe that the venue will soon distinguish itself from its better-known, more traditional neighbors just across the Key Bridge. “Most of our art is interactive, and the artists tend to create a their work onsite. Here you can have a direct dialogue with the artist,” Meyer points out. “You don’t see those types of projects that often.”
So what does year number two have in store?
Apparently, more of the same thing, “What does that mean?” asks Meyer. “It means our audience can expect to continue exploring a favorite art form while discovering something new.”
Meyer is most excited about one of Artisphere’s fall exhibit, Data/Fields, a new media—sound and technology art that’s interactive with the audience—installation work curated by Richard Chartier.
Data/Fields is up in the Terrace Gallery now through November 27. “We’re feeling really good about the first year,” says Meyer. “In the last 12 months we’ve done an incredible amount of art and now we’re excited about the year to come.”
To view pictures from Artisphere’s 1 Party, click here.