The Anacostia Community Museum will be closed from January 8, 2024-March 22, 2024. We will reopen on Saturday, March 23, 2024 with our next exhibition, A Bold and Beautiful Vision: A Century of Black Arts Education in Washington, DC,1900-2000. We hope you will join us! 

Jamese Jefferson and Gloria Bollock

Object Details

Rigoberto Torres
John Ahearn
acrylic on hydrocal plaster
23 1/2 × 25 5/16 × 9 in. (59.7 × 64.3 × 22.9 cm)
Cite As
Gift of the Artists
Jamese Jefferson and Gloria Bollock, each with a hand to her face, lean together and smile in this lifecast made in 1992. Sculptors John Ahearn (1951-) and Rigoberto Torres (1960-) crafted the portrait in hydrocal plaster and, based on a Polaroid photograph taken at the time of the sitting, painted the subjects’ features and attire in acrylic paint. Depicted from the torso up, Jefferson sports a light green jumper with two buttons over a short-sleeved red shirt that matches her red headband, while Bollock wears a sleeveless lavender top. The African American youth were among those in southeast Washington, DC’s Anacostia and Congress Heights neighborhoods as well as at the Latin American Youth Center in Columbia Heights who volunteered to be cast in plaster as part of a community art project sponsored by the Washington Project for the Arts (WPA). The casting process requires trust, as sitters must breathe through straws in their noses while the artists cover them in liquid plaster, then carefully remove it after drying. Ahearn and Torres began collaborating on casting plaster portraits of ordinary people in their Bronx neighborhood in 1979. Ahearn, who is white and a native of Binghamton, New York, moved to New York City in the 1970s after studying art at Cornell University. Torres, who is Latino, moved to New York City from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico as a young child and honed his artistic skills by casting and painting religious statues in his uncle’s South Bronx factory.
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Anacostia Community Museum
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