Washington, DC, Artists

Artists based in Washington, DC find inspiration in the cosmos and in their community. Painter Alma Thomas, for example, channeled awe for the Apollo lunar missions as well as the aesthetics of Washington’s renowned gardens and arboretums. DC artists range from highly experienced, like Thomas, to novice, such as students, hospital patients, and retirees. With diverse skills and styles, they render the everyday and the extraordinary into many forms of creative expression, including portraits, drawings, sculpture, mosaics, murals, found objects, photography, quilts, mixed media, and more. Looking out onto his hometown from the hills of southeast Washington, artist Phil Ratner envisioned the city itself as “one of the greatest art galleries in the whole world.” See his perspective—and that of others—in the work of DC artists.