Arlington Arts Center Adopts New Name

The renamed Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington reopens and stages its first national biennial exhibit on Oct. 1.
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The new name for the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington was selected to emphasize the art center’s role as a “premiere hub for contemporary art and artists.” (Photo courtesy of Arlington Arts)

Arlington Arts Center is presenting its first national biennial exhibition—and adopting a new name.

Meet the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington. The new moniker, selected by the arts center’s board of directors, is intended to emphasize the museum’s role as a “premiere hub for contemporary art and artists,” according to a press release.

“For nearly 50 years, Arlington Arts Center has built a reputation for launching the careers of emerging artists and presenting some of the finest contemporary art exhibitions in the mid-Atlantic region,” museum board chair Carrie Schum said. “Changing our name to the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington reinforces the quality of the exhibitions and other arts programming, while still reflecting the deep local ties and commitment to serving our many communities in Arlington and beyond.”

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“The Digger,” by Courtney Puckett (Image courtesy of the artist and Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington)

Assembly 2022: Time and Attention, which opens Oct. 1 and is the museum’s inaugural national biennial exhibit, weaves together the work of 12 artists from along the East Coast as well as the Midwest and Southwest. Curator Blair Murphy, who in 2019 also led the center’s first regional biennial, employs three organizing principles for Assembly: attention, time and care.

“The artists included in Assembly 2022 channel their attention through their materials, into their research, and into carefully considered approaches to their work,” Murphy writes in the exhibition catalog. “In what feels like a moment of ongoing—even perpetual—crisis, they bring this focused approach to issues that are fundamental to contemporary American life, including questions of identity, history, immigration, place, belonging, and care.”

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“Far From Home,” by Cecilia Kim (Image courtesy of the artist and Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington)

The museum will also present Let Them Kids Be Kids in its Wyatt Resident Artists Gallery Oct. 1-Dec. 18, organized by staff curator Amanda Jirón-Murphy. In the show, resident artist Lex Marie utilizes the playground as an entry point into an exploration of Black childhood. Marie, a Maryland-based painter and mixed-media artist, incorporates images and artifacts from her young son’s life in the show.

Arlington Arts Center has been a mainstay in the community since its founding by contemporary artists in 1974. The nonprofit, which relies on both public and private funding, has managed to survive amid a flurry of change in the local arts environment; in the past decade, notable arts destinations such as Artisphere and the Metro Micro Gallery have shuttered, while others—including the Fred Schnider Gallery of Art, Mason Exhibitions Arlington and Cody Gallery at Marymount—have opened their doors.

The museum will reopen Oct. 1 with a Community Day of tours and art-making opportunities from noon to 8 p.m. Educational programming, including a yoga for creative minds class, is also open for registration.

“It is our goal that when you visit the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington, you will experience some of the most cutting-edge art by local, regional, national, and international artists, explore the power of your own creativity, engage with living artists and further embrace Arlington’s place within a global contemporary art sector,” said executive director Catherine Anchin in the press release.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington is located at 3550 Wilson Blvd. in Arlington. The museum will reopen Oct. 1 from noon-8 p.m. Regular museum hours are Wednesday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m. Admission is free.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Community