Mid-City Artists Studio Tour, Washington, D.C.
For a truly refreshing view of the nation’s capital, ignore the politics, intrigue, lobbyists and world class art museums when you head to Washington, D.C. and take a tour on the real side of life and discover the local art. The funky, vibrant neighborhood, around 14th Street NW between U-Street and Q Street (or DuPont & Logan Circles), hosts the Mid-City Artists Studio tour twice a year in spring and fall.
There are a lot of studios, filled with excellent art, it would take more than the two days to visit all of them properly, but a large group is clustered all within easy walking distance. Most of the studios are in the artists home, so it makes it much more personal, relaxed and interesting. The artists roster varies each year but there is a solid group of regulars.
There are plenty of trendy pubs and restaurants in the area to fuel your artistic voyage of discovery. But if you want to load up on chili dog carbs, the famous Ben’s Chili Bowl is in the area. Well, if President Obama can take President Sarkozy there, we felt we ought to eat there too. It would help if you are a hot dog fan. I’m not, but the atmosphere was quite something! And I loved the bright colorful painted bear outside, so it qualifies as an art stop.
The group put out an excellent map and listing of all the studios on the tour. Be sure to get one ahead of time and spend some time looking at the artists styles to tailor your tour. On a practical note, parking can be a headache, so it might be easier to take the Metro to U Street (the green or yellow line) and walk.
It's an inspiring day among the capital’s local artists and their works. And it sure makes a nice refreshing change from political shinannygings when you find yourself in the nation’s capital.