Time & Place: GADSBYS

Above, Gadsby’s Tavern in Alexandria overlaid with the original Gadsby’s ballroom interior, at the Metropolitan Museum in New York


Time & Place is an initiative of the Alexandria Office of the Arts’ public art program to invite artists with research-based practices to create thought-provoking, temporary artwork at sites managed by the Office of Historic Alexandria. Through compelling art projects in a variety of media, Time & Place will foster exploration and dialogue about Alexandria’s rich history.

The first Time & Place exhibition will take place at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum. DC-based artist Sheldon Scott and the Baltimore-based artist team of Lauren Frances Adams and Stewart Watson began their research in August, 2016, meeting with historians, archaeologists, and community members. Their research will continue through the end of 2016, with opportunities for the public to engage with their research processes.

Sheldon Scott is developing both an immersive performance art installation in the spring of 2017, and temporary art exhibition. Using the history of the harvesting of ice from the Potomac River and the storage and use of ice at Gadsby’s as a starting point, both works will examine the historic relationship of the Potomac River and the people of Alexandria, and the contemporary utility of the river as a resource.

Through their research, Stewart Watson and Lauren Frances Adams plan to develop a series of artworks to be installed at Gadsby’s in the summer of 2017. Their research focuses on women, enslaved peoples, and anonymous citizens whose stories are rarely told in light of the typical fêting of historically famous individuals. They intend to develop artworks will utilize familiar domestic materials such as wood, ceramics, and textiles in period-specific iterations to bring a contemporary understanding to these themes.