DMV Artists Impress at LA Vielmetter Exhibition

Washington Informer (Andrew S. Jacobson): The contemporary art scene is buzzing with vibrant group exhibitions worldwide this summer. Among these, the Vielmetter Gallery in Los Angeles stands out– spotlighting two rising stars from the DMV area: Nate Lewis and Helina Metaferia.

Lewis, a former Intensive Care Unit nurse and self-taught musician turned visual artist, has captured the LA audience with his most innovative work yet. Historically favoring a palette of stark black and white, Lewis has introduced subtle colors in his latest works, showcased at the Vielmetter. His masterful artistry combines elements from his nursing background, such as stitch-like techniques, with musical influences, weaving in sheet music to create a narrative. The novel blend of his past and present has generated both critical and popular acclaim, cementing a promising future for Lewis in LA’s art scene.

Metaferia, an Ethiopian-American artist from Silver Spring, Maryland, also captured attention at Vielmetter. She infuses collage techniques into her work, offering a rich narrative rooted in her personal experiences as a first generation diasporic Black woman. Her contribution to the exhibition was a striking piece depicting Ayo Tometi, one of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter, crowned with a constellation of images from Black Panther newspapers. When queried about the support for her art, Metaferia’s response highlighted a stark reality: the most substantial backing came not from her home state, but from exhibiting internationally and relocating to other states, including her current home in New York City. 

This narrative resonates with numerous DMV artists. Local support often wanes until the artist garners recognition on a wider scale. 

This lack of early support often forces artists to seek opportunities elsewhere, leaving a void in the local scene and raising the cost for those who wish to invest in their works later on.When asked of any plans beyond balancing living and working in New York, Lewis explained, “I knew that I wanted to [begin having] a presence in LA.”

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