Surprising Makeover in DC’s Freight Gallery: Elevators as Art Spots
Imagine this: a regular elevator turning into an art gallery! Sounds wild, doesn’t it? Elevators and art galleries are places we go to, but turning a machine for moving people into a cool art display is pretty rare. Julia Bloom, the boss at DC’s Freight Gallery, thinks making an elevator an art gallery captures a special feeling, like a quick moment. The word “ephemeral” perfectly sums up the vibe of checking out one of her art shows.
Gallery Journey: A Unique Stop at DC’s Freight Gallery
Going to the Freight Gallery isn’t like going to any other art gallery. This elevator has been turned into a gallery. It is in a building on the edge of Langdon, a historic area in Northeast DC. To get to the building, get ready for a 40-minute walk with some hills after getting off the train. It takes at least 20 minutes to ride the bus and another 10 minutes to walk. Ride a bike? A 25-minute ride is quite an adventure thanks to a hilly road and a big Home Depot parking lot.
A big sign that says “Off the Beaten Track” meets you when you get to the building, making you wonder if it’s all a joke. You might think you’ve found the Freight Gallery once you get inside, but you haven’t! The gallery is only open once a month for two hours. If you miss the beginning, you miss the whole show. There are no exceptions or schedules.
Cool elevator vibes: the gallery’s special charm
The building that was built in the 1800s got a 1925 Hollister Whitney freight lift not long ago. Since the hallway can’t be used for shows, Bloom likes to keep it dark during shows so that people feel like they are entering a “mysterious” space. A little drop in the hallway’s floor makes it even more exciting. It gets so busy sometimes that you have to squeeze through like you’re in a mystery movie.
Susan Hostetler’s “Fleeting Messengers” used black lights to make the hallway blue, which made people look like shadows. When looked at closely, the ceramic bird models told a story of death and grief. At first glance, they looked like a bunch of birds that had been let out of their cages. Chris Combs’ song “Pollination” had a big flower-like thing watching people and playing back what it saw on small screens, making it seem like a fake person was watching you.
Problems with Moving Art: Moving Art
For short-term art shows, the elevator works like any other place, but it’s hard to run a gallery there. Bloom said, “When an artist agrees to work with us, we have to do test runs.” The job calls for it.” During the two-hour show, the art can only be seen by the public in the elevator. Bloom stores things in her workshop when she needs to. Some artists would rather their work and the elevator area don’t interact as much.
How Gallery Began and How It Has Changed Over Time
Bloom got the idea for Freight Gallery in 2018 with a clear picture in mind. Things changed from the beginning, when they wanted to keep it secret without any personal ties. The first show was for Diane Szczepaniak, a friend who died the next month. Everything stopped during the COVID-19 pandemic. The gallery began again in 2022.
Even though Szczepaniak’s friends wanted to keep it quiet, they posted about the show on social media. Bloom was hesitant at first, but in the end she posted it herself. The gallery is hard for some people to get to because it has a working lift. Bloom stressed that artists who want to show their work should think about what makes the store special.
Last but not least, enjoying art at Freight Gallery
DC’s Freight Gallery, which is in a freight lift, is a one-of-a-kind place to see art. The difficulties in getting to this unusual place add to its appeal and emphasize how “ephemeral” it is. The gallery works hard to show underrepresented art forms and encourage thoughtful interaction in its one-of-a-kind setting, even though it only has limited hours and requires some work.