A\WORK Gallery Philosophy
A\Work Gallery is an artwork gallery that wraps around the professional practice of MS&R Architects. It is located in the midst of the Gateway Arts District on the Maryland border of Washington, DC.
A\Work Gallery was conceived by architect, professor and art collector Garth Rockcastle to comingle and cross-pollinate many of his professional passions and convictions. The working environment is a flexible and transformative space that combines the integrity of high quality, seasonal art exhibitions, with the rigor of a progressive architecture practice.
An Art & Architecture Exchange
Art and architecture enjoy a common ground, both culturally and critically. As creative disciplines, however, they diverge considerably. Most artists pursue their non-commissioned work in a private studio practice, inspired by their personal and critical muses, and offer the fruits of their practices to the public. On the other hand, most architects work collaboratively; they must serve clients (project sponsors) with agendas and within time and cost restrictive parameters.
What artists and designers share are several creative foundations:
1) visual literacy and thinking,
2) material craft,
3) numerous broad, cultural concerns, and
4) insight into spatial and experiential phenomena.
Ironically, what each most needs or desires, the other generally has. An architect is commissioned and receives compensation for his/her creative work, though often they wish they could freely explore ideas without being beholden to client agendas. Artists, on the other hand, would like to be more regularly (and generously) paid for their work, but are beholden to fickle patrons and agents. With this predicament in mind, the concept of a shared environment where design and art can freely associate, communicate, conspire, and awaken in each other, the fruits of their common and divergent ways, took shape. The vision of this office/gallery is that each will find more ways to benefit from the fruits of the other.
The design concept of this dual space is to enable the act of expanding or shrinking, depending on its function. Furniture and design support systems expand comfortably during normal business hours without compromising the presence of the art, while distilling itself into a cocoon-like essence when the artwork is featured during openings, special showings, and other events. Custom designed desks, shelving, and infrastructure were created to readily adapt and adjust to these shifting art/architecture priorities. Art and Architecture in this non-competitive way reciprocates and exchanges their gifts and opportunities.
Public viewing or purchasing of art is possible during normal business hours (M-F, 9 AM-5 PM) or through arranging a private, after hours viewing (by appointment).