The Washington City paper ran an article recently about the number of DC's art galleries that have closed over the last year. In the midst of this, No Kings Collective, an artist collective known for their pop-up exhibitions and social networking events, in partnership with the Popal family, owners of Napoleon Bistro & Lounge (who I love from my time at Food and Friends having worked with them for Dining Out For Life), Cafe Bonaparte and Malmaison (an inspiring place for coffee btw), have just opened Hierarchy DC.
Hierarchy DC is situated next door to Napoleon on Columbia Road in the always bustling Adams Morgan and, at least while I was there, was also accessible, in addition to their own front door, through Napoleon's basement (turn left for the downstairs bar at Napoleon, turn right for Hierarchy). Hierarchy's concept isn't run-of-the-mill and neither is the space. It's not an "art gallery" and it's not a "bar". It's a transformational space where artists will be able to have pop-up style shows, but in a permanent setting. Shows will typically run a month long, allowing patrons to enjoy a new setting almost every time they visit.
The space can accommodate (just a guess from experience, not facts) about 250 people. They have a dramatic long black bar running the length of the basement space. On Saturday they were serving $3 Natty Boh's (uh, no. I had vodka, thanks for asking... but I know that appeals to some!) and $6 Brewer's Art Beer along with $10 spirits including local favs Sloop Betty Vodka and Green Hat Gin. There's a great space for a DJ in the front of the room where DJ Fleg was spinning some solid sounds for a large crowd of drinkers and dancers.
The exhibition space in "gallery" format will be open Saturdays and Sundays from noon to five pm, with special events (ie: openings such as the one I attended Saturday night) advertised as they happen. They are also planning to have weekly "cultural programming"- but no word yet on their website on when that will start.
The dual installations of DECOY's "North West" and Cory Oberndorfer’s “Pop Sucker” were fun and graphic exhibits for the venues first show. Both shows made colorful references to childhood, DECOY through images of hip-hop cultured children from DC's northwest quadrant, and Oberndorfer through the nostalgia of our sweet childhoods, shattered over time. DECOY had a booth setup, selling as cute as hip can be goods such as socks, totes, shirts, bows and bags. Oberndorer, also not wanting you to leave empty handed, offered lollipops. (Learn more about the exhibits on Hierarchy's website by clicking the links below).
DECOY: North West
Cory Oberndorfer: Pop Sucker
The venue has yet to announce future shows, but promised to make announcements in a couple weeks. I have an inside scoop and trust me, you're going to want to stay tuned!!
PS. I was excited about the opening but was caught up doing some work projects so headed out fairly late. I sent out a quick tweet of my upcoming adventure and was pleasantly surprised at a quick response from Hierarchy! (Have I mentioned my love of social media yet?)