See Some of the Best Privately Owned Contemporary Art in Washington, D.C. Without Leaving Home

June 25, 2020

Art is meant to be seen, and there’s some pretty great art in private homes all around the D.C. metro region. For the 13th year, Transformer, a non-profit that supports emerging artists, is making privately owned, contemporary art available for public viewing, with its Collector’s View exhibition. Long & Foster | Christie’s International Real Estate is the sponsor of this year’s event.

For the 2020 version of the exhibition, there’s a twist. You probably saw that coming.

In the past, Collector’s View was a series of gatherings where art aficionados could buy tickets to view works normally adorning the walls of area homes. This year’s exhibit is all online, and it’s free, and it’s happening right now. All you have to do to participate is register through the Eventbrite link.

Art collector Brian Baker shows a favorite work of art in his home.

Each weekday at 4 p.m., Transformer releases a new, short video (around 5 minutes) of a collector at home, talking about a piece of art they own. On Fridays, two videos are released.

The series kicked off Monday, June 22, with a video of Brian Baker, guitarist for the band Bad Religion, talking about one of the works he owns by outsider artist R.A. Miller. Standing in front of the painting hanging in his house, Baker speaks about Miller’s life as an itinerate preacher and faith healer who turned to creating art when eye problems forced him to stop traveling.

The piece centers around a simply drawn person, little more complex than a stick figure, with streaks of red hair shooting straight out from his head. He stands above a U.S. flag, wearing a yellow shirt, red pants and a big smile, with one hand that’s held aloft. Above him are the words “Lord,” “Love” and “You.”

Baker said he was already an R.A. Miller collector when he stumbled onto this piece in an architectural salvage warehouse near Atlanta, Georgia, while his band was on tour.

“I smile every time I walk by this,” Baker says in the video. “It’s everything to me. It’s America, it’s the circus, it’s the Fourth of July. I’m very happy that I found it.”

Get your daily dose of art through July 22. Register here: 2020collectorsview.eventbrite.com. You can also learn more at transformerdc.org.

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