The Washington Post
A snapshot of 1960s D.C.
The Phillips Collection’s new show “Lou Stovall: The Museum Workshop” is as much a local history lesson as it is an art exhibition. In the ’60s, Stovall, an artist, and curator Walter Hopps co-founded the Dupont Center, a collaborative studio and exhibition space in D.C., where Stovall made prints for well-known Washington Color School artists such as Gene Davis, Paul Reed and Thomas Downing. The center also grew into an activism hub, where Stovall crafted artistically minded posters calling for peace and civil rights and advertising community events. This 1968 poster, which is on view in the Phillips Collection’s show, was made the year the Washington Gallery of Modern Art began to transition into the Dupont Center. In many ways, it’s a snapshot of the era. A burst of bright red and raised arms, the poster was made by Stovall, a leader in the D.C. arts scene, and jazz flutist Lloyd Mcneill. It advertises a Black Arts Festival, which showcased work by heavy-hitting D.C. artists Sam Gilliam, whose drape paintings now hang in museums around the world, and Alma Thomas, who — thanks, in part, to a citywide festival honoring her last year — has become a household name in the District for her signature abstract style of short, joyful brushstrokes.