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About

About Us​

The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) opens RECLAMATION: Recipes, Remedies, and Rituals, a new participatory exhibition featuring nine interdisciplinary artists. Conceived as a virtual experience that recontextualizes the traditional role of women in providing sustenance and healing, RECLAMATION also features content submitted by the public, interwoven with the artists’ work.

RECLAMATION is an evolving exhibition and ingredient archive that examines food as a creative medium for visual art and a connective tool for exploring intergenerational and intercultural experiences.

The exhibition centers around a kitchen table, the central domestic object for gatherings of family and friends. Nine artists will activate their own kitchen tables, sharing photographs, videos and stories about how they use this domestic object. These intimate glimpses into the artists’ homes simultaneously reveal a work of art and the process by which it is made.
 
Through a digital ingredient archive, developed in partnership with the Family Arts Museum and Ten-Fifteen Media, online visitors can participate in the exhibition by sharing recipes, anecdotes, photos and reflections related to food. Submissions will be layered with the artists’ work, creating a dynamic portal for exploring the interconnectedness of food and the communal nature of nourishing and curing the body. In this way, both artists and viewers will use those materials to honor women’s roles in the practices and traditions surrounding food.
 
The exhibition also features interviews and content from the Curative Collective, a group of partners that focus on food—from advocacy and social justice work, to healing and restorative self-care. These organizations help ensure that the exhibition reflects and serves their communities while sharing their arts and social change resources with NMWA’s audience. Examples of Curative Collective organizations are Black Magick Sisters, Dreaming Out Loud, Mutual Aid Apothecary, and STRŌB Apothecary, among others.

Sponsor

This exhibition is made possible through leadership gifts from Denise Littlefield Sobel, the Davis/Dauray Family Fund, the Revada Foundation of the Logan Family, and the Susan and Jim Swartz Public Programs Fund. Additional funding is provided by the Bernstein Family Foundation. This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
 

Meet Our Team

Melani N. Douglass is the director of public programs and creator and curator of RECLAMATION. She is also an artist for this exhibition, so check out her Artist Page for her full bio.

Amanda Vercruysse, is the public program manager at NMWA. She implements all Women, Arts and Social Change (WASC) programs and the Shenson Chamber Music Series. For Reclamation, Vercruysse served as project manager, research supervisor, and curatorial assistant. 

Prior to joining NMWA, she was a program producer at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, managing the Smithsonian Food History Project Programs. She led the 4th annual Smithsonian Food History Weekend, a three-day festival exploring the intersections of food, history, culture, and community through talks, demonstrations, performances and interactive activities.

Amanda earned her Master of Art degree in History from George Mason University where she focused on American food history, applied history, and new media and digital technology.

Grace Marie DeWitt (she/her) is currently the museum’s national and international programs outreach coordinator. Previously, she worked in the Public Programs department, working on the conception, development, and initial designs for RECLAMATION. 
 
DeWitt is an interdisciplinary artist and arts coordinator based in the D.C.-area. Integrating installation, video, printmaking, and photography to consider the emotional potency of materials, DeWitt’s work has been exhibited, collected, and awarded both nationally and internationally.
 
DeWitt has been fortunate to curate in-person and online exhibitions. She has served on the acquisition committee for the University of Maryland’s permanent contemporary art collection and managed the University’s experimental art gallery. She has supported exhibitions at the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts, Maryland Art Place (Baltimore, MD), and Pyramid Atlantic Art Center (Hyattsville, MD), where she also maintained communication and membership strategies.
Lucy McMahon is the newest addition to the Public Programs team as public program coordinator, as she recently the made switch from NMWA’s Special Events department. Throughout her time in her new position, McMahon has helped assist her colleagues with the launch of Reclamation.
 
Before her time at NMWA, Lucy was a sales and events assistant at the Ronald Reagan Building and a Gallery Assistant at Guarisco Gallery. Born and raised just outside of Washington, D.C., Lucy harbored a love for art and museums throughout her childhood. She continued her artistic passions in college at Sewanee: The University of the South, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Honors Studio Art, minoring in Art History. Lucy is constantly inspired by NMWA and all of the female artists that it represents. 

Victoria Collins received her Masters of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy from Boston University in May of 2020. Throughout her travels and living abroad, she has developed a deep passion for food, culture, and history. She worked with NMWA staff to research and write The Pantry.

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