Eight years ago, a ragtag group of artists and preservationists begged real estate developer Akridge and the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington not to raze the F Street NW storefronts that housed artists' studios and the city's history. Well, the little guys lost. As part of the development deal, Akridge inserted a gallery and lower-cost studios into a shiny office tower that counts the tony law firm Dewey Ballantine among its occupants. Management of the 700-square-foot gallery, called Carroll Square, fell to a competition; it was won by Hemphill Fine Arts. Hemphill director Kimberly Gladfelter Graham took Carroll Square under her wing and vowed to install exhibitions that benefit the community, not just Hemphill. Her first show, a compilation of artists represented by several area galleries, affirms her promise. I trust she'll continue to keep it.
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