On Friday, Erin Derosa will open the newest addition to her Park View hair salon Sense — an art gallery.
“It’s important for art to be accessible for all people,” Derosa says. “We can easily mention that we have this gallery upstairs [to customers] and promote local art to a wider audience.”
The space will open at 7 p.m. Friday with a reception for “Eyes Open: DC Artists in Real Time,” an exhibit curated by veteran D.C. visual artist Rose Jaffe. “Eyes Open” features works from several emerging talents who explore the realities of being an artist in the city. The show includes a performance from avant-garde R&B singer-songwriter Twin Jude.
The gallery feels like a natural extension for Sense, which has embraced a community-oriented business model as a hair salon and wellness center that offers workshops on career coaching, breathing exercises and more. Derosa tapped artist Mandy Cooper to curate Sense’s space earlier this year, and Cooper proposed the gallery right before the salon’s opening in August.
“When I saw the upstairs, I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, it would be a crime to not use this space, because it’s gorgeous,’” Cooper says.
Cooper expects to showcase mostly regional artists and plans to host live performances and community events at the venue.
“We want to get people into this space, [let them] see what we have to offer and communicate with them about our open calls,” Cooper says.
Local artists can submit proposals to be considered for future exhibits, and all of the artwork at Sense is available for purchase.
“There are a lot of people interested in buying local art, but don’t really know how to go about doing it,” Cooper says. “I want to make it more transparent for people to buy local art and support local artists.”