Art Enables’ 15th annual exhibition of work by self-taught artists
September 11 – October 23, 2021
Public gallery hours: Thursdays 5 – 7 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The term “outsider art” may call to mind a number of concepts, many that have been historically debated. Defined in the strictest sense, it may include only artists who work in extreme isolation, have little to no contact with other artists and art institutions, and who may not even have a concept of their own work as art. Since the term was coined, outsider art has continued to gain recognition and popularity. With that increase in recognition - and under the ever-present influence of the internet - the term is often (sometimes controversially) used more broadly. Self-taught artists may be considered "outsider" even if they have more awareness of the art world than like-minded artists of the past. While an exact definition of outsider art can be difficult to pin down, one often feels they know it when they see it: inventive work motivated by the artist’s own personal concepts and desires, rather than the expectations and trends of the mainstream art world. 

Art Enables embraces these more expansive parameters in “Outside Forces.” Featured artists include individuals who are emerging and self-taught, are from traditionally underrepresented communities, artists with disabilities, and those who may not have had many opportunities to exhibit in the past. All have paved their own way in the formation of their work, representing personal experiences and interests in individual styles developed outside the conventions of mainstream art education and culture.

This exhibition began in 2006 as a way for DC-area groups working with self-taught artists to exhibit together. Over the last 15 years, the exhibition’s success has seen it grow to span all three exhibition spaces at Art Enables, featuring artists from across the nation alongside our resident artists. The show continues to be an excellent introduction for a community curious about the work of self-taught artists looking to start their own collection with a selection of affordable work in a wide array of styles.

See the full list of participating artists and studios at the bottom of this page.


Thank you to all of the incredible participating artists and studios! ♥️

 Participating studios: Art Enables (Washington, DC), Arts of Life (Chicago, IL), Center for Creative Works (Wynnewood, PA), Creative Growth (Oakland, CA), ECF Art Centers (Los Angeles, CA), Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts (Saint Paul, MN), Make Studio (Baltimore, MD), Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts (Edmonton, Canada), Project Onward (Chicago, IL), SAGE Studio (Austin, TX), Spring Dell Center (La Plata, MD), St. Elizabeth’s Hospital (Washington, DC), Studio In-Sight (Bethesda, MD), VisAbility Art Lab (Rockville, MD)

Participating artists: Rickie Algarva, Justin Andrews, Franklin Armstrong, Nadine Baldwin, Maurice Barnes, John Behnke, James Billian, Jay Bird, Duane Blacksheare-Staton, Michael Bryant, Lucia Castrogiovanni, Edward Chance Jr., Erika Clark, Calvin Clarke, Mara Clawson, Jacqueline Coleman, Robert Corcoran, Bill Crane, Tim Crnkovik, Laura Curtis, Sarah Davie, Kareem Davis, Tony Davis, Louis DeMarco, Max DeMulder, Ian Dischinger, Stephon Doby, Emily Dodson, Sam Eiler, Michael Engebretson, Janice Essick, Egbert Evans, Rick Fleming, Don Gibbs, Jorge Gomez, P.Goudy, Debora Green, Sabrina Gussin, Safiya Hameed, Aaron Harvey, Michael Haynes, Clyde Henry, Adam Hines, Julian Hinmon, Kolisha Hodo, David Holt, Bård Ionson, Seth Jackson, Payman Jazini, Tifani Johnson, Charmaine Jones, Eric Kendrick, Andie Kiley, Michael Knox, David Krueger, Toni Lane, Helen Lewis, Keith Lewis, Paul Lewis, Raymond Lewis, Marrimarra, Jared Max, Faith McLuckie, Charles Meissner, Adam Mele, Juan Mendez, Louis Middleton, Vanessa Monroe, Gary Murrell, Gillian Patterson, Shawn Payne, James Perreaoult Daniels, Rosemary Perronteau, Renata Philippe, Rachel Pomponi, Max Poznerzon, Dennis Quillin, Jamila Rahimi, Benjamin Riley, Derek Roper, Peter Salsman, Michael Schaff, Chris Schallhorn, Eileen Schofield, Meyshe Shapiro-Nygren, Luke Shemroske, Margie Smeller, Ruth Stafford, Eric Stewart, David Sulak, Sarah Swan, Nonja Tiller, Emily Tironi, Imani Turner, Justin Valenti, Charlie Visconage, Jimmy Wancowicz, George Wilson, Sereno Wilson, Dontavius Woody, Allen Yu, Matt Zimdars


2204 Rhode Island Ave NE
Washington, DC 20018
United States




Public Gallery Hours 

Monday - Friday: 10 am - 4 pm

Saturday: 9 am - 5 pm


Art Enables is dedicated to providing access to everyone. 

If you require accommodation during your visit, please contact info@art-enables.org with your request.


Studio Hours 

(for resident artists)

Monday - Friday: 9 am - 4 pm



Registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 52-2296718

2204 Rhode Island Ave NE
Washington, DC 20018
United States

Public Gallery Hours (Adjusted due to COVID)

Saturdays: 9 am - 5 pm, 

& by appointment


Studio Hours: resident artists only

M-F 9am - 5pm 


Registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 52-2296718



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