April 3- May 1, 2021
(Unsold totebags will continue to be on sale through our website through June 30, 2021) 

3015b Georgia Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

Kunj |  Claire Alrich |  Hoesy Corona |  Nancy Daly |  Rex Delafkaran  | 
Adrienne Gaither & Jordan Martin |  Marly McFly | Jon Malis |
Mojdeh Rezaeipour | Nathalie von Veh

Washington, D.C.: but, also is pleased to present our second project of 2021, Bag Show: A Tote Bag Invitational. In keeping with our mission to create opportunities for artists to produce merchandise out of their primary art practices, Bag Show: A Tote Bag Invitational is just that, artist crafted bags in limited editions of 10 by eleven DMV-based artists. Bag Show: A Tote Bag Invitational will be on view and on sale from April 3- May 1, 2021 at but, also’s temporary space at 3015b Georgia Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001 and online at till June 30, 2021.

In keeping with but, also’s vision to explore the intersection of exhibition and storefront, Bag Show: A Tote Bag Invitational unifies separate artistic visions to create a site specific installation reminiscent of a department store window display. Uniformity of the form and the individualism of each limited edition bag are equally emphasized. The installation will evolve over the course of the exhibition as bags are sold directly from the display. Cast concrete hands protrude from the walls and ceilings, holding the handles of totes, and in some cases holding each other.  The hands gesture towards the intimacy of the artists’ hand in the making of the bags and the future interaction between the consumer and the object. On the floor of the space, astroturf represents a “vast” expanse of grass where the tote bags lounge in states of repose, as you might be with them, in a park.

Bag Show: A Tote Bag Invitational asks you to consider the intersection of design, art object, promotional merch and fashion. Tote bags and the arts have a long history together. It is a distributable vehicle for art and information, that also serves the simple functional purpose: to carry. Totes engage your sense of style, what you care about, and can open social dialogue. The eleven participating artists were given ten blank tote bags and given free rein as long as functionality remained at the forefront. Through dying, tearing, sewing, screen printing, painting, digitally printing, laser cutting and drawing they created unique editions that rise above the expectations of a tote bag. These are bags you take to the museum with your single Moleskine notebook and a granola bar. Bags you want to be seen about town with. Bags that will help strike up conversation on the metro. Bags that carry that book you’ve been bringing around everywhere you go for months to seem erudite but have yet to start reading.

All eleven artists have substantial creative practices, each with their own approaches and specialties. Kunj approaches his work with an attentiveness to material and process with expertise in performance art, drawing and printmaking. Claire Alrich is a movement and textile-based artist bringing with her an attention to bodies and space, while Hoesy Corona creates work that explores otherworldly narratives that reflect aspects of our global experience across a variety of media spanning installation, performance, and video. Adrienne Gaither and Jordan Martin collaboratively approach the project with a design-based approach incorporating influences of painting and color fields. Through a mix of pop and street art, Marly McFly uses the world around him as his content assembling high impact imagery that pulls inspiration from Japanese manga and old print advertisements, while Jon Malis approaches the prompt from his deep exploration of the surface and visual technology that considers how we alter the viewer’s perception, interpretation, and experience of imagery. Mojdeh Rezaeipour comes from a process-led art practice that is often expressive, using the ephemeral languages of identity, play, and poetry. Nathalie von Veh brings the vision of her expansive curatorial practice and attention to material and design to the project, working with materials using her nuanced aesthetic language. The but, also founders will also produce tote bags that are derived from their primary art practices for this exhibition.

but, also’s  brick and mortar space on Georgia Ave is host to all the editions produced by the artists in the project, and will be on view by appointment. The space will be adhering to Washington, DC’s Covid-19 protocol.

Bag Show: A Tote Bag Invitational is generously sponsored through our Kickstarter by Kate Martin

View these tote bags. Buy these tote bags.

Monday Nov 5 2018