Current News

Mar 21, 2020

Phone Call

Phone Call brings together poets and artists in immediate response to the shutdowns surrounding COVID-19 in an effort to connect people during a time of isolation. Inspired, in-part, by the late John Giorno’s Dial-a-Poem, Yoko Ono’s Telephone Piece, and Nigel Shafran’s series Ruth on the phonePhone Call aims to reconnect people within intimate space of a phone call on a 1-to-1 level. Participants can sign up to be read to and hold conversations with poets and artists over the phone beginning in April.

Conceived by Ginevra Shay, Phone Call is part of the nomadic project Rose Arcade, and supported by Transformer. Through Phone Call, Transformer will be providing funding to more than 20 artists, and connection to more than 200 participants. With your support, our goal is to grow this program, funding more artists and providing Phone Call more people in the community.

Mar 21, 2020

E17: Zines

Transformer is proud to announce the 17th Annual Exercises for Emerging Artists Program – E17: Zines. Founded in 2004, Transformer’s annual Exercises For Emerging Artists is a peer critique & mentorship program created to support a selected group of DC-based emerging artists at critical points or crossroads in their professional growth and creative development.  

Focusing on a different artistic discipline each year, E17 will center on supporting and promoting seven DC-based artists exploring their practices with zines and DIY publishing: Ayana Zaire CottonJennifer LillisAthena NaylorLate Comeback Press (Rachna Soun and Caroline Kim), Evyan Roberts, and Julie Sheah. The invited artists will receive guidance and feedback from lead mentor Christopher Kardambikis, as well as a series of guest mentors, including: Ipsy Bipsy, Malaka Gharib, Christina Long, Adam Griffiths, and Adriana Monsalve.

Mar 21, 2020

Transformer Goes Digital


Instagram - @transformerdc

Twitter - @transformerdc

Facebook - Transformer



+ Which Yesterday is Tomorrow?

+ E17: ZINES






Mar 19, 2020


Transformer is committed to connecting artists with information on resources and opportunities to support them. Every Friday, we will share listings and links we find and are receiving from colleagues throughout the contemporary art field to help artists. Please check back on our website and Twitter regularly for these updates.


Mar 12, 2020



In response to rapidly evolving updates regarding the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus - as of today, 3/12/20, Transformer’s Board of Directors has decided to postpone all of our public programming until further notice.

The health of our employees, artists, patrons and community is paramount. We encourage everyone to take the precautions health experts have been sharing.

The exhibition Which Yesterday is Tomorrow? by artists Dahlia Elsayed & Andrew Demirjian, will be on view through our storefront window as of this Saturday 3/14/20.

Transformer staff will be majority telecommuting as of this weekend until further notice.

Please continue to follow us on all social media platforms (instagram & facebook), and visit our website ( for further updates.

We look forward to seeing you later this spring!

In the meantime, please email with any questions.

Our continued best wishes to all!


- Victoria Reis

Co-Founder, Executive & Artistic Director


Mar 07, 2020

Transformer Presents: Rachel Schmidt’s Vanishing Points, Curated by Dawne Langford at SPRING/BREAK

Transformer Presents: Rachel Schmidt’s Vanishing Points, Curated by Dawne Langford at SPRING/BREAK

Mar 04, 2020

Collector’s View 2020

collector's view series 2020

Sharing private collections of contemporary art

Collector’s View shares the private collections of a select and diverse group of DC’s prominent contemporary art collectors. Through this series of special receptions, guests are provided an intimate, insider’s perspective on the motivations, interests, and passions of our dynamic collector Hosts on the work they collect. 

Hosts to be announced Mid-March 2020.


Transformer thanks Long & Foster | Christie's International Real Estate, our Exclusive 2020 Collector's View Sponsor, for their generous support.

For more information about the Series and for past views visit

For questions about Transformer's Collector's View, please contact 202.483.1102 or email at

Mar 03, 2020

Upcoming Exhibition: Which Yesterday Is Tomorrow?

Dahlia Elsayed & Andrew Demirjian

March 14 – April 25, 2020

Opening Reception: 5-8pm, Saturday, March 14
Holding Patterns: 2-4pm, Saturday, April 4
Cultures in Contact: 2-4pm, Saturday, April 25
Pre-Sunset Pause: Every Thursday, 4-6pm

Transformer is proud to present Which Yesterday Is Tomorrow?, a rest stop for the future based on the past, by artists Dahlia Elsayed and Andrew Demirjian. This multi-sensory installation reimagines the Silk Road caravanserai as a potential site for the exchange of ideas and culture. 

By drawing upon the vocabulary of social and sacred architecture from Southwest Asia and North Africa (SWANA), Elsayed and Demirjian – both diasporic artists from this region – create a space for engagement, pause, and reflection. Transformer’s interior is completely reimagined – the walls, floors, and ceilings are embellished with vibrant textiles, rugs, and furnishings; a spatialized soundtrack composed of deconstructed folk instruments, and fragrant mists and Turkish coffee envelops the air.  Elsayed and Demirjian create an alternate world intended to reconnect visitors with the senses, rituals, and mythologies that have been diminished in an age dominated by relentless commerce and time scarcity.

In a region that once thrived on the cosmopolitan and mutual interchange of ideas, Which Yesterday Is Tomorrow? conjures a fictive location where aesthetics and ideologies are exchanged freely, establishing an alternative to the historical narrative of colonization, crisis, and territoriality portrayed in Western media. In keeping with this approach, Elsayed and Demirjian have also invited and curated a group of designers, painters, sculptors, and poets to create mementos to contribute to the installation, establishing a space for re-connection for artists from the SWANA diaspora. 

Exhibition Programming:

Saturday, March 14, 5-8pm: OPENING RECEPTION
Saturday, April 4, 2-4pm: HOLDING PATTERNS: A procedural poetry and spatial sound performance.
Saturday, April 25, 2-4pm: CULTURES IN CONTACT: A panel discussion between artists Dahlia Elsayed and Andrew Demirjian and historians Emily Neumeier and Joshua Michael White about transcultural exchange and coffee houses. Emily Neumeier is an Assistant Professor of Islamic art at Temple University. Joshua Michael White is an Associate Professor at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design.

Every Thursday, 4-6pm: PRE-SUNSET PAUSE: An opportunity to meditate and reflect on one’s week.

About the Artists:

Dahlia Elsayed is an artist and writer who makes text and image-based work that synthesizes an internal and external experience of place, connecting the ephemeral to the concrete. She writes short fictions for created landscapes that take the form of narrative paintings, print and installation. Her work has been exhibited at galleries and institutions throughout the United States and internationally, including the 12th Cairo Biennale, Robert Miller Gallery, BravinLee Programs, The New Jersey State Museum and Aljira Center for Contemporary Art. Her work is in the public collections of the Newark Museum, the Zimmerli Museum, Johnson & Johnson Corporation, the US Department of State, amongst others. Dahlia has received awards from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the Edward Albee Foundation, Visual Studies Workshop, the MacDowell Colony, Women’s Studio Workshop, Headlands Center for the Arts, and the NJ State Council on the Arts. She received her MFA from Columbia University, and lives and works in New Jersey. Ms. Elsayed is a Professor of Humanities at CUNY LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, NY.

Andrew Demirjian is an interdisciplinary artist who works with remix, rhythm and ritual. He creates environments for critical reflection through scraping and recombining popular culture, making intricate collages of sound and language. His work is often presented in non-traditional exhibition spaces and takes the form of interactive installations, generative art, multi-channel videos and live performances. He is currently a Fellow at the MIT Open Documentary Lab, where he is working on a computational text analysis project for linguistic remixing of vast quantities of video files. Andrew’s work has been exhibited at The Museum of the Moving Image, Eyebeam, Fridman Gallery, Rush Arts, the White Box gallery, Cyberfest, Fieldgate Gallery, the Center for Book Arts, The Newark Museum and many other galleries, festivals and museums. He is the author of Pan-terrestrial People’s Anthem, a book of poetry and collection of music that remixes the lyrics and songs of 195 national anthems. The MacDowell Colony, Puffin Foundation, Artslink, Harvestworks, Diapason, The Experimental Television Center, The Bemis Center, LMCC Swing Space, The Visual Studies Workshop and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts are among some of the organizations that have supported his work. Andrew teaches theory and production courses in emerging media in the Film and Media Department and the Integrated Media Arts MFA program at Hunter College.

The artists that Elsayed and Demirjian invited to contribute to their exhibition include (as of 2.19.20): Samira Abbassy, Negar Ahkami, Sayran Barzani, Suzan Batu, Tarek Bouraque, Aiham Dib, Linda Ganjian, Hushidar Mortezaie, and Anahita Vossoughi.

Feb 18, 2020

Upcoming Exhibition: Which Yesterday Is Tomorrow?

Future Exhibition: Which Yesterday Is Tomorrow?

Feb 18, 2020

Transformer Radio: Farrah Skeiky & Cynthia Connolly on DC DIY and Punk

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