If You Build It, Who Will Come?
by Aaron Wiener
The juxtaposition is strange: In the middle of a strip of dingy carry-outs, boarded-up storefronts, and a methadone clinic sits an art gallery with a French name and an elegant atmosphere to match. Honfleur Gallery on Good Hope Road SE in Anacostia, with its clean white design and diverse exhibitions, “looks like it belongs in New York, Paris, or anywhere else in the world,” says Duane Gautier, president of the ARCH Development Corporation, which owns the gallery.
That contrast is by design. Gautier is in the midst of a campaign to transform economically stagnant Anacostia into a bustling neighborhood, using galleries and other arts spaces that might, for the time being, appear out of place as catalysts.