A Dupont Circle Art Guide: Must Visit Spots in the Neighborhood

DC is famous for its monuments and American history, but there’s ample culture beyond the National Mall. Here are of seven highlights of the Dupont Circle’s art scene, only steps away from your hotel room.


ArtJamz offers a wide scope of painting packages for anyone from amateurs to virtuosos, including a paint-and-sip date night where you can enjoy a glass of wine as you sketch, and kids’ painting classes. Artists looking to emulate some of their favorite paintings would be advised to book a Guided Instruction course where ArtJamz teachers walk painters through Pop Art painting techniques, abstract figure designs and more. Feeling ambitious? Try a freestyle session where you can use paint knives, glitter and a number of other art supplies to create a personalized masterpiece.

Phillips Collection

With roughly 3,000 works by artists ranging from French impressionists like Pierre-Auguste Renoir to Spanish cubist founder Pablo Picasso, there’s no questioning that this grand museum is a local favorite. Their famed Rothko Room, a chamber-like space containing abstract expressionist master Mark Rothko’s pieces is reason enough to pay a visit. Hungry museum-goers can also rest assured that their appetites can be satiated at the gallery’s Tryst cafe, make sure to try one of their Zagat-approved lavender hot chocolates for a rich and creamy treat.

Dupont Underground

Slated to open at an undisclosed time in late fall or early winter, Dupont Underground will be one of the district’s trendiest, hippest hangouts. The underground art venue will be located on a set of abandoned train platforms just below Dupont Circle where it will serve as a concert venue, art gallery and performance space though organizers have remained mum on the space’s finer details. NPR reported that the performance space plans to incorporate hundreds of thousands of balls left over from the National Building Museum’s wildly popular Beach exhibit.

Hillyer Arts Space

Tired of seeing the same artists in every gallery you visit? For a unique experience, make sure to stop by the nonprofit Hillyer Arts Space, a DC gallery that showcases under-the-radar artists who haven’t had a major exhibition in the past three years. Hillyer also regularly hosts a series of community events including figure drawing classes, painting demonstrations by local artists and “Culture Blasts” that encompass anything from adult-campfire-tale readings to poetry slams.

Studio Gallery

You can’t leave Dupont Circle without paying a visit to Studio Gallery, which exclusively hosts performances and paintings by local artists. Named one of the Washingtonian’s top nine art galleries in the city, the venue is home to pieces by more than 35 artists and hosts events like performances by the  Errant Movement dance troupe.

Fondo del Sol

This Dupont Circle gallery, which is the second-oldest Latino community museum in the country, specializes in showcasing works by Hispanic, Caribbean, and Afro-American artists. With programs focusing on bilingual education, this is the ideal place to introduce youngsters to art and history from around the world.

Toolbox Pilates Art Studio

If you’re looking for a truly out-of-the-box (pun intended) experience, Toolbox Pilates Art Studio is the place for you. Hidden away in a Dupont Circle side-street just off Connecticut Avenue, this gorgeous art gallery, complete with sleek hardwood flooring and exposed brick walls, also happens to host a state-of-the-art pilates studio. Best of all, the space also doubles (or triples) as a wedding venue, so prospective brides and grooms should be sure to check out this gem.

image via flickr