Lou Stovall Exhibit Launches at HEMPHILL this Weekend

Friday June 11, 2021

Before there was social media, printed posters were medium used most often to inform the public of events, causes, and actions. This was particularly true in the 1960s as DC – and the country – was experiencing tremendous amounts social, political, and cultural turmoil. But this upheaval also inspired significant moments of creative expression, including the work of artist Lou Stovall and his organization The Workshop, Inc (founded 1968) that will be on display at HEMPHILL starting tomorrow, June 12. 

WHAT’S GOING AROUND: Lou Stovall & the Community Poster, 1967-1976 offers us a view into this critical period of transition in our Nation’s Capital. Created around the time Congress granted the District of Columbia home rule, Stovall’s posters were a serious form of communication – their array of messages worked toward building community while helping to define its members and goals – yet also jubilant and entertaining. Stovall’s gift for bold, bright graphic designs is striking, often playful, and never passive. Each poster displays the most contemporary aesthetic challenges of the period. And while viewers may delight in the nostalgic feeling of their various styles, they should not miss the more subtle overall message of how a community coalesces and how inspired leading voices speak through artistic mediums.

WHAT’S GOING AROUND is on display through Saturday, July 17. For those interested in owning a keepsake from this dynamic period of our city’s history, the DC History Center (located inside the Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square) is also selling these historic, vibrant posters both in-person and online.

HEMPHILL is open Tuesday – Saturday 12-5pm and by appointment. For additional information, please contact or call (202) 234-5601.