These days, the carriage house at Peirce Mill is home to the mill’s visitors center. But Washingtonians of the 1970s, 80s and 90s knew it as the Art Barn. Artists taught classes and showed their work here. And the tradition of painting Peirce Mill goes back further than that. In 1903, The Washington Times wrote:
As a mecca for amateur painters and sketchers in this locality the Pierce Mill stands in the first rank. The structure itself and the natural scenery surrounding it challenge ever the attention of wielders of the brush and drawing pencil, and in many a Washington home suspended on mansion walls hangs the first success of the family artist, that being Pierce Mill and the vicinity done in oil.
The Art Barn is being remembered at a free one-day event. Friends of Peirce Mill, the Washington Studio School, and the National Park Service are hosting the Art Barn Reunion and Landscape Meet-up on Saturday, May 25th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Peirce Mill in Rock Creek Park.
Artists of all ages are invited to draw and paint the landscape using their own supplies – or some borrowed from the organizers. Friends of Peirce Mill also welcomes photos and memories of the Art Barn for a slide show it’s putting together for the program. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to share.
Peirce Mill is located at 2401 Tilden Street NW in Rock Creek Park. Find more information and directions at FriendsofPeirceMill.org.