First Look: SUBMERGE Art Pop-Up Opens This Weekend
BYT Staff | Nov 9, 2012 | 10:30AM |

all words: Rachel Pafe, all photos: Lindsay Marshall

“It was just too much waiting!” exclaimed Brandon Hill, referring to the DC art scene prior to the intervention of the No Kings Collective. Wait no more, DC. Submerge is here.


Organized by No Kings and featuring twenty-four solo exhibitions encompassing photography, painting and live installations, the show is a tribute to DC and its bourgeoning art scene. Artists include Brandon Hill, Gregg Deal, Paul Mericle, Truth Among Liars, STRATA, Rock Creek Social Club, Tim Conlon, Juan Pineda, Kelly Towles, Katie Warren, Matt Curran, Michael Owen, Tariq Tucker, Martin Swift, Xxist, Aniekan Udofia, Margo Elsayd, Deena Odelle Hyatt, James Kerns, Victoria Milko, Anthony Smallwood, Asad “Ultra” Walker and DECOY.


Submerge is free and open daily from 1 pm to 6 pm, November 10th – November 18th. It kicks off with a Grand Opening party on Saturday, November 10th from 8pm to 2am. Highlights include musical performances by Listen Local First and Lightfoot as well as food provided by H Street restaurant, Impala. The festival also has events during the week, such as Instant: Presented by Victoria Milko on Tuesday, November 13th from 7 to 9pm. The event will include a photography discussion panel paired with works by the STRATA collective, the Rock Creek Social Club, Katie Warren, Victoria Milko and Anthony Smallwood.


On Wednesday, November 14th from 7pm to 12am, Submerge presents Comedy and Cocktails: the Art of Funny, a mix of local talent as well as an opportunity for all to participate in the Sketch Lounge, presented by Somaphony. On Friday, November 16th, “Know Fashion presents Get Fashion” will present local fashion, retail and entertainment in “Get Fashion,” from 6pm to 2 am.


Well known for their previous pop-up art events such as Activation 2719, the Pallet Project and the Water Street Project, the No Kings Collective, made up of Brandon Hill and Peter Chang is now taking over H Street. Now running for its second consecutive year, Submerge was a response to what the artists felt were a lack of opportunities for emerging local artists. The festival was born last year when they were asked to organize an event for Art All Night. The response was so enthusiastic that the group quickly realized that they had more than enough material for a multi-day show. Submerge was born.


A reaction/alternative to the more formal (e)merge art fair? Kinda. Not really. The New Kings almost cancelled their event due to the overlapping dates, but in the end they decided to go on with the show. (e)merge ended at 7 and Submerge began at 8, giving an opportunity to discover even more art after nightfall. The title was in part chosen to playfully reference (e)merge, but they were also trying to appeal to the large cultural community outside of the art scene, those who had never heard of the other fair in the first place. In any event, no one minded the name overlap and the show was successful.


This year the fair dates were deliberately separated and Submerge is a hotly anticipated event predicted to draw from 2,000 to 5,000 people per night. Get your ass over to 700 H Street, NE and check it out*.

*Some of the night events require registration. Get more details from:


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