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About The Gallery

Karen Swenholt's sculptures in the Dadian GalleryGenerally, when seminaries work with the visual arts, they work with them only in terms of products and not the processes undergirding their creation. When they create a space for the works, it's usually a ghettoized space in the library or other building where multiple uses occur. In such situations, the resident community has little understanding, if any, of the processes which undergird the works and make them therefore accessible to understanding. At the very heart of the matter is the issue of understanding the non-verbal vocabulary of the visual which then makes readable the theological proclamation resident in the work. 

Contemporary Icons on display in the Dadian GalleryApproximately seven years after the studio was established, Mr. Dadian, a philanthropic business man in Washington, DC came to visit, and I told him my thoughts. When he asked me why I wanted a gallery, I said, "To be honest, Mr. Dadian, I'm not sure it will work, but in my judgment, this is how I think it will work." I toured the facilities with him. He perceived a conceptually correct idea and blessed us with a phone call the next day in which he gave the seminary $100,000 towards this project.

The gallery was designed by Marvin Leiberman, a Washington, DC curator and artist, following a study by myself of what constitutes the necessary ingredients in a fine, museum-quality space for showing work safely and effectively.

Following the gallery’s construction, it took us several years to work out policies commensurate with our mission and simultaneously our administrative limitations. The gallery design has served us well through the years. Its ever-changing exhibitions have challenged the community with tough questions as well as keen insights.


Catherine Kapikian
Distinguished Artist-In-Residence

  • Specifications
  • Visit The Gallery
  • Please contact curator@wesleyseminary.edu for the gallery specifications. To submit a portfolio for review, please see our Exhibition Proposal information.

    Gallery Hours:
    Monday - Friday 10 am to 4:30 pm
    and by appointment; closed holidays

    4500 Massachusetts Ave NW
    Washington, DC 20016

    Map to the Dadian Gallery

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