ARCH Development Corporation (ARCH) and the Gautier Family are pleased to honor photographer Bruce McNeil as the recipient of the fifth annual East of the River Distinguished Artist Award (EotRDAA). ARCH will host an award ceremony on August 26 at Anacostia Arts Center to formally present McNeil with his $5,000 prize.
Known as Washington’s “River Man”, Bruce McNeil has been working for over 20 years to improve public perception of the Anacostia River through his photography. His career began as a dark room assistant and copy camera operator at Look Magazine in New York City in the late 1960’s. He continued to learn about the craft at the McCord Museum in Montreal, Canada where he worked as a photographer and dark room technician developing glass negatives from the 1800’s. He relocated to Washington DC in 1994 and become interested in the community’s natural environment and it’s negative perception. He began focusing his work on the Anacostia River, taking regular walks and boat rides to document its hidden beauty.
McNeil has worked in Ward 7 and 8 on a variety of artistic projects over the years. He exhibited several times in Honfleur Gallery’s annual East of the River Exhibition and had a solo show in Vivid Solutions Gallery in 2010. He has partnered with community organizations such as with Anacostia Watershed Society and Anacostia Waterfront Trust. McNeil co-founded the Anacostia River School for Photography in 2011 as way to encourage and train other local artists inspired by the river.
McNeil’s work has been included in The Washington Post, Washington Examiner, The Washington Informer, and Washington City Paper. Other career highlights have included solo shows at Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, McCord Museum (Montreal, CA), University of District of Columbia, and Sandy Spring Museum. McNeil’s awards have included Finalist in the 28th Annual Mayor’s Art Awards, Valued Fine Artist of the National Conference of Artists, and Black Artist of DC’s Gordon Parks Photography Award.
The EotRDAA honors one East of the River artist with the $5,000 award each year. The award is designed to celebrate the achievements and contributions of East of the River artists who have enriched the arts in Washington, DC. Previous winners include Rik Freeman (2015), Jonathan French (2014), Luis Peralta Del Valle (2013), and BK ADAMS • I AM ART (2012).
About ARCH Development Corporation:
A nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, ARCH is a small neighborhood-based organization dedicated to the revitalization and sustainable economic development of Historic Anacostia. ARCH works to create a home for small businesses, artists, arts and cultural organizations and runs several creative economy projects, including Anacostia Arts Center, Honfleur Gallery, Vivid Solutions Gallery, and The Hive 2.0.