Self-portrait: Sleeping in Fire (with Kiki, Sebastian, and Paco),  2017

Self-portrait: Sleeping in Fire (with Kiki, Sebastian, and Paco), 2017

Exhibition on view by appointment for one person/pod at a time - please email to make an appointment. Additional open hours Sunday November 22 * 1-5pm

The Light at the End was a Fire is about change, acceptance, and healing. The work consists of several motion activated audiovisual works organized throughout the first floor of Rhizome. The exhibition features a small collection of recent drawings on the second floor. Originally designed to consist of objects and experiences that require visitors to physically touch and engage with objects or spaces, the plans for this exhibition were reimagined to accommodate COVID-era precautions while still allowing the viewer to maintain a role in authorship.

It had been a particularly rough few years. One day in November of 2016, I woke up after surgery thinking things were about to get easier -- and then I read the election results. Thirty-three days later I was displaced by a fire that consumed my kitchen floor from beneath. My work and belongings disappeared into storage units. I am recovering, but now the rest of the world is in flames. Between the global pandemic, the recent mainstream acceptance of the existence of racial inequality, and the large open wound carved out by the departing administration of the United States - it will take years to sift through the ashes. Sometimes the light at the end turns out to be a dumpster fire.

Emily Francisco is a sculptress specializing in the creation of interactive objects that generate sound. Born in Honolulu, raised in the lead belt, educated in Saint Louis and the District of Columbia - she exhibits work internationally and occasionally performs around Washington DC. Emily has exhibited with Gallery Neptune & Brown (DC), Transformer (DC), The Fridge (DC), Flashpoint (DC), The Cecille R. Hunt Gallery (Saint Louis, MO), Artisphere (Arlington, VA), Area 405 (Baltimore, MD), Vilnius Academy of Arts (Vilnius, Lithuania), GlogauAIR Project Space (Berlin, Germany), Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts (Saint Louis, MO), The Goethe-Institut (DC), The Kennedy Center Hall of Nations (DC), and The Smithsonian’s S. Dillon Ripley Center (DC). Emily currently maintains her studio at STABLE Arts in Washington DC -- where she resides with her toddler, partner, geriatric cat, and senior dog named Paco.


RhizomeDC is a nonprofit community arts space located at 6950 Maple St NW, in the Takoma neighborhood of Washington DC.  We are dedicated to promoting creativity as a force for personal empowerment and community engagement. We also strive to provide a home for non-mainstream programming in the DC area.