The gallery first opened its doors in February 2017 in an old, Brutalist shopping center off River Road just outside Washington, DC’s border with Bethesda, MD. Formerly known as WAS gallery, it mounted 14 well-received shows in two years. In September 2019, it closed its doors in Bethesda and eventually moved to Tenleytown in Washington, DC re-branding as Formerly Was. The gallery organizes two or three exhibitions a year featuring artwork by emerging and mid career artists in a range of media to include painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, collage, and photography.
Joumana Moukarim is the founding director of Formerly Was. Besides organizing and curating art shows, Moukarim provides art consulting services to collectors, interior decorators, and business entities. Moukarim is a frequent visitor to artists in their studios and is invested in long-term, creative relationships with the artists she works with. A native of Lebanon, Moukarim holds an MFA in Studio Art from American University in Washington, DC and a BA in Business Administration from Richmond College in Surrey, England. Moukarim lives and works in Washington, DC.
4936 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016