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Museum exhibits, gallery shows, and events. By Tanya Pai
“Milky Way Over Second Beach” by Joe LeFevre is part of the Natural History Museum's “Wilderness Forever: Celebrating 50 Years of Protecting America’s Wilderness.”


“From Neoclassicism to Futurism: Italian Prints and Drawings 1800-1925” at the National Gallery of Art comprises some 80 prints, drawings, and more showcasing the contributions of Italians to modern art. September 1 through February 1. 

Also at the National Gallery“Modern American Drawings and Prints From the Kainen Collection”—the last in a series of three formed by the bequest of Ruth Cole Kainen—includes works from the first seven dec­ades of the 20th century. Highlights include a drip painting by Pollock and a work on newspaper by de Kooning. September 1 through February 1. 

In “Nasta’Liq: The Genius of Persian Calligraphy,” the Sackler Gallery looks at nasta’liq, a calligraphic script that developed in 14th-century Iran and eventually evolved into an art form. September 3 through March 22. 

To mark the anniversary of 1964’s Wilderness Act, the Natural History Museum presents “Wilderness Forever: Celebrating 50 Years of Protecting America’s Wilderness,” a collection of 50 large-scale photographs by professionals, amateurs, and students celebrating American landscapes. September 3 until 2015. 

“Emilie Brzezinski: The Lure of the Forest” at the Kreeger Museum showcases forms hand-sawed and chiseled from tree trunks, created by the Swiss-born sculptor (mother of Morning Joe cohost Mika Brzezinski). September 16 through December 27.

At the National Museum of African Art beginning September 17 is “Chief S.O. Alonge: Photographer to the Royal Court of Benin,” which delves into the history of Nigerian photography with works by Chief Solomon Osagie Alonge, one of Nigeria’s premier early photographers. 

“Captain Linnaeus Tripe: Photographer of India and Burma, 1852-1860” is the first major exhibit of works by this East India Company photographer, and includes images of architecture, landscapes, and geological formations in mid-19th-century India and what is now Myanmar, as well as in England. September 21 through January 4 at the National Gallery

“Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations” at the National Museum of the American Indian is an exploration of Native American tribes’ relationship with the US government from Colonial times through today. September 21 through August 2018. 

The last of the baby boomers will turn 50 by the end of this year. To mark the milestone, the Newseum collaborated with photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders on the 19 portraits of notable members of the generation that make up “The Boomer List,” including musician Billy Joel, designer Tommy Hilfiger, and novelist Amy Tan. $22.95; September 26 through July 5.

With a 2013 acquisition of 54 pieces, the American Art Museum has one of the largest public collections of pieces by James Castle, an artist whose drawings, assemblages, handmade books, and other works are made even more remarkable by the fact that he was born deaf and was illiterate throughout his life. See them all in “Untitled: The Art of James Castle,” on view September 26 through February 1.

At the Phillips Collection September 27 through January 11 is “Neo-Impressionism and the Dream of Realities,” which includes works by Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Theo van Rysselberghe, and more.


Gallery Plan B has the fourth solo show by Sheep Jones, featuring works with her typical motifs of birds, vegetables, and shed-like buildings. September 6 through October 12. 

September 10 through October 6, Art League takes a look at contemporary realism with a show juried by Dorothy Moss of the National Portrait Gallery. 

Neptune Fine Art puts on “Raya Bodnarchuk: Bronze Sculpture,” a showcase of the modernist American’s works. September 12 through October 4. 

CulturalDC presents “Emily Francisco: Something Slightly Familiar,” an interactive audio-visual exhibit featuring looped videos, motion-activated sounds, and other components. Aft Flashpoint September 12 through October 11. 

Beginning September 12, the Robert Brown Gallery presents paintings, sculptures, and more by five South African artists. Through October 4. 

At Lorton’s Workhouse Arts Center September 12 through October 19 is “Earth and Fire,” an exhibit of ceramics from nine countries, including Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Workhouse also showcases artists from closer to home in “40 Years of Potomac Valley Watercolorists,” September 13 through October 25. 


This month’s Phillips After 5 happens September 4 and celebrates “the art of slowing down” with music from the Marshall Keys quartet, food from Blue Duck Tavern, and more. 

The National Museum of Women in the Arts hosts its monthly free community day on September 7. 

The King Street Art Festival returns September 13 and 14, turning Alexandria’s main drag into open-air galleries featuring works by around 200 artists. 

The 2014 Nuit Blanche, September 27, expands outside of Shaw to include Dupont Circle, North Capitol, H Street, Northeast, and Congress 

During the Smithsonian’s annual Museum Day Live, on September 27, get free admission to the Crime Museum, the National Building Museum, and other participating institutions. See the website for the full list. 

Posted at 01:00 PM/ET, 09/03/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Museum exhibitions, gallery shows, and events to check out. By Tanya Pai
The Sackler Gallery presents a large-scale installation by Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota beginning August 30. Photograph by Sunhi Mang.


“Hawaii by Air,” open at the National Air and Space Museum through July 25, 2015, explores the journey to one of the most remote US states, from the early days of flight to the present, as well as the impact of increased tourism on the area. 

At the National Geographic Museum August 5 through November 30 is “Mars Up Close,” an exhibit that lets visitors explore the red planet through images, interactive displays, a full-scale model of the Curiosity rover, and content from the new book Mars Up Close: Inside the Curiosity Mission by Washington Post writer Marc Kaufman.

On display at the National Portrait Gallery beginning August 22 is “Portraiture Now: Staging the Self,” a bilingual exhibit in collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino Center that examines the works of Latino artists across a variety of media, questioning the idea that portraits can represent individuals’ identities. Through April 12. 

As part of the Sackler Gallery’s Perspectives series, Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota constructs a large-scale installation of hundreds of pairs of shoes encased in a multitude of red threads attached to a single point. Visitors will get the chance to see the artist and watch the work being installed during a public viewing period August 18 through 21. The work is on display August 30 through June 7.


At the Torpedo Factory beginning August 5 is “Dog Days of Summer,” a fine art photography exhibit focused on depictions of sultry late-summer days. The show, juried by Kathleen Ewing, runs through August 31. 

The Art League’s “ ’Scapes,” running August 6 through September 8, exhibits a variety of scenes, from cityscapes to natural landscapes, done in a range of styles. 

August 8 through September 6 at Flashpoint is “Between Fact and Fiction,” a showcase of mechanical objects that artist Adam Hager has disassembled and reassembled in ways that flip their intended purpose. 

Gallery Underground presents “Making Their Mark: Art Brut,” an exhibition produced in collaboration with the art-therapy program Purple Art, which focuses on wounded veterans and individuals with disabilities. Through August 23.  

Washington Printmakers Gallery (in its new Georgetown space) hosts the 17th annual National Small Works Exhibition, featuring 50 prints by artists from all around the US. The exhibition is juried by American University’s Jack Rasmussen, and runs concurrently with a solo show by Diane Alire, the grand prize winner from 2013. Through August 31. 

“ApocalyptiCAT” at the Goethe-Institut displays a selection of woodcuts and papercuts by German artist Franca Bartholomäi. August 27 through October 10. 


This month’s Phillips After 5 happens on August 7. The theme is “American bounty,” and you’ll find food trucks, a bourbon tasting, and live bluegrass. 

On August 23, Torpedo Factory hosts its second Art Material Market, giving local artists a chance to buy, sell, and trade supplies used to make their crafts. 

Find Tanya Pai on Twitter at @tanyapai.

Posted at 02:37 PM/ET, 08/05/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Public backlash and concerns from DC environmental officials put Mia Feuer’s exhibit on hold. By Benjamin Freed
"Antediluvian," as it would have appeared in the Anacostia River this fall. Rendering courtesy of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

UPDATE, 3:10 PM: The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities says Mia Feuer's mock gas station won't be going in the Anacostia River after officials from the District Department of the Environment voiced concerns that the exhibit could interfere with efforts to clean up the distressed waterway.

Sarah Massey, a spokeswoman for the commission, says the decision was reached ahead of a letter issued Thursday by a coalition of environmentalists and rowers opposing the installation of Feuer's composition, which was scheduled to be part of the upcoming 5X5 Project, a collection of public art scattered throughout the District.

"We're responding to the issue of the toxicity in the riverbed," Massey says. "We have to do things that are responsive to the public good."

The arts commission's director, Lionell Thomas, met with Department of the Environment Director Keith Anderson about Feuer's exhibit "yesterday or this morning," says Anderson's spokeswoman, Donna Henry. Henry says their conversations were more technical and would have likely addressed permitting issues.

Although Massey says the arts commission still "stands behind" Feuer's faux gas station and wants it to appear somewhere in the District, the reaction—even from another city agency—is not that startling.

"This artist is controversial," Massey says. "Controversy and dialogue is something one would expect with her work. We are looking to relocate."

Original post follows:

Perhaps the most provocative piece announced for the DC government’s upcoming 5x5 public art project has, in fact, provoked a reaction. The Canadian artist Mia Feuer’s plan to build a full-scale replica of a gas station in the middle of the Anacostia River is the target of a letter issued Thursday by the a group of environmentalists and rowers who say the planned artwork would suggest it’s acceptable to pollute the river, even though Feuer’s mock gas station is designed with the exact opposite message.

“While we understand and many of us appreciate the global climate change message that the artist is trying to deliver, we are unified in our view that sinking a gas station in the Anacostia is simply the wrong thing to do in 2014,” the letter, addressed to DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities director Lionell Thomas, reads. “If the public misunderstands the art’s intended message as permission to put gas or oil in the river, the project could single-handedly set back the river restoration and undo years of effort on the part of the DC, Montgomery County and Prince Georges County governments to convince people to keep oil out of the water.”

Opponents to Feuer’s work may not relish the visual of a fake gas station butting out of Kingman Lake, an inlet of the Anacostia that separates Kingman Island from the mainland, the notion that it would erode efforts to clean up DC’s waterways seems incongruous with the rest Feuer’s portfolio, much of which has had an environmental bent. For her last major exhibition in DC, she installed a skating rink in the Corcoran Gallery of Art featuring ice made from bitumen, a byproduct of North American shale.

This fall marks the second installment of the DC arts commission’s 5x5 Project, in which five curators place works by five different artists around town. Feuer’s gas station, titled “Antediluvian,” is part of a series called Near Future, which focuses on energy and ecology. Feuer is still raising money for the project through an Indiegogo page with a goal of $30,000.

Posted at 10:24 AM/ET, 07/18/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The museum’s new app lets you play curator. By Tanya Pai
Curate your own exhibit with a new app from the Phillips Collection. Photograph via Wikimedia Commons.

You can use your phone to order lunch, deposit checks, and videoconference with someone across the world. But the Phillips Collection is aiming more highbrow: The museum has launched a uCurate app that lets users arrange their own virtual art exhibitions. The app, developed in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibit “Made in the USA,” lets aspiring curators arrange 52 works from the collection as they see fit, as well as choose wall colors and add their own comments to the information panels that accompany each painting. They can then upload their gallery to the Phillips’s website to share with other art enthusiasts.

The app adds another layer to the museum’s “every piece a conversation” philosophy. “uCurate allows visitors to design their version of ‘Made in the USA’ and, like Duncan Phillips, create deeply personal displays of works that spark visual conversations,” says exhibit curator Susan Behrends Frank in a press release. 

“Made in the USA,” featuring works by Alexander Calder, Richard Diebenkorn, Edward Hopper, and more, is on display until August 31, and the uCurate app is available for iPhone and Android. 

Posted at 03:30 PM/ET, 07/15/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
We preview the twists and turns of the museum’s latest exhibit. By Michael Gaynor
Rendering of the BIG Maze courtesy of the Bjarke Ingels Group.

Usually, the Fourth of July means navigating a maze of holiday weekend traffic. But this year, the National Building Museum would rather you navigate an actual maze. Its newest exhibit, the BIG Maze, opens July 4, and taking a wrong turn in it will probably be more fun than taking a wrong turn off the Bay Bridge and getting lost in the cornfields of the Delmarva Peninsula.

Located in the museum’s Great Hall, the maze is huge, measuring about 60 square feet with 18-foot-high walls. Yet it’s not your typical maze. As you make your way toward the center, the walls slope downward, getting lower and providing a clearer vision of the correct path. It’s a zen-like structure that has a lot of similarities to Washington’s many famous labyrinths.

The maze was designed by the Bjarke Ingels Group, a Danish firm; its architect, Bjarke Ingels, says the project was an attempt to bring a traditionally two-dimensional form into the third-dimension. In fact, the original concept involved using a net to suspend a cubed maze from the ceiling, but thankfully they ended up with something a little less terrifying.

The maze is very kid-friendly (despite the fact that this grown-up reporter got completely lost several times). You can make your way to the center relatively quickly if you hustle, but it’s much more satisfying to wander down each path, watching how the form of the corners blend together, creating optical illusions that make you think you’ve found a way through, only to be tricked into a dead end.

“Architecture suffers from being seen as either elitist or boring,” says Ingels—but it’s all around us every day. The maze is an effort to get kids interested in how these structures affect our lives. “Architecture is too important to leave to the architects.”

When you’re in the heart of the maze, it feels like you’re at the bottom of a cereal bowl, or the center of a stadium. Suddenly you can see the outline of the path you took to get there, and all the twists and turns that led you astray.

Ingels quoted a fellow Dane, the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, to explain the view: “Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward.” 

Tip: After you go through the maze, head up to the museum’s third-floor balcony for a great aerial view—and laugh at everyone as you watch them hit each dead end.

The BIG Maze will run through September 1. Admission costs $16 for adults and $13 for kids ages 3 to 17, which includes access to all the museum’s other exhibits. Tickets are only available at the museum. 

Posted at 11:55 AM/ET, 07/03/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The BIG Maze at the Building Museum, Artscape Baltimore, and more this month. By Tanya Pai
See works by Italian-American artist Salvatore Scarpitta at the Hirshhorn this month. “Trevis Race Car (Sal Gambler Special),” 1985. Photograph by Lee Stalsworth.


“Once There Were Billions: Vanished Birds of North America” examines extinct species of birds that were once rampant in North America, as well as the fragile relationship between living creatures and their environments. At the Natural History Museum through October 2015. 

The National Portrait Gallery explores the private lives of, and rivalries between, Civil War generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee through photographs, documents, paintings, and more. “One Life: Grant and Lee: ‘It Is Well That War Is So Terrible . . .’” is at the museum July 4 through May 31. 

At the Corcoran July 19 through September 28 is “Mark Tribe: Plein Air,” which explores aerial photography through the artist’s use of computer-generated landscapes.

The BIG Maze—named both for its size (61 by 61 feet, 18 feet high) and for the Bjarke Ingels Group, the architecture firm that created it—opens July 4 at the National Building Museum and serves as a preview of the “amBIGuity” exhibit, opening next year. Through September 1. 

The Hirshhorn presents “Salvatore Scarpitta: Traveler,” one of the only shows in a major US museum dedicated to the works of the Italian-American artist. Among the pieces on display are the full-scale sprint-racing cars he built later in his career and the last work he created before his death in 2007. July 17 through January 11. 

“Behind the Badge” at the Postal Museum is an interactive exhibit centered on the United States Postal Inspection Service, one of the oldest law-enforcement agencies in the country. On display are an anthrax-laced letter sent to Senator Tom Daschle, handcuffs used during the arrest of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, and more. Ongoing. 

The Corcoran College of Art and Design presents “The Gray Area: Living in Transition,” a multimedia exhibit that examines the boundaries between military and civilian life and the way those boundaries can blur. July 2 through 20. 

Coming to the Air and Space Museum July 25 is “Hawaii by Air,” looking at how the journey to one of the most remote states has changed since the early days of flight. 


At the Hillyer Art Space July 5 through 26 is “Flesh & Bone,” an exhibition of 33 works by local and regional artists focused on contemporary figurative art. 

Washington Project for the Arts presents “Harder, Glorious,” the latest in its Hothouse Video series. The group of video works by artists from the United States and abroad attempt to capture the beauty and futility of life. In the lobby of the Capitol Skyline Hotel July 10 through September 14. 

“Frozen Music” at the Torpedo Factory is a showcase of new works by DC photographer Alan Sislen that examine the relationship between music and architecture. Through August 3. 

VisArts presents “The Candy Store,” in which artist Jackie Hoysted uses encaustic painting—a technique that involves adding pigment to heated beeswax—to create a series of scented paintings that play off the idea of art as eye candy. July 11 through August 17.

Also at VisArts, American University alum Ruth Lozner presents “Fiction Non Fiction,” an exhibit of her surrealist art inspired by her family’s collection of thrift-store finds and memorabilia. July 18 through August 17.

“Glass Unpolished: Explorations of Time, Nature, and Technology” at Workhouse Arts Center exhibits pieces by Maryland and Virginia artists working with glass as a medium. July 12 through September 7. 

Stephen Walls’s “Transient States,” at the Torpedo Factory July 19 through August 31, examines the collective unconscious through the North Carolina artist’s large-scale paintings. 


The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is back on the Mall July 2 through 6, exploring Chinese culture through food, dance, music, and more. 

This month’s Phillips After 5, on July 3, fittingly has an Independence Day theme.

Artscape Baltimore, billed as “America’s largest free arts festival,” offers visitors the chance to peruse works from more than 150 artists, designers, craftspeople, and more. July 18 through 20. 

Beginning July 7, “Design@: Sister Cities Exhibit and Festival” presents a show and a series of public programs that explore the culture and development of DC and Beijing. Through July 11 at Powerhouse

On July 18, DC Arts Center celebrates its 25th anniversary with an “uncurated art happening,” offering 25 hours of continuous performances and opportunities to peruse and buy art, culminating in a party with deejays and drinks. 

Posted at 10:39 AM/ET, 07/02/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The nonprofit will take over 1358 and 1360 Florida Avenue, Northeast. By Tanya Pai
Capital Fringe will move from its current headquarters at 607 New York Avenue, Northeast. Photograph by Flickr user Joe Loong.

Capital Fringe announced Tuesday it has finalized a deal to purchase 1358 and 1360 Florida Avenue, Northeast, which currently houses the Connersmith Art Gallery and the headquarters of the (e)merge art fair. The performing-arts-focused nonprofit has been in the District since 2005, but its fate in town has been up in the air recently, as its home at Fort Fringe (607 New York Avenue, Northwest) is slated for redevelopment. 

Capital Fringe’s new home will feature “three black-box theaters, a scene shop, art gallery/event space and a beer garden,” according to a press release. It will house both the year-round training factory and performances in the Capital Fringe Festival, though the switch won’t take place in time for this year’s event, coming up July 10 through 27. “We still have quite a bit of fundraising ahead of us, but we are enthusiastic at the potential of what this space will become and the cultural influence it will have on the city,” says Peter Korbel, Capital Fringe’s COO. 

Connersmith and (e)merge, meanwhile, are looking for a new home. The final hurrah in the Florida Avenue space will be a pre-party for (e)merge on July 12 and the annual student art show Academy 2014, happening July 12 through August 9. 

Posted at 10:14 AM/ET, 06/25/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
New van Gogh at the National Gallery of Art, Cartier at Hillwood, and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. By Tanya Pai
See pieces from the Cartier collection of Marjorie Merriweather Post beginning June 7. Photograph courtesy of Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens.


Beginning June 6 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, see “Total Art: Contemporary Video,” featuring ten installations by women pioneers of the medium in the 1960s and 70s. June 6 through October 12.

Opening June 8 is “Celebrating van Gogh at the National Gallery of Art,” which includes two new acquisitions from the collection of Paul Mellon.

“Speculative Forms” at the Hirshhorn looks at the relationship between the object and the eye and body across a range of art historical categories. Opens June 16.

At the American History Museum, Fancis Scott Key’s original manuscript for “The Star-Spangled Banner” is on loan from the Maryland Historical Society June 14 through July 6. 

In “Indelible: The Platinum Photographs of Larry McNeil and Will Wilson” at the Museum of the American Indian, the artists offer a modern take on the “vanishing race” photographs taken of Native Americans toward the end of the 19th century. June 7 through January 15, 2015. 

“American Metal: The Art of Albert Paley” at the Corcoran presents a retrospective of one of the foremost metalsmiths living in America. June 28 through September 28. 

Opening June 7 at Hillwood Museum & Estate is “Cartier: Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Dazzling Gems,” displaying Post’s extensive selection of pieces commissioned from the Parisian jeweler. Through December 31.


The Art League examines the Neo-Expressionist movement of the 1980s with a special exhibit June 4 through July 7. 

The Fridge presents “Urban Decay 5,” the fifth installment of the exhibit created in 2010 that focuses on the influences of urban and “low-brow” art on today’s modern art. June 7 through 29. 

“Susan O’Neill: Figural Fine Lines” is at the Art League Gallery June 5 through July 7, presenting the artist’s drawings of the human form. 

Washington Printmakers Gallery presents “A Wonder-Filled Life,” a showcase of works by the late local painter/printmaker Neena Birch. Through June 29.

In “Melanie Kehoss: Glow Tableaux,” Kehoss uses light boxes and cut-paper scenes to explore the humor and mystery of everyday American rituals. June 11 through August 23 at Artisphere

“Sonya Lawyer: A Peace (of the Dream)” looks at the themes of family, past, and present through vintage photographs, spoken-word performances, and music. June 27 through August 2 at Flashpoint.

At the Katzen Arts Center June 14 through August 17 is “Continental Drift (Being Here and Being There),” a solo show by Judy Byron examining cultural influences on her identity as an artist.

Beginning June 29 at Arlington Arts Center is “Green Acres,” an interactive multimedia exhibit focused on art and agriculture.


Phillips After 5 happens on Thursday, June 5. The theme, in collaboration with the DC Jazz Fest, is Summer in the City: The American ’50s and features live jazz and food from Shake Shack. $12; 5 PM.

This years Source Festival, June 6 through 29, presents original works that include three full-length plays, 18 ten-minute plays, and three artistic blind dates.” Find more details online

At the Sackler Gallery on Saturday, June 8, is the first Asia After Dark of the year. At “Bollywood and Beyond,” learn Bollywood dances, see an installation by contemporary artist Rina Banerjee, try food from Sundevich and cocktails from Ping Pong Dim Sum, and more. $15 online or $25 at the door; 8 PM.

National Geographic and BYT partner for After Hours, a party featuring deejays, food trucks, and talks from Nat Geo “explorers.” June 13 at 8 PM; $25.

At the Torpedo Factory’s Second Thursday Art Night on June 12, browse open galleries, meet artists, and enjoy free refreshments and music. 

The annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival returns to the Mall June 25 through 29 and July 2 through 6, exploring the traditions and cultures of China and Kenya through exhibitions, music, and food.

This post has been updated from a previous version.

Posted at 10:20 AM/ET, 06/04/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
A rundown of interesting exhibits, live music, and hands-on crafts. By Vicky Gan
A dozen galleries, including Hillyer Art Space, keep their doors open late for First Friday Dupont. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Once a month, the following business districts, parks, and cultural centers stay open late for “art walks”—allowing visitors to go from gallery to gallery to look at what’s on view and chat with artists. At the free events, you can enjoy refreshments and sometimes special activities such as contests, music, and dance.

First Friday Dupont

Expect crowds for Dupont Circle’s art walk, a three-decade tradition that spans a dozen modern and contemporary galleries. Each space has its own vibe: Studio Gallery recently booked a violinist, while Toolbox hired a deejay. Visitors often end the evening at Hillyer Art Space, which closes later than the other galleries, at 9 (and has a suggested donation of $5). Keep an eye out for tie-in happy hours and deals at bars and restaurants along the way; Circa and Duke’s Grocery recently hosted after-parties.

When: First Friday of every month, 6 to 8.

Coming up: Studio Gallery presents the work of students and faculty in the Corcoran College of Art & Design’s printmaking program, June 25 through July 19.

Frederick’s First Saturday goes beyond art, with everything from parades to restaurant deals. Photograph by Douglas Via.

First Saturday

This gallery walk in Frederick is part of a daylong slate of activities that vary each month. Arts and crafts and music draw families in the afternoon; evenings see young adults and couples strolling down Market Street. Don’t miss the workshops at Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center or giveaways—such as handmade ceramic flower magnets—at the Potters’ Guild. You can make a night of it with special deals at restaurants and retailers; a few shops even have their own galleries, hosting different artists each month. On a summer day, downtown Frederick can get up to 25,000 visitors for its art walk.

When: First Saturday of every month, 3 to 9.

Coming up: “I ART Downtown Frederick,” a celebration of local art, coinciding with the 21st annual Frederick Festival of the Arts, June 7.

Art Walk in the Park

The former Glen Echo amusement park houses galleries, studios, and workshops in its Art Deco pavilions. In and around the Arcade Building, you’ll find artists working in glass, painting, photography, pottery, and silversmithing, along with group exhibits in the Stone Tower and Popcorn galleries. The night ends with social dance and live music at the Spanish Ballroom or Bumper Car Pavilion, for a small fee. This art event attracts an older crowd because there aren’t kids’ activities.

When: Second Friday of the month, May through October, 6 to 8.

Coming up: On June 13, enjoy demonstrations of silversmithing and kiln-formed-glass techniques, two photography exhibits, and a contra dance.

Those inspired by the Torpedo Factory’s art night can buy art supplies there. Photograph by Joelle Phillips.

Second Thursday Art Night

Old Town’s Torpedo Factory is an indoor arts village with 82 studios, six galleries, two workshops, and an archaeology museum on its three levels. Located on the Alexandria waterfront, the art center—in a former Navy munitions factory—celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Check out the enamel art, fiber creations, photography, and ceramics by local artists as well as the largest gallery, the Art League, which includes an art-supply store. Each month features a different discipline—June’s is sculpture—with live music in the main hall and demonstrations throughout the space.

When: Second Thursday of every month, 6 to 9.

Coming up: “The Alexandria Community Art Library— a 40th-anniversary exhibit in the Target Gallery exploring the Torpedo Factory’s history through artifacts and oral histories—runs May 31 through July 13.

2nd Saturday Art Walk

Explore the 55-acre grounds of Workhouse Arts Center, a converted prison in Lorton that joined the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. In six studio buildings, the campus supports more than 100 artists who are on hand to talk about their work. Some 200 to 400 visitors attend each month. Every studio showcases the work of its resident artists, while the largest facility, housing the McGuireWoods and Vulcan galleries, curates larger monthly exhibitions. Kids and pets are welcome to play on the outdoor quad, which hosts a summer concert series.

When: Second Saturday of every month, 6 to 9.

Coming up: At the ice-cream social in July, $20 gets you a bowl handmade by an artist, plus ice cream and toppings.

Bethesda Art Walk

You might start by entering from the Metro tunnel under Wisconsin Avenue, which showcases the work of 12 local artists. Galleries on the route exhibit painting, sculpture, tapestry, and ceramics. You can meet artists in their workspaces at Studio B and tour new juried exhibits every month at Waverly Street Gallery, founded in 1993. The free Bethesda Circulator stops near all seven galleries.

When: Second Friday of every month, 6 to 9.

Coming up: Gallery B exhibits winners of the 2014 Bethesda Painting Awards, a juried art competition for local painters, June 4 through 28.

Third Thursday Open Studios

Located outside the Brookland Metro, Monroe Street Market’s arts walk is just that: a promenade flanked by two buildings housing 27 art studios. Since January, the mixed-use development has hosted monthly open-studio nights, with artists coordinating demos, workshops, and classes. Highlights include Stitch & Rivet, a handmade-accessories studio, where guests who paid $5 recently crafted leather bracelets, and the ARTillery, which lends tools for art projects.

When: Third Thursday of every month, 6 to 8.

Coming up: Decorate costumes for children in hospitals—they wear them during performances of the theater nonprofit Only Make Believe—in Studio 1 on June 19.

This article appears in the June 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 09:32 AM/ET, 05/30/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Time to make another trip while you still can. By Tanya Pai
Photograph by Flickr user Adam Fagen.

The Corcoran Gallery of Art in its current form will end October 1, to be divided up by the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University, but until then its programs are continuing as usual. That means it’s a great opportunity to take advantage of the museum’s Free Summer Saturdays program—which offers gratis tours of the gallery, along with workshops, performances, and more, and runs every weekend through Labor Day.

This Saturday brings a “botanical collages workshop” from 10:30 to 12:30, offering visitors the chance to create their own tropical landscape in the style of the painting “Into Bondage,” by Harlem Renaissance painter Aaron Douglas. The gallery also has two special exhibits opening later in the summer: “American Metal: The Art of Albert Paley,” opening June 28 and examining the 50-year career of the American metalsmith; and “Mark Tribe: Plein Air,” in which the artist uses a computer to generate landscapes with the look of aerial photographs, opening July 19.

Posted at 09:59 AM/ET, 05/28/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()