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The Best of April Art in Washington: Museum Exhibitions, Gallery Shows, and Events

See collage at the Hirshhorn, cherry blossom photos curated by FotoWeek DC, and an all-night performance-art pajama party at the Capitol Skyline this month.

“Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa” opens April 22 at the National Museum of African Art. Photograph by George Osodi.

Museum Exhibitions

At the National Geographic Museum, Beyond the Story: National Geographic Unpublished 2012 showcases some of the most compelling images that never made it into the magazine from last year’s stories—42 photographs by 29 photographers, including images of emperor penguins, koalas, orphan elephants, and more. Through July 7.

“Next Stop Italy: A Journey Into Italian Contemporary Photography” runs at the Phillips Collection through April 28, and features 12 works by photographers such as Andrea Galvani and Franco Vaccari.

Hand-Held: Gerhard Pulverer’s Japanese Illustrated Books opens April 6 at the Sackler Gallery, featuring illustrated books from Japan’s Edo period. Through August 11.

“NEXT,” an exhibition of work by the Corcoran’s graduating class, opens April 6.

April 12 through July 28, the Renwick Gallery presents “Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color,” a show exploring the life and career of Day, an African-American living and working in the pre-Civil War 19th century. Thirty-six pieces of furniture illustrate the talent that helped him become one of the most successful furniture makers in North Carolina.

At the Textile Museum, “Out of Southeast Asia: Art That Sustains” features textiles ranging from Indonesian batiks to Laotian ikats, and looks at how they’ve evolved and inspired contemporary designers. April 12 through October 13.

Also opening April 12 is the Newseum’s JFK exhibit, which includes “Creating Camelot,” a show of photography documenting the Kennedy family by personal photographer Jacques Lowe.

“Over, Under, Next: Experiments in Mixed Media, 1913-Present,” at the Hirshhorn April 18 through September 8, looks at the art of collage. The show includes some 100 pieces from the museum’s collection, including works by Joseph Stella, Ann Hamilton, and Bruce Conner.

“Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa,” opening April 22 at the National Museum of African Art, brings together some 100 works spanning two centuries and features the first ever “land art” installations on the Mall. Through January 5, 2014.

Gallery Shows

“Archeo: Constructed Paintings by Joanne Kent” runs at the DC Arts Center through April 21.

Iva Gueorguieva: Reinvigorating Prints runs through May 3 at George Washington University’s Luther W. Brady Gallery, featuring large, abstract prints in mixed media.

“Down to the Wire” by Veronica Szalus and “Natural Reaction: New Rust Prints and Sculpture” by Brian Kirk run at Studio Gallery through April 20.

April 3 through 28, Dupont’s Foundry Gallery presents Outloud,” an exhibition of work by 11 local abstract artists.

Spring in Focus: Cherry Blossom and Spirit of DC runs at Pepco Edison Place Gallery April 4 through 26, with curated photographs of cherry blossoms organized by FotoWeek DC.

April 6 through 28, the Fridge presents “Pia Mater,” an exhibition exploring vulnerability and the brain by Jenny Sawle, Emily Francisco, and Ashleigh Werner.

Four exhibitions open at American University’s Katzen Arts Center April 6, including “Lee Haner: Mischief,” featuring mixed-media works inspired by the American Southwest, and “Painting Borges: Art Interpreting Literature,” which showcases new visual art inspired by the writing of Jorge Luis Borges.

“Seeking the Abstract in Photography,” a show featuring images by Barbara French Pace and others, runs at Bethesda’s Waverly Street Gallery April 9 through May 4.

“In Other Words: A Native Primer” by Anna Tsouhlarakis opens at Flashpoint April 19, with a multimedia installation inspired by Native American identity in Washington. Through May 18.

Art Events

Phillips After 5 returns April 4 with an Italian theme, featuring music from Project Natale and a gallery talk on the museum’s exhibition of Italian photography.

Iona Rozeal Brown presents Battle of Yestermore,” the painter’s first performance art piece drawing on Kabuki and Noh traditions, at the Corcoran April 5, to coincide with the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

The Corcoran hosts a free community day to coincide with the last day of “Pump Me Up: DC Subculture of the 1980s” April 6.

The Sugarloaf Crafts Festival returns to Gaithersburg April 12 through 14.

April 14, the American Art Museum hosts a day dedicated to Nam June Paik, with a symposium, gallery talks, and a music performance.

Performance artists Holly Bass, Kathryn Cornelius, and Jeffry Cudlin participate in a forum at Artisphere April 18.

Washington Project for the Arts presents Sleepout, a poolside pajama party with performance art at the Capitol Skyline Hotel April 20.

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