Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Chilly but pretty

other vendorsMy darling girlfriend and I are out at the Old Town Fine Arts and Crafts Festival selling some nice mirrors, and while the selection of things for sale are nice – our own included, of course – the weather could be better. It’s hard to believe this is the same event we just sweated our way through last year, given the way my dearheart has put my spare windbreaker on over her coat.

Undeterred by the slight chill are our feathered friends, back again this year. Apparently they’re used to us now, however, as the female yesterday darted up and grabbed the last bit of a crabcake bun right off a plate. Luckily it was a leftover being saved for her anyway, but we still scolded her. Not that it seems to have bothered her – I lifted up the rear of the booth to take a picture and found her right there, apparently waiting for us to have lunch today…


Artomatic 2008 Opens Today


Today marks the opening of Artomatic 2008 or what should be called “More Art Than You Can Shake a Stick At 2008”. This annual show promises to be bigger and better than ever this year, taking over the empty ten story Capitol Plaza office building and housing the work of about 1,000 artists. Yes. 1,000 artists. Not exactly something you can see all of in a casual walk through. Something tells me I’m going to have to make multiple trips to the show and even then probably won’t catch everything.

So what is Artomatic you ask? Their website sums it up best by saying:

    Artomatic is a month-long multimedia arts event that draws together visual artists, musicians and performers and brings their work to the community without charge.

I had toyed around with the idea of exhibiting in this year’s show but just couldn’t get my act together in time. Picking a series of photos, printing them (bleh), framing them (bleh and cha-ching!), printing business cards, painting the walls of my space, arranging lighting…way too much work for me to tackle. I am, however, excited to see the work of many of my friends at this year’s show including Marie Kwak, Eric Petersen, Kyle Gustafson, Angela Kleis, and Jason Colston.

The show opens at noon today and if you are planning on going tonight (like I am), be prepared for an insane amount of people and chaos. If you want to avoid tonight’s crowd, the show runs until June 15th so you have plenty of time to pay your respects to DC’s art community.

Opening Friday, May 9 – Closing June 15
1200 First St NE
Capital Plaza I – corner of First & M streets NE – NY Ave Metro
Wed-Thu: 5pm-10pm; Fri-Sat: noon-2am; Sun: noon-10pm; closed Mon-Tue
Free admission; donations welcome

Photo by Tracy Lee

Kensington Painting Exhibition on Friday


Please join Shara Banisadr and her students to celebrate unconventional ways of painting. They request that youRSVP so they know how many people to expect. You can visit the site about this event here and see others’ works as well.

The above painting is by local artist Kristin Bruch, a very talented and interesting young artist. As I have said before, I am not schooled in such highfalutin’ things as art history or art appreciation, but I know what I like and her work is drenched in it. Come on down and see Kristin’s work and that of many other artists as well. Here are all the specifics:

Reception: Friday, May 2, 2008
Time: 6:30-8:30

Location: Kensington Framing & Gallery
10805 Connecticut Ave
Kensington, MD 2089

Home, and yet out

Art is getting intimate. First there were house concerts, then public dance performances that take place inside people’s homes. Now there’s the home art show.

The first time I heard of it was Monday night. I’d met a woman at St. Ex who was planning to hold an art opening in her home to show off her collages, so I dropped by tonight. My friend and I got to her Columbia Heights house early, giving us a chance to ask a lot of questions. Turns out that the house’s main living spaces had recently been emptied—a roommate who’d owned most of the furniture had moved out—and that gave the artist in question an idea. She added that she’d looked into showing her work at a regular gallery, but many of them were located in old row houses like hers, and she thought, “Why go elsewhere?”

I was impressed with her moxie. The collages were arranged on walls throughout the dining and living rooms, and while each was accompanied by a short description about its meaning, the texts were covered with removable pieces of paper in case the viewer didn’t want her experience spoiled by an explanation. There were also Discmans placed here and there, for people to listen to the artist’s voice describing specific works of art.

It was quite lovely, and beautifully inventive.

Hey – Remember Flash Mobs?

This afternoon, the DC Advocates for the Arts are putting on a flash mob as part of their 2008 advocacy day.From the DCAA:

From 12:40 to 12:45 pm we will gather as many people as we can on Freedom Plaza. Freedom Plaza is a broad plaza that stretches between E st. and Pennsylvania Avenue and 13th and 14th St.’s Northwest – two blocks from the Metro Center metro stop. 

We ask that participants wear something white or red (the district flag colors) but all are invited to participate. There will be a brief orientation at 12:30 outside the Metro Center metro stop on the corner of 12th and G st.’s NW. At 12:40 we will proceed onto the plaza.

One team member will be carrying a red bandana over their head. When the bandana drops, we are all to freeze, looking out from the middle of the plaza. You are asked to look out to represent arts work as a viewer of society. The Plaza is a large rectangle. You will have to decide for yourself which edge of the plaza you are closest to. We ask you to turn and face out toward that edge of the plaza so that can get the effect of the freeze looking out.

In addition to passersby, there are many buildings overlooking the plaza. The effect should be powerful.We will freeze (in whatever position) looking out – for five minutes. The person with the bandana will be frozen in a position where they can see their watch. After five minutes, they will move, and we ask that you visually take note of other participants, and slide into motion as you see the rest of the participants begin to move.


 Honestly, it seems a bit goofy and dated to me at this point. I mean, how Dean 04, right? But, if you are going to be out on your lunch hour, you might want to check it out. Certainly raising the profile of the role of arts in the community is always valuable. Snap a few pictures for us, how about? (via Hoogirl)

The Blossoms Cometh

Photo uploaded by Ghost_Bear

It’s that time of year again. Our area’s arguably largest tourist pull, the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Yes, yes, everyone’s covering it, from Express to DCist. I won’t bore you with a rehash.

Actually, I come with a few questions.

My lovely wife and I have been down every year since we relocated here and frankly, I love it not so much for the blossoms (they’re gorgeous), but moreso to watch and photograph the people. I pick up a lot of great observation vignettes for my own writing; it’s like hitting the writer’s lotto.

This year, we’ve got a couple of good friends headed down from New York City. They’ve never been to the District and will only be here the first weekend of April. So naturally, I got them all excited about the Festival. It helps they’re both photogs, too, so if you see four people (three girls ignoring the one guy with them) wandering around with extensive camera gear, that’d be us. Picture-taking is pretty much a given. So is taking Metro.

Thing is, I’m trying to figure out what else to do on that Saturday before we head over to Old Towne for dinner and staking out a nice patch of marina rail for the fireworks. There’s the photo safaris, but those cost money and we’re decent photo people. So I think that’s out.

I was also considering the Edo Master’s collection at the Sackler. Or possibly the Japanese Cultural Fair, which promises a tea ceremony, origami and calligraphy demonstrations.

So what should I do? Any readers attended these in years prior? Or should I shy away from other Festival events and take them to the standard DC sites we always funnel tourists to? If so, what would you suggest?

Frankly, I’m stumped. It’s the first time we’ve had friends visit who could only stay two days; normally, we have practically a week to show them around or point them somewhere – this is a bit harder.

Oh, and even worse? They’re amateur foodies, like us. So figuring out good spots to eat is also on tap – suggestions for lunch would be appreciated, since none of the ladies have my appreciating taste for the curbside vendors and their cuisine. Dinner’s already planned, so fortunately I don’t look like a total incompetant to our jet-setting New York socialites.

So, anyone have some great suggestions to help a guy out?

Tidal Cherries, uploaded by bhrome

Photography Exhibit: The Migrant Project

There’s just a few weeks remaining of a photo exhibit at the Mexican Cultural Institute here in Washington, and there’s a special event at the Institute on Monday night, welcoming photographer Rick Nahmias who captured the images of those migrant farmers who probably helped pick what you’re having for dinner tonight.


From the exhibit text:

Though images of migrant farm workers of the 1930s and 40s are now iconic to many, rarely seen are their contemporaries – one of America’s largest invisible and cast-off populations. “The Migrant Project,” an in-depth photo-documentary (with bilingual text), proudly places the faces and stories of those currently working our fields front and center, providing a present day microcosm for numerous issues surrounding the human cost of feeding America.

DC has a fairly large migrant population, as well, and I suspect their roles in our lives are not quite so different: they’re a part of a society we don’t like to talk about, but carry tremendous value for us.

Maybe go check out the exhibit, think a bit more on it.

Photo courtesy of University of New Mexico Press

Mexican Cultural Institute
2829 16th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

DEKKA – DC Fashion Art Music

DCAFAM DEKKA is a new concept for U Street shopping. The boutique will be a co-op, bringing together work from local clothing and accessory designers, visual artists, and musicians. They also intend to be a space to host events for the art, music, and fashion communities.

A grand opening party on April 5th should give a good first look to see how well this all comes together. The party will go from 12 to 7, with shopping, cocktails, and music, and an official ribbon-cutting at 4:00.

DEKKA 1338 U Street, NW, 2nd Floor Washington, DC 20009

My thanks to hoogrrl for the tip.

Weekend Art: 2nd Annual DCist Exposed Photography Show

DCist Exposed

It’s a blog-eat-blog world out there, but we here at Metblogs love DCist and hope that they love us too (or at least really like us a lot).  To show our love for them and to help promote what is turning out to be a great showcase of local talent, I highly recommend that you join me in attending the opening of their 2nd Annual DCist Exposed Photography Show. From their press release:

    The exhibit will showcase new talent as they reveal the city to us through the eyes of people who live and work in the D.C. metro area. In a city too often seen purely as a collection of federal government buildings or a destination for tourists, these photographers capture the local music, art, architecture, and urban surroundings that give Washington, D.C. its unique cultural vibrancy.

If you’re looking for a way to get into the local art scene and perhaps even start your very own collection, I can’t think of a better way to begin. Over 40 photographs will be on display and, dare I say, for sale at prices that may be a bargain one day when these photographers hit the big leagues. Regardless, this should be a fun, free event that should not be missed.

Friday March 7th, 7PM to 9PM
Civilian Art Projects
406 7th St NW (THIRD FLOOR)
Washington, DC 20004

It’s a Beautiful Day for a Photowalk

As I climbed up from McPherson Square Metro this morning and walked up to Thomas Circle, I was struck by the light. It’s spring sunlight. Warm, crisp and citrusy against the brick and concrete. It’s a distinctly different light than the crystalline, icy light of December and January, where all the colors are pale and muted, and where none of the jewel tones of Spring and Summer shine out.Soon we’ll have leaves on the trees, and the flowers will be up. The forsythia along I-66 was starting to bloom as we went for a drive yesterday, which means the one outside my door should be along in the next week or so, and the rising daffodils are coming up like weeds.So take a walk this afternoon and bring your camera with you. Doesn’t matter if it’s a cellphone cam or a DSLR, it’s worth it to capture some of the very best light this city has to offer.

Morning rush at Thomas Circle – Originally uploaded by tbridge

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.