Friday, October 9, 2009

All Art Friday

This week's All Art Friday is a round-up of my selections for "must see" exhibitions and events around the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

All Art Friday
Virginia, Maryland, and Washington Edition

Cultural Cameos — You're not opposed to that new cultural center for Arlington, Virginia, are you? Open your mind to "Creative Briefs", Saturday, October 10, 8:00 - 11:00 p.m., 1101 Wilson Blvd., Rosslyn, Virginia. Arlington County, long a supporter of the arts, along with The Pink Line Project, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, and other sponsors, will bring together a number of arts groups to present information on plans for the cultural center, slated to open October 10, 2010. Among presenters of short performances and "happenings" are Synetic at Spectrum Theater, Washington Shakespeare Company, Moving Words, Los Quetzales Mexican Dance Ensemble, and Lee Arts Center. For more information, click here. Art Eyes ASL interpreters will be present, and a free bike valet will be provided. The event can best be reached via the subway (Rosslyn Metro Station, just two blocks away).

An Inspired Periodic Garden — A reception and catalog-signing for artist Rebecca Kamen's "Divining Nature: An Elemental Garden" will take place Saturday, October 17, at the Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St., Ste. 103, Reston, Virginia), where Kamen's show will be on view through November 14.

A sculpture installation inspired by the periodic table of chemical elements, Kamen's "garden" in the art center's octagonal gallery consists of luminous white "flowers" representing the 83 naturally occurring elements. Each "flower" comprises white Mylar tiers supported on slender fiberglass stems, with the number of "petals" (tiers) corresponding to the element's orbital pattern and the number of "stems" based on the element's electrons. The rotation and flow of the "flowers" are mathematically derived—based on the Golden Section and the Fibonacci Spiral. An original soundscape by composer and installation collaborator Susan Alexjander, based on unique nuclear vibrations emitted by the elements, is an integral part of the show. A gallery talk at 6:00 p.m. is scheduled the same evening as the reception.

Kamen is a well-known and well-loved artist and educator whose work is exhibited nationally and internationally. A Pollack Krasner Grant recipient, Kamen informs her work with in-depth research into science, cosmology, spirituality, and philosophy. From often complex concepts she creates extraordinary, thought-provoking, and beautifully realized objects. For gallery hours and other information about the exhibition, telephone (703) 471-9242 or click here.

IBIS Bids Voyage — You don't have to go to the Kennedy Center to hear professional musicians. You just need to come to Arlington. IBIS, a chamber music group that presents free concerts at intimate arts venues around the Washington, D.C., area, is performing its season-opening concert on Saturday, November 14, 7:30 p.m., at Clarendon United Methodist Church (606 N. Irving St.), in Arlington, Virginia. The program, "L'Invitation Au Voyage", presents Duparc's setting of Baudelaire's poem of the same name, the tango rhythms of Piazzolla, and works by Pierne, Corigliano, and Dvorak.  For detailed program information or one of IBIS's lovely 2009-2010 brochures, click here or telephone (703) 527-3960. IBIS was founded by Joseph Scheer, concertmaster of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, and Susan Robinson, principal harp of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. The group's concerts are fabulous.

So Enchanted — "Lands of Enchantment: Australian Aboriginal Painting" continues its run at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (1250 New York Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C.). On display through January 10, 2010, are never-before-exhibited masterworks of 26 painters, including such renowned artists as Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Dorothy Napangardi Robinson, Mitjili Napurrula, and Eubena Nampitjin. For exhibition details, click here.

Green Is Beautiful, Too — A designers' showhouse is drawing attention as the first carbon-neutral house on the East Coast. Located in McLean, Virginia, and open through October 30, the CharityWorks GreenHouse features work of 19 of the Washington area's most talented designers. All ticket proceeds benefit the Friendship Charter School, Injured Marines Semper Fi, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, and the McLean Project for the Arts. Admission is $25 in advance or $30 at the door. For details on hours and transportation to the GreenHouse, click here.

Sing Me a Song — Grammy-nominated Gretchen Peters brings her passion for the song to the Workhouse Arts Center (9601 Ox Rd.), Lorton, Virginia, on Saturday, October 10, 8:00 p.m. For ticket information, telephone (703) 584-2900 or click here.

Also at the Workhouse: National Spinning and Weaving Week Celebration, Saturday, October 10, 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Free.

Culture Warriors — Leading Australian and North American artists, academics, curators, and writers come together on Wednesday, October 14, to do some out-loud "Thinking About Australian Indigenous Art in a Global Context." The talk, starting at 4:30 p.m., will be held at Abramson Family Recital Hall at American University's beautiful Katzen Arts Center (4400 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C.). Presented in association with the landmark Culture Warriors exhibition, this presentation is a rare opportunity to learn and ask questions about the art of one of the world's oldest and most fascinating cultures.

Panelists include moderator Jolene Rickard, Professor, Cornell University, Department of History of Art and Visual Studies; Paul Chaat Smith, Associate Curator, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, and author of Everything You Know About Indians Is Wrong; Ryan Rice, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe, and also an artist; and Culture Warriors artists Richard Bell and Gordon Hookey.

The Culture Warriors exhibition at the Katzen features work of 30 leading Indigenous artists from every Australian state and territory. The exhibition marks the first time that the National Gallery of Australia's Australian Indigenous Art Triennial has been shown internationally. On display until December 6, 2009, work in the show represents a range of media: from bark painting, to sculpture, to video, and photographic installation. (Also see the item on NMWA above.)

CineScene — The fifth annual celebration of Vassar filmmaking, Vassar FilmFest, begins at 9:00 a.m. on October 17 at the Letelier Theatre (3251 Prospect St., N.W., Ste. 500) in Washington, D.C. Co-chaired by 1979 Vassar College graduates Anita Newman Green and Carol Belkin Walker, the FilmFest is your opportunity to get an insider's understanding of Vassar's filmmaking tradition, meet the alumnae/i, faculty, and students who are Vassar's filmmakers, and learn about on-campus filmmaking activities. The main event of the Vassar Club of Washington, D.C., the FilmFest offers both a Family Program, running from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., and a Festival Program, from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The latter consists of an Adult Festival Program and a Student Festival Program. Special preview screenings have been arranged. A line-up of the day's films is provided here. Questions? Telephone the Vassar Club at (301) 299-4855 or visit the club's Website, where you'll find ticket information, a list of films, and other FilmFest information.

Bethesda Row Arts Festival — The 12th Annual Bethesda Row Arts Festival, in Bethesda, Maryland, kicks off on Saturday, October 17, 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., and wraps up on Sunday, October 18, 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Some 200 juried fine artists and crafters will be displaying and selling their work. The festival, including live music, food, and street entertainment, will cover four blocks in Bethesda' Arts and Entertainment District. For additional information, telephone (301) 816-6958 or click here.

High Tea and Artsy TeapotsVisArts of Rockville, Maryland, is putting the finishing touches on its October 25th Tea Party, a one-day exhibition and sale of artfully imagined teaports and tea accessories. Details, including ticket information, are here. Nothing could be more fun on a cool autumn day than tasting teas, sampling tasty treats, and viewing a collection of functional and sculptural teapots by 94 nationally acclaimed artists!

Live 'To Tell The Tale' — Three exceptional artists —Allegra Marquart, Michael Janis, and Tom Baker — make art that creatively uses storytelling. Their exhibition, "To Tell the Tale", on view through November 7, 2009, at McLean Project for the Arts (1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean, Va.), includes work in both glass and various print media. Marquart's pieces reflect her deft mining of fairy tales, those of Janis detail his interpretations of the Tarot card fortune-telling system, and Baker's unburden his mind of conscious and unconscious thoughts (think, rockets and kitchen mixers). Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., and Saturday, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.  A family art workshop will be offered Saturday, October 17, in conjunction with the show; for details, telephone (703) 790-1953 or click here. MPAA exhibits work of emerging and established artists from the mid-Atlantic region.

What's It All Mean? — Why, William T. Wiley. . . of course! On September 30, I had the great fortune to attend artist William Wiley's "What It All Mean? The Clarice Smith Distinguished Lecture in American Art" at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (8th and F  Sts., N.W., Washington, D.C.). Another more down-to-earth, accessible, thoughtful, highly creative, compassionate, and intelligent artist you could not hope to meet. (Did I say I like Wiley?!) SAAM has mounted a retrospective of Wiley's work that will remain on view until January 24, 2010. If you live in the D.C. area or are planning a visit, make time to see this wonderful exhibition, which includes a number of enjoyable related events, including "Tilt!" on October 31, an interactive pinball program and art talk; "Punball: Only One Earth", your chance to play Wiley's pinball machine, on October 15 and 29, November 12, and December 3 and 17; and "All Wiley—No Coyote", an Improv Now! performance on the afternoon of November 21. For more information about the show and links to a wonderful selection of related online features, such as Wiley's music and the show catalog, click here.

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