Spring is here and what better way to ring in the new season than with a brand new ART YOUR HEART OUT courtesy of moi — UrbanScrawl DC’s resident artist/creative entrepreneur and lover of all things aesthetic.
Yep…I came up with that title myself…
::gives self mental high five::
Good job self! You rock!
If you’ve been a loyal reader to what is arguably the coolest, trendiest, hippest cultural blog in the District (we literally have the best writers EVER), then you may or may not be aware of the fact that I started a monthly article on art events to help out all you lost art lovers in the area.
You see, as an art lover myself, I found it extremely hard to locate a comprehensive list of arts events in the District for any given month. Rifling through dozens of web pages, art museum websites, event sites and Facebook groups to get a well-rounded view of art events in the area is an exhaustive process to say the least.
So, I got to thinking.
If I feel pretty tapped out doing this as an individual who has found their personal obsession in art…then there’s no way in Sam Hill that the majority of Washingtonians are going to be able to put in the same amount of time or effort to do this research themselves.
Hence, your comprehensive, monthly list of popular art events in the District.
So microphone check, check, check it out — and when you’re finished let me know your thoughts because I’d honestly love to hear your feedback and opinions in the comments! Even if it like “Hey Danni — you suck!”
(Kidding…don’t write that…I’m a sensitive soul)
But seriously, it’s my job to bring you the best content that I possibly can, so your input helps immensely!
Now thru March 10th
This Maryland based artist’s Recluse exhibit was most recently spotlighted on the Washington Post and it looks pretty killer.
I’m personally a sucker for abstract art, especially mixed media and installation pieces. Works such as Magrys’ “Enclosed” show an an admirable amount of depth and talent at implementing abstract concepts in an aesthetically pleasing and stimulating manner.
Her “redactions”, abstract collage-paintings mostly on paper display give the viewer insight into the artist’s mind and processes.
Her split-screen piece “Recluse” “observes the subtle play of light through various portals”, while deliberately intending to fixate the viewer on that which is “out of reach”.
Now thru March 9th
This group Exhibition at Montgomery colleges King Street Gallery features what the Washington Post deemed a “new crop of artists” displaying nature in it’s most compelling state.
You won’t find exotic Lotus plants, orchids or colorful and rare peonies here. this event spotlights weeds and all sorts of sights one would associate less with nature and more with urbanization.
The conclusion? Perennial “ Bloom’s not with flowers, but metaphors”. The exhibit “ Represents artistic virtues such as growth, independence and survival” while additionally expounding upon societal divisions by contrasting “ pampered house plants and disregarded weeds”.
Chasing Cherry Blossoms is brought to you courtesy of the National Geographic Museum and is a fascinating experience detailing the story of photojournalist Eliza Scidmore.
Scidmore is most recognized as a pioneering journalist who was brought on as the magazine’s “first official female writer, photographer and board member”.
Many may also be surprised to find that the trailblazing journalist is credited with helping to bring the cherry blossom trees to the Washington, DC area.
She accomplished this feat by continually petitioning the Cleveland administration to plant them along the Tidal Basin.
Her stunning works, including the captivating image of a 10-year-old groom and his supposed bride as they travel on a palanquin float during an Indian wedding procession , are beautifully composed, rich in detail and intellectually stimulating.
The event will be held on March 29th from 7:30PM to 9PM, with tickets available for purchase at the National Geographic website ($25.00 for non-members; $22.50 for members).
Now thru March 11th
This Swedish artist’s massive mosiac-like representations serve as personal anectdotes expounding upon contemporary issues such as racial identity, immigration, the status of women and culture.
The artworks are bold, vibrant and expansive in construct, seven of which span eight feet in width and the simplified forms are cartoonishly depicted with strong black outlines and seemingly erratically composed until viewed in greater detail.
Titles such as “Frocasians”, which depict gray toned figures defying traditional racial constructs and “Shark-cuterie”, an image of a female figure lying above a pile of meat and labeled for butchering evoke insightful musings, while visually and intellectually stimulating the viewer.
The National Museum of Women in the Arts is hosting their third annual FRESH TALK and it looks delightfully promising.
This community discussion will be led by three notable speakers including Laurence des Cars (director of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris), Frances Morris (director of the Tate Modern in London), and Eike Schmidt (director of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence).
The discussion will center on the subject of gender equality, exploring “whether gender parity in museums is possible” with the recent rise in commitment of museums to become more proactive in highlighting the contributions of women artists.
The discussion expounds upon our response as a society, what we’re left asking, what these changes mean, how they will be sustained and what their impact will be on not just the institutions and artists themselves, but audiences as well.
Tickets are $25 for general admission, which includes museum admission as well as the opportunity to partake in a communal family-style meal.
Now thru March 11th
Thomas Downing was a prolific painter who lived from 1928 to 1985 and is best known for his vibrant and hard-edged work featuring simple forms (dots) often symmetrically placed on white canvases.
Downing is most closely associated with the Washington Color Field Movement, a visual art movement that became popularized in the district from the late 50s to the late 60s.
The movement emphasized non-objective or non-representational art forms which explored the use of color field painting (aka painting with large blocks of solid colors).
This exhibit is an absolute must-see for those who are not just art lovers in general but also appreciate the rich artistic history that has been a part of Washington DC’s culture for decades.
This bold exhibit brought to you courtesy of the National Building Museum and the Historical Society of Washington DC commemorates the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination and the subsequent events that ensued.
It explores the Pilot District Project (PDP), a “local experiment in community policing”, that resulted in “widespread neighborhood destruction that followed in the district and nationwide”.
This compelling event opens March 31st at the National Building Museum and runs from 10AM to 5PM, with tickets available for purchase at NBM.org.
Prices are $10.000 for adults and $7.00 for youth ages 3-17. It also offers a discounted rate for students of $7.00 who are able to present the Admissions Desk with a valid student ID.
Now thru March 7th
Morton Fine Art describes each of the works within Bruce’s “Weapons for Spiritual Warfare” as “ a form of ancestor worship…[and] an answered prayer”.
The artist, who splits her time between France and the US works show how effective she is at delicately balancing simple geometric forms with a certain degree of raw, organic spontaneity.
Her loosely rendered collage paintings completed on rough fabric squares were described by the Washington Post as “a universe conjured from tattered scraps and unstudied gestures”.
The bold and vibrant works also evoke a sort of primitive nostalgia, highlighting the spiritual undertones of her work with titles such as “The Sky Opened for Her” and “Between Starshine and Clay”.