Alternative to artDC
The city's first international art fair, artDC, opens at the convention center this weekend. Since the fair is new, it's hard to predict what to expect, but one thing's for certain: art dealers and collectors will be out in force looking to purchase works by the next big superstar.
But, hey, the collecting game's a little too rich for my blood. That's why some nearby, free exhibits caught my eye as the perfect addition (or alternative) to artDC. A couple suggestions follow the jump.
Off-again, on-again: this weekend's been a roller coaster for artist/curator J.T. Kirkland. His first curated show, Supple, was supposed to open at the Space this Thursday, but it was canceled over the weekend. Kirkland posted a message on his blog about the show's cancellation on Sunday night. By Monday morning, he said, "My inbox was full of e-mail supporting me. By noon, I had four offers with new spaces."
Artist Sondra N. Arkin came to the rescue. She's one of the curators of "No Representation," a show organized at the Warehouse Gallery as a "(friendly) counterpoint" to artDC. Arkin and her co-curators, Warehouse owner Molly Ruppert, artist Ellyn Weiss and Pink Line Project founder Philippa P.B. Hughes, reconfigured "No Representation" so that Kirkland could have two of the Warehouse Gallery spaces for Supple.
Kirkland conceptualized "Supple" because most other big international art fairs -- think Art Basel Miami and the Armory Show in New York -- inspire satellite exhibits in surrounding art spaces. Kirkland's exhibit shows off some of the best D.C. has to offer, bringing together well-known Washington artists like Robin Rose and Colby Caldwell with up-and-comers like Adrian Parsons and Laurel Lukaszewski. Supple will be on view from April 26 to May 12, with receptions from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week.
The title "No Representation" came to the curators when they were trying to figure out what they'd like to tell the international art fair visitors about their city. The District's lack of voting rights came to mind and an idea was born: all of the pieces in the show would be abstract, non-representational art. Sculpture, installation, painting and video pieces by more than 30 local artists will be on view. This exhibit opens on Thursday, but Freeform, a Saturday evening bash with the artists, officially kicks off the show.
The Warehouse shows aren't the only neighborhood gallery exhibits making waves. Megan Jacobs and Anna Westfall's "Penumbra" installation of video, glass, porcelain and ice opens on Friday night with a 6 p.m. reception. At Civilian Art Projects, Hasan Elahi's work, which uses technology to call attention to surveillance techniques, will be on view alongside Nilay Lawson's paintings. These shows open Friday with a reception from 8 to 10 p.m.
Also nearby are Tomas Rivas's exhibit at the old Numark space, the Leon Berkowitz exhibit at Edison Place Gallery (weekdays only), Mary Ott's print show at
Transformer Touchstone and Judith Thompson's paintings at Long View Gallery.
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