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Posted at 4:36 PM ET, 09/26/2008

Light Bright

By Anne Kenderdine

Conner's inaugural exhibit will add some light to the H Street nightlife.

After a three-year search for the space and another year of remodeling, Conner Contemporary Art, late of Dupont Circle, officially opens the doors to its new gallery this weekend in a massive (7,000 square feet) former body shop on Florida Avenue NE.

What is a gallery doing out there, so far from 14th Street? It's joining the booming H Street/Atlas District neighborhood, that's what.

The new Conner Contemporary, which will be displaying outdoor videos, large-scale sculpture and other works in an 1,800 square-foot courtyard in addition to its two large exhibition spaces, is about a block's walk from the H and 13th streets hub that includes the Rock & Roll Hotel, Atlas Performing Arts Center and The Red & the Black.

Eventually the gallery will join the Atlas District's brand-new First Thursday's event, "so you can make a whole late-afternoon and evening of it," says owner Leigh Conner.

Conner Contemporary officially opens to the public Sunday, and Conner and her business partner, Jamie Smith, kick things off right with "Leo Villareal: New Work," a peek at five of the New York light artist's works before his large-scale installation at the National Gallery of Art opens in late fall.

That installation is being put in right now; when it's finally installed and programmed by Villareal, it will illuminate the underground concourse between the East and West buildings with a shifting pattern created by the light of 42,000 LED nodes.

-- Lavanya Ramanathan

By Anne Kenderdine  | September 26, 2008; 4:36 PM ET
Categories:  Museums  
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