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Posted at 11:01 AM ET, 02/12/2009

The Perfect Valentine's Day? It's an Art Form

By Stephanie Merry

Looking for a way to spend Valentine's Day without breaking the bank? Local art galleries will be hosting all kinds of events this weekend, from chocolate tastings to valentine-making craft sessions to DJs spinning tunes. And, of course, they'll also have art to see while you're there.

First up is the Torpedo Factory, which is celebrating tonight during its monthly Second Thursday Art Night. To get visitors in the mood for love, the theme will be heart art, and the first 300 gallery-goers will receive a free flower.

Ayr Hill gallery is also celebrating a little early and ringing in everyone's favorite Hallmark holiday with a show of paintings and pastels on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. As an added bonus, the gallery will supply champagne and MallowDrama will bring chocolates.

Meanwhile, Touchstone Gallery will celebrate the opening of its exhibition "Double Vision II" on Friday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Each member artist involved in the show has invited one friend to display a piece of art. There will also be a wine-tasting, courtesy of the Washington Wine Academy.

Friday marks the beginning of "Luck of the Draw," a three-day music and arts festival hosted by Artomatic, the Pink Line Project and the Capitol Riverfront BID. The groups are taking over parts of new condo and apartment buildings with a photography exhibition, work by graffiti artists, shows by local musicians and dancing. A good place to start is the tent that will be set up on Half Street between L and K Streets SE. The festival includes the chance to win an iPod Nano.

On the big day, Curator's Office will be celebrating the closing of its "Lucid Dreaming" show with a gallery talk by Jason Hughes, one of the artists who contributed to the exhibition, and J.W. Mahoney, a local artist and curator. Artist and mixologist Kathryn Cornelius will concoct a holiday-appropriate cocktail, Cupid's Curse, for the occasion.

Also on Valentine's evening is the opening reception for the All Media Show at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop from 5 to 7 p.m. A dance hour ($10) follows the opening, featuring performances by Tommy Parlon Dance Projects and guitarist Mike Smith.

For those who prefer to partake in the artistry rather than stand on the sidelines, head to Transformer for some old-school arts and crafts. As part of its month of arts events, the gallery is hosting "Hearts and Crafts Valentine Laboratory" from 1 to 7 p.m., where guests can write missives to their sweeties while getting their fill of cheesy love songs.

For those seeking a more refined Valentine's celebration (and pricier, at $20), the Lee-Fendall House Museum is hosting a special V-day tour followed by a traditional Victorian tea.

-- Stephanie

By Stephanie Merry  | February 12, 2009; 11:01 AM ET
Categories:  Museums  
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