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Posted at 6:14 PM ET, 03/31/2009

Up Next: April Arts

By Stephanie Merry

April is overflowing with family events from Smithsonian celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month to the Archives commemorating its 75th year and the Newseum marking the one-year anniversary of its move downtown. And what's in store for those without little ones? How about an exhibition of galaxy-inspired work accompanied by burlesque dancing? And it's all in the name of celebrating outer space, of course.


Modern art meets quilt-making at the Textile Museum. (International Quilt Study Center & Museum, Henry and Jill Barber Collection)

First up is a look at Mami Wata, the water goddess revered by a number of African cultures. The Museum of African Art is celebrating Mother Water with an exhibition exploring the history of the deity plus depictions that show her in the form of a mermaid and a snake charmer. (April 1-July 26)

Among the new gallery exhibitions is Eduardo Santiere's work at Curator's Office. The Argentine artist uses graphite and color pencil to etch blank paper into colorful solar systems. (April 4-May 2)

At the JAM Celebration -- the first of two big family days celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month -- storyteller Judith Gravitz will entertain the kids while the Baltimore Jazz Alliance will perform at the American Art Museum. (1-4 p.m. Saturday, April 4) Later in the month, the Postal Museum will also offer jazz-centric entertainment with more of an emphasis on the World War II era. There will be music, dancing and storytelling. (1-4 p.m. Saturday, April 25)

The Textile Museum will offer a bit of modern art, Pennsylvania style, with a display of 25 colorful Amish quilts. Think Mark Rothko, in textile form. (April 4-Sept. 6)

April is all about being eco-friendly, what with Earth day and all, and Fraser Gallery is keeping April 22 in mind with "Bethesda Green." The group exhibition includes art composed of recycled objects and sustainable materials, such as the oil painting of a Chinese takeout box on a reclaimed piece of metal by Mike Fitts. (April 10-May 23)

The Portrait Gallery has a more inward-looking exhibition with a collection of 75 self-portraits with "Reflections/Refractions." Some of the big-name artists on display include Andy Warhol, Edward Hopper and Jacob Lawrence. (April 10-Aug. 6)

The Warehouse Theater is hosting an offbeat event with Countdown to Yuri's Night, commemorating the first man to go into space, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. The night will include an exhibition of cosmos-inspired artwork, plus live music, science demonstrations and burlesque dancing. How burlesque relates to space travel is a mystery, but it's sure to be an interesting night. ($25, Saturday, April 11)

For a more family-friendly event, the Newseum is also hosting a celebration that day to observe the one year anniversary of being in their building on Pennsylvania Avenue. The festivities include a news scavenger hunt, gallery talks and the chance to chat up Thomas Jefferson. (9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, April 11)

Another family day takes place at the Archives the following week. For its 75th anniversary, the Archives is displaying various big objects, from Shaq's shoes to the Articles of Confederation. The exhibit's family day will include speeches written by famous Americans, hands-on activities and a treasure hunt. (Saturday, April 18)

Lastly, an interesting exhibition comes to Flashpoint at the end of the month. "Non-Places" will showcase Trevor Young's paintings of locations that seem to lack any emotion, like an airport. Young will also work on turning the gallery itself into a "non-place" so that viewers can get the full experience. (April 25-June 6)

-- Stephanie

By Stephanie Merry  | March 31, 2009; 6:14 PM ET
Categories:  Museums  
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