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Posted at 5:58 PM ET, 03/18/2009

Save the Date: Arts Events

By Stephanie Merry

If you're sick of the same old date night or looking for something slightly more cultural than elbowing your way to the bar at another crowded happy hour, this weekend promises a surplus of events at local galleries as new exhibitions all over town are unveiled.

Thursday, March 19

Kate McGraw and Ann Tarantino's "Yellow Fever (detail)," 2007. Courtesy of Flashpoint

Flashpoint has a lot to live up to after the PB&J and PBR night that rung in Cory Oberndorfer's last exhibition, but this sounds promising: The show is "Workbook" and consists of drawings by Kate McGraw and Ann Tarantino. The pair completed the drawings, which are done directly on the walls of the gallery, over the course of 10 days with each artist responding to the work of the other. There will be wine and treats at the opening, plus a stop motion animation of the process, which will be replaced with a more in-depth documentary later this month. (6-8 p.m.)

Nevin Kelly recently moved from its home along U Street to a new location in Columbia Heights, and the opening reception for "Atmospheric Conditions" would be the perfect reason to check out the new space. The solo show spotlights colorful abstract paintings and drawings by New Yorker H. Wesley Wheeler. (6-9 p.m.)

While it doesn't fit tidily into the "art openings" bucket, tonight's event at the Phillips seems strange and interesting enough to merit a mention. The museum is offering a tutorial on meditation followed by the chance to practice surrounded by the works of Giorgio Morandi. ($35, 6:30-8 p.m.)

Friday, March 20

While Thursday and Saturday will be somewhat overwhelming, I have a single, savory option for Friday: Civilian Art Projects is celebrating the opening of two shows. New photography by Noelle K. Tan will appear alongside "Women's Work," Hadieh Shafie, Lynn Cazabon and Tory Wright's reflections on feminine identity. (7-9 p.m.)

Saturday, March 21

If you've missed the month-long run of work by Anna U. Davis at Long View, fear not. The closing reception celebrates the painter's show, featuring her trademark gray "frocasian" characters that seem to transcend race. (7-9 p.m.)

Transformer is wasting no time after finishing up its Summer School series of events. The gallery marks the opening of Julia Mandle's "Fabrication of Blindness/Fabricating Rain" with an interactive midday reception. The exhibition was inspired by the photo of a hooded detainee at Guantanamo Bay, and visitors to the gallery can add to the installation by embroidering messages written by detainees onto similar hoods made of military-issue sandbags. Mandle will be on hand this afternoon and a couple of embroidery circles will be underway. (2 p.m.)

The opening of "Private Arts" at Artery 717 is a multisensory experience. In addition to the 150 new works on view in the recently expanded gallery, there will also be live music, including blues and rock. (7:30-11 p.m.)

For the 24th year, the Corcoran's printmaking department will be displaying work by students and faculty, and this year the show comes to Gallery Plan B. The theme is "oil and water" and this is just the first of two receptions. The second, on April 1, will also include a poetry reading. (6-8 p.m.)

To get more bang for your, um, time, head to U Street, where Hamiltonian and Project 4 are both celebrating openings under the same roof. Hamiltonian's three-artist show includes paintings of female figures by Lisa Brotman, large-scale mixed-media panels by Thomas Block and sculpture by Michael Enn Sirvet. Upstairs at Project 4, expect to find a humorous look at power with Calla Thompson's "Hero and Baddie."

-- Stephanie

By Stephanie Merry  | March 18, 2009; 5:58 PM ET
Categories:  Museums  
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