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Posted at 11:28 PM ET, 04/ 1/2009

Weekend Arts

By Stephanie Merry

This weekend offers plenty of opportunities to spice up your nights out while simultaneously steering clear of the cherry blossom-seeking tourists. With all the exhibition openings and art parties, you have options ranging from a rooftop fundraiser to a night of French DJs.

On Saturday, Hemphill will celebrate the opening of "Endeavor," featuring work by Robin Rose. (Robin Rose, Untitled)

Thursday, April 2

Local 16 will be hosting Civilian Arts Projects' Spring Fling to raise money for the gallery's new Civilian Production Fund. With the $10 price of admission, the fundraiser includes free apps, drink specials, art projections (courtesy of Robin Bell, Kate MacDonnell and Luke Wyatt) and DJs like Kalani, KC and Neville C. (6:30-11 p.m.)

The same night, Phillips After 5 will host a design talk to go along with the usual cash bar and live music. The owner of home store Apartment Zero, Douglas Burton, will talk about household objects and eco-friendly decorating, which seems slightly complementary to the bottles and jars in the Giorgio Morandi exhibition. (5-8:30 p.m.)

Also on Thursday, the Katzen Center will be celebrating a new exhibition of Czech art. "Behind the Velvet Curtain" spotlights a variety of works, from video to drawing to installation, by seven female artists who look at the meaning of Czech identity. (6-8 p.m.)

Friday, April 3

As with the first Friday of every month, the Dupont Circle galleries will be open and ready for visitors who want to sip wine and check out the latest exhibitions. Among the new shows is Studio Gallery's display of abstract paintings by Freda Lee-McCann, Jacqui Crocetta and Marina Reiter. Studio will also host an opening party on Saturday. (6-8 p.m. Friday, April 3 and 4-6 p.m. Saturday, April 4)

For something a little more offbeat, MOCA DC is hosting a body-painting competition in honor of the closing of its annual show "Erotica 2009." Prizes include $50 for the best painter and $50 for the most impressive human canvas. And no, you can't bring your camera. (6 p.m.)

For a different kind of natural beauty, Touchstone Gallery's new exhibition "Connection" shows off Betsy Forster's landscape paintings, including views of Virginia and Napa Valley. The gallery will also be celebrating a new exhibition of Dina Volkova's paintings of interior spaces. (6-8:30 p.m.)

The Jerusalem Fund Gallery is hosting an emotionally and politically charged show of drawings by John Halaka. For "Landscapes of Desire," the artist was inspired by the ruins of bombed villages in Palestine from around 1948. (6:30-8:30 p.m.)

Caos on F, which always hosts a reception on the first Friday of the month, will be celebrating a new group exhibition which opened today. The show includes photography by David Harp, mixed media work by Michael Berman and Mathew Falls' furniture. (6:30-8:30 p.m.)

While it's not really an art party, Discotheque Underground gets a spot on this list for its venue, the Smithsonian's Ripley Center. The music for the dance party, part of the Francophonie 2009 celebration of French culture, will come courtesy of DJs Jay Style and Jr Le Saint. The $30 ticket price also includes an open bar and appetizers. (9 p.m.-1 a.m.)

Saturday, April 4

Louisiana artist Shawne Major gets creative with tapestry-making at Irvine Contemporary. Her show "Love Calls Us to the Things of This World" features some crazy-looking textiles made from found objects, like plastic doll shoes, coins and stuffed animals. (6-8 p.m.)

Hemphill is opening two shows this weekend. In "Endeavor," Robin Rose takes inspiration from Darwin (who had a ship with the same name as the exhibition) to create abstract encaustic paintings. Meanwhile, "During the Wet" consists of a group exhibition of aboriginal bark paintings. (6:30-8:30 p.m.)

For those who love party-hopping, you won't have to go far to find another reception. In the same building, Curator's Office will celebrate Eduardo Santiere's "Calm Complexities." The artist etches paper with colored pencils and graphite to create what looks like colorful solar systems. (6:30-8 p.m.)

Conner Contemporary will be celebrating a milestone this weekend with its 10th anniversary exhibition. The group show will feature large oil painting by Erik Sandberg, photographs of architectural spaces by Dean Kessmann and video by Isaac Maiselman on the intersection of religion and politics. (6-8 p.m.)

Less of a party but still worth a mention is an artist lecture at the House of Sweden this weekend. Mattias Klum, the photographer featured in one of the embassy's three new exhibitions, will discuss his career traveling the world to shoot photos for National Geographic. The lecture is part of the embassy's "Living Green" series of events and exhibitions on environmental issues. (3-5 p.m.)

-- Stephanie

By Stephanie Merry  | April 1, 2009; 11:28 PM ET
Categories:  Museums  
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