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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 05/ 6/2009

Putting the Art in Party

By Stephanie Merry

Local galleries are offering plenty of options for entertainment this weekend: among the opening receptions, you can see paintings of a Color School favorite or look at a famous singer reimagined as an elephant.

Friday, May 8

First we have a celebration in honor of an exhibition that might remind some people of their childhoods. As a kid old enough to understand a birthday but too young to buy a present, I always threw together some construction paper and sparkles and labeled it the Perfect Gift for Mom. The D.C. Arts Center is riffing on the idea with 12 artists (much more talented than my 8-year-old self), who have paired up to create pieces for each other. The idea is to delve into the difference between works that are meant to be presents and those destined to be commodities as part of Gift Exchange. (7-9 p.m.)

Ed Bisese brings his human-elephant hybrids to Neptune Gallery this weekend. (Ed Bisese)

Touchstone Gallery is unveiling a few new exhibitions this weekend. First up is Women: Vis a Vis, a show of work by Teresa Roberts Logan exploring depictions of women as icons. Logan's work uses media from beads to billboard scraps and draws inspiration from pop art, traditional African works and cartoons. The gallery will also be exhibiting works by Mary Trent Scott, who makes cultural critiques in some paintings of religious stories. Lastly, Touchstone will also have a group exhibition entitled
Harmony and Contrast
, which blends the artwork of female artists hailing from countries as varied as Iran and the Netherlands. (6-8:30 p.m.)

Saturday, May 9

Marsha Mateyka has a big-name exhibition this weekend: a display of recent works by Sam Gilliam. The artist, who gained notoriety for his work as part of the Washington Color School, will be exhibiting new works of acrylic on wood that seem to be an experimentation of different effects and textures, like waves juxtaposed with splattered paint. (4-6 p.m.)

The Capitol Hill Arts League finishes its season with its seventh juried show, Summer Salsa, at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop. Glass sculptor and local celeb Tim Tate will be judging the works. (5-7 p.m.)

Ever wondered what Serge Gainsbourg would look like with an elephant snout? Well of course you have. And you're not alone. Ed Bisese, who is exhibiting his work at Gallery Neptune, combines animal and human traits to make paintings that are at once strange, humorous and sad. (7 p.m.) The exhibition will also be open for the Bethesda Art Walk on Friday from 6-9 p.m.

Curator's Office will host an exhibition of work by Chris Scarborough. The drawings and photos are a mix of almost- cute (think characters reminiscent of anime heroines sitting in the clouds) to unsettling (a giant plume of smoke entitled "Big Bang"). (6:30-8 p.m. )

The Art Institute will be celebrating a new show on Saturday with a group exhibition of photography. The juried display includes the best work from the Exposure Group: African American Photographers Association. (1:30-5:30 p.m.)

Pyramid Atlantic will open a pair of exhibitions, the first of which is a three-artist, site-specific installation called Kind Favors, Kind Letters. That show will be accompanied by short videos by Kevin Jerome Everson, who uses film to examine African American culture. (6-8 p.m.)

Lastly, this weekend, the annual Bethesda Fine Arts Festival features good food, live entertainment and work by 150 artists on display all day Saturday and Sunday.

-- Stephanie

By Stephanie Merry  | May 6, 2009; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Museums  
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