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Arts & Society
Fall 2010 Performing Arts Preview
Gary Tischler • July 26, 2011
At the Playhouse
Move over, New York. Here’s a look at some promising theater productions to send off Washington’s fall theater scene, rapidly securing status as one of the best in the nation.
The Return of Sarah Ruhl
The Woolly Mammoth Theatre on Sixth Street kicks off its season early and with one of the most intriguing productions of the season, “In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play,” which starts Aug. 23 and runs through Sept. 19.The play is about the unintended or unanticipated consequences of new technology.
Sounds dry, but it’s anything but, not when the new tech is a little electrical device that landed in the medical community around the same time that electricity started to be used everywhere. The device is supposed to calm female hysteria, but it creates havoc in the households of patients and doctors instead because …well, you can guess from the title.
But that’s about all you’re going to be able to guess, because the play is the work of Sarah Ruhl, one of this generation’s most gifted and unusual playwrights. Now in her 30s and a mother of young twins, Ruhl has been very, very good to Woolly Mammoth, the theater du jour for new and cutting-edge works, with productions of her celebrated “The Clean House” and “Dead Man’s Cellphone” enjoying popular and critical success there. “In The Next Room” was the talk of New York during its run.
Expect nothing: one of the hallmarks of Ruhl’s work is that her characters don’t say or do what the play’s situation might indicate they would do and say. The Woolly Production is directed by the very busy Aaron Posner and features Woolly regulars Kimberly Gilbert and Sarah Marshall.
A ‘Sanctified Show’ at the Lincoln Theatre
The new award-winning gospel comedy “Sanctified,” by Javon Johnson, hits the Lincoln Theatre in October, with original (and presumably with gospel flair) music by Derrick Sanders, running Oct. 21 through Nov. 14.
“Sanctified” won six 2009 Black Theater Alliance Awards. The play follows the fortunes of the East Piney Grove Baptist Church when it tries to stave off financial woes by entering a gospel revival.
I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am
No, this isn’t the Herman’s Hermit song, but it IS a rarely done production of “Henry VIII” by William Shakespeare, presumably the last of the Bard’s works, which comes complete with some authorship issues and the fact that the Globe Theatre burned down during its run. The Folger Theatre will be doing the royal honors beginning Oct. 12. Ian Merrill Peakes plays the king, who’s a big hit on Showtime’s “The Tudors.”
‘Something You Did’ is Something to See at Theater J
Theater J also gets an early jump on the season with its production of “Something You Did,” a new play by Willy Holtzman about a group of people trying to reconcile their youthful radicalism with who they are now. Rick Foucheux stars as a former radi-lib turned neo-con media star and Deborah Hazlett plays a woman serving a 30-year prison sentence for an anti-war bombing in which a police officer was killed. (Aug. 28 through Oct. 3).
‘The Scarlet Letter’ and ‘Dinner With Friends’
Something old and something new at Olney Theatre, where Artistic Director Jim Petosa presents the area premiere of Donald Margulies’s Pulitzer Prize-winner “Dinner With Friends,” about two couples enduring a divorce (Aug. 25 to Sept. 26). The National Players, at 60 America’s longest-running touring company, will bring their production of an enduring American classic, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter.” (Sept. 17-18).
Checkmate at ‘Chess’
Signature Theatre in Shirlington got way ahead of everybody by resurrecting the popular rock musical of yore, “Chess,” for a run through Sept. 26. Directed by Signature’s guiding light Eric Shaeffer, with lyrics by Tim Rice (“Jesus Christ Superstar” and “The Lion King”) and music by the folks who brought you “Mamma Mia,” “Chess” is about an American and a Russian competing not only for chess supremacy but the love of a woman. What else could it be?
A New Era for Studio Theatre
The venerable 35-year-old Studio Theatre will not have Joy Zinoman as its artistic director this season after her retirement. Instead, there’s young (35) star David Muse, who’s directed “Blackbird” and Neil LaBute’s “Reasons to be Pretty” at the Studio and scored successes at the Shakespeare Theatre.
Two on-the-edge and talked-about playwrights will kick off the season at Studio: Annie Baker’s “Circle Mirror Transformation” begins Sept. 8. In this play, all the world’s a stage, especially at an amateur theater class in Vermont. “Circle” is followed by “Superior Donuts,” a new comedy by the talented and ambitious Tracy Letts, who hypnotized audiences with her three-hour-plus family saga “August: Osage County.” (Begins Nov.10.)
‘Sabrina’ Is Back…
And she’s not a witch. Rather, it’s the charming, twice-made-into-a-movie play about a chauffeur’s daughter who manages to charm two brothers who are members of the rich super-business class. The play, 50 years old or so, is about things that still matter: class, race, economic divides and, of course, romance. (Audrey Hepburn dazzled William Holden and Humphrey Bogart in the first film.) “Sabrina” starts off the Ford’s Theatre season Oct. 1.
…So Is Sam Shepard’s ‘Fool For Love’
The Keegan Theatre — home of both classic Irish and American theater — is bringing back playwright (and sometime actor) Sam Shepard’s most popular play, “Fool for Love,” at the Church Street Theater Oct. 16. It’s a brawling, sexy play about the outer edges of love and hate, sex and violence when Eddie and May go at it in a hotel outside the Mojave desert.
Let Your ‘Hair’ Down at the Kennedy Center
The first true musical heralding the Age of Aquarius and rock ’n’ roll is coming to the Kennedy Center Opera House Oct. 16 for a run through Nov. 21. “Aquarius,” “Hair,” “Let the Sun Shine In” and a host of songs your parents (or grandparents) might still be humming are back along with really long hair, hippie girls, afros and the Vietnam War.
Paddy Chayefsky Was the Man
Paddy Chayefsky didn’t just author the screenplay of “Network.” He was a pioneering playwright for television (“Marty”), won Emmys and Oscars and was something of a prophet with some of his socially conscious plays. “The Tenth Man” is relatively mellow and optimistic, a fable about love and faith, of all things, even though it’s about a Jewish exorcism. It plays at the American Century Theater in Arlington’s Gunston Arts Center beginning Sept. 17.
A Lope De Vega Classic at Gala Hispanic
In “El Caballero de Olmedo” (“The Knight of Olmedo”), a play from Spain’s golden age by a playwright often compared to Shakespeare, two lovers get caught up in a tragic rivalry between two Spanish towns. Lope De Vega’s classic kicks of Gala Hispanic’s season at the Tivoli Theater in Columbia Heights beginning Sept. 17, a collaboration with the Spanish company Accion Sur.
‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ at Round House
Patricia Highsmith wrote nasty, quirky crime novels, of which “The Talented Mr. Ripley” — with its murderous anti-hero — is the most famous (Matt Damon played Ripley in the film version). Now it’s a play by Phyllis Nagy, adapted from the novel and gracing the stage at the Round House Theatre in Bethesda beginning Sept. 8. A regional theater premiere directed by Blake Robinson.
Two Openings for The Shakespeare Theatre Company
Shakespeare Theatre will keep both of its stages busy this fall, starting with “All’s Well That Ends Well,” directed by Michael Kahn and featuring Marsha Mason at the Lansburgh Theatre beginning Sept. 7.
For something entirely different, and for anyone seeking some clue about what’s going on in Afghanistan, there is the visit of the Tricycle Theatre company from the United Kingdom, which is bringing the three part play (actually 12 short plays) “The Great Game: Afghanistan,” which traces Western involvement in Afghanistan from its English, Russian and American ventures. It’s at the Sidney Harman Hall Sept. 15-25.
And, A Shakespeare Special for Free
The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s annual Shakespeare Free For All is alive and well August 19-September 5 with a production of “Twelfth Night” at Sidney Harman Hall. Visit www.shakespearetheatre.org/about/ffa to enter the ticket lottery.
Scorched In Silver Spring
Along somewhat similar lines, “Scorched,” Lebanese-born playwright Jajdi Mouawad’s haunting play about twins going to the Middle East to search for their heritages, will premiere in D.C. at the Forum Theatre beginning Sept. 30 at the Round House Theatre’s Silver Spring venue. Forum received major critical praise and two Helen Hayes Awards for its awesome production of “Angels in America” last year.
From Page to Stage at The Kennedy Center
For anyone wanting to get an idea of the scope, range and volume of theater in the Washington area, the Ninth Annual Page to Stage New Play Festival at the Kennedy Center is worth a visit. It features the works of more than 40 metropolitan D.C. theaters in free readings and open rehearsals of plays and musicals under development. Take your pick with works by Adventure Theatre, the Doorway Arts Ensemble, the Folger Theatre, the Georgetown Theatre Company, the Hub Theatre, the Washington Improv Theater, Synetic Theater and a host of others. (Go to www.kennedy-center.org for a complete listing.)
Adventure Theatre at Glen Echo Park, Washington’s longest-running children’s theater, presents the American premiere of “Spot’s Birthday Party,” based on children’s book author Eric Hill’s hugely popular “Find Spot” books. The play is directed by Joe Banno, who has directed Shakespeare at the Folger and opera, and who finds himself returning to his roots. Spot is, of course, a very, very famous dog, with friends like Tom the crocodile, Helena the Hippo and Steve the monkey. What a party! Begins Sept. 17 running through Nov. 2.
At Bethesda’s Imagination Stage, dogs and cats figure prominently in “Bunnicula,” about the visit of a strange and menacing new member of the Monroe household , a creature with long ears and big teeth, with a taste for … what? A musical adaptation of Deborah and James Howe’s book. Begins Sept. 25.
Synetic Comes to Crystal City
Arena Stage, celebrating its 60th anniversary, will end its residency in Crystal City this year, but Synetic Theater, the handiwork of the dynamic, multi-award-winning Georgian husband and wife duo Paata and Irina Tsikurishvili, will celebrate its 10th anniversary by filling in the now-vacant play house. The company, which began life in Dupont Circle and moved to Shirlington, has garnered high critical praise from the start with its “silent” approach to classic and epic theater and plays. The season begins with “King Arthur,” which would appear to lend itself to the unique talents of this company, starting Sept. 30.
The reason Washington arts patrons have the opportunity to see so many famous is that the area has two major world class performing arts centers. Here are some of the highlights:
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
The Kennedy Center, with its varied music, symphony, dance, theater and special programming, marks another major year with the first season of Christoph Eschenbach’s as music director and conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, which has its home at the center’s Concert Hall. This season also happens to be the orchestra’s 80th.
Expect a big season opening at the annual NSO Opening Ball Concerts on Sept. 25, where Eschenbach will make his debut accompanied by the country’s most noted soprano, the legendary Renee Fleming (performing Richard Strauss “Four Last Songs”) and renowned pianist Lang Lang, playing Liszt’s “Piano Concert No. 1.” Eschenbach’s official debut of the regular season comes when he conducts the Orchestra Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.
But there’s more early on at the Kennedy Center. There’s the big Celebrate Mexico festival throughout the center Sept. 11-Oct. 3, commemorating Mexico’s 200 years of independence. The celebration will be part of the annual Kennedy Center Open House Arts Festival (Sept. 11), the Multicultural Children’s Book Festival (same date) and a host of other events.
The National Symphony Orchestra Pops Series, beginning its 11th year under Marvin Hamlisch, will debut Oct. 28 with an evening with singer, Broadway star, actress and all-around dynamo Patti Lupone on Oct. 28. Another highlight is the Thanksgiving salute to legendary Broadway lyricist Frank Loesser on Nov. 26 with music from “Guys and Dolls,” “The Most Happy Fella” and other great Loesser shows.
Major things to look forward to next year are the big India Festival in the spring and the all-performance art tribute to “The Presidency of John F. Kennedy: A 50th Anniversary Celebration Jan. 20-Feb. 11.
Washington Ballet at the Kennedy Center
You’re also going to run into the Washington Ballet at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater Nov. 3-7 when Artistic Director Septime Webre brings his adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet” (with music by Sergei Prokofiev) here.
The Music Center at Strathmore
The Music Center at Strathmore, on the outskirts of Bethesda, MD, has proven to be a major and welcome venue addition to the Washington area.
Its partners include the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Marin Alsop, splitting a portion of its season with Strathmore in addition to its season at its home base at the Meyerhoff in Baltimore. The Season for the BSO at Strathmore begins with a Prevue Concert Sept. 10 with Alsop and Ilyich Rivas sharing conducting of a program of Prokofiev, Mahler, Bach, Schumann, John Williams, Mozart, Barber and Shostakovich.
There’s also the National Philharmonic Orchestra, which kicks off its season at Strathmore with Mahler’s “Resurrection” on Oct. 9, under the direction of Piotr Gajewski.
Strathmore also partners with the Washington Performing Arts Society. Its own programming will feature the celebration of the guitar in a season-long guitar festival which will include performances by world-class guitarists in all fields: classical, jazz, country, acoustic.
A highlight early on will be an appearance by the legendary songwriter, actor, country/folk musician and guitarist, the gritty Kris Kristofferson (Nov. 13).
Also on tap in the fall: The Dave Brubeck Quartet and the Callaway sisters (Ann Hampton and Liz) in “Boom,” a look at the 70-year jazz career of Brubeck, on his way to being an American icon.
On Nov. 14, the Washington Post will hold an intimate conversation with today’s most enduring creator of musicals, Stephen Sondheim. On Oct. 7, classical guitars Paul Galbraith will appear. “Asperia,” the soprano and lute duo will appear Sept. 23.
The renowned Academy of St. Martin in the Fields with Jonathan Bliss on piano will present an all-Mozart program at the Music Center Nov. 3.
It’s as big day for family entertainment on Oct. 30, when Grammy Award winners Cathy Fink and Marcy Marx will present their 25th Annual Family Music party.
The Washington Performing Arts Society
The WPAS has been around for 40 years, providing education opportunities for young people and performance showcases for renowned world artists at theaters all over the Washington area.
The WPAS Men, Women and Children of Gospel choir will perform at the Arts on Foot Festival at Seventh and F Streets on Sept. 11 at 4 p.m. The festival, by the bye, offers a great opportunity for a sampling of many of the area’s performance arts groups. For more information, go to www.artsonfoot.org.
Renowned and glamorous violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter will perform at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall Nov. 13.
Sweet Honey in the Rock, the locally nurtured gospel-folk-blues group of long standing, will perform at the Warner Theatre Oct. 23.
Ravi Shankar, now famous not only as an iconic sitar player, but also the father of two famous performing offspring (Anoushka Shankar and Norah Jones), will be at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall Nov. 7.
Yo-Yo Ma will appear at the Kennedy Center Oct. 21.
Pianist Andras Schiff will perform at the Music Center at Strathmore Oct. 20.
Through the Opera Glass
Washington Concert Opera
The Washington Concert Opera opens its 2010-2011 season on Oct. 24 with Francesco Celia’s “Adriana Lecouvreur.” WCO Artistic Director Anthony Walker will conduct the performance at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium.
Featured performers are James Valenti as Maurizio, Mary Elizabeth Williams as Adriana, Elizabeth Bishop as Princess de Bouillon and Donnie Ray Albert as Michonnet.
Walker has headed the Washington Concert Opera since 2002, makes his New York Metropolitan Opera Debut in 2011, conducting Gluck’s “Orleo.”
Washington National Opera
Five productions, all new to Washington, mix with a grand old tradition in the Washington National Opera’s 2010-2011 season, its 55th.
Under the leadership of General Director Placido Domingo, the season begins Sept. 11 with Verdi’s dramatic “Un Ballo in Maschera” (“The Masked Ball”), a soaring, powerful story of forbidden love and revenge which takes place during the 18th-century reign of Sweden’s King Gustavus III.
In this opera, King falls for Best Friend’s wife, a not unfamiliar theme in opera and theater. Best Friend plots his murder and things move forward. But it’s a Verdi opera, which means the kind of musical embellishment that heightens every emotion in the story, with soaring orchestration and straight-to-the-heart melodies.
In Europe, this opera startled many patrons at a time when most of the countries and empires of Europe were ruled by kings and emperors and a plot about a king’s murder did not sit well with the ruling class. This prompted the setting to be moved to America, where there are no kings. Some productions still do the American version.
Tenor Salvatore Licitra returns to Washington in the role of King Gustavus, sharing the part with American Frank Porretta. Also in the double-cast production are sopranos Tamara Wilson and Irene Theorin, and baritones Luca Salsi and Timothy Mix. James Robinson directs, and Daniele Callegari conducts the WNO orchestra. The production runs through Sept. 25.
October will feature Richard Strauss’ still astonishing operatic telling of the tale of “Salome,” with the gifted Francesca Zambello returning to direct Deborah Voigt in her WNO debut. Voigt is considered by many critics to be “one of the great Strauss interpreters of all time” and the definitive Salome of her generation. Strauss shocked the world with his opera, which includes a score that’s highlighted by “Dance of the Seven Veils”, as is, of course, any version of the Salome tale British tenor Richard Berkeley-Steele is Herod. In this story, Salome is a temptress who not only turns heads but causes at least one to fall. (October 7-23.)
That’s not all. The WNO will again offer a free simulcast, this year at the Washington Nationals Park, called “Opera in the Outfield” on Sept. 19, of “Un Ballo in Maschera.”
This season also inaugurates the Placido Domingo Celebrity Series, a concert series featuring opera’s most exciting popular stars. They’ll be performing their best-known works alongside the WNO orchestra. The concerts will start in the spring with Peruvian Tenor Juan Diego Florez on Feb. 11 and Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel on March 12.
“Series O,” a specially discounted subscription series for audiences 35 and under, is also being initiated this year as a way to bring younger audiences to the opera.
The National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors will be held Oct. 22 at the Kennedy Center’s Opera House, with the WNO as the producing partner for the awards ceremony and concert.
The spring portion of the season includes “Madame Butterfly,” Gluck’s “Iphigenie en Touride” and Donizett’s “Don Pasquale.” [gallery ids="99189,103299,103310,103306,103303" nav="thumbs"]
Musical Magnate Anthony Lyn tackles ‘Mary Poppins’
It’s fair to say that “Mary Poppins” (the Sir Cameron Mackintosh/Disney-produced hit musical now ensconced at the Kennedy Center’s Opera House) has pretty much engulfed Anthony Lyn’s life.
Lyn is the tour director of the popular musical version of the old Disney movie musical which won Julie Andrews an Oscar as the super-cali— well, you know — nanny, and is the current director of the long-running (four years) Broadway production. For Lyn, it’s Mary here and Mary there pretty much all the time.
So what else is there?
“Well, I did just get married recently,” Lyn offered in a telephone interview. “There’s that.”
After congratulating Lyn, we wanted to know just what a tour director does. In the past, we knew that a stage director has a big part in the casting, runs rehearsals and then sits in the back of the theater biting his or her nails on opening night.
That doesn’t apply to Lyn or any tour director of major Broadway musical bonanzas, where you’re more like a visiting CEO visiting the plant regularly, changing this, overseeing that, making sure things are running properly and that the product is fresh and appealing.
“I’m here in Washington right now because as these kinds of shows go, with kids in them and all, we’re doing a bit of recasting, adding new performers,” he said. “The thing about kids is that they grow, they change.”
Lyn has a certain kind of show business in his veins, to put in British terms. He’s Welsh (the Lyn without the extra “n” says so), and that puts him in good theater company: think Catharine Zeta-Jones, Richard Burton and so on. He cut his theater teeth at Swansea Grand Theater in Wales, where they remember him fondly on the company’s Web site, charting his career from doing pantomimes to hosting musical shows to appearing with Zeta-Jones in a Swansea production of “The Sound of Music.”
From there, he went on to performing on cruise ships, getting a part in a production of “Anything Goes” with Elaine Paige, and landing a role in “Les Miserables.” That’s about the time he got interested in directing and talked his way into a job with Cameron Mackintosh. Next up: an assistant to Julie Taymor, who was directing the spectacularly successful “The Lion King” for Disney.
“She is just an amazing talent,” he says. “You have never seen such an eye, such creativity, it was an absolutely wonderful experience for me to work with the likes of her.”
It wasn’t that far removed from “Mary Poppins,” which now occupies a big part of his life.
“I know what critics think of Disney, that it’s this big business, giant corporation, heartless bottom-line and hokey stuff,” he says. “It’s nothing like that. You go to the Disney offices in New York, and it’s all theater folk like me.”
Still, the logistics of doing a national tour of “Mary Poppins” can be problematic.
“Everywhere you go is different,” he says. “Some of that has to do with the size of the venue. The theater in St. Louis, for instance, has 4,000-plus seats, and that requires a different level of projection. There are casting changes all of the time — actors sign a contract for a certain length of time and leave — the children, the sets, the physical opportunities and constraints. I think being a performer myself before has helped me in what I do. I know what it’s like, the whole touring thing, the changes, the pace, all of that.
“You know what it is about ‘Mary Poppins’?” he asks. “In all honesty, the show is full of heart, it’s about change and the parents, and the children, about that bond and imagination. I don’t mind saying so: it moves me still. You stay with a show long enough, all that coming and going, you form attachments. Every time there’s a cast change, there are goodbyes. You get to know people.
“It’s a funny thing that happens sometimes when there’s changes. An actor, even a child actor, will have their own views of things and they’ll make suggestions, and often it fits. You learn to listen. That way, you make sure things don’t get stale or change radically. I remember a long absence once, and an actor was playing his part in a way that changed everything. I didn’t recognize the show.”
Most of the time, “Mary Poppins” is a way of life for Lyn. A life a long way off from the Swansea Grand.
“Mary Poppins” runs at the Kennedy Center Opera House through Aug. 22.
Arena’s New Look
For the performing arts in Washington — as elsewhere — fall is a big deal; it’s the start of a new season, its festival time, its gala time, its opening night for theaters and performing venues, for dancers, actors, directors, musicians, and orchestras all over the city.
It’s also fair to say no event quite resonates with so much history and meaning for the future as Arena Stage’s return to its old home on the Southwest waterfront.
As Arena’s Artistic Director Molly Smith put it, “We are finally home again.”
Well, the old homestead isn’t exactly what it used to be. Smith made those remarks recently on the occasion of a 60th anniversary celebration for Arena Stage, which also served to unveil the new stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, its old Southwest location. The ceremony — presided over by Mayor Adrian Fenty, other elected officials, Smith and her Arena compatriots — seemed appropriate to the place and time, looking forward and backward all at once.
The new site, as you get off the Waterfront Metro station, appears almost immediately to the eye like a glass-curved visitor’s vehicle from some nifty galaxy far, far away.
Modern, expensive and two-and-a-half years in the making, the Mead Center manages to be warm and inviting, a multi-task kind of venue which serves as performing space (three theaters), keeper of the historic flame (not to mention education and research) and community center in its role as cultural jump-starter for revitalization and development in Southwest Washington.
The new Mead Center marks yet another turning point for Arena, which in 60 years has seen many such key moments. Most of them, in one way or another, are part not only of the history of Arena Stage, but are literally embedded in the $135 million center, whose core remains the Fichandler Stage’s theater-in-the-round auditorium, a 683-seat space perfect for big-scale theater such as, for instance, “Oklahoma,” which starts off Arena’s fall season on Oct. 23.
The new theater also sports the Kreeger Theater, a 514-seat space with a thrust stage, the Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle, an oval-shaped 200-seat theater with flexible seating, a space where new plays are workshopped and talent, new ideas and ways of creating are nurtured.
“The Arena Stage as we have it now will be a major center not only for the production and performance of theater, but for the study of theater. It will be a research center, a truly all-purpose theater center,” Smith said.
It was designed by famous Chinese-Canadian architect Bing Thom, who sees the space as “accessible, warm, modern and historic at the same time, intimate, vast, a part of the community.” The center reflects Arena’s past, but its transparency and structural impressiveness speaks to the future. “We hope for everlasting life for our hometown theater,” a local said.
Hometown is exactly what Arena is and has always been, even as it’s grown to a theater of national stature. “In 1950, the only way you could see theater here was at colleges, or through touring companies of Broadway plays,” Smith said. “Zelda Fichandler and her partners were pioneers; they created the first regional theater in America and the only professional theater here.”
From its first theater, which was called the Hippodrome on New York Avenue, Arena has moved and gone through various stages and incarnations. Five years after Hippodrome’s founding in 1950, it moved to a 500-seat theater called “The Old Vat” in Foggy Bottom.
In 1961, the 800-plus-seat theater-in-the-round Arena Stage opened at the current location with a production of Brecht’s “The Caucasian Chalk Circle,” an ambitious, difficult play that spoke to founder and artistic director Zelda Fichandler’s ’s theatrical vision.
It was evident that Arena was bound to enlarge or move. “There was serious consideration about moving to Seventh Street, where there was already a bustling theater scene,” Smith said. “But we decided to build here.”
Spurred by a $35 million donation from trustees-for-life Dr. Jaylee M. Mead and her late husband Gilbert Mead (the largest gift of this sort by individuals for a not-for-profit regional theater), the project to revamp Arena took hold two and a half years ago. This necessitated that the company and the institution scatter its offices and performing spaces all over the city. “We were a nomadic enterprise,” Smith said. “It was difficult, but it also increased the profile of Arena, acquiring new audiences, both in Crystal City and at the Lincoln Theatre in the historic U Street District.”
For Smith the new center is also a personal homecoming (again). An American University grad, she was picked to succeed Douglas Wager (who took over as artistic director after Fichandler retired) 12 years ago after leading the Perseverance Theater in Alaska for 19 years.
She dedicated herself to building on a standing — and pioneering — tradition at Arena. While she focused on American plays and the American theatrical canon, she continued to reach out to the community at large and build an African American audience, a hope that became a larger reality after the stint at the Lincoln.
“I think we have always encouraged new plays, new playwrights, new ideas that reflect the great creative energy in this community, as well as its diversity,” Smith said. She continued a process where two Arena productions, the spectacularly successful “Next to Normal” and “33 Variations” went to Broadway, a tradition that began with “The Great White Hope” in the 1960s.
She also started directing musicals. “I kind of surprised myself,” she said. “I never did them before. You know, I’m part of that generation that thought musicals, especially Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, were kind of square.” She began with “South Pacific,” a big hit, which looked and felt not old-fashioned, but fresh and big of heart.
The inaugural season at the Mead Center can be expected to embody what Arena, Smith and the building itself stand for. So it begins with “Oklahoma,” a rarely revived musical that revolutionized musicals when it was first staged in the 1940s, building book and music into a seamless whole.
“We recognize the diversity that existed and the show, with all of its great music, will also embody that spirit. It’s not just an exercise in nostalgia,” said Smith In short, it will be a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic cast that will sing and perform the show. “It is THE great American musical. All of Arena’s optimism, hopes and dreams will be embodied in this moment of fierce individualism.”
Fall 2010 Visual Arts Preview
Ari Post •
Addison/Ripley Fine Art
Addison/Ripley will present “The 2nd Element: Stratus Series”, new works by Nancy Sansom Reynolds from September 10 to October 23. In her third exhibition at the gallery, Reynolds brings a large body of new sculpture in a broad range of new materials, creating sinuous, striated, elegant shapes, often suspended on walls. Much of the artist’s inspiration for this show comes from her three recent years in the Southwest desert. Reynolds has suggested that her forms reflect the “big sky” of the American Southwest.
Arlington County plans to open the Artisphere, an expansive cultural center, on October 10. Formerly the Newseum, the center is located on Wilson Boulevard in Rosslyn and will include three art galleries, two theaters and a 4,000-square-foot ballroom. Norma Kaplan, chief of the county’s cultural affairs division, promises something new in the use of the space and in the clientele the Artisphere hopes to attract. “We have a large younger demographic in the region,” Kaplan said. “They want to be participants, not be passive, and they want a place to go. We’ll be open 12 hours a day, seven days a week. People can come and hang out without much planning.”
A 4,000-square-foot Terrace Gallery will have room for exhibitions, seating with drinks and snacks, as well as an overlook into the ballroom. According to Kaplan, built into all Artisphere programming will be opportunities for interaction with the artists. “We are trying to attract audiences that normally don’t come into a cultural center,” she said. One idea is to have late-night dances with regional bands on the weekends. In Artisphere’s first exhibit, opening with the center on October 10, is the group show “Skateboarding Side Effects,” where artists capture the form, shape, line and gestural movements of skateboarding through photography, drawing, painting, film and sculpture.
Cross/Mackenzie Gallery, Georgetown’s premier gallery for contemporary ceramic and applied arts, has an array of upcoming shows for art collectors and enthusiasts with an eye for the dimensional and functional. From September 17 to October 20, the gallery will feature Kathy Erteman’s work in the show “Architectural Ceramics – Tiles & Vessels.”
Opening October 22, Sarah Lindley’s “Poppenhuizen” will feature the artist’s full-sized ceramic cabinet houses, inspired by the extravagant and exquisite 17th century Dutch fine art furniture. The gallery will then close their fall season with a group exhibition, “Serve if Forth,” a platter and plate show featuring the area’s premiere wheel throwers and ceramic artists, opening November 19.
In paintings inspired by the natural beauty of the earth, artist Ron Riley portrays images that evoke a sense of internal peace, tranquility, serenity and power, uniting us with the majestic forces we find within ourselves and in our natural environment. In his recent works, Riley’s tactile palette ranges from the soft and pastel to deep and intense, the varying hues engendering visions of some of nature’s more ominous forces. Riley is a member of the Foundry Gallery as well as Mid City Artists. The show, “Land, Air and Sea,” will be on view at the Foundry Gallery from September 29 through October 31. The opening reception is Friday, October 1, 6-8pm.
Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC
The Four Seasons hotel in Georgetown has unveiled a completely new art collection selected exclusively for the hotel. The collection has more than 1,650 pieces and is heavily representative of American artists, of which 400 are premier, blue chip and commissioned pieces for the public spaces and corridors. Among the more prominent pieces, on display in conspicuous public areas, are works by Helen Frankenthaler, Andy Warhol, Robert Mangold, Ron Richmond, Andrea Rosenberg and Andrei Petrov. These were purchased from private collections and exclusive galleries throughout the United States.
Guests walking into the Hotel’s recently redesigned lobby will immediately encounter the largest installation along the lobby gallery wall. A commissioned series by Roni Stretch, an English artist residing in Los Angeles, evokes the essential composition of America featuring five ethnic faces, each with a unique appearance: Julia the American Indian, Sara the all-American, Gary the English/Irish, Tiffany the French/Russian, and Fabiana the Mexican. This compilation was selected specifically for Four Seasons Hotel Washington due to its international clientele. These human faces were painted in black and white and then layered with selective colors to create the subtly realistic, yet abstract work. If you have any guests coming into town, yearning for the vibrant DC art scene, you now know where to put them up.
Acclaimed DC-based photographer Maxwell MacKenzie has long sought to capture the wild or pastoral terrain around the country, in exploration of his family’s history. A new series of MacKenzie’s aerial photographs of Vermont, Virginia and Minnesota will open to the public on September 10, from 6-9pm at the Fraser Gallery.
MacKenzie captured all of his images from his self-piloted powered parachute, an ultra-light aircraft where the bird’s eye expanses of trees and wilderness get broken up into a vibrant, organic geometry of color and texture. The show opening will be held in conjunction with the Bethesda Art Walk, which features downtown Bethesda galleries. The studios open their doors to the public from 6-9pm on the second Friday of every month. This is a wonderful opportunity to take in all the Bethesda art scene has to offer.
Irvine Contemporary will be running two shows simultaneously, from September 11 through October 30. Phil Nesmith’s exhibition “Flow,” a series of wet collodion photographs on black glass plate, was documented on the Gulf coast in Louisiana and Mississippi throughout June 2010. Using his box cameras and a portable darkroom, Nesmith created striking images of the environment and local communities encountering the worst oil disaster in US history. He was able to gain access to areas largely unseen by the public – such as taking a helicopter to a relief well rig at the BP Deepwater Horizon site. Looking damaged and washed out, much like the Gulf coast, Nesmith’s images have a devastating beauty about them, finding peace among the chaos and destruction.
In conjunction with Nesmith’s show, Irvine Contemporary will be presenting a new exhibition of work by Brooklyn-based artist Bruno Perillo, in his second show with the gallery. With a new series of oil paintings, the artist will present his continuing reinterpretations of historical and contemporary realist styles. Bruno Perillo appropriates the realist styles of painters from many eras – from Caravaggio to Degas – for composing masterful images that are at once classical, post-modern, and contemporary. The show, titled “Uniform,” will present male and female characters in narrative scenes with culturally encoded clothing styles and genre cues.
Long since established in the Georgetown community, the Parish Gallery is well known for featuring primarily, but not exclusively, artists from Africa and of the African Diaspora. From October 15 through November 16, the gallery will feature the works of husband and wife, Gwendolyn and Bernard Brooks, in an exhibition entitled, “A Marriage of Colors”. The show will open with a reception from 6:00 – 8:00 pm that Friday.
A native Washingtonian, Gwendolyn has been in the art world for over thirty years as a painter, contemporary quilt-maker and doll designer. Her mixed media works can best be described as Afro-Caribbean, having traveled to Africa, Trinidad, Brazil, and Tobago to research and find influences. Bernard is a second-generation artist, his uncle being the first black instructor at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Bernard retired as Howard University’s chief medical illustrator, relinquishing his post after 26 years. This exhibition will be showing his watercolors, many of which are fleeting scenes of an American countryside that we long for even as we observe it.
The Ralls Collection
This fall, the Ralls Collection will premier “Trojan War Years,” the first of three series of paintings by local artist David Richardson, from October 6 through December 31. There will be a private reception with the artist on Wednesday, October 6, from 6 – 8 pm at the gallery.
The paintings featured in “Trojan War Years” will display Richardson’s ability to convey a strong narrative of Homer’s epic tale in conjunction with his unique flair for color and exceptional conviction for abstract forms.
In the last decade, Richardson has painted three important series of works. The first, Trojan War Years, not only precedes the others, but it also continues to manifest. The impetus for the series came while Richardson lived in Japan. Wandering around Tokyo, Richardson noticed the Kanji inscriptions that the Japanese used to mark temples, civic buildings, and businesses. Fueled by his interest in the way Kanji weaved into the architecture of Tokyo in addition to his passion for Homer’s recollection of the Trojan War, Richardson began incorporating the symbols into his own art, eventually securing the foundation for Trojan War Years series.
September 29 through October 23 will find Studio Gallery featuring two very different artists, brought together by an uncontainable energy and strong personal voice. Chris Chernow, whose figural paintings consist of numerous layers of oils applied over many months, find edges where the figure and ground can be merged in order to create a sense of submission and solitude. The layers add to the richness of the paint and a reduction in detail, achieving an elegant, haunting simplicity. The figures become shadows before our eyes.
The other featured artist, Carolee Jakes, works primarily in screen-printing, etching and oil painting, and has recently been experimenting with combining these media to focus her works’ prevailing and intertwining themes of identity and music. Her most recent work focuses on the interconnectedness of musicians and their instruments. “There is a level of interaction that gives the instrument a life of its own,” says Jakes. “I see each instrument as a piece of art, and I refer to structural characteristics of the instruments in abstract drawings that are incorporated into the prints.” A reception for the artists will be held on October 16, from 6 to 8pm.
Susan Calloway Fine Arts
Opening September 24 and running through the end of October, Susan Calloway Fine Arts will host an exhibition of artist David Ivan Clark. Born and raised on the plains of Western Canada, Clark returns to them as the inspiration for his work. In his landscape series, Clark blurs the line between abstraction and representation with a haunting minimalism, allowing viewers to find sanctuary from the frenetic rigors of the mechanized world.
The results of his unique painting techniques – fine layers of oil on stainless steel with a glossy, reflective finishing coat – is seductive, serene and luminous, recalling the vast expanses of nature within an unyieldingly industrial framework. “My work braids reference to nature with reference to industry,” Clark says. “Screws may frame a vast sky. Paint may be pitted and scoured as if the depicted terrain has issued from dire industrial processes. Suggesting both Arcadian idyll and post-apocalyptic barren, these paintings dwell, as I am forced to myself, in limbo, yearning for one yet unable to deny the other.” The exhibition, titled “Presence/Absence,” will have an opening reception Friday, September 24, from 6-8pm. This is sure to be one of the highlights of the gallery scene this season, and it should not be missed.
Washington Printmakers Gallery
The Washington Printmakers Gallery will host “New Faces – New Prints II,” an exhibition introducing the five artists that have joined WPG in the past year. These diverse printmakers come from all over the country and are presenting a variety of new work and techniques. New artists include Trisha Gupta, who commemorates natural disasters, such as flooding in India, through personal relations. Trisha says her work “brings me in dialogue with events that have affected me personally, and allows me to give personal experiences the commemoration I know they deserve.”
From September 15 through November 28, the Zenith gallery will be hosting an expansive group exhibition at the Chevy Chase Pavilion, featuring a wide array of Zenith’s art community. A “Meet the Artists” reception will be held September 15 from 6-8 pm, in Zenith’s space on the second level of the Pavilion.
Among the longstanding Zenith artists will be sculptor Carol Newmyer, who creates interactive, figurative bronze sculptures inspired by dance, yoga, balance and meditation. Along with her sculptures, she has a line of dramatic and unique sterling silver and high polished bronze wearable art sold in limited editions. New artists include the vivacious Joyce Wellman. Wellman uses vibrant colors, cryptic marks, and symbols referencing mathematics, anthropomorphic forms, and her personal experiences growing up in a household where “numbers” were played.
National Gallery of Art
“Arcimboldo, 1526–1593: Nature and Fantasy” will run from September 19, 2010 – January 9, 2011. Sixteen examples of the fantastic composite heads painted by Giuseppe Arcimboldo will be featured in this exhibition, their first appearance in the United States. Bizarre yet scientifically accurate, the unusual heads are composed of plants, animals, and objects. Additional works, including drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Dürer, small bronzes, illustrated books and manuscripts, and ceramics will provide a context for Arcimboldo’s inventions, revealing his debt to established traditions of physiognomic and nature studies.
Opening October 31 is “The Pre-Raphaelite Lens: British Photography and Painting, 1848–1875.” In the first survey of British art photography, focusing on the 1850s and 1860s, some 100 photographs and 20 paintings and watercolors chronicle the roles photography and Pre-Raphaelite art played in changing concepts of vision and truth in representation. The exhibition illuminates the mutual struggle of photographers and painters of the era, wrestling with the question of how to observe and represent the natural world and the human face and figure. This rich dialogue between photography and painting is examined in the exhibition’s thematic sections on landscape, portraiture, literary and historical narratives, and modern-life subjects.
Corcoran Gallery of Art
“NOW at the Corcoran,” running from September 11 until January 23, 2011, is a series of one- and two-artist exhibitions that presents new work addressing issues central to the local, national, and global communities of Washington, D.C. and that responds to the collection, history, and architecture of the Corcoran.
The first feature will be “Spencer Finch: My Business, with the Cloud,” an exhibition of new work by the Brooklyn-based artist that includes a site-specific sculpture installed in the Corcoran’s Rotunda. Finch’s sculptural installations, photographs, and drawings seek to capture the elusive space between perception and the outside world, probing the intersections of science, nature, and memory. Drawing from the history and environment of Washington, D.C., his project explores the poetic, physical, and meteorological aspects of these natural phenomena.
The Phillips Collection
“Side by Side: Oberlin’s Masterworks at the Phillips,” opens September 11, 2010, and runs through January 16, 2011. Illustrating its unconventional approach to displaying art, The Phillips Collection will present loosely themed groupings of some of its own masterworks with 25 masterpieces from Oberlin College’s Allen Memorial Art Museum. Half of the 24 paintings and one sculpture on loan from the Allen are old masters, dating from the 16th to the 18th centuries. They include rare works by painters of the British, Dutch, Flemish, French, German, Italian, and Spanish schools. The other Allen pieces are important modern works of the 19th and 20th centuries. Oberlin extended the opportunity to display some of its treasures to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and to the Phillips while the Allen is closed for renovations. Highlights include unique pairings in works ranging from Francisco Goya to El Greco, Rubens to Turner, Cézanne to Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.
“Guillermo Kuitca: Everything—Paintings and Works on Paper, 1980–2008” will run from October 21, 2010 to January 16, 2011. Since his first exhibition at the age of thirteen, Guillermo Kuitca has forged a distinctive path as an artist, creating visually compelling works that reflect his intense and often ambivalent relationship to his primary medium: painting. “Guillermo Kuitca: Everything” is the first comprehensive survey of the artist’s work in the United States in more than ten years, examining the artist’s continuing development between 1980 and 2008. The show presents the spectrum of Kuitca’s thirty-five year career, from early pieces inspired by his experience in theater, with titles often drawn from music, to recent complex abstractions that evoke the history of modern painting.
Since the early 1980s, the artist’s work has been characterized by recurring imagery, most notably spatial and mapping motifs. Central among these are images of theater sets and seating charts, architectural plans, road maps, beds, numerical sequences, and baggage-claim carousels, through which Kuitca explores universal themes of migration and disappearance, the intersection of private and public space, and the importance of memory.
National Portrait Gallery
Newspaper publisher Katharine Graham (1917–2001) led an extraordinary life in extraordinary times. Born into privilege, she was catapulted onto the international stage as publisher of The Washington Post during the Watergate scandal. “One Life: Katharine Graham,” running from October 1 through May 30, 2011, includes several photographs to narrate key moments in her life, including a portrait by Richard Avedon, drawings, original newspapers from the time of the Watergate scandal, the Pulitzer Prize for her memoir, “Personal History” and video of a “Living Self-Portrait” interview of Graham by former Portrait Gallery director Marc Pachter.
National Museum of the American Indian
“Vantage Point: The Contemporary Native Art Collection” runs from September 25 until August 7, 2011. The show highlights the National Museum of the American Indian’s young but vital collection of contemporary art, with significant works by 25 artists in media ranging from paintings, drawings, and photography to video projection and mixed-media installation. These complex and richly layered works speak to the concerns and experiences of Native people today, addressing memory, history, the significance of place for Native communities, and the continuing relevance of cultural traditions.
Smithsonian Craft2Wear Show and Sale
The Smithsonian “Craft2Wear” show and sale will be held the weekend of October 23 and 24 at the National Building Museum, featuring 36 premier exhibitors of wearable art, jewelry and clothing. All exhibitors have been previously juried into the Smithsonian Craft Show, so you can be sure that the show is filled with items of lasting artistic value as well as fashionable appeal. [gallery ids="99194,103349,103344,103339,103358,103362,103334,103366,103370,103329,103354" nav="thumbs"]
3rd Annual FotoWeek DC is Approaching
Amateur and professional photographers take note — the deadline for D.C.’s premier photography competition looms large. The groundbreaking photography festival FotoWeek DC has set the cut-off date for submissions to its 2010 International Awards Competition as September 20. Such an opportunity for photographers to get their work out and claim cash prizes among 12 different categories is too good to pass up.
Currently in its third year, the competition has seen over 2,000 submissions from 20 different countries, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, France, and Saudi Arabia. The categories consist of Best Single Image in Photojournalism/Social Documentary, Best Series of Photographs in Fine Art, Best Mobile Phone Image, and Multimedia among others. However, the most coveted award remains The Spirit of Washington, honoring the photo that best captures the essence of the nation’s capital.
Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of renowned judges, among whom are Jean-Francois Leroy, founder of Visa Pour L’Image, Mary Anne Golon of AARP, Nick Nichols of National Geographic, and David Scull of The New York Times. Many of these professionals will be performing portfolio reviews as well, offering appraisals as well as criticisms to amateur photographers looking for a professional opinion.
Winning images will be put on display in the Corcoran Gallery of Art for the full span of the festival, from November 6 to 13. The same gallery will feature exhibitions, lectures and workshops, and a launch party, where the winners will be featured — and there’s sure to be dancing. Needless to say, dress your best.
Be sure to submit your work, and mark your calendar. Festival founder Theo Adamstein aims to make this year’s FotoWeek the best celebration of “the transformative power of photography” yet. Come play your part in breaking artistic barriers and widening perspectives. If nothing else, you’re sure to have a visually enjoyable week.
For more information, check out FotoWeek DC’s Website here!
Constellation Stage Design Preview of Ramayana
Oklahoma is not the only play enjoying a return visit this season. Constellation Theatre Company is bringing back Ramayana based on Indian mythology, which played to sold out houses at Source last year. The production, which will open a three-week run on Aug. 4, will reassemble half the cast and have the welcome addition of Matthew McGloin, who charmed in On the Razzle, playing the monkey Hanuman. On July 11, Constellation’s Artistic Director Allison Stockman presided over a design presentation introducing new and old members of the ensemble and showcasing Kendra Rai’s stunning costumes and two-time Helen Hayes Award winner Tom Teasley’s onstage music. Guests then mingled at a wine and cheese reception.
Norman Parish Gallery 20th Anniversary
Shannon McGovern • July 13, 2011
From the beginning, the relationship between Norman Parish and his wife Gwen centered around a deep appreciation for talent and beauty, values that come to life in the Norman Parish Gallery’s 20th Anniversary exhibition, “Living Embodiments: Artistic Expressions of Being” which will run until July 12.
Norman met his wife, Gwen, 23 years ago after moving to D.C. from Chicago. They spent their weekends driving through the mountains of northwestern Maryland. They would park on the side of the highway where she would sunbathe and read while he painted landscapes, and together, they mused about the idea of opening an art gallery. One day, walking home after enjoying an oyster meal at Manhattan’s, the couple noticed an ad for the sale of a gallery.
Twenty years later, they celebrate not only the anniversary of their gallery’s opening, but also the talent and development of the family of artists who, Norman says, contributed work of consistent quality.
“My reference to quality is that the subject matter may not be to one’s liking, but the art works can truly be called fine art. The diversity of the artists shown over the years has one thing in common . . . quality,” said Norman in a press release.
The Parishes entertained a full house at the gallery’s opening reception for the exhibition on June 17. While exhibitions usually feature the work of one artist, in honor of the anniversary, Norman selected the work of a range of artists with whom he worked over the years and whose work he feels is “meaningful and impactful.” The works of master painters Herbert Gentry and Robert Mayhew were given recognition as well as upcoming artists Mason Archie and Morris Howard, pencil drawings by Kenneth Pasley, photos by 11 photographers and a piece by Sam Gilliam. Some are personal friends of Norman’s including Richard Hunt, a former classmate from the Art Institute of Chicago, and Evangeline J. Montgomery, who advised him while he was opening the gallery.
Collectively, the Parish Gallery features mostly, but not exclusively, artists from Africa and the African Diaspora whose art covers a broad spectrum of styles in contemporary fine art. In the past two decades, the gallery hosted artists from over 25 different countries.
Reflecting back on the life of the gallery, the Parishes remember a few exhibitions that were particularly notable. For both Norman and Gwen, Willard Wigan’s microscopic sculptures in his exhibition “Art in the Eye of a Needle” stood out, particularly for the notoriety and intriguing concept. During the two-month exhibition, 3,500 people visited the gallery to peer into microscopes to view the miniscule sculptures set in the eyes of needles.
Norman noted the development of Yvette Watson, an artist who he introduced to the gallery business. In her first show at the Parish Gallery, she sold 14 of the 16 pieces on display – one of the only sellout shows.
An oil painting by Parish himself also hangs among the work of his friends and colleagues, a brilliantly colored landscape that’s what he calls “expressionism in the form of stylized realism.” Despite his talent, Parish considers himself more of a businessman.
“I spent my life pursuing an art career and I was in my late forties when I realized it wasn’t happening. Someone said, ‘Why don’t you open a gallery?’ So I became a businessman,” he said.
Parish opened the gallery because few galleries consistently allowed diverse art in terms of style.
“My primary concern is that these artists have a place to be seen,” he said.
Family Fun on Volta Park Day . . . Then, the Thunder
Volta Park Day lived up to its familiar, neighborhood charm: hamburgers, hot dogs, coconut cake, popcorn, snow cones with the slide, water dunk, sprinklers, band and flea market. Moms, dads and the kids were still smiling, although the picnic was cut short by thunder and light rain around 5:15 p.m. on June 12. The park’s C.M. Anderson reminds us that the Volta Park pool opens its full summer schedule on June 21: Tuesday through Thursday, 1 to 8 p.m., public; Saturday and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.; closed Monday.
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Comcast and NBC Universal
Comcast and NBC Universal celebrated the 15th anniversary of MSNNC on Thursday, July 7th, at America’s Square 300 New Jersey Avenue. Guests toasted to “The Place for Politics,” while enjoying Japanese and Mexican appetizers, and indulging in Sprinkles cupcakes. [gallery ids="100237,106585,106574,106582,106579" nav="thumbs"]
Georgetown Art Map
Susan Calloway Fine Arts
1643 Wisconsin Ave | 202.965.4601 | www.callowayart.com | T –St 10-5 | A bright gallery filled with works of color, representing all genres of art Susan Calloway Fine Arts salon style gallery is a go-to gallery. Located in Book Hills Georgetown, this fine art gallery offers views collections from local and international artists, playing with content, color, light, style, and meaning. | Photo credit: Hound Dog, Walter Addison
1054 31st St NW | 202.944.2310 | T- St 12pm- 6pm | www.parishgallery.com | Parish Gallery, run by a delightful husband and wife couple, expresses primarily African and African Diaspora art. Recently celebrating 20 years of exhibitions and business, the gallery thrives on local and international artists and plans to continue its cultural presence in Georgetown for years to come. | Photo credit: The Night Tulsa Died, Leslee Stradford
2820 Pennsylvania Ave NW | 202.333.1506 | www.galerie lareuse.com | T-St 12- 7pm | This gallery highlights the masters of contemporary and modern art prints such as Kandinsky, Picasso, Matisse, Renoir, Warhol, and many others. With recent acquisitions from Miro, Braque, Dali, and Calder, Lareuse constantly maintains their collections to ensure the highest quality and best modern/contemporary art for Georgetowners. | Photo Credit: Kleine Welten III, Wassily Kandisndky
Addison/Ripley Fine Art
1670 Wisconsin Ave NW | 202.338.5180 | www.addisonripleyfineart.com | T- St 11am- 6pm | The changing exhibits at Addison/Ripley demonstrate the variety that art has to offer to viewers. Displaying paintings, sculpture, photography, prints and other mediums of art from both local and international, this gallery has something for everyone to expand their art ventures. | Photo Credit: Untitled, Hedieh Ilchi
Shingo Bork Mu Project
1521 Wisconsin Ave NW | 202.333.4119 | www.muproject.com | The Mu Project bridges the gap between Washington art viewers and contemporary Asian artists and their exquisite and exciting work. Ms. Bork focuses on new artists who have relocated to the states from Asian countries, and who are bring a new perspective to the D.C. art scene. | Photo Credit: Painting by Gi-On Jeon
The Ralls Collection
1516 31st St NW | 202.342.1754 |www.rallscollection.com | T-St 11am – 4pm | The Ralls Collection embraces contemporary art from all types of mediums that not only participates in exhibitions but also, takes a larger role in art education. Not only do they display for the general public they also do art for hotels, resorts and other hospitality enterprises. This collection, no matter the venue is a contemporary beauty to behold. | Photo Credit: Orchard Mist, John Blee
Maurine Littleton Gallery
1667 Wisconsin Ave | 202.333.9307 | T-St 11-6 | www.littletongallery.com |Highlighting contemporary glass, metal, and ceramic works, this gallery is a great way to get a variety in your art-viewing portfolio. Exhibiting 3D works from Dale Chihuly to Therman Stanton, this exhibit explores the artistic play of light, space, movement, theme, subject, and color. The gallery also has 2D works of art from local and national artists. | Photo Credit: Deep in Space, Jay Musler
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