Adventures of Hoogrrl!

A person who appears to be ambling aimlessly, but is secretly in search of adventure.

Browsing Posts published in November, 2008

Check out today’s Washington Post Style & Arts section to read a very nice piece about our fair city’s cool art scene. Lavanya Ramanathan and Rachel Beckman report on four arty events that were unconventional in unique ways. Though the Hirshhorn’s After Hours takes place in a traditional museum setting, the gathering didn’t feel like a conventional stodgy museum event at all. What I have particularly liked about this series of happenings at the Hirshhorn is that they are reaching out to DC residents, which helps bridge the huge gap between the city’s federal art institutions and our thriving local art scene. Hurray for the Hirshhorn! Over at Civilian Art Projects, I love the many ways in which Jayme McLellan connects DC’s rich music past with the best of DC’s emerging contemporary artists. (I can’t believe I missed a puppet show!) Finally, I love that Art Whino provides a great (and as far as I know, only) venue for showing street and graffiti art, and they throw a great party too!

Of course, they covered The Pink Line Project’s Fixation event a couple weeks ago….

Sunday, November 30, 2008; M14

Washington has a vibrant, under-the-radar art party scene that has long been visible only to those in the know. But thanks in part to a growing community of art socialites, bloggers and paparazzi, nearly 3,000 people are suddenly pounding down the doors of a museum on a Friday night, and 700 are lining up in the rain to get into a crumbling skate park to see photography. Party organizers sometimes lament the new notoriety, but the crowds keep coming. This month, we fanned out to four events to capture a slice of the action.

– Rachel Beckman and Lavanya Ramanathan

Fight Club, “Fixation,” Nov. 14:

Getting to Fight Club, an underground skateboarding, art and music space near the Convention Center, involved stumbling down a brick, high-heels-unfriendly alley and waiting in a long line. In the rain.

Until the opening of “Fixation,” a photography exhibit that was part of FotoWeek DC, the space was pretty much one of Washington’s great hipster myths. (Even the name of the place is taken from the 1999 movie about a secret society: First rule of Fight Club, you do not talk about Fight Club.)

“We’re not open. We’re not anything,” co-founder Dan Zeman told me warily. “We don’t do any business here.”

And that was part of the allure; more than 700 people — posh galleristas, Howard students, moms, well-groomed men in blazers, skateboarders — poured into that night’s bash, which, despite the crowd, felt like a house party, with kegs and the whole standing-around thing.

The exhibit was sponsored by the Pink Line Project, which curates events in support of visual arts, and Ten Miles Square, a new group that fosters photography in the city. Philippa Hughes, Pink Line’s founder, attributed the evening’s success to a scene that’s gone “viral.” “You didn’t need to announce it on the radio. . . . They just came, I don’t know.”

– L.R.

For those of you going to Art Basel Miami next week, here’s some good advice for you from David Hickey in Vanity Fair. He slogged through the Frieze Art Fair last year and learned a few things that he’d like to share with you. My favorite line:

But never think about art at an art fair. It’s tacky, and one is better served by decoding the dazzle that has you reaching for your purse.

My buddy Frank Asher is selling Christmas trees starting today.

902 N Street NW
On the corner of the corner of 9th and N.
Near the convention center.

November 28 through December 24
Hours of operation:
Mon-Fri. 3-8
Sat. 10-7

Here’s your chance to exhibit in the Smithsonian American Art Museum! Artist Jean Shin is calling for donations of trophies for a large-scale art installation called Everyday Monuments. Learn more about the project and how to donate your old trophies by December 13 here.

Photo Credit: By Marvin Joseph — The Washington Post Photo

This woman is 69 years old!!! More about Tina Turner’s concert last night here.

A very special person and good friend Tom Minter will have one of his plays read at The Warehouse on Saturday. You should go because he is great.

Playreading Series hosted by the City Artistic Partnerships
Featuring Tom Minter
Past is the present, Imperfect

Saturday, November 29
3 pm
@ The Warehouse
1017 7th Street, NW

Tom Minter—Born in New York, raised in Philadelphia, Black American playwright Tom Minter studied play writing at Pomona College, Claremont California. In 1991, Minter moved to London, England, where his work was initially nurtured by The New Playwright’s Trust, and subsequently performed in London and Berlin. He has collaborated with several British directors, but was especially mentored through working with Areta Breeze. In 1996 Minter was commissioned by The London New Play Festival to write Sempre Suburbia! The work premiered in the Festival’s program that year. His play Fragments of a Dream was produced at The Riverside Studios, in Hammersmith, London. His work Exposition was premiered at The Arts Theatre, in London’s West End, in 1997. In 1998 The Brave Hearts Theater in Minneapolis premiered 2 one act plays by Minter: Strawberry dwarves and other lies, and Hostage. Minter moved back to the states in 2000. His work has been championed by the New York based Hansberry Project, and has been presented at The Henry Street Settlement, and The Lark Theater in Manhattan. Minter has had two full scale works produced in Philadelphia; Perfection Unspeakable, in 2005, and in 2006, Cakewalk, a production created in collaboration with digital animation artist Victor Ingrassia. Minter lives in DC.

Past is the present, Imperfect—Locked in suburbia over three days at Christmas, a son wrestles with his mother’s fastidious delusions; an aunt deals with the repercussions of her act of self sacrifice, and a wife strains to keep the knives out of everyone’s hands–especially her own. Past is the present, Imperfect is a biting look at how one family copes with a holiday revelation, which exposes the consequential lies that have shaped dysfunction.

Creation 3, Tim Rollins and the Kids of Survival

Grand re-Opening Celebration of Pyramid Atlantic Community Arts Store! Activities include:

Hands-on arts and crafts activities for children, noon time poetry reading, ice cream sampling champagne and fresh strawberries, outdoor skateboard demonstration and skateboarder art screening of FRAGILE, a digital film by New Orleans based artist John Lawson, author’s talk led by Mr. Dennis Forbes author of “Studios and Work spaces of Black American Artists”, live music courtesy of Bill Williams and the Jelly Roll Mortals

Friday, November 28
8am – 10pm

@ Pyramid Atlantic Community Arts Store
924 Ellsworth Drive, Silver Spring

Fabulous DC arty girls Kelly and Veronica took a road trip with me to Baltimore yesterday to check out Charm City’s art scene and we were absolutely charmed by it! First stop, Gallery 4 to see a group show that included some works by Maggie Michael (a great DC-based artist who just opened a show over the weekend at G Fine Art). Super impressive art space! Sure wish we had more like that in DC.

I particularly liked this series of photographs by an artist named Nyktas who shoots the insides of bottles of things like mustard and hair conditioner. I think this one is the inside of a bottle of industrial hand cleaner.

We popped in on the Contemporary Museum of Baltimore to see these works by Kianga Ford who creates site-specific pieces that explore the narrative spaces between people. Nifty little museum space that does great work.

Coffee break at Donna’s.

Standing in front of a Franz West piece outside the Baltimore Museum of Art where we saw a great retrospective of his work. Loved the way his art engaged his audience. Side note: I didn’t know Franz West liked using pink so much. What a genius. On one of the gallery walls was written this in large letters: Every time you think of me, we die, a little. I thought that was kinda cool though I am still pondering its meaning.

At Bernhard Hildebrandt’s uber cool studio. I think Bernhard needs to make me some wallpaper. (Are you reading this Bernhard!?) He’s working on a series of diptychs in which he paints an abstract shape on a glossy surface and then photographs those shapes/surfaces and places them side by side. Really cool expression of how a human eye views something as compared to how a machine like a camera views it.

Sparkling wine break with Bernhard.

Last stop: The Library, an artist studio, living space, and gallery run by Jason Hughes. At the invitation of the awesome Curators Office, we went to see Cliff Evans monumental five channel video called Empyrean. It’s a six and a half minute video loop that I must have watched 10 times and I still kept seeing new things in it. This guy is intense.

Gaia rocks

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Wooster Collective likes Gaia as much as I do! They interviewed him a couple days ago and reading it reminded me of how impressive this kid is.

Gaia describes his work:

My emotional relationship with the important people within my life is what inspires the content of my work. My art is deeply personal and cathartic. I try to maintain an honest articulation of both my frustrations and felicity in each piece. Whether it is the celebration of a burgeoning young boy who I once babysat or the valediction of a person who lives in my past, I want to express a feeling that can be fundamentally understood by the viewer. I am very interested in communicating these passions on the street and in an attempt to relate to others through the imagery.

I put my work up in order to reactivate a space and reconsider our modern notion of property and domain. By applying my work to a surface or installing an environment in an urban setting, I am establishing a new significance and understanding of a particular space.

I enjoyed laying in the grass and dreaming about summer last night despite the wind and chill (thank you heat lamps!). Joanie Turbek created this fun installation piece called Prosthetic Lawn, which was set up in Project 4 Gallery’s new rooftop space at 14th and U. Way cool. Go take a roll in the grass when you get a chance.