Tag Archives: ARTECHOUSE

“In Peak Bloom” at ARTECHOUSE is a Fantastic Celebration of Spring

The newest digital art exhibit at ARTECHOUSE, the gallery in Southwest DC known for its fusion of art and technology, may just be my favorite yet. Perfectly timed to open on the first day of spring, In Peak Bloom is a fantastic celebration of the season and its beauty, and visitors are encouraged to join in through interactive works that are delightful and enchanting, unique and profound.

Of course, cherry blossoms are featured in some of the installations. Digital projections of the flowers float along the walls of the main room along with other vibrantly colored blooms. Like many of the works at ARTECHOUSE, you can engage with the imagery, directing it back and forth and in swirls as you move your arms. Owen looked like a conductor as he stood in front of the floral scenes waving his hands around. And the floor painted a glossy black looks like water with images from the walls above reflected on it. It’s quite a stunning scene to take in from the balcony above or even standing (or lounging) within.

In a smaller room, you can make an image of a cherry tree bloom through connection with others. Powered by biometric sensors in four circular pads on the floor, you stand on one while other people stand on the rest, and touch hands (or lock arms or hug), and the tree goes from a pre-bloom white to a flourishing pink. Created by Korean-American artist Lisa Park, the work is inspired by Park’s experiences living abroad in the US and feeling detached from family and friends back home in Korea. It shows how connection and physical contact between people helps them thrive.

There is a nod to Japanese culture with an area of shoji screens, panels of translucent paper and wooden frames used as doors, windows, and room dividers in traditional Japanese design. In this exhibit, some of them have shadowy plant scenes on them, indicating their use as windows, while others are backlit so you can make shadows appear on the other side. (Great for photo ops, and kids will undoubtedly have fun in that area — Owen and I did!)

The maze of shoji screens leads to a wonderful, wild installation of “musical” plants, three planters of live hanging ivy that respond to contact. Each plant makes a different sound from nature — tweeting birds, croaking frogs, and either chirping insects or chattering monkeys (I couldn’t quite tell). You walk below and gently touch a leaf or stem to hear them sing. And multiple people touching them is like a little symphony of nature.

Finally, there’s the Enchanted Garden, a room full of whimsical designs created from a mix of natural and recycled artistic mediums. An augmented reality (AR) app accompanies the installation to tell the story of The Rabbit in the Moon, a legend from Japanese folklore. Right now, it’s only available on android phones, and there are a couple available there to access it. The AR will be available on iPhones soon. But even without the AR, it’s neat to wander around and explore details of the art.

Put In Peak Bloom on your family’s must-do spring activity list — it’s one you’ll all enjoy! Kids are welcome during all-ages daytime hours, but evenings are for adults only. The bar is open during these hours, and ARETCHOUSE always serves unique and tasty exhibit-inspired cocktails.

In Peak Bloom
Where: ARTECHOUSE | 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, WDC
When: Daily, March 20 – May 27, 2019
All Ages Hours: Sun-Thurs 10am – 7pm, Fri-Sat 10am – 5pm
After Hours (Age 21+): Sun-Thurs 7-10pm, Fri-Sat 5:30-11:30pm
Admission: $16-20/adult, $8-10/child


Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Exhibit, Seasonal, Spring, Weekdays, Weekend

It’s a Cherry Blossom Dream this Spring at ARTECHOUSE

ARTECHOUSE, the Southwest DC gallery specializing in creative works that merge art and technology, has been celebrating the seasons through large-scale installations that reflect the time of year with stunning visuals and neat interactives. And it probably comes as no surprise that the newest one, the spring exhibit, features one of DC’s seasonal favorites: Cherry Blossoms.

Sakura Yume // Cherry Blossom Dream offers a new way to experience our city’s famous flowers. They might not be real in this digital environment, but they’re beautiful as they float along the lofty walls of the gallery’s main space along with colorful clouds of light created by your movements. Like past installations there, sensors are carefully placed to let you manipulate the art by waving your arms or walking along the wall where the images are projected.

More activations invite guests to interact with the art. You can virtually feed koi fish and make cherry blossoms bloom on an interactive table. There is a hall with paper lanterns hanging above that light up as you walk under them. Orange dots on a wall can be rearranged as you “move” them.

My favorite element — and the one I think will be a fave of most guests — is an interactive table that projects beautiful blossom and Japanese-inspired images and lets you play with light and color. Hands and fingers become paint brushes as you create big swaths of color or make butterflies appear out of gray backgrounds. It’s mesmerizing and therapeutic and just really delightful to see.

All ages, children and adults, will appreciate this Cherry Blossom Dream. Kids are welcome during daytime hours 10am – 5pm, but evenings 5:30-11pm are for adults only. The bar is open during these hours, serving tasty and gorgeous exhibit-inspired cocktails. And on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 5:30-7pm the Bloom Food Immersive Experience, a bento box style meal will also be available.

Sakura Yume // Cherry Blossom Dream
Where: ARTECHOUSE | 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, WDC
When: Daily through May 6, 2018
Hours: 10am – 5pm (all ages) | 5:30-11pm (21+)
Admission: $15/adult, $8/child | $85/Bloom Food Experience

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Filed under 2018, All ages, Art, Date Night, DC, Eats, Exhibit, Seasonal, Spring, Weekdays, Weekend

Scenes from Parallel Universe at ARTECHOUSE

The newest exhibit at ARETCHOUSE, the gallery that specializes in creative work that merges art and technology, is as wild and immersive as its previous installations, probably even more so. Parallel Universe by Ouchhh is exactly as they put it: “…a psychedelic, eye-of-the-storm experience of whirling fractals and light beams.”

Guests of all ages are welcome, though it’s recommended for 12 and up, and I would agree with that. This installation is a little more intense than the last few, kind of like a rave minus the drugs and the dancing, with trippy visuals, bright flashing lights, and loud thumping music. It’s a cool experience — I dug it — but it may not be for everyone, especially children who are sensitive to a lot of stimuli.

For this reason, I’m keeping this post about it simple — you can get a preview in the images below. Take tweens or teens who would like this kind of adventure, or make it a KidFree outing and go in the evening when you can enjoy the funky cocktails, too!

Parallel Universe
Where: ARTECHOUSE | 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, WDC
When: Through March 4, 2018
Hours: 10am – 5pm (12+) | 5:30-10:30/11:30pm (21+)
Admission: $15/adult, $8/child

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Filed under 2018, Art, Date Night, DC, Exhibit, Teens, Tweens, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Experience the “Imaginary World of the Nutcracker” at ARTECHOUSE

Since ARTECHOUSE opened this past June, the gallery has been bringing us art experiences that are stunning, innovative, and immersive through the ingenious fusion of art and technology.

The newest exhibition, Imaginary World of the Nutcracker, follows suit with an installation that engages and enchants as it celebrates the holiday season. You can view Nutcracker scenes and characters projected onto walls, manipulate light and color on surfaces with your own movements, and look for “magical” surprises throughout with the ARTECHOUSE app, which I recommend downloading before you go.

One of the neatest features of the exhibit is the incorporation of augmented reality technology via the app that lets you discover all kinds of cute and clever details, from soldiers marching in the main room to soup filled bowls in the dining room to snowflakes bursting from cocktails (evenings only).

And here is where I recommend this as a KidFree outing during their later hours along with a daytime trip with the kids. Using the apps augmented reality feature on your festive drinks is just about as fun as making a giant mouse shadow dance on the wall. My friend and I spent just as much time watching our bevvies do tricks through our phones as we did playing with the art all around.

Get more of glimpse in the photos below (click to view larger images), but make a plan to go experience it for yourselves. And be sure to reserve tickets soon because their exhibits always sell out!

Imaginary World of the Nutcracker
Where: ARTECHOUSE, 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, WDC
When: December 7, 2017 – January 7, 2018
Hours: All ages 10am – 5pm | 21+ 5:30-10:30pm (11:30pm on weekends)
Tickets: $15/adult, $8/child

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Filed under 2017, All ages, Art, Date Night, DC, Exhibit, Holidays, Seasonal, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter