Tag Archives: August 2019
The National Building Museum’s annual Summer Block Party installation just opened, and it’s one to put on your seasonal To Do list. LAWN transforms the Great Hall into an inviting, expansive green space that encourages recreation and relaxation — whatever your preference — with an aesthetic and activities that evoke a feeling of summer.
Designed by the LAB at Rockwell Group, the studio that built the PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit upstairs, LAWN is a sloping, stretch of “grass” (it’s a soy-based, recyclable product) adorned with elements for visitors to enjoy. Adirondack chairs and blankets offer seating. Corn hole and croquet mallets and soft balls welcome play. The gentle hill is fun to run up or roll down. Hammocks invite guests to lay back and relax…and listen to stories of summer.
The hammocks are equipped with speakers above them playing audio of famous people talking about summer experiences. You can listen to Jose Andres, Whoopi Goldberg, Venus Williams, and many more celebrated folks share their memories. It kind of feels like you’re chilling out with a friend on a lazy day, listening to them relay a story.
There are more speakers placed around the exhibit that play sounds of the season — crickets chirping, a thunderstorm, birds calling. A stand at the bottom of the hill sells summer treats, lemonade and ice cream and cookies. And the museum’s fountain is incorporated into the exhibit in an interesting way, reminding me of an inflatable swimming pool in the backyard.
You can get a bird’s eye view of the whole scene from a three-story scaffolding tower at the top of the hill. Walk in and climb the stairs to a platform to watch the action below and get new perspectives of the stunning Great Hall.
There will be special programming like movie night, yoga sessions, and late nights, so be sure to check the calendar to see what’s coming up. And DC residents should be aware of Ward Days, when they can visit LAWN with complimentary admission from 9–11am when the ward they live in is invited: July 23 is Wards 7 and 8, July 30 is Wards 2 and 6, August 6 is Wards 3 and 4, and August 13 is Wards 1 and 5.
Plan a day to play and relax on the LAWN. It’s one that kids of all ages (including us really big kids 😉) will enjoy.
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $16/adult, $13/age 3-17, $10/AARP & Blue Star, FREE/members
* Museum members get free admission, so this is a good time to consider a Family Membership
ARETCHOUSE has made its mark on the DC art scene with exhibitions that fuse art and technology, and encourage visitors to not just view it, but experience it. The latest, Infinite Space, is no exception. Exploring the concept of infinity, the exhibit asks, “…if finitude is the only absolute truth in life, how can we imagine structures and patterns that repeat themselves into an imperceivable horizon? How do we frame imagined realities that represent something beyond our perception of life and of linear time?”
Yes, that’s a lot to contemplate, especially for a kid. But you really don’t have to think about it too deeply to experience and enjoy Infinite Space. The exhibit is comprised of several major installations, including three infinity boxes, an infinity room, a hall of mirrors, and large-scale projections on the walls of the main room, images generated by a machine using data sets ranging from human memories, photographs of Mars, cultural archives, and sea surface activity. All of the works are immersive in some way, and visitors can, in a way, be part of the art and delight in it from within.
You can step into the infinity boxes with changing digital designs reflected on all sides (except the open front), including the ceiling and floor, and see yourself floating within them. It’s also interesting to get an “outside-the-box” perspective, too. You can walk through a maze of mirrors with multiple versions of you walking along with you. A whole infinity room surrounds you with digital patterns, all reflected onto mirrored walls, seeming to go on forever and eliciting that rubber-knees sensation when you look down and feel like you’re standing on a precipice (or maybe that’s just me). You can also relax on a beanbag in the main room, watch the images sweep over the lofty walls, and ponder what it all means to you.
Infinite Space is running at ARTECHOUSE through September 2. Family-friendly hours are 10am -5pm, and evening hours are 5:30-11:30pm for ages 21+ when exhibit-themed cocktails are served. It’s recommended for ages 6+, but all ages are welcome, and I think younger children would like it, too. Admission is $16/adult, $8/age 2+.
Put this on your summer activity list, for sure. In the meantime, here’s more of a glimpse…