Category Archives: Exhibit

Explore Afro-Atlantic Histories at this National Gallery of Art Community Festival on Saturday!

 

This Saturday, April 30, the National Gallery of Art welcomes you to join the Afro-Atlantic Histories Festival, a special day-long event highlighting the arts and culture of the African Diaspora.

This John Wilmerding Community Celebration will be offered in conjunction with the new Afro-Atlantic Histories exhibition, an enlightening and in-depth look at the historical experiences and cultural formations of Black and African people since the 17th century.  If you haven’t yet experienced it, this weekend is a perfect time to go, when there will be activities for all ages to enjoy along with the collection of art!

 

Highlights of the festival include:

 

The Festival will take place in various locations of the museum’s West Building.  Catch musical performances at the National Mall entrance and the West Garden Court.  Food Demos will be held in the Cascade Café, and you can find creator pop-ups and other festivities in the East Garden Court.  View more details and the full schedule of the day’s activities here.

 

Afro-Atlantic Histories Festival
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, April 30, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

 

This post is sponsored by the National Gallery of Art, however, I only promote events, programs, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2022, DC, Exhibit, Museums, Special Event, Spring, Weekend

Explore the Rails with Thomas & Friends at the National Children’s Museum

[Note:  This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom of two young children.   She always has excellent recommendations for kids’ activities around the DC area. See some of them here, here,  and here.

 

Attention all train lovers: Thomas has entered the National Children’s Museum!   Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails!, an interactive exhibit created at the Minnesota Children’s Museum and geared for ages 2-7, is open now through Sunday, May 15. If you have a Thomas groupie like I do, or if you just want to discover the magic of the #1 blue engine and his friends, get your tickets to get on board today.

The large-scale Thomas and Percy trains will grab your kids attention immediately. Thomas is equipped with life-like levers that activate life-like train sounds. Percy is engineered to teach a science lesson through people-power. Spin wheels to input coal and water into the engine, creating enough steam to hear Percy roar. On the other side, Percy’s wheels need fixing to get him back on track.

The train set to put your train set to shame is likely where your kids will spend most of their time. We identified a few must-haves for our tracks at home, before prodding my son along to the rest of the exhibit. We also loved a smaller track set up for experimenting with ramp angles to get trains over a hill. For the littlest ones, you’ll find a confined space with toddler-appropriate engines.

Aside from the STEM-oriented play, pretend play is found throughout with a ticket booth, train cars, costumes, and props. And history buffs, or parents who have spent a lot of time with Thomas, will appreciate the corner of memorabilia and information on the creators, iterations, and celebrity narrators. There are also books and a viewing screen if your child needs a break from the action.

 

 

Covid Safety: The museum recommends purchasing tickets in advance to ensure admission with reduced capacity and timed sessions. Masks are required for all visitors ages 2+. You can learn more about the museum’s COVID safety protocols here. And you can read more about the National Children’s Museum in this KFDC post.

 

National Children’s Museum
Where: 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW | Washington, DC 20004
When: Thursday – Sunday, 9:30am – 12:30pm & 1:30-4:30pm
Admission: $15.95/ages 1+, free/under 1 & members

 

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Filed under 2022, DC, Exhibit, Gradeschoolers, Museums, Preschoolers, Toddlers, Winter

Immerse in Life of a Neuron at ARTECHOUSE

 

ARTECHOUSE has explored a variety themes and concepts through digital art since it opened in Southwest DC just over four years ago.  The gallery known for its fusion of art and technology has presented exhibitions inspired by seasons, space, natural phenomenon, color, and more themes that are part of our human experience, though outside of our actual beings.

The newest exhibition, Life of a Neuron, takes us on the inside as it features the “thinking cells” of the brain.

As ARETCHOUSE describes it: “Life of a Neuron brings artists and scientists together for a groundbreaking collaboration to explore how the brain shapes the shared human experience. Through collaboration with the Society for Neuroscience and the world’s leading scientists and creatives, this immersive exhibit will allow us to experience a neuron—from pre-birth to death—providing an experiential view of life at a cellular level.”

Like all exhibitions there, the core installation is the digital projections in the main gallery.  Trippy, captivating scenes swirl around the walls and floors while dramatic music plays in the background.  It’s interesting to see what kinds of images and color combinations are coming next.  (Note: While some past exhibits at ARTEHOUSE have been soothing and peaceful, this one isn’t so much, something to be aware of for kids who are sensitive to a lot of stimulation.)

The side galleries feature smaller installations with interactive elements.  They looked intriguing, though to be honest, it was difficult to get a close look at all of them during the media preview, as we were trying to maintain space. (Timed-entry tickets during the exhibit’s run should keep that from being an issue.)

The bar is back open — Thursday – Monday, 11am – 10pm — with its menu of exhibit-inspired cocktails, plus beer, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks. Sasha and I enjoyed refreshing sodas, and I recommend the Rosemary Cardamom! Be sure to download the ARTECHOUSE the app for the “extended reality” experience that transforms drinks into sparkling sensations!

 

Life of a Neuron
Where: ARTECHOUSE | 1238 Maryland Ave. SW
When: September 27 – November 28
Admission: $24/adult, $17/age 4-15, free/under 4

 

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Filed under 2021, All ages, Art, DC, Exhibit, Fall

Go “Inside the Wardrobe” for a Fun & Unique Fashion Experience

Give David some new duds at Inside the Wardrobe. XO

 

As we emerge from the pandemic — and our comfy “house” clothes — many of us are ready and excited for new, unique experiences.  One just opened in Georgetown, and it’s timely, relevant, and so much fun to explore: Inside the Wardrobe, an interactive art installation and fashion funhouse celebrating the return to getting dressed in real clothes and going out again.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first heard about the “journey through more than 20 interactive experiences focused on the fun and tactile nature of engaging with your closet.”  But I was intrigued.  I like clothes and fashion (though actually being fashionable is another story), plus I love checking out new things around town, especially after missing them for so long. So I visited with my friend, Torey, last weekend (my kids were way at camp) and we had a blast exploring it all!

The 20,000 square foot space in Georgetown Park contains more than 20 exhibits/spaces, all them wildly creative, fashion-inspired, interactive, even kind of trippy.  It’s meant to be very Instagrammy — there is even a Hall of Selfies and placemarks on the floor for getting your best shots — which is not usually my thing; I prefer to be behind the camera.  However, the imaginative environments and fun experiences had me both snapping and posing away!

There are interactives and photo ops galore as you explore different components of fashion. You can try on paper doll cutouts, play with size in a fun house, get a close look at beautiful handiwork, take pics in whimsical and delightful settings, strut the catwalk, and so much more.

I can’t wait to return with my kids when they get back — I know they’ll dig it, too.  (Though I can also see this being something teen friends would love doing on their own.)

What’s your favorite outfit?

 

Inside the Wardrobe runs through August 29 September 26 (extended!) in Georgetown Park located at 3720 M Street NW (across from the DMV). Hours are Thursday – Friday 5-9pm, Saturday – Sunday 10am – 9pm. Admission is $28/adult | $24/students, seniors, military | $19/age 4 and up — a little steep, but worth it if you’re looking for something unique and delightful to do.

 

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Filed under 2021, All ages, DC, Exhibit

Take Your T(w)eens — or Enjoy a KidFree Visit — to Glenstone

 

You have to be on the ball to score tickets to Glenstone, the modern art museum sprawling gloriously over 300 acres in Potomac, MD.  Even pre-Covid, passes were hard to get.  They are released on the first of every month for timed-entry admission for the following two months.  So, tickets that are released tomorrow, April 1, will be for  visits in May and June.   This takes some patience and planning, but I promise it’s worth it.

Glenstone is more than just a museum; it’s a whole experience. One that transports you to what feels like a destination far, far away from the city.  Both indoor galleries (that should start to reopen April 8) and expansive grounds showcase a remarkable collection and traveling exhibits that are interesting, evocative, and beautiful.  Design and architectural features are practically works of art themselves, and you will likely find yourself studying lines of the buildings and the pool of aquatic plants in the courtyard as much as the paintings and sculptures.

 

Exploring all of it on foot in the galleries and along paved paths spanning through open grassy areas, trails winding through woods, and boardwalks that zigzag over thick brush (or straw during cold months) add some recreation to the outing.  It’s like an art-filled hike or an active art adventure.  There’s also a cafe to make it a lunch date or to enjoy a snack in a very scenic setting.

Pick up a paper map on your way in or scan a QR code for one.  You definitely want to know where you’re going as some of the outdoor installations are a bit hidden, and you don’t want to miss them.  Inside, the galleries are numbered, so make sure you count them all off, too.  There’s at least one that is easy to miss, and we had to search a bit to find it (though that also added some extra fun).

With its 12-and-older age policy for visitors, Glenstone is automatically a spot for the T(w)een Scene.  And while this may be a bummer to parents with younger kids,  I get why they do it.  It’s not just that the art might be considered sophisticated for little ones.  (In the “eye of the beholder” vein, I think all art could be enjoyed and  appreciated on some level by every age.)  Part of the Glenstone experience is the peaceful, “contemplative environment,” as they call it.  I could see it being tough to keep kiddos from wanting to bolt through wide open spaces outside and use inside voices in the echoing galleries.  I’ve been a few times sans kids, with friends, and on my own — a different season each visit — and I highly recommend it for a grown-up outing, whether a day date, a visit with friends, or solo.

That said, both of my kids are finally old enough to go, and I’m looking forward to bringing them.  I had tickets for all us to visit when they had a day off from school recently, but a crazy downpour that day thwarted those plans.  Thus, I’ll be online tomorrow trying to score those elusive tickets again.

 

Glenstone is located at 12100 Glen Road in Potomac, MD.  It’s currently open Thursday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm.  You must have a ticket to visit.  As mentioned, free tickets are released the first day of every month at 10am for the following two months. Photography is not permitted indoors, hence all the outdoor images here.

 

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Filed under Art, Exhibit, Free, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Ongoing, Outdoor, Social Distancing, Weekdays, Weekend