ARTECHOUSE, the gallery in Southwest DC known for its visually stunning and immersive digital art, just announced that its current exhibition, Crystalline, has been extended through February. Even better, you have a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to experience it!
Crystalline has transformed the gallery into a blue-hued haven intended to evoke calm and peace during a turbulent time. Large scale projections on the walls of the main gallery and smaller ones in side areas engage and enchant as they encourage play. Just about all of it is interactive, as the images change with viewers’ motions. Immersing into the depths of the color, even just for a little while, is a dazzling and delightful escape from the bizarre Covid world outside.
ARTECHOUSE is taking extra measures to ensure safety in response to Covid-19. Capacity is limited, guests must wear masks, directional signage helps social distancing, there are hand sanitizing stations, and cleaning and disinfecting takes place hourly. You can read more about their safety policies here.
Crystalline is running at ARTECHOUSE through February 28, 2021. Tickets are $19-24/adult, $12-15/child, $17-20/students, seniors, military & first responders (the lower price for online advance tickets, higher at the door). Children under 4 are free.
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Giveaway: For a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to Crystalline at ARTECHOUSE, simply leave a comment below telling me your favorite holiday activity that you learned about from the KFDC holiday guide. Get an extra chance to win by entering on the KidFriendly DC Facebook Page, too. This giveaway will run through Sunday, December 20, 2020, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!
ARTECHOUSE debuted their latest exhibition at the Southwest DC gallery last week, and it’s one to feel blue about — in a very good way. Crystalline is inspired by many things, among them Pantone’s color of the year, Classic Blue, and this unprecedented pandemic year.
The exhibit’s explorations of the color connect it with earth and crystals and presents that through large scale digital images on the walls of the main gallery and smaller ones in side areas. Just about all of it is interactive, as the images change with viewers’ motions, moving elements as you walk around or evolving into more detailed pictures as you step closer.
Blue also plays a role beyond the individual installations. As ARTECHOUSE puts it, blue “brings a sense of peace and tranquility to the human spirit.” The exhibit is intended to serve not just as entertainment, but as a refuge for visitors during this turbulent time.
And immersing into the depths of blue, even just for a little while, is a beautiful — and fun — escape from the bizarre Covid world outside.
Crystalline is running at ARTECOUSE through January 3, 2021. Tickets are $19-24/adult, $12-15/child, $17-20/students, seniors, military & first responders (the lower price for online advance tickets, higher at the door). Children under 4 are free.
ARTECHOUSE is taking extra measures to ensure safety in response to Covid. Capacity is limited, guests must wear masks, directional signage helps social distancing, there are hand sanitizing stations, and cleaning and disinfecting takes place hourly. More details are available here.
As the seasons change, so do the exhibits at ARTECHOUSE, all of them a reflection of the time of year in some way. This winter, AURORA: The Spirit of Northern Lights celebrates the season with digital art installations and activations inspired by the natural phenomenon that is most prominent during the darker, colder months.
Like other exhibits at the Southwest DC gallery, this one consists of a large-scale light installation in the main room along with several smaller ones. They are all interactive and beautiful, the icy blue, purple, green, and occasionally soft yellow colors giving everything an ethereal feel.
On the walls of the main room, guests can grow leafless winter trees, guide snowballs, and make snowflakes with their own movements detected by sensors. Other areas have been transformed into arctic oases — an ice cavern twinkles with light as you move about, ice patterns form on the walls of frosted forests as you stand nearby, and you can immerse in colorful light projections of dancing skies. As Sasha said, “It makes me feel like I have powers!”
Visitors of all ages can have fun with this one. And along with the illuminated art installations, there are treats for everyone, too. The bar will be open during the day (12pm on Tues/Wed, 11am Thurs-Mon) and in the evenings, serving both delicious, exhibit-inspired cocktails and mocktails. They plan to have hot chocolate for warming up, too.
AURORA: The Spirit of Northern Lights is running at ARTECHOUSE December 7 – January 5. Family-friendly hours are 10am – 5pm, and 21+ hours are 5-10pm Sunday – Thursday, and 5-11pm Friday and Saturday. Admission is $16-20/adult, $13-15/senior, $8-10/child (cheaper if you purchase in advance online). They are offering a 20% discount package for 2 adults + 2 children, Sundays through Thursdays. You can also get a deal through CertifiKid.
UPDATE on the 20% off: The deal will auto-populate when tickets are requested for Sunday-Thursday daytime entries within bar hours – as the deal comes with a holiday drink for all (hot chocolate)! This deal should be in effect on the following schedule: Sunday/Monday/Thursday 11am through 4pm entries, Tuesday/Wednesday 12-4pm entries.
Experience infinity (and beyond!) at ARTECHOUSE this summer
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.
Artist Refik Anadol explaining how it works
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. Update: The exhibit has been extended to September 15! 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…
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