Urban Design Elegance & Science of Light

The Washington DC Design Center’s new Design House has just opened with the theme, Urban Elegance, on view. I hope to get by and see it (April 24 – June 25). It’s usually inspirational and tends to validate decorative ideas that I have been following and or have used.

The DC Design House is another interior design exhibition of sorts. A client of mine tells me it is very worthwhile attending (April 18 – May 10) and proceeds benefit the Children’s Medical Center.

Another exhibition I hope to see before it closes May 3rd, is the Pride of Place, Duch Cityscapes of the Golden Age. I’ve been so busy with managing my work that I just haven’t had the time, so I hope to get on it today. While I’m at the NGA, there is an interesting lecture that I found quite fascinating to read about recently. David Stork will discuss the actual light source in Velasquez, Vermeer and Caravaggio’s paintings by using math and science to reconstruct 3-D models to reveal the light source, and in doing show demystify what the artist may have been trying to depict. I personally like the mysterious elements to these master paintings and feel that is the artist’s prerogative and vehicle for depicting the age old mystery that life’s events cannot be fully explained. Here are the two I particularly like.

Girl with Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer (1655)

The Calling of St. Matthew by Caravaggio (1599-1600)

It’s Friday and while I don’t have a musical video to post * (seems to be something to try on a regular basis to kick start the weekend), I do have a link to a charitable group called Roots of Music, located in New Orleans. Its primary purpose is to have a free musical program for kids to teach them to play an instrument, boost their self esteem and keep them off the streets. New Orleans needs this type of program. I’m sending them money today. Sounds like my home town’s version of Three Cups of Tea. Changing the cultural dynamic starts with education in youth and what a better way than through music and the arts. Fantastic mission and great way to continue where Jazz Festival week is ending on May 3rd.

* What am I thinking, of course I do have this one — of my favorites, Complicated Life by Preservation Hall Jazz Band and vocals of Clint Maegden of the New Orleans Bingo Show. And, catch them playing in New Orleans this weekend. Perfect! Now the weekend can begin.

Exhibition/Event Explosion

There is such a plethora of art exhibitions, information and events that are happening now in my area that I would like to see and be remiss in not mentioning them. I’ll try to list from when they begin and end, first to last with any links that apply:


“Resurrection Lily” Painting and Photo by Matthew Hilier @ Ann Arundel Community College

1) Beautiful flower paintings at Anne Arundel Community College through April 23. Hurry up, this one is ending soon!

Rowland Ricketts, III, Untitled Noren Partition, 2006 — “Blue” Textile Museum Exhibit

2)”Blue” at the Textile Museum (April 4 – September 18). An interesting variety about my favorite color.


DC Design House Property

3) The D.C. Design House (April 19 – May 11). Since there is no longer a NSO Design Showhouse, this is a way to get practical home decor solutions on a smaller scale. Tickets are $20. The old Georgetown Schoolhouse has been renovated for each interior designer’s rendition. I could be wrong, but I think this is the same location where I used to take graphic design at the Corcoran School of Art’s satellite building.


Old Town Arts & Crafts Festival

4) 28th Annual Old Town Arts & Crafts Festival at Market Square, Alexandria, VA, May 10 – 11. Sponsored by the Alexandria Volunteer Bureau.

“Black Dinghy” by Carol Bolsey

5) “Black Dinghy” and other paintings by Carol Bolsey at the Cross MacKenzie Ceramic Arts through May 14.


The Screwtape Letters, performance @ The Shakespeare Theatre

6) The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis at the Lansburgh Theatre through the Shakespeare Theatre Company (April 18 – May 18). The Washington Post claims it’s “wickedly” good and the characters exemplify this decked out in their devilish costumes.


“Looking Out” 1997, painting by Paul Rengo

7) Paula Rego’s Paintings at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, through May 25.

“Trash People” Photo by Kate Baylor

8) National Geographic’s “Trash People” by HA Shult, on view April 8 through June 8. Don’t throw away those soda cans anymore. You can make sculptures.

Library of Congress Experience

9) The Library of Congress Experience (Grand Opening April 12 and ongoing), with interactive technologies. It’s hard to see here but these Presidential portraits are achieved with finger and thumb prints. In a rough way this reminds me of Chuck Close, one of my favorite contemporary artists. You’ll see them plastered around poles in the Metro stations — clever way to advertise.

Crystal Flight Sculptures

10) The “Crystal Flight” Sculptures are on display around Crystal City. There are 50 planes with different themes, much like other cities have done with elephants and donkeys (DC) and fish (New Orleans). This could be a fun treasure hunt/find Waldo activity with or without kids. My husband and I saw these by chance two weekends ago and they are pretty novel and amusing. I’m enthusiastic that Byron Peck and other artists are involved. He may be most famously known for his Duke Ellington Mural.