Library of Congress

Surviving Inauguration, as my city virtually shut down and as we move forward with a new President, I thought it might be worthwhile to post about some of the buildings near the site of this event, particularly the Library of Congress, the “largest repository” and safeguarding keeper of our literary and many artistic works of wisdom and expression. We had a friend visiting from California for work and for the Inauguration, so we took our own long neglected trip (as local residents) into the city over the weekend (before the crowds arrived) to tour the Congressional Buildings, Capitol and Library of Congress. Granted my husband works “on the hill” so he’s here often, but it’s been many years since I’ve been to visit some of our Nation’s greatest buildings. Fortunately, on one of the coldest days of this year we were able to stay mostly inside by navigating a series of internal and underground tunnels to go from one building to the next. The new Capitol Visitor Center is a wonderful space and makes one think, why wasn’t it done sooner. It was a parking lot before but now this space is very welcoming and practical. Everyone can wait inside too.

I wish I could describe in detail the Library of Congress’ beautiful murals, but there’s so much to see. Here’s the virtual tour of the Great Hall but it’s best to see in person. Every single space is either painted or covered in mosaics with rich symbolism. We didn’t have time for the ongoing interactive exhibits but we’ll definitely go back. Here’s my previous post on the Library of Congress and Federal Building Art, and here’s where you can plan your personalize your visit (myLOC.gov) with your own “passport to knowledge” that you can take with you each time you visit.

Library of Congress, Thoma Jefferson Room and murals. LOC

The Library of Congress is where all the copyrights are kept — including my visuals and multitudes of artists. We recently went through this filing process for casart coverings, my new company.

Murals and Ceiling Painting @ Library of Congress. LOC

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.