• Museums & Galleries

    Commemorate and Celebrate Freedom

    Last night, the National Museum of African American History and Culture had a special ceremony, Commemorate and Celebrate Freedom, as the museum counts down to its opening next fall. The moving ceremony featured speeches by the museum director Lonnie Bunch III, Mayor Muriel Bowser, and delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, plus singing by Bebe Winans and other music and poetry readings. The ceremony ended with a video projection on the side of the building. If you missed it, the projection will be repeated on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 9:00. Photos of the video projection: As you can see, the view of the building is partially blocked by the…

  • Museums & Galleries

    The Peacock Room two ways: elegant vs. twisted

    You may remember the Peacock Room as a stunning but dark and old space. But you can see it now in a whole new light, both literally and figuratively.     Upstairs at the Freer, the pristine matched set of blue and white Chinese ceramics are no longer on the shelves, replaced with Freer’s collection of Asian ceramics, which add an earthy and much more vibrant feel. The time to see the room is the one afternoon a month when the Freer opens the shutters. The light pours in and allows the ceramics to glow and new details to emerge, like this glorious door that otherwise is hidden in the…

  • Museum People,  Museums & Galleries

    Museum People: Text Rain

    The Smithsonian American Art Museum has a great new exhibit, Watch This! Revelations in Media Art.   One of the highlights of this exhibit is the interactive piece Text Rain.  Created by Romy Achituv and Camille Utterback in 1999, Text Rain is a large screen that projects continually falling words from the poem “Talk, You” by Evan Zimroth.  Viewers stand in front of the screen, and a projector reflects their bodies as dark shapes onto the screen.  The falling letters land on anything dark, so that viewers can catch letters, or whole words or phrases, with parts of their bodies. And of course we know that it is not a…

  • Museum People,  Museums & Galleries

    Museum People: Ominous

    Bruce Nauman created “South America Triangle” in 1981, as a statement reflecting on the totalitarian regimes in South America in the 1970s. The triangle and the upside down chair suggest abuse and disorientation.  The iron and steel structure is hung low enough to make it seem especially ominous as someone walks by it. Museum People is a series showing that the people in a museum can be as interesting as the art. Featured image © Victoria Pickering.

  • Museum People,  Museums & Galleries

    Museum People: Double-take

      When people come upon the Woman Eating, they are often startled by how real she looks.  Artist Duane Hanson used live models as the basis for casting his sculptures.  When the sculpture was made in 1971, she was reading a National Enquirer story titled “How Retailers Cheat You When You Buy on Credit.”  For the past few years the museum has substituted a current tabloid, which increases the illusion that she is real. Featured image © Victoria Pickering [Museum People is a series showing that the people in a museum can be as interesting as the art]

  • Abstract,  Museums & Galleries

    Waves by The Amazing Mr. Ripley

    The thing we like about this photo is it doesn’t try to show too much. Often times, beginning photographers feel like they have to get all of a scene into the frame. A lot of times, focusing on the details can make an a more interesting photo. In this case, even without any context to this image, DC residents know that it’s from the courtyard of the National Portrait Gallery. Featured image by The Amazing Mr. Ripley is part of the DC Focused flickr pool.

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  • Monuments, Memorials, Statues,  Museums & Galleries,  Sunrises and Sunsets,  Weekend Focus

    Weekend Focus: Thawing out with lion dancing, roller derby

    It’s going to be downright balmy this weekend. Maybe a little rain. Maybe a little snow. But these ridiculous arctic temperatures should be behind us. So what are the best bets for photos this weekend? Probably tops on the list is the annual Lunar New Year celebration in Chinatown on Saturday Sunday. The parade starts at 2 p.m. at 6th and I Streets NW and ends at the stage at 6th and H Streets NW, where traditional lion dancing is scheduled for 3 p.m. But if standing out in the cold isn’t your idea of fun, head over to the Armory on Saturday and check out the DC Rollergirls. Doors…

  • Events,  Museums & Galleries

    Celebrating local photography with ExposedDC

    Congratulations to all the DC photographers selected for the Exposed DC / InstantDC Fall Review exhibition, which opened Friday night at Washington ArtWorks / Washington School of Photography. The 45 photographers selected for the exhibit include street photographer Chris Suspect, pictured above, as well as at least seven other DC Focused contributors. Well, Chris is not actually pictured but take our word for it, that’s him behind the cloud of smoke. You can see Chris’ winning entry, which he captured in Miami Beach, on his website, Suspect Device. More photos after the jump.

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  • Arts,  Museums & Galleries

    ‘Funeral for the Corcoran Gallery’ by Victoria Pickering

    Corcoran Gallery patrons paid their last respects to the gallery on Saturday with a mock funeral. The City Paper has a recap of the event, which marked the end of the Corcoran as an independent institution. The National Gallery of Art will take over much of the gallery’s 17,000-piece collection, with the rest of the works dispersed to local and non-local galleries. Image by Victoria Pickering is part of the DC Focused flickr pool.

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  • Museums & Galleries,  Street Photography

    ‘The BIG Maze’ by Victoria Pickering

    If you haven’t seen the BIG Maze at the National Building Museum …. you’re out of luck. The maze exhibit ended Monday. BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, the Danish firm that created the maze, will be back in January with another exhibit called amBIGuity (see what they did there?). From the description: amBIGuity will provide a provocative glimpse behind the scenes of the firm’s New York and Copenhagen offices. The exhibition will present BIG’s thought process—from the first sketch to the completed building—revealing their unorthodox approach, methods, and processes. Each of a dozen or so featured projects will draw from the firm’s extensive archive of process material, taking the visitor through an imaginative…

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  • Museums & Galleries

    ‘Master of the maze’ by Paul Sirajuddin

    Ever have one of those days where you just feel like you’re a rat in a maze? You can get the literal experience at the “BIG Maze” at the National Building Museum. We’re not sure if Paul used some photoshop trickery to remove people or whether he just got lucky and was able to pose his subject with no one else around, but it’s a great photo, either way. The BIG Maze, which was designed by the BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, will be at the museum until Sept. 1. Here’s some info from the museum’s website: Bjarke Ingels said of his design: “The concept is simple: as you travel deeper into a maze,…