Paint the Town: Color Your Fall

Top picks to catch great art around town.

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It’s officially fall and Washington is awash in painterly colors with numerous art events happening all over town. So get out your coats and caps (the more colorful, the better), and head to these upcoming shows.

"Chelsea Children" by James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) Mid-1880s, watercolor on paper. Gift of Charles Lang Freer (Photo courtesy Freer Sackler Gallery of Art)

Whistler’s Neighborhood: Impressions of a Changing London, Free
Freer Gallery of Art
Jefferson Drive at 12th St. SW
202-633-4880

Though born in America to American parents, James McNeill Whistler became an intrepid traveler, eventually settling in London’s Chelsea neighborhood in 1863. At the time, Chelsea was in the midst of a transformation, from a gritty enclave of artists to an up-and-coming residential area for the city’s upwardly mobile. The paintings and etchings on display here chronicle the changing street life outside Whistler’s window and draw interesting parallels to modern times.

H Street Festival, Free?
Sept. 15, noon-7 p.m.
H Street NE, between 8th and 14th streets

Join some 50,000 Washingtonians as they descend on H Street to celebrate this vibrant, up-and-coming neighborhood. In addition to the usual street-fest fare (local bands, tasty bites and colorful characters), witness art in action with artists from The Fridge “live-painting” murals at noon.

PBS’s “Arts and The Mind”
Sept. 16, on Maryland Public Television, check local listings

We take you from the canvas to your television screen on this one. Actress Lisa Kudrow hosts this PBS series on how the arts affect development. This particular episode features the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and its flagship education program OrchKids, a school program that provides musical mentorship to 600 pre-K through 7th-grade Baltimore youth.

Cosmo Couture, Free
Sept. 26 through Oct. 14
Corcoran Gallery, Gallery 31
500 17th St. NW
202-639-1700

Fashion, art and architecture mix in the International Interior Design Association’s annual fundraiser, “Cosmo Couture.” This year, local designers construct garments using nontraditional items drawing inspiration from California artist Raymond Saunders‘ enigmatic painting “Red Star,” currently on view at the Corcoran. With a special panel discussion scheduled for Sept. 27, 7 p.m. The exhibit is free. Pre-registration for the panel is required. Tickets for the panel discussion must be purchased. For ticket prices and more information, click here.

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