FYIDC: ‘Tis the Season to be Arty

by Editorial

From ballet to painting – put the hip back in your holidays with these artful events
By Shira Karsen

Exhibition artists Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro. (Photo by Olivia Martin-McGuire, courtesy of

Christmas at the Corcoran

Mom told us to not play with our food, but when it’s supermarket goods re-purposed for a social and historical context, we can’t help but watch as others do. The Corcoran Gallery of Art, which is hosting an ongoing series specifically for up and coming/mid-career artists called “NOW at the Corcoran” is unveiling a third and perfectly hip series for NOW titled “Are We There Yet?” Created by Australian duo Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro, the artists use a “culture-jamming” technique,taking reference from American pop-culture, literature, current affairs, and history to create a site-specific installation out of grocery and toy store “readymades.” All of this is to highlight the symbolism of space exploration in conjunction with our obsessive food consumption. Across the hall, the Aussie crew continues their meditation on the subject with smaller wall works constructed out of Lego’s for their “Where we’ve been, Where we’re going, Why” exhibition.

For more information on Healy and Cordeiro’s exhibition and others at NOW at the Corcoran, click here.

Ballerina Jade Payette. (Photo by Steve Vaccariello)

Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker

Want a little tradition? For half a century now, The Washington Ballet has dusted rouge on the cheeks of tutu-wearing SugarPlum fairies and sent them spinning into a Christmas frenzy, and this year is no different. In this D.C. version, George Washington plays the infamous Nutcracker, the vivacious villan is King George III, and the entire scene is set in 1882 Georgetown with Anacostia Indians, back when there were little markets on M Street, not a Dean and Deluca and J. Crew. To accompany the D.C. characters in this Christmas classic, choreographer Septime Webre handpicked 450 metro-area ballerina’s of all ages to perform on the Warner Theater stage as well. Performances will be from December 1-24, and tickets range from about $40-$120.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Who needs elves? Make someone a painting for the Holidays at ArtJamz. (Photo by Anchyi Wei)

Unleash Your Inner Artist with ArtJamz

Now this is what we call arty! Thanks to ArtJamz, this year we’ll be able to take a cue from our five year-old selves and whip up a present both personal AND (dare we say it) pretty. Supplying us with all the paint and canvas we’ll need (plus all you can drink beer and wine), ArtJamz is turning the $20 million dollar General Walter Smith mansion in Georgetown into a communal art playground. They’re hosting two sessions – one November 30th and the other December 1st – complete with all you can drink beer, wine, and vitaminwater sero, along with Pinkberry fro-yo and hors d’œuvres. The whole night is all-inclusive and cost $65, but if you want it cheaper grab five friends and receive 15% off. ArtJamz is also hosting sessions December 14th and 15th at Lamont Bishop Gallery in Shaw.

For more information and to buy your ticket, click here.

Lafayette Square painted by J Coonce, an Arlington Artists Alliance member.

Artful Weekend

So maybe you want to buy a painting instead of making one yourself? No problem. At the 9th annual Arlington Artists Alliance Artful Weekend at Fort C.F Smith Park, you’ll have the works of more than 40 alliance members to choose from. Showing December 2-4, the exhibition will feature pieces in all types of medium ranging from collage, oil painting, watercolor, wood, ceramics, textiles, and more. The works are sold at many different price points, so it’s easy to pick a piece within Santa’s budget. Plus, from 6pm-8pm on opening night (Friday, December 2nd) there will be a “meet the artists” reception for all to attend. The exhibition will be open that Saturday from 10am-5pm with a musical interlude courtesy of the Star Dust Dance Band at 2pm, and will be open Sunday, December 4th from 12pm-4pm.

The park is located at 2411 N. 24th Street, Arlington and features the restored circa 1901 Hendry House, decked out for the holidays and filled with art ready to buy as well. The event is free and open to the public with parking. For further information, contact Beth Hudgins at


Top Shelf 2011

In need of a little story time? SpeakeasyDC has just the thing. For their second annual “best stories of the year” showcase, eight storytellers and their prose were chosen as the absolute creme de la creme out of the 100 plus stories told at SpeakeasyDC over the past year. The top eight were picked based on the quality of story crafting (worth 50%), performance (25%), and originality (25%) by a panel of highly qualified (i.e. ones with “good looks, charm, and discerning minds” as their website says…) judges. And so, on December 3rd the chosen ones will perform in the wrap-up event held at Atlas on H Street. The tellers of the evening–which include D.C. locals Joseph Price, Nancy LeRoy, Mike Kane, Adam Ruben, Erin Myers, Topher Bellavia, John Kevin Boggs, and Dan Sullivan–will be hosting two shows, the earlier one at 7pm and the later at 9pm. Tickets cost $25, but for students and seniors a show is an easy $20.

For more information on SpeakeasyDC and to buy tickets to Top Shelf 2011, click here.

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