Feature: Art of the Future

by Catherine Trifiletti

ARTECHOUSE strikes a harmonious balance between tech and art.

“XYZT : Abstract Landscapes” Kinetic Sand exhibit

ARTECHOUSE’s current exhibition,“Spirit of Autumn,” which runs through November 5, invites visitors to activate a digital rainstorm by clapping, or to dance and watch a whirl of leaves follow their arm and leg movements on a large screen. And then there are the augmented reality cocktails that come to life when looked at through the lens of the ARTECHOUSE app, furthering the surreal experience.

The Instagram-worthy 15,000-square-foot underground space in Southwest Washington is the brainchild of Sandro Kereselidze and his partner Tatiana Pastukhova, whose vision was to transform and elevate the museum experience for visitors, evolving them from passive viewers to active participants.They’ve done it using state of the art sound projection, sensory systems and 270 degrees of seamless projection screens, all at the disposal of a rotating cast of artists.

“What is next for the arts?” Kereselidze pondered years ago. The Georgian-born artist noticed a lag between the rapid advancement of technology and art that reflected it. His thought process sparked the idea to create a cutting-edge space that would meld art, science and technology. The concept is meant to explore the inextricable connection between the human experience and tech. Pastukhova explains that “art is supposed to reflect what our world is about.”

The boundary-pushing couple has been a fixture on the art scene for years – they launched Art Soiree in 2009 to give artists a platform to showcase their work and network with like-minded creatives.They hoped to cut through the air of the formal art museums and institutions D.C. is best known for. ARTECHOUSE was developed on the same premise– to be super-approachable, innovative and fun for people of all ages.

Kereselidze’s goal has always been to inspire with art. It’s the “instant connection” people have when engaging with ARTECHOUSE, he says, that excites him the most.Watching visitors forget their age as they move wildly to create art is what Sandro calls “escaping from reality to the Milky Way – to the world of happiness.”

ARTECHOUSE 1238 Maryland Ave SW | tickets required for exhibitions | daytime admission for all ages; evening 21 + | tickets start at $15

“Spirit of Autumn” exhibit (Photo by HASNAIN BHATTI)

A rendering from the augmented reality cocktail from the new “Kingdom of Colors” exhibit opening November 10.


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