A failed restaurant. An impressive drain pipe. A popular home renovation.
These are some of the humorous and true observations of extremely local history that artist Timothy Thompson has turned in to a series of historical markers in and around the Arlington Arts Center (3550 Wilson Blvd) in Virginia Square.
Thompson’s historical markers are part of the Arlington Arts Center’s 2012 Fall Solos exhibition, which opened on Oct. 3 and features works by seven regional artists. The exhibit is set to hold its opening reception on Saturday (Oct. 20) from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Four of Thompson’s markers are located inside the gallery. Two are within two blocks of the center on N. Lincoln Street. Another is adjacent to the center along Wilson Boulevard.
Thompson will be leading a walking tour of his historical markers from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1. The Fall Solos exhibit will be in place through Dec. 23.
The exhibit, called Telling Intimate True Stories (TITS), features plaster castings of women’s breasts, turned into works of art. The opening of the exhibit coincides with October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Some of the castings are from local breast cancer survivors.
Women who participated in the castings range in age from 18 to 73, and each participant wrote an essay that accompanies the casting. The essays talk about “individual body image or life experiences,” Busboys and Poets spokeswoman Melissa DePaulis told ARLnow.com.
“There are works by domestic violence survivors that tell of jarring horrors. Cancer survivors talk of their own painful journeys. There are stories of self image from preteen years,” DePaulis said. “All work is anonymous. It is our hope that audiences are impacted by the work — that they recognize their own stories in the castings and essays and they feel empathy for the range of women’s experiences.”
Telling Intimate True Stories was created by Taking Flight, an nonprofit group “that gives women creative opportunities to voice our experiences.” The organization hopes the exhibit “brings attention to breast health as it also gives women a platform to express our feelings related to our breasts and body images.”
The exhibit is expected to remain displayed at the restaurant for about six months. An artist reception for the exhibit will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16. The event is free and open to the public.
Hat tip to Scott McCaffrey
New Exhibit At N. Va. Art Center -- The new Northern Virginia Art Center in Crystal City will be hosting a new exhibit starting tomorrow, Sept. 1, until Sept. 30. The exhibit, entitled “Grand Visions: Small World,” features a jury-selected collection of visual artworks (including paintings, pottery and sculpture) from a variety of local artists. An opening gala will be held from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14. [Northern Virginia Art Center]
Marymount Receives Cybersecurity Grant — Arlington-based Marymount University has been awarded a $1.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation to fund a four-year cybersecurity scholarship program. [Press Release]
Reminder: Labor Day Closures and Traffic – Most county offices, with the notable exception of the election office, will be closed for Memorial Day. Drivers should expect busy highways if they’re heading out of town.
The exhibit was curated from the personal collection of a library employee who “in true punk fashion… wants to keep a low profile,” according to library spokesman Peter Golkin. The employee, who works in the library materials department, was a “very active participant in the scene at the time.”
“[He] put out some records on his label, designed some of the posters and is friends with some of the more well-known names like the guys in Fugazi,” Golkin said.
In a blog post, Golkin noted that Arlington played a key role in the region’s vibrant punk rock scene.
“Arlington County was a well-known base of operations for many of the musicians and music labels that created a straightforward Mid-Atlantic sound best known through now-legendary bands like Slickee Boys, Minor Threat, Government Issue and later Fugazi,” he wrote.
The exhibit, which is still in the process of being built, is located near the center of the second floor of Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street).
Central Library will also be hosting a pair of punk-related events this month. At 7:00 p.m. on April 18, the library will be screening a documentary about Fugazi, called “Instrument — Ten Years with the Band Fugazi.” On April 26 at 7:00 p.m., author Jennifer Egan will be speaking about her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “A Visit from the Goon Squad,” which recounts the 1970s San Francisco punk scene.
Artisphere’s exclusive exhibit of Frida Kahlo’s personal photos continues through March 25. In case you haven’t gotten a chance to see the famed Mexican artist’s collection of 259 photos, AVN (the county-run television station) has a preview.
Several special musical performances and workshops will be held between now and March 25 in conjunction with the Kahlo exhibit. The exhibit opened on Feb. 23.
What does the future hold for us in 2012? Who will win the presidential election? Will the economy improve? Will the world end?
Of course no one, not even the Mayans, can be 100 percent sure of the future. But today, at Artisphere, a group of political cartoonists will be giving soothsaying a shot.
Starting tonight, Artisphere (1101 Wilson Blvd) will be hosting a “pop-up exhibit” called “ApocalypToon 2012.” The exhibit will provide “a humorous outlook on the year to come [featuring] works, some created exclusively for this exhibition, by renowned editorial and political cartoonists.”
Among the cartoonists whose creations will be on display: Kal (The Economist), Tom Toles (Washington Post), Jeff Danziger (Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post), Daryl Cagle (MSNBC), Matt Wuerker (Politico), Damien Glez (La Monde) and Dan Piraro of Bizzaro (syndicated).
The exhibit, which runs through Sunday, is free to view — but an opening party tonight has a $25 cover charge. The party, which kicks off at 6:00 p.m., will feature complimentary food, live music, a cash bar, and appearances by some of the cartoonists. Music will be provided by DJ Neekola with live percussionist Kamajian, DJ Manifesto (who plays violin during his sets), and by Suspicious Package, a local rock band comprised of several government and journalist types, including the cartoonist Toles.
FotoDC’s month-long FLASH photo exhibit will kick off in Crystal City tonight.
Located on the top two floors of an office building at 2450 Crystal Drive, the show features 250 photos from 55 local photographers, a library of 150 photography books and a wine bar run by the Washington Wine Academy.
Photographers and reporters got a sneak peak at the exhibit last night. Here some of our photos from the event.
DISCLOSURE: Crystal City BID, the sponsor of FLASH, is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
As part of FLASH, ARLnow.com will be hosting a photo contest dubbed “Flickr Flash.”
The contest will challenge photographers to take photos during the first two Crystal City 5K Friday races in April and submit them to a Flickr group for recognition and prizes. Ten finalists will be chosen and will be voted on by ARLnow.com readers. The top three vote-getters will be announced at a FLASH event and will receive gift cards from local restaurants.
Rosslyn wasn’t always the ho-hum collection of office towers and apartment buildings that it is today. A century ago, it was filled with gambling dens, rough-and-tumble saloons and houses of prostitution.
Photos from the bad old days adorn the walls of Artisphere’s Work-in-Progress Gallery for an exhibit called “Rosslyn: A Work in Progress.” The exhibit, which runs through March 13, “chronicles Rosslyn’s origins as a lawless, rowdy community in the 1800’s to the thriving urban village it is today, through historical items and images, and renderings of developments coming soon.”
At an opening reception last week, we caught up with local historian Kathryn Holt Springston, who told us some stories of Rosslyn’s bawdy past.
“From 1865, the end of the Civil War, up until 1906, it was so bad. There were 38 saloons, 14 bordellos and who knows how many gambling dens, that were open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
“Cunningham’s was just on a hill above Rosslyn, and it was the only [bordello] that was actually burned before Crandall Mackey’s great raid. What happened was that a soldier from Fort Myer was killed there, so the other soldiers from Fort Myer went over there one night and torched the place.”
“Crandall Mackey is like the hero of Rosslyn. In 1904 he was elected Commonwealth’s Attorney by one vote. He armed a party of 12 men with axes, sawed-off shotguns, etc. They rode the train down to Jackson City, which is where the 14th Street Bridge is today, and smashed it up because Jackson City was even worse than Rosslyn. Then they walked up to Rosslyn, they smashed in all the bordellos, threw the whiskey into the street, set some of the places on fire, smashed the gambling dens. The next day the Evening Star had a two inch headline: “Mackey Makes it Safe for Humanity in Alexandria County by Cleaning up Rosslyn Bums.”
(Arlington was called Alexandria County up until 1920, when it was renamed by the Virginia General Assembly to honor Robert E. Lee.)
Novo was a fixture of the arts scene in Columbia, S.C. up until earlier this month, when he packed up and moved to Arlington. Novo, originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, left Columbia after 18 years to allow his wife, a chemist, to take a new job in the Washington area. As newspapers mourned his departure, Novo prepared himself for his new life in D.C.
The first act in his D.C. story comes tonight, when a selection of his works entitled “Sueños de Insomnio” (Dreams of Insomnia) will go on display at Piola restaurant (1550 Wilson Blvd). Novo hopes the exhibition, which runs through November 27, will serve as an “informal introduction… to the local audience.”
An opening reception will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 tonight.
After the jump, we ask Novo about his plan for joining the local arts scene.