Visual and Verbal Arts Around Town

Posted in The Gnovis Blog

As the weather gets nicer, and as the semester nears a close, [[NOTE: Yesterday was the final day of CCT Thesis presentations– Congrats 2009 Thesisers!!]] it’s time to start thinking about productive and acceptable ways to blow off steam. Srsly!

Having come to DC from NYC a few years back as a picky poetry and art consumer, I was pleasantly surprised to find that DC does in fact have quite a bit to offer to the discerning aestheete // interested in the fun and the funky side of things.

So, to help you along in your quests, I here compile a little list of venues and events that are currently serving up some fun and interesting stuff.


Downtown: To begin with the visual, it might interest some to know that marxist art historian TJ Clark is wrapping up his lecture series on Picasso at the National Gallery of Art, as the NGA’s 58th A.W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts series. Upcoming are:

(1) The final lecture of the series, “Picasso and Truth VI: Mural” Sunday, May 3 at 2:00PM in the East Building Concourse, Auditorium.
(2) A public screening of this lecture on Wednesday, May 6 at 12:30PM in the
Arlington: Steve Frost, a fantastic artist and partner to gnovis’ very own Jed Brubaker, recently opened a solo show at the Arlington Arts Center, which looks amazing (get your checkbooks out, ya’ll!). See an interview with Frost about his work.

Logan: As usual, CCT Professor (and founding director) Martin Irvine’s gallery Irvine Contemporary has some delicious eye candy on display. The current exhibit of artwork by Shawne Major features arresting tapestry-like works on display that are really worth seeing in person. They are incredibly layered and lots of fun to be around.

Dupont: Finally, it is worth noting that this coming Friday, May 1st, is going to be a First Friday in Dupont Circle. So, get ready for some local gallery-hopping and wine-tasting fun.



For those of the more verbal persuasion, DCPoetry is the indispensable and amaizng dc portal and hub for poetry. Their site has links to most of the venues and readings in the area that I will also be linking to here (to save y’all some sleuthing). They also have an email list that will automatically inform you of readings as they come (to save y’all some more sleuthing). The site has a nascent anthology of work read at past readings — an anthology that hopes to become more robust in the coming months.

DC Venues that regularly hold delectable readings include Bridge Street Books in Georgetown (Bridge Street Books reading series), Big Bear Café in Bloomingdale (Cheryl’s Gone reading series) and DCAC in Adams Morgan (In Your Ear reading series).

Georgetown: Coming up at Bridge Street Books, there will be a show of Corcoran All-Stars, curated by DC Poet Doug Lang on Tuesday May 5 at 7:30PM. [oops! i guess this crosses the verbal/visual divide! confound it all, interdisciplinarity is the new black.] Also, Sunday May 10th at 7:00PM there will be a poetry reading featuring Ben Lerner and Chris Nealon.

The poetry section of Bridge Street Books alone is worth a visit or many, featuring the most up-to-date poetry section in town. The rest of the bookstore is also exceptionally and meticulously curated by Rod Smith, an established DC poet and publisher.

Bloomingdale: The next Cheryl’s Gone reading, curated by Wade Fletcher, will be on the evening of March 21, featuring readings by Deborah Ager, Danika Page Myers, and Marisa Plumb, and, tentatively, music by Peter Marbayduk. This reading series is unique in the deliberately varied presentation of different styles of writing and music-making. Don’t miss an opportunity to open up your mind!

Adams Morgan: The next In Your Ear reading at DCAC will be on Sunday, May 17 at 3PM, featuring John Coletti and my friend Buck Downs. Oh, and DCAC is obviously also an art space. Yet another overlap of verbal and visual.

Alexandria: This Saturday, May 2 at 8PM, Alexandria’s “The Lab at Convergence” (1801 N. Quaker Lane, Alexandria, VA 22302) will be putting on a show of 20th Century Avant-Garde Theatre Classics. This will be an evening of early 20th century obscure and experimental theatre works (including dada, surrealist, and futurist plays), as well as a piece by Daniil Kharms, a short play by Konrad Bayer, and new “interpretations” of American classics such as Our Town and The Crucible.

“Theatre Classics” is Ric Royer, John Eaton, and John Berndt, who will be performing with Geodesic Gnome.  20th Century Avant-Garde Theatre Classics is rare stagings, gnomic utterances, text-driven theatre and “poetics theatre,” plus a sound performance by Bonnie Jones, on circuit boards of digital delay pedals.

$10 advance purchase available here. Type in “Alexandria Performing Arts Association” (the event sponsor) at the “artist” search prompt, and find “20th Century Avant-garde Theatre Classics” on the performance list.

Hosted by M. Magnus. This production brought to you by Yockadot Poetics Theatre Project and the Alexandria Performing Arts Association, in conjunction with Convergence.

Baltimore: Baltimore has a hopping arts scene, and, this Saturday, May 2, at 8PM, there will be poetry read at the i.e. reading series, with Leslie Bumstead and Heather Fuller. i.e. is held at LOF/t (Load Of Fun), at 120 W. North Ave in Baltimore.


That’s it for now! Have fun, and feel free to reply with other events and shows that you are excited about!!