Sketchbook by Stephen Gibson. Photo courtesy Transformer.
Sketch at Transformer: Yet again, Transformer makes innovative use of its small space in an exhibition of 16 sketchbooks by local artists. Participants’ approaches are all over the map: some of the books meet the conventional definition, while others incorporate unexpected collage elements. Oreen Cohen’s pages ‒ if you can even call them that – are thick with candle wax, animal fur and other disturbing “media” that is worth discovering on your own. Each visitor has the opportunity to draw on gallery walls with colored pencils, solving the sketchbook-display problem and at the same time rendering the show accessible to visitors of all ages. On view until May 7. “Draw-ins” on April 23 and 30 from 2 to 6 p.m. Metro: Dupont Circle.
Destino at the Gallery at Vivid Solutions: The latest show at Vivid Solutions will feature Takoma Park-based photographer Michelle Frankfurter’s work exploring the migration of Central Americans through Mexico to the United States. Through her portraits, Frankfurter frames the voyage both as a harsh day-to-day reality and an “epic Homeric journey imbued with religious connotations.” Opening reception April 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. Metro: Anacostia.
Call + Response: Textures at Hamiltonian Gallery: This year’s Call + Response, in which four visual artists create installations in response to works by four writers, focuses on the theme of texture. The gallery website offers no preview of the final products; however you can read about current participants and check out the results from last year’s collaborations. Opening on April 16 at 7 p.m. On view April 16 to May 7. Metro: U Street-Cardozo.
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Capital Portraits: Treasures from Washington Private Collections at the National Portrait Gallery: The latest Portrait Gallery exhibition offers a broad chronological survey of American portraiture, this time through the lens of private Washington collections. The portraits, many of which have never been displayed publicly, are each accompanied by interesting biographical and anecdotal info on artist, sitter and the portrait’s commission. Artists range from Gilbert Stuart to Mary Cassatt to Gene Davis with subjects as diverse as colonial families, Sally Quinn and Kate Moss. On view until Sept. 5. Metro: Gallery Place-Chinatown.
Short List: The Peacock Room Comes to America at the Freer Gallery of Art; New Clear Daze at Honfleur Gallery; Black Box: Laurent Grasso at the Hirshhorn Museum; Reading: Meryle Secrest: “Modigliani: A Life” at the Hirshhorn Museum.