Elizabeth Ryland Mears and William Forrest, “The Three” (detail), 6ft h x 3 ft w x 3 ft d, glass, steel, mixed media
This IS Hawai’I at Transformer and the National Museum of the American Indian: This joint exhibition celebrates “Asian Pacific American Heritage Month” and marks the first time works by Hawaiian artists Solomon Enos, Puni Kukahiko, Carl F.K. Pao and Maika’i Tubbs has been shown in Washington. As with many shows centered on contemporary art from a marginalized group, This IS Hawai’I will “explore what it means to be Hawaiian in the 21st century” by confronting popular stereotypes. Works range from Kukahiko’s outdoor sculptures to Pao’s fictitious “Post-Historic Museum of the Possible Aboriginal Hawaiian.” You can read artists bios at the NMAI website. FREE. On view May 19 to July 4 at the NMAI and from May 21 to June 25 at Transformer. Metro: Dupont Circle for Transformer and Federal Center SW for the NMAI.
The Artists of the Washington Glass School – The First Ten Years at Long View Gallery: This month Long View takes a break from exhibiting its own artists to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Washington Glass School with a retrospective of work by its instructors and students. The show will explore how the school has helped to propel glass art into the contemporary art scene, blurring the lines between “decorative art” and “fine art.” FREE. On view May 19 to June 19. Opening reception May 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Metro: Mt. Vernon Square-Convention Center.
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“Pop Art: Then and Now” at the Kreeger Museum: Art historians Diane Arkin, David Gariff and Sally Shelburne of the National Gallery of Art will lead this panel discussion on 1960s Pop Art in conjunction with the Kreeger’s ongoing Tom Wesselmann exhibition, which runs through July. Tickets to the talk are $10 ($7 for students). May 19 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Metrobus: D6.
Modern Lab: The Found Alphabet at the National Gallery of Art: It’s always refreshing when big museums dip into their collections to show works that otherwise might not get much wall space — and that’s exactly what the NGA’s Modern Lab is for. For the next several months, the gallery will display this exhibition of different approaches to alphabets and letters, from Claes Oldenburg’s The Letter Q as Beach House, with Sailboat to more recent conceptual works. FREE. On view until Nov. 13. Metro: Archives-Navy Memorial or Judiciary Square.
Ann Tarantino: SuperNatural at Curator’s Office: Pennsylvania-based artist Ann Tarantino’s works on paper combine a kind of Surrealist interest in processes with a more modern focus on systems ranging from social networks to maps to the human nervous system. By spraying paint with her breath, through air compressors or from a bottle, she creates delicate bubbles and webs of color that could be intentional or entirely random. Her works should be well suited for an intimate space like Curator’s Office. FREE. On view May 19 to June 25. Metro: Dupont Circle or U Street-Cardozo.