This week marks the return of two of the most popular summertime museum deals in the city: Jazz in the Garden at the National Gallery of Art and Free Summer Saturdays at the Corcoran Gallery. Starting the 27th, catch free jazz concerts every Friday evening from 5 to 8:30 p.m. in the NGA’s Sculpture Garden. The inaugural band is Silver Spring-based Brazilian group Origem. At the other end of the Mall, the Corcoran will open its galleries to the public at no cost every Saturday until Labor Day. For other worthwhile art events that won’t be half as crowded, here are this week’s highlights:
ChickenVille at the Lamont Bishop Gallery: This weekend I happened to bump into artist Brandon Hill installing works just hours before the opening of his solo show at Lamont Bishop, a newish gallery not far from Long View and Civilian Art Projects. Hill, who is also participating in Art Whino’s G40 exhibition at vitaminwater uncapped LIVE, works in a variety of mediums, most notably found objects, such as shoes, spray cans, skateboards and furniture. Most prominent during my visit — aside from a temporary heap of discarded spray cans and butchered skateboard decks that could have been an installation in itself — were Hill’s elaborate skateboard sculptures. One sprouts a gnarled branch while another morphs into a violin. The final product will definitely be worth a visit. FREE. On view until June 11. Metro: Mt. Vernon Square-Convention Center.
“Gyöngy Laky: Geometric Disturbances” at the Textile Museum: Gyöngy Laky’s simple but mesmerizing language art and vessel sculptures are constructed using found objects and materials in nature. Her art has been featured in the New York Times, and she has work on display currently in the Textile Museum’s Green exhibition. See her discuss her method and body of work this Thursday evening at the museum. May 26 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 for members and $25 for non-members; advanced registration is required. Metro: Dupont Circle.
Body at the Corcoran Gallery of Art: D.C.-based interdisciplinary artist Chajana denHarder will conclude a month-long performance art piece this Saturday at the Corcoran. Throughout May she has been collecting responses from D.C. residents to the questions “What do you most desire?” and “What have you lost?” and adding the messages to eight plaster casts of her body that correspond to the eight D.C. wards. This weekend she will “use her body to collapse the eight body casts together,” symbolically destroying the boundaries that divide Washingtonians. The work is sponsored by the D.C. Commission on Arts and Humanities. You can still submit your anonymous response by emailing [email protected]. FREE. May 28 at 2 p.m. Metro: Farragut West or Farragut North.
Opening at the Studio Gallery: If conceptual art, found objects and performance pieces are not really your style, the upcoming exhibition at Studio Gallery might better suit your taste. Three gallery artists, Carol Rubin, Andrew Acquadro and Freda Lee-McCann, will have their work on view for the next several weeks. While the painters have diverse thematic concerns, they all tend towards expressive figuration and landscape — and occasionally slip into abstraction. On view May 25 to June 18. FREE. Metro: Dupont Circle.