14th and U Street Gallery Walk

Colby Caldwell, "How to survive your own death (47)," 2009, inkjet print mounted and hand-waxed to Dibond, 29 1/2” x 25”, Edition of 5
Hemphill Fine Arts
Colby Caldwell, "How to survive your own death (47)," 2009, inkjet print mounted and hand-waxed to Dibond, 29 1/2” x 25”, Edition of 5

Just a few blocks from the Dupont Circle and McPherson Square Metro stations, the art galleries around 14th Street, between U Street and Logan Circle, hold some of the strongest collections of contemporary artwork in the city. Original, effusive, tasteful and energetic, the community of galleries in this area hosts work by new and emerging local artists as well as nationally and internationally renowned artisans. It binds communities and creates ambitious dialogues not only between the viewers and the works but among the artists. The common thread throughout the galleries, on top of its contemporary bent, is the impressive quality of the work. From the photographs of Annie Leibovitz to interactive sculptures with their own idiosyncratic attitudes, the works on view at these galleries should not be missed. And they’re all within a 15-minute walking radius. The weather is about to turn warmer, and there’s no better way to celebrate a nice Friday evening like a walk down the 14th Street galleries. Here’s what’s coming up.

Hamiltonian Gallery

Hamiltonian will feature the work of gallery artists Jenny Mullins and Sarah Knobel, March 17 – April 14, with an opening reception on Saturday, March 17, from 7 to 9 p.m. The drawings and paintings of Jenny Mullins, who recently completed a Fulbright Nehru grant in India researching spiritual tourism and traditional Buddhist Thangka painting techniques, explore the Western adherence to Eastern spirituality, while exploring notions of commercial mythology and consumer culture. They are “a world of low-budget mysticism . . . consumable, disposable and filled with the empty calories we crave.” The works are — perhaps ironically — gorgeous, engaging and meticulously rendered. The video art of Knobel explores individuality when forced through the sieve of cultural assumptions. The photos and videos in this exhibit are tied together by the use of origami, wherein Knobel focuses on its connections to ritual and spirituality. www.HamiltonianGallery.com

Gallery Plan B

Five artists, all working with metal or metallic mediums in painting, etching, photography and sculpture, are featured in Gallery Plan B’s latest exhibition, “Precious Metals,” on view now through April 8. Andrew Wapinski layers gold and silver leaf with acrylic, graphite, pigments and resin resulting in substantial panels with visual and physical depth. Using photos of local scenes, Shelley Carr etches copper, then cuts and composes the copper pieces within a composition. Filmmaker Donna Cameron shifts focus of her film to the subject matter of photographs applied to aluminum surfaces. Mike McClung burns through layers of vellum into heavy paper underneath and treats the burned edges with metal leafs and layers them into whimsical patterns. Well known local artist Robert Cole will round out the group with a few of his whimsical, stylized steel sculptures. In addition, on the weekend of March 24-25, Tina Bark will be showcasing her jewelry designs from 1 to 4 p.m. each day. www.GalleryPlanB.com

Project 4 Gallery

Rhode Island-based artist Paul Myoda’s latest works will be on view in the exhibition “Glittering Machines” at Project 4, from March 24 – April 28. A Yale MFA graduate, who has been awarded grants from the NEA, the Warhol Foundation and Howard Foundation, Myoda has been developing this series of interactive sculptures for several years now, out of his studio near Brown University, where he works as an assistant professor in sculpture and new media. “Glittering Machines,” writes Myoda, “are modular, kinetic, interactive, and illuminating sculptures. Each sculpture behaves in different ways depending upon the proximity and behavior of the viewer. Taking cues from various bioluminescent animals and insects, these behaviors range from attraction to repulsion, camouflage to revelation, predictability to spontaneity.” www.Project4Gallery.com

Hemphill Fine Arts

“Gun Shy,” an exhibition by photographer Colby Caldwell, will open March 24 at Hemphill, with a public reception from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 24. Caldwell’s photographs of depleted shotgun shells, abandoned buck blinds, found birds, feathers and abstractions derived from a corrupted film frame highlight his preoccupation with the relationship between photography and memory. “A photography embeds time, freezes it and carries it forward,” says Caldwell. His works, inspired concomitantly by the changing landscape of his rural Maryland home and by a corrupted frame of Super 8mm film of landscapes shot while traveling, conjure feelings of nostalgia and loss, serving as “epitaphs for the now antiquated film age that Caldwell himself mourns.” These beautifully alluring depictions of things discarded and left behind are captivating. www.HemphillFineArts.com

Adamson Gallery

Master printer David Adamson, who lives and works locally out of his Adamson Gallery, was the man who made the archival pigment prints for photographer Annie Leibovitz’s landmark exhibition, “Pilgrimage,” now on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (for our coverage of that exhibition, visit www.Georgetowner.com and visit our Arts & Society page). If you would like to spend time with Leibovitz’s photographs outside of the crowded museum atmosphere and in a more intimate setting, Adamson is currently exhibiting a selection of her photographs in his gallery through March 24. This is a unique opportunity to get some “alone time” with one of the most lauded living artists working today. www.AdamsonGallery.Jimdo.com

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