Spirit of Autumn

Today I had the opportunity to visit ARTECHOUSE newly opened exhibit “Spirit of Autumn”.

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The drawing room

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This is a room in the back of the exhibit where visitors can color in a leaf or two with markers. Once you are done designing your leaf, it is scanned and readied for projection onto the walls of the main gallery area.

Autumn Dance Room

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The gallery floor and wall fill with swirling gushes of fall colors through your gestures and moves. I made this light on the wall by pointing.

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The exhibit is open through Nov. 5. TICKETS: $8-20.

 

 

 

 

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2017 Maryland Renaissance Festival

Yesterday I went to the Maryland Renaissance Festival. From the moment you drive onto the grounds, there are people dressed up in elaborate “period pieces” from the most authentic to the most outlandish. There are hundreds of activities for kids and adults. Shops adorn the paths between activities with intricately designed costumes, swords, and jewelry. Multiple stages throughout the festival showcase performances of all types, including singing and dancing.

Please enjoy this brief look into my day:

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Laps For Lexi

“Each day 42 families in the United States will receive the devastating news that their child or teen has cancer.” – https://childrenscancer.org/

Yesterday, Saturday, September 30, 2017 I attended the 8th annual Laps For Lexi event held at the Sandy Spring Friends School in Sandy Spring, MD.

Laps For Lexi is a non-profit organization. It was created in memory of 8-year-old Lexi Speight and the proceeds raised at the event go to support the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National Medical Center as well as the Lexi Speight Scholarship fund at Sandy Spring Friends School.

I didn’t know Lexi or any of her friends or family, but cancer is a cause near and dear to my heart. My dad is a cancer survivor. Most recently he battled prostate cancer.

Here are some photos I took of the event:

One of the participants.

T Wiz and the Washington Wizards Cheerleaders pose with a horse.

I did have the honor of meeting some friend’s and classmates of Lexi’s. Here are two of them. They were in elementary school with Lexi.

Welcome Sign.

To learn more about Laps For Lexi visit the website here: http://lapsforlexi.org

To learn more about the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National Medical Center  visit the website here: https://childrensnational.org/departments/center-for-cancer-and-blood-disorders/oncology

 

Hive

Earlier this week, on Wednesday night, July 12, 2017, I was allowed early access to Studio Gang and the National Building Museum’s summer spectacle, Hive. You should definitely put this on your summer bucket list and see what the buzz is all about.

In the summer of recent years, the National Building Museum has brought some sort of spectacle to DC and this year looks to be no exception. An enormous installation by Studio Gang, Hive  is “composed of more than 3,000 wound paper tubes, a construction material that is recyclable, lightweight, and renewable. The tubes vary in size from several inches to 10 feet high and will be interlocked to create three dynamic interconnected, domed chambers. Reaching 60 feet tall, the installation’s tallest dome features an oculus over 10 feet in diameter. The tubes feature a reflective silver exterior and vivid magenta interior, creating a spectacular visual contrast with the Museum’s historic nineteenth-century interior and colossal Corinthian columns.
The form of Hive references familiar structures such as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and Brunelleschi’s Dome at the Florence Cathedral in Italy, and vernacular Musgum mud huts in Cameroon, and the curvature of a spider’s web. The tall yet intimate forms allow visitors to inhabit the installation at the ground level, and experience it from the Museum’s upper-floor balconies, providing a variety of exciting perspectives.” – nbm website.
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Hive runs through September 4, 2017. Visit the National Building Museum website for information about Hive-related activities for all ages, including Late Nights, Ward Days, unique experiences with local creatives, concerts, and lectures.

ARTECHOUSE

Certain art cannot be described; it must be seen and experienced.

This is the concept behind the newly opened art space ARTECHOUSE in Washington, DC. ARTECHOUSE opened June 1st with its first exhibit “XYZT: Abstract Landscapes”. On June 21, 2017 I went with the photowalking community Walk With Locals, and it was an amazing experience.

ARTECHOUSE is located in Southwest DC close to the L’Enfant and Smithsonian metro stations and steps to the National Mall.

When we walked in we were greeted by one of the docents who talked briefly about the exhibit and then we were shown inside. I have heard friends and others describe it as a digital playground and that is the best way I can think of to describe it. The exhibit is an immersive sensory art exhibition created by Adrien M. and Claire B. Composed of 10 interactive and immersive digital installations, the exhibit is a virtual playground of technology and light. Images are projected onto walls, the floors, onto screens, in aquariums, and all of them can be manipulated with the touch of a hand or foot, movement, or sound.

Why is it called XYZT? The letters X, Y, Z and T in the title are meant to represent each of the four dimensions: X (horizontal), Y (vertical), Z (depth), and T (time).

I am already planning my next visit!

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XYZT: Abstract Landscapes runs through September 3, 2017.

Tickets are available on the ARTECHOUSE website.

How to Improve Your Black and White Photography

On June 14, 2017 I attended a Photography Meetup with the Montgomery County Photographers Meetup Group. The meetup was hosted and organized by Lester Picker.

Picker started off the evening talking about why even bothering with black and white photography. He mentioned the historical case for it — it started a long time ago. However, it wasn’t really until the Civil War photographer Matthew Brady that it took off and became popular. Then, he mentioned several pioneers in black and white photography. Those pioneers included Edward Weston, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange, and Ansel Adams.

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” – Ansel Adams

Picker then mentioned some of the modern masters of black and white photography. Those include Sebastio Salgado, Nick Brandt, and Patrick Demarchelier.

Picker also talked about color as a distraction, abstraction in black and white images, how black and white photography reveals the soul, and how black and white images are evocative.

Finally, he gave some tips:

  • Immerse yourself (read, go to exhibits)
  • Practice shooting in black and white
  • Practice looking at the light
  • Go way too far; have fun
  • Make “Test Prints”

 

Glen Echo Park – Atop

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Yesterday I went to Glen Echo Park with a photography meetup group that I belong to. Glen Echo Park, located not far from Washington, DC, in Glen Echo, MD, was first developed in 1891 as a National Chautauqua Assembly, “to promote liberal and practical education.” The Chautauqua lasted for just one season, and by the early 1900s, the site had become Glen Echo Amusement Park — the premier amusement park serving the Washington area until 1968 when it closed. These days the site hosts arts programs, but many of the art deco amusement park structures are still in place.

While I was exploring the grounds I found a spot where I could walk up a ramp to a roof and take a picture.

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Lifelong shutterbug, visual storyteller