art · culture

Current Issues and Hot Topics in Art

Obligatory art photo: Mary Ellison Embroidering by Mary Cassatt (1877), at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

This will be a super-quick post: I’m going to be busy this weekend, with spending time at the embassies and enjoying Mother’s Day with my loved ones. I’m going to compile a few of my favorite posts about current issues and hot topics in the arts that you can peruse at your leisure. Enjoy your weekend!

DC’s Plan to Promote Arts and Culture: What It’s About, and How Local Artists Feel About It

All About Fort Street Studio’s Latest Collection

The Newly Re-Named Massey Klein Gallery (Ryan Massey is an alum of Old Dominion University, my alma mater. Go Monarchs!)

ArtLeadHer’s Latest Exhibition, Senses and Perception

I hope you all take some time to read up on some of the latest happenings in the art world, as well as visit a museum or support some other cultural institution this weekend. Have a great Saturday!

culture · international · music

A Little Something for International Dance Day

Happy Sunday friends! It’s been a while since I posted videos about music or dance, so it’s only fitting that I share something with you all for International Dance Day!

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I’m adding some videos demonstrating traditional African dances from several countries. I’ve discussed kizomba before, but Africa is a tremendously diverse continent and every country has something different to offer when it comes to dance. Here’s just a taste of African dance:

Angolan Kizomba and Semba: this mashup of clips gives you a glimpse into traditional Angolan dance. Fun, exuberant and flirty: what’s not to love?

Ethiopian/Eritrean Eskista: I don’t know what I love most about this video – the gorgeous hair, the joyful expressions or the fact that this reminds me of something that my friends and I would do when we get together. They’re not professionals, but they’re having fun!

Burundian/Rwandan Umushagiriro/Umushayayo: this is so graceful and elegant. I want to learn the dance and wear the traditional outfits daily. This dance is breathtakingly beautiful.

And just for fun, Ivorian Zaouli: this dance has been made into countless memes, but the truth is, it takes a LOT of stamina to do this. Enjoy!

What is your favorite international dance? Let me know in the comments below!

culture · festivals

Are You Pub-Crawling Today?

Today is St Patrick’s Day, the US beer lover’s favorite excuse to try a new brew (preferably one that has been dyed green). I will probably head out for a drink this evening, because pub crawling means an inevitable good time.

I enjoy beer, with Abita’s Purple Haze and Red Stripe being the beers I’m most likely to pick up when I grocery shop. I like local craft beers best, and I’m fortunate to live in a city that has a thriving beer, cider and ale scene.

The cups at the top of this delicious spread are ciders from Blue Bee Cider

culture

Women’s History Month in Washington, DC

As many of you know, I work (and play) in Washington, DC. Since I’m in the District several times a week, I try to explore and take in the city as much as possible during my breaks and (occasionally) after work. Out of curiosity, I looked up what is happening in DC during Women’s History Month (WHM), happening right now, until the end of March. I’m happy to say that DC didn’t disappoint, with several museums and other institutions hosting WHM events for the public.

You can find a list of events on the Women’s History Month website (click here for more information). I’m really eager to go to the Library of Congress, to view the exhibition, Drawn to Purpose, which puts the spotlight on women illustrators and cartoonists. Even if you can’t make it in person, you can view the exhibit online. I’m also excited to see Michelle Obama’s portrait over at the National Portrait Gallery.

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Anita Kunz’s Tugged is one of the photos featured on the main page of the Drawn to Purpose exhibition at the Library of Congress

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The portrait of Michelle Obama, painted by Amy Sherald, is a popular new addition at the National Portrait Gallery

Now, on this blog, WHM is EVERY month. But I love that DC has so many events that reflect the month’s theme. I’m looking forward to sharing all of the photos with you as I tour around and have a good time in DC!

culture · hollywood glamour

Hollywood in DC – the Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image Exhibit

One of the greatest perks of working in Washington, DC is being able to visit the Smithsonian Institute whenever I have a little time. During one of the unseasonably warm days that we experienced last week, I felt inspired to go to one of the museums during my lunch break.

I decided to stop by the National Portrait Gallery, since it’s close to my job and I haven’t been there in years. The Kogod Courtyard used to be my favorite place for eating lunch.

This time, however, I didn’t come to eat lunch. I was there to view the Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image exhibit. I’m a fan of Dietrich’s work and how she lived an unapologetically authentic life off-camera. I came for the photos but stayed for the story of Dietrich’s life.

The brochures available for visitors have a beautiful, dramatic photo of Dietrich on the cover.

This striking white pantsuit was so intimidating to the French that Dietrich was threatened with arrest if she dared wear it on land.

Those threats of arrest were empty: Dietrich wore a different pantsuit when disembarking the Europa and was greeted with flowers from the French police.

Dietrich as Catherine the Great in The Scarlet Empress (1934)

Her undeniable acting talent, her anti-Nazism stance, and her consistent image maintenance throughout her career made Marlene Dietrich a star. However, it’s her legacy of living life on her own terms that make her an icon.

I highly recommend that you check out this exhibit if you’re in the Washington, DC area. It will be at the National Portrait Gallery (8th and F Streets, NW, near Chinatown) until April 15, 2018, so get there as quickly as you can!

art · culture

My Current Favorite App

As a fan of all things art and culture related, I find it challenging to locate tools and apps that satisfy both of my interests simultaneously. That is, until the Google Art and Culture App came into my life.

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I love being able to instantly access all sorts of interesting art and culture articles. Even better, I love being able to virtual tour museums that I have not yet visited in person. The app allows you to view famous artworks up close, without having to peer through crowds to see it (anything in the Louvre comes to mind).

It’s possible to find art by searching by the title of the work or by an artist’s name. For an example of what you can find on the app, I searched for Edmonia Lewis (I’ve known about her for a long time, but a recent podcast by Art History Babes renewed my interest in her story). Here is some screenshots of what Google Art and Culture had about Edmonia Lewis:

Even cooler, the app has a feature that allows users to take a selfie and find their art “doppelganger”. It’s a fun feature that’s sure to expose users to artwork they’ve never seen before!

Have you downloaded the Google Art and Culture app? How have you been enjoying it? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

art · culture

Currently Listening To . . .

I’ve been researching more resources to help me increase my art history knowledge. Along with visiting museums, taking ALISON courses and reading books, I wanted another way to take in art instruction, so I was thrilled to find the Art History Babes podcast.

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Their logo is the cutest!

Jen, Natalie, Ginny and Corrie – the hosts of the podcast – gather together to discuss different art-related topics. It’s hard to say whether it’s their knowledge or their chemistry that makes this such an irresistible podcast.

A nice podcast to help you get a feel for the Art History Babes is this post about Leonardo Da Vinci. It’s pretty short (a little over 15 minutes) but packs a lot of information. This will lay a great foundation for a post that I have coming up in a few days . . .

Let me know what you think about the Art History Babes! You can, of course, check out the podcast, but also check out their blog, as well.