Home The Washington Diplomat August 2019 Events – August 2019

Events – August 2019











 Through Aug. 7

Open Site: Mixed Media Works by Korean Artist Tae Eun Ahn

This is the first U.S. solo exhibition of works by Korean artist Tae Eun Ahn, whose tactile and visceral art seeks to expand our perception of the world by examining the role of the body as a bridge between internal and external existence. “Open Site” works in a variety of media that attempt to capture traces of the body in motion, including six videos and installations, six photographic works, four paintings, one sculpture created primarily out of clay, and a live performance by the artist herself.

Korean Cultural Center


Aug. 8 to Dec. 15

Fast Fashion/Slow Art

“Fast Fashion/Slow Art” scrutinizes today’s garment industry. A diverse group of emerging and established contemporary artists and filmmakers including Julia Brown, Cat Mazza, Hito Steyerl and Rosemarie Trockel explore issues of waste, consumerism and the human cost of mass production through 11 films and video installations.

GW Art Galleries


Through Aug. 11

Being Here as ME- New Media Art Exhibition of Women Artists from Taiwan

This exhibit features new media art, with augmented reality, animation and digital images, to explore how Taiwanese women artists surpass discussions of gender equality and express broader concerns. The emerging popularity of new media technology provides these artists new tools of creation and new topics of concern, helping them reveal their anxieties and opinions about the ecology of society, science, technology and the environment.

American University Museum


Through Aug. 11

Burying Teeth: Maia Cruz Palileo

There is a mystery in the act of burying and even more so in uncovering throughout the works of contemporary artist Maia Cruz Palileo. Created from 2016 to 2019, they depict historical narratives from the colonial past of the Philippines, Maia’s country of origin, as well as stories and moments about her own life as a Filipina American growing up in the United States. Her paintings and drawings replicate figures from old family photographs, as well as photos from American textbooks depicting anthropological documentation of Filipinos during the American colonization. While her work evokes nostalgia and romanticism, it is imbued with a critical undertone of America’s colonization of the Philippines.

American University Museum


Through Aug. 11

Forward Press: 21st-Century Printmaking

Ten innovative print artists from across the United States employ the finest examples of hand-printed and digital techniques, creating works that reinterpret centuries-old printmaking techniques in the digital age, exploring themes of culture, identity, religion, environment, memory, and art history.

American University Museum


Through Aug. 11


The Icelandic chairmanship in the Arctic Council will emphasize the Arctic marine environment; climate and green energy solutions; people in the Arctic and welfare issues; as well as a stronger Arctic Council. In conjunction with the chairmanship, the Embassy of Iceland will host a photo exhibition at the House of Sweden by Ragnar Axelsson (RAX), one of Iceland’s most prominent photographers. He has chronicled life in the Arctic through his lens for many decades having traveled on multiple occasions to all the Arctic countries to document life and nature in the high north. His new book and exhibition “Glacier” focuses on the awesome beauty of the northern glaciers and their magnificence.

House of Sweden


Through Aug. 11

Passages: Keith Morrison, 1998-2019

A magician of color and space and a teller of tales, fanciful and real, Jamaican-born Keith Morrison focuses on the tangible and spiritual components of culture. His acrylic and oil paintings on canvas and transparent watercolors on paper encompass Afro-Caribbean and Meso-American art and architecture, along with the somber history of the Middle Passage.

American University Museum


Through Aug. 18

The Life of Animals in Japanese Art

Artworks representing animals — real or imaginary, religious or secular — span the full breadth and splendor of Japanese artistic production. This first exhibition devoted to the subject features over 300 works that cover 17 centuries and a wide variety of media — sculpture, painting, lacquerwork, ceramics, metalwork, textile and the woodblock print.

National Gallery of Art


Through Aug. 19

Escape Velocity

Abstract paintings on canvas by Singapore-born artist Chee-Keong Kung are influenced by the artist’s formal education in art and architecture as well as his upbringing in multiethnic Singapore. Kung embraces influences from traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy, the pace and intensity of the digital age, as well as images of buildings under construction (or destruction).

The Fred Schnider Gallery of Art


Through Aug. 23

Queer as German Folk

This innovative punk, activism and DIY-inspired project synthesizes local and German narratives on the constant crusade for queer equality and achieving queer civil rights throughout the last half century.

Goethe-Institut Washington


Through Aug. 30

Museum: A Haunted Medium

Photographers Paula Pedrosa (Brazil), Traer Scott (United States) and Andrés Wertheim (Argentina) create works where natural history museums, art museums, gallery spaces and theme parks all become mediums that encourage interactions. Scott captures the interaction between the ghostlike human reflection on the glass and the frozen motion of animals as part of ornate wildlife landscapes. Pedrosa depicts staged, cripplingly decorated interior jungle-like landscapes. Wertheim forges connections between the audiences in the museum and the portrayed characters in the same spaces’ galleries. Interactions throughout, between the living and the dead, the past and the present, and natural and the artificial, reveal that it is perhaps we who are more truly ghosts in the museum.

Art Museum of the Americas

F Street Gallery


Through Sept. 2

Infinite Space: A Retrospective by Refik Anadol

In taking the data that flows around us as his primary material and the neural network of a computerized mind as his collaborator, Refik Anadol creates radical visualizations of our digitized memories, expanding the possibilities of architecture, narrative and the body in motion. The exhibition will take over ARTECHOUSE galleries featuring Anadol’s infamous immersive installation titled “Infinity Room” seen by more than 1 million people around the world, including a half million during a tour in China alone last year, three infinity boxes and a selection of multimedia works spanning his variegated career.



Through Sept. 8

The Evidence Room

This installation gives visual testament to the atrocities of the Holocaust, drawing on architectural forensic evidence to focus attention on the architecture that made the Auschwitz concentration camp a systematic factory for mass murder.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden


Through Sept. 8

Roots of Peace: Carlos Páez Vilaró Works and Writings

This retrospective looks at the work of Carlos Páez Vilaró, a Uruguayan painter, potter, sculptor, muralist, writer, composer and builder. Specifically, it showcases paintings, books and other archival materials examining the history of the “Roots of Peace” mural, painted in 1960. Spanning over 530 feet in a tunnel linking the OAS main building in D.C. and the Art Museum of the Americas building, “Roots of Peace” is one of the longest murals in the world. Its goal is to serve as a graphic statement of continental peace and harmony throughout the Western Hemisphere, highlighting the spiritual unity that bonds peoples of the Americas while respecting their unique differences.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas


Through Sept. 15

Oliver Lee Jackson: Recent Paintings

American painter, printmaker, and sculptor Oliver Lee Jackson (b. 1935) has created a complex body of work which masterfully weaves together visual influences ranging from the Renaissance to modernism with principles of rhythm and improvisation drawn from his study of African cultures and American jazz.

National Gallery of Art


Through Sept. 22

The Warmth of Other Suns

Through installations, videos, paintings and documentary images, 75 historical and contemporary artists — from the United States as well as Algeria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, Iraq, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, Syria, Turkey, the U.K., Vietnam and more — pose urgent questions around the experiences and perceptions of migration and the current global refugee crisis.

The Phillips Collection


Through Sept. 27

Animals in Japanese Outsider Art

This exhibition, held in tandem with “Life of Animals in Japanese Art” at the National Gallery of Art, features beautiful works of art created by those with intellectual disabilities or mental illnesses, who often depict animals with a rich color palette and a variety of unique patterns, interpreted from a truly distinctive point of view. The two exhibits could even be said to be the Olympics and Special Olympics of Japanese artwork.

Japan Information & Culture Center


Through Sept. 29

Good as Gold: Fashioning Senegalese Women

In the cities of the West African nation of Senegal, stylish women have often used jewelry as part of an overall strategy of exhibiting their elegance and prestige. Rooted in the Wolof concept of sañse (dressing up, looking and feeling good), “Good as Gold” examines the production, display, and circulation of gold in Senegal as it celebrates a significant gift of gold jewelry to the National Museum of African Art’s collection.

National Museum of African Art


Through Sept. 30

Rafael Soriano: Cabezas (Heads)

This exhibition features more than 20 significant artworks by Cuban-born painter Rafael Soriano (1920-2015), one of the major Latin American artists of his generation. Soriano stands apart from his peers who largely focused on formalism and gestural abstraction because he developed his own visual vocabulary informed by abstraction yet steeped in metaphysical meaning. Drawing on loans from the Rafael Soriano Foundation, this exhibit chronicles the development of Soriano’s unique biomorphic style, which culminated in a specific body of work depicting the human head. This is the first exhibit devoted to Soriano’s important series of paintings of heads, which are some of the artist’s most figurative and introspective works.

Art Museum of the Americas


Through Oct. 18

Lullaby by Georgia Saxelby

“Lullaby” explores the relationship between architecture, gender and ritual within the monumental landscape of Washington, D.C. This solo exhibition presents Australian-born, U.S.-based artist Georgia Saxelby’s recent video installation that documents a series of performances staged at five of the monuments on Washington’s National Mall. Collaborating with performers Viva Soudan and Bailey Nolan, the artist developed a series of imagined ritual gestures that repurpose the heroic forms and masculine iconography ubiquitous in the nation’s capital. In doing so, Saxelby questions the symbolic spaces in which we perform our identities and value systems today.

Gallery @ Embassy of Australia


Through Oct. 20

Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths

More than 225 works of art — including blades and currencies in myriad shapes and sizes, wood sculptures studded with iron, musical instruments and elaborate body adornments — reveal the histories of invention and technical sophistication that led African blacksmiths to transform one of Earth’s most fundamental natural resources into objects of life-changing utility, empowerment, prestige, artistry and spiritual potency.

National Museum of African Art


Through Oct. 27

Revolutionary Reflections: French Memories of the War for America

This exhibition explores how the French king’s officers understood the American Revolution and their role in the achievement of American independence, and how they remembered the war in the years that followed—years of revolutionary upheaval in France that included the execution of the king and many of their brothers-in-arms.

American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati


Through Nov. 17

Portraits of the World: Korea

Pioneering feminist artist Yun Suknam (born 1939) uses portraiture to gain insights into the lives of women, past and present. A wood assemblage portrait of her mother is the centerpiece of this exhibition, which includes portraits of American artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Louise Nevelson, Marisol, Kiki Smith and Nancy Spero.

National Portrait Gallery


Through 2019

Urban Challenges

According to the U.N., 2.5 billion people are expected to live in cities by 2050. This will force cities to find new ways to handle the increased demands on natural resources, housing and infrastructure. This exhibition presents some of the social, economic and technological solutions proposed by Sweden to absorb the impact of our rapidly growing urban environment while leaving the environmental legacy next generations deserve. Come and find out more about Guerilla Crafts, Democratic Architecture and the mixed reality Block Builder application in large-scale environments. Part of the Swedish Embassy’s 2019 thematic programming “Smart Societies – Creative & Inclusive”; for information, visit www.swedenabroad.se/en/embassies/usa-washington/current/calendar/.

House of Sweden


Through Jan. 5, 2020

By the Light of the Silvery Moon: A Century of Lunar Photographs

The year 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969. Photography played a significant role both in preparing for the mission and in shaping the cultural consciousness of the event. An exhibition of some 50 works will include a selection of photographs from the unmanned Ranger, Surveyor, and Lunar Orbiter missions that led up to Apollo 11.

National Gallery of Art


Through Jan. 5, 2020

Ginny Ruffner: Reforestation of the Imagination

Imagine an apocalyptic landscape. It appears barren, devastated and hopeless. It is not. At the Renwick Gallery, internationally renowned artist Ginny Ruffner creates a seemingly bleak environment that suddenly evolves into a thriving floral oasis by combining traditional sculpture with augmented reality (AR) technology.

Renwick Gallery


Through Jan. 5, 2020

A Monument to Shakespeare

The Folger Shakespeare Library is throwing back the curtains on its origins and exciting future in an exhibition where visitors are invited to play, lounge, be curious and see more of the Folger Shakespeare Library than ever before. Among the treats: rummage through Henry Folger’s desk and read the correspondences that brought the Folger to the nation’s capital; explore large scale reproductions of Cret’s detailed architectural drawings, newly digitized for this exhibition; and visit the first complete edition of Shakespeare’s plays published in 1623.

Folger Shakespeare Library


Through Jan. 12, 2020

Mid-Century Master: The Photography of Alfred Eisenstaedt

When he photographed her for the November 5, 1965 issue of Life magazine, Alfred Eisenstaedt cemented Marjorie Merriweather Post’s place among the most notable people of the 20th century. Featuring nearly fifty Eisenstaedt photographs and ephemera from his career in photojournalism, focusing on his timeless images of life in the mid-20th-century and the era’s most celebrated figures, this special exhibition will explore the relationship between Post and Eisenstaedt and the broader body of Eisenstaedt’s work documenting life in the mid-twentieth century.

Hillwood Museum, Estate & Gardens


Through Spring 2020

Animals, Collected

The National Building Museum is home to 320,000 objects related to the built environment. Many of these artifacts in the permanent collection have never been displayed. “Animals, Collected” is a chance to explore some of the museum’s most unusual treasures — through the lens of the animal kingdom.

National Building Museum


Through July 5, 2020

I Am… Contemporary Women Artists of Africa

Taking its name from a 1970’s feminist anthem, “I Am… Contemporary Women Artists of Africa” draws upon a selection of artworks by women artists from the National Museum of African Art’s permanent collection to reveal a more contemporary feminism that recognizes the contributions of women to the most pressing issues of their times. With experimental and sophisticated use of diverse media, the 27 featured artists offer insightful and visually stunning approaches to matters of community, faith, the environment, politics, colonial encounters, racism, identity and more.

National Museum of African Art



Thu., Aug. 1, 6:45 p.m.

Travels with Darley: Inside Hong Kong and Macao

As melting pots of cuisine and culture, Hong Kong and Macao are two of the most exciting destinations on the planet, and they’re separated by only an hour’s ferry ride. Discover the myriad of attractions these Asian locales hold as you get insider’s tips from television host, writer, and producer Darley Newman. Tickets are $45, including light reception. For information, visit smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center


Thu., Aug. 15, 6:45 p.m.

Tiki Time! Exotic Cocktails and the Cult of the Tiki Bar

Discover the inventive and imaginative story of Polynesian Pop. The fantastical history of the tiki bar was shaped by (and inspired) a movement that included art, music, architecture, and more in mid-century America. Martin and Rebecca Cate, founders and owners of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, lead a colorful journey into the lore and legend of tiki: its birth as an escapist fantasy for Depression-era Americans; how exotic cocktails were invented, stolen, and re-invented; Hollywood starlets and scandals; and tiki’s modern-day revival. Tickets are $65, including tastings. For information, visit smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center


Wed., Aug. 21, 6:45 p.m.

Overtourism: How to Avoid It

From Machu Picchu to Prague to Reykjavik, popular destinations everywhere are being overrun by hordes of tourists, turning a trip into a nightmare for many. But the problem isn’t just an inconvenience for the traveler. There are real and severe implications for the destination in terms of safety, sustainability, economics, and protection of environmental and cultural resources. Join Washington Post travel writer Andrea Sachs, Martha Honey of the Center for Responsible Travel and Kate Simpson of Academic Travel Abroad, as they discuss destinations to avoid, places to visit instead, and how to become a more responsible traveler today. Tickets are $45. For information, visit smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center



Aug. 2 to 4

2019 Asian American Literature Festival

The Asian American Literature Festival s a new model of literary programming: literature meets the museum. It is a convening, engine and incubator. It is a community-generated cooperative space with dynamic, interactive programming for sharing and growing Asian American literature.

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center


Through Sept. 27

Fair Water: A Right of All

Inspired by the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Embassy of Spain — in collaboration with the Mexican Cultural Institute, the Water and Sanitation Cooperation Fund from the Spanish Cooperation, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade and other institutions — presents a series of events dedicated to the right to safe drinking water and sanitation in the fields of diplomacy, human rights, sustainable development, and arts and culture. The events will include panels regarding efforts by key partners striving to make the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation a reality for all, bringing together their different experiences in a variety of fields. The program will also focus on the relationship between art, the right to water and sustainability issues featuring public installation art, film screenings, video art projections and art workshops. As part of the program, on the joint front lawn of the Spanish and Mexican cultural institutes on 16th Street, NW, Spain-based art collective Luzinterruptus will display “La Cascada,” a 13-foot high and 30-foot long art installation made with almost a thousand recycled plastic buckets. For information, visit www.spainculture.us/city/washington-dc/fair-water-a-right-of-all/.

Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain



Fri., Aug. 9, 8 p.m.

Chopteeth Afrofund Big Band

This 13-piece Afrofunk orchestra explores the common groove between the funkiest, most hip-shakin’ West African beats and American popular music. At the core of Chopteeth’s sound is Afrobeat — a big-band funk invented by Fela Kuti in 1970s Nigeria that’s a spicy stew of modern jazz, Yoruba tribal music and burning, James Brown-inspired rhythms. Tickets are $22 to $29.

AMP by Strathmore


Tue., Aug. 13, 7:30 p.m.

Lila Downs in Concert

Lila Downs is one of Latin America’s most influential artists who is known for her charismatic performances. Her upbringing was split between Minnesota and Oaxaca, Mexico, a multicultural background that influences her musical compositions, which combine genres and rhythms ranging from Mexican rancheras, corridos and boleros to jazz standards, hip-hop, cumbia and popular American music. Her lyrics frequently focus on justice, immigration, and issues affecting women. Please call for ticket information.

The Birchmere Music Hall


Wed., Aug. 14, 8 p.m.

Shanghai Symphony Orchestra

Over the past several centuries, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra has emerged as a cultural leader whose musical impact can be felt across Asia and the rest of the world. Celebrate the orchestra’s 140th anniversary by attending this rare U.S. performance. Tickets start at $25.

Wolf Trap


Aug. 16 to 21

Native American Inspirations: From Spillville to Pine Ridge

Around 1900, the “Indianists” movement attempted to fashion an American concert idiom inspired by Native American music and lore. Although forgotten today, it produced the closest thing to an American Bartok: the astonishing Arthur Farwell, who lived with Native Americans and reported out-of-body experiences. In recent decades, gifted Native American composers have begun to write for the concert hall — preeminently, Jerod Impichchaachaaha Tate. Explore it all, with guest performers from South Dakota’s visionary Lakota Music Project, via PostClassical Ensemble’s “Native American Inspirations.” Please visit postclassical.com for ticket information.

Washington National Cathedral


Wed., Aug. 28, 8 p.m.

Mames Babegenush

Klezmer, traditional eastern European Jewish music, is in turn buoyant, poignant, and able to convey feelings of joy and sorrow with equal conviction. Mames Babegenush harness this rich palette of emotion and merge it with their Scandinavian roots, artistry, and imagination, to present a vibrant interpretation of the genre. Tickets are $26 to $46.

AMP by Strathmore



Aug. 3 to 25

Legally Blonde

Elle Woods is a Southern Californian co-ed cutie who is accustomed to getting what she wants. When her boyfriend, Warner, calls it off because she is not serious about her future, Elle turns her attention from fashion to the books and enrolls in Harvard Law School. Along the way, Elle discovers her true potential and proves that kindness and compassion are always in style. Please call for ticket information.

The Kreeger Theatre


Through Aug. 4

The Band’s Visit

In this joyously offbeat story, set in a town that’s way off the beaten path, a band of musicians arrive lost, out of the blue. Under the spell of the desert sky, and with beautiful music perfuming the air, the band brings the town to life in unexpected and tantalizing ways. Tickets are $45 to $149.

Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater


Through Aug. 4


While the world waits for the launch of Apollo 11 in 1969, three children of key NASA employees watch from different perspectives. By dreaming a collective dream of landing on the moon together, the kids learn to understand the historic mission — not fear it. Tickets are $20.

Kennedy Center Terrace Gallery


Aug. 6 to Sept. 8

Dear Evan Hansen

A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in. “Dear Evan Hansen” is the deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it. Tickets are $79 to $175.

Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater


Fri., Aug. 9, 8:15 p.m.

Rossini’s The Barber of Seville

A wily barber aids the captivating Count Almaviva in wooing the vivacious Rosina right from under her cantankerous guardian’s nose. Uproariously funny, “The Barber of Seville” brims with sensational music, high-flying vocal fireworks, and some of opera’s most famous arias as its story twists and turns in the quest for love. Tickets start at $25.

Wolf Trap


Aug. 9 to 31

The War Boys

First produced in London in 1993, “The War Boys” is more relevant than ever. Set on the Texas/Mexico border, David, George and Greg, three childhood friends-turned-vigilante border patrol, spend their nights antagonizing both themselves and those they catch trying to cross the border. But these youths soon learn that even the most guarded borders are permeable in this production by Ally Theatre Company. Tickets are $25.

Joe’s Movement Emporium


Through Aug. 11


This intimate, hilarious one-woman show — produced by Emmy Award-winning actress Holland Taylor and starring Jayne Atkinson — is based on the colorful and complex life of former Texas Gov. Ann Richards. Tickets are $41 to $95.

Arena Stage


Aug. 11 to Sept. 29


From John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald, nine would-be and successful presidential assassins inspire each other to pull the trigger and change their worlds in a perverse, wry and thrillingly entertaining vaudeville. Please call for ticket information.

Signature Theatre


Through Aug. 18

Treasure Island

This classic coming-of-age tale follows Jane Hawkins, an orphan who longs for adventure, as she is swept up on a wild hunt for buried treasure with a ruthless band of buccaneers. Along the way, Jane’s bravery, morality and sense of self are put to the test as she learns about her past and the path she wants to follow. Tickets start at $35.

Synetic Theater


Through Sept. 7

Disney’s Aladdin

From the producer of “The Lion King” comes the timeless story of “Aladdin” in a thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle. Tickets are $39 to $179.

Kennedy Center Opera House