From Paris to New York to the Wild West, young explorers at the Corcoran’s Family Day had a journey around the world with art, music and performance as their wandering guide. Along the way, our Great Escapes Photobooths were poised and ready to snap those mandatory travel log photos. Here’s a group of some favorites, but there are many more (and larger sizes) available in our Flickr gallery.
It’s been a long winter in D.C., but this weekend the Corcoran can take you on an art adventure to exotic and faraway places during the Corcoran’s Family Day: The Great Escape! On Saturday, March 8th, the Corcoran will open its doors to welcome families with children of all ages looking to travel to Paris, New York, and the Wild West all without leaving the city!
This FREE celebration for the entire family will be full of fun and includes live performances, in-gallery activities, face painting, hands on art workshops, and more. Guests will also have a chance to check out American Journeys — Visions of Place, a re-installation of the Corcoran’s renowned pre-1945 American art collection and the inspiration for the day’s activities. Featuring special performances of My Grandfather’s Circus by Zany Umbrella Circus, this celebration will highlight some of D.C. area’s best dance, art, and music:
Create your own travel souvenirs by participating in drop-in art workshops throughout day. In Paris, prepare for a Masquerade Ball by creating and decorating a unique and mysterious mask in the Masquerade Mask Making workshop. In New York, build your own Terrific Tinker Toys out of marshmallow and straw,
and play with them just like kids did in New York in the 1900′s. And in the Wild West, catch some sweet dreams after making your very own Dream Catchers.
Travel across time and space while learning about history and art as you follow a Kid’s Gallery Tour through the Corcoran’s colorful collection. While on your adventure, stop by the Fun & Fanciful Face Painting station where you can get a New York “big apple”, cowboy hat, cactus, Eiffel Tower, or many other images that will reflect the kind of journey you want to take. Then, take a break from the activities and go to the Book Nook, where you can relax, read a book, or even catch a story or two about art during Story Time. Finally, capture the best moments from all your travels at the Family Photo Booth.
See a circus show based on everyday objects coming to life and find excitement in unexpected places. Zany Umbrella Circus’s very own Ben Sota will dazzle you with acts inspired by his grandfather and create a circus out of an unlikely situation in My Grandfather’s Circus. Then visit the Zany Umbrella Circus Workshop where you can learn some tricks from the circus trade yourself. Finally, watch a Parisian Masquerade Salon come to life! With the help of McLean High School’s Historical Reenactment Society you will travel back in time to visit a real salon with music, dancing, and much more!
Step out of the museum and into a new world! To help set the tone of your adventurous day, Maret School’s melodious group, Alpha Males, will be stationed at the museum entrance to greet visitors with their Amazing A Capella tunes. Cowboy Mike and Cowboy Bob will also be outside wrangling it up, with Cowboy Lessons and campfire stories wild enough to make any little boy or girl imagine themselves as a cowboy or cowgirl for a day.
Doors open at 10 a.m. and no registration is required. All activities are FREE! More information here.
- Venetian masquerade mask, by Andrew Girdwood on Flickr
- Dream Catcher, by Hans Splinter on Flickr
- Proud Cowboy, by Jamie McCaffrey on Flickr
In true Hollywood style, our #Uncorked photo booth captured both the glamour and theatrical drama— ahem, bird attacks— of the night. We might have even discovered a number of made-to-be movie stars just waiting for their big break! As Alfred Hitchcock says, “Drama is life with the dull parts left out.” So don’t be dull, and enjoy! Read more →
INTERVIEW WITH DR. MARIBEL O. GRAY, ADJUNCT INSTRUCTOR OF DIGITAL MEDIA AND BFA GRAPHIC DESIGN CLASS OF 2013
For a select group of Corcoran College of Art + Design undergraduate students, Design Lab offers the unique opportunity to experience real world applications of learned skills. Throughout this year long course, students design and oversee the production of the NEXT at the Corcoran exhibition identity and collateral for the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art and Design. Read more →
It’s officially a snow day here in D.C. and for the Corcoran Gallery and College of Art + Design. Need a few ideas on how to stay busy? We’ve got them!
Work on your grad application. If you’re considering a creative career, there’s no better way to get started than a graduate degree from the Corcoran. Degree programs and application information is available online, making today a perfect day to cozy up and get started.
Dream about summer. We know the winter cold is getting tiring at this point, and many of us are already fantasizing about warmer weather. ARTINI Sponsoring Partner Celebrity Cruises has dozens of tropical getting aways that will keep you thinking warm thoughts, even through the cold temps.
Indulge in some liquid warmth. Make your own “wintery mix” with any one of this year’s featured ARTINI cocktails. Recipes, videos, and photos of the creative concoctions are available on the website of ARTINI media sponsor, Washingtonian.
Snap a photo! The beautiful snow + our beautiful city = the perfect photo op. Snap your idea of a “gallery-worthy” photo and tag @CorcoranDC to show off your creative skills!
Catch up on some reading. Question Bridge: Black Males was recently featured on The Root, in a piece “Exploring the Double Consciousness of African-American Males.” Have a read, then visit the exhibition web site this weekend before it closes on Sunday, February 16th.
Most of all, stay safe, stay warm, and enjoy!
- Snow Ugly by Nomadic Lass.
- Caribbean destination by Celebrity Cruise
- ARTINI drinks by Daniel Swartz
- Question Bridge at the Brooklyn Museum in 2012 by Yosra El-Essawy
Artists reflect the world they see and feel with results that are often wonderfully synthesized for patrons and galleries. But what happens when artists become catalysts for change—when they’re the ones who take actions that require reflection? In preparation for “Artists on the Line: A Conversation on Art, Activism, and the Keystone XL Pipeline” (happening TONIGHT, Thursday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m.), our guest moderator Michael McCarthy, editor-in-chief of DC Modern Luxury magazine, asked artists Franke James and David Dufresne to share their experiences in the brave new world of artistic activism.
McCarthy: Franke, why is art–whether it’s fine art, film, literature or music–a lightning rod for change? What is it about creativity that makes it the best catalyst for changing minds?
James: Art can help you to see—and feel—the world differently. It can be a great catalyst for change because it speaks directly to the heart, the mind, and the gut—it can make people feel deeply about a cause and move them to action.
The big change happened for me when I decided to tell visual stories about actions I was taking in my own life—like “doing the hardest thing first” by selling our only car, an SUV. All of a sudden, people could relate to the concern I was feeling about the planet! And they could see it was genuine because I took action and actually did the hardest thing first.
McCarthy: How can the artistic community and an army of “anybodies” provoke change?
James: Artists can be the change-leaders shaping society. But we need to speak up! Too many people are complacent in the face of social injustices. But complacency is complicity. Use your voice — fearlessly. Exercise your right to free expression and you will stand out. Believe me.
I think the democratization of the internet gives politically-minded artists tremendous power. We can create art that changes people’s minds—which is why we see some governments censoring our art. Artists can really throw a wrench in the system by speaking the truth that nobody else wants to admit.
The transformative power of art is amazing—especially when you consider that all of us (in modern society) are bombarded by the noise and clutter of mass media. Even so, art can break through—if it’s authentic. Art can cut to the heart of what really matters in life. We can have FUN saying what others are afraid to say.
McCarthy: What do you hope audience members will walk away with Thursday night?
James: Art is fun. Art is powerful. Art is politics. Anybody can be an artist.
Art isn’t about drawing a straight line or a pretty picture. It’s about communicating straight from your heart and brain about what matters to you as a human being.
McCarthy: David, your game-within-a-film concept provokes reaction as all great art does. What has been the reaction so far?
Dufresne: Fort McMoney has received a lot of positive feedback from the players themselves and we have been (happily) surprised by the numbers of players— 309,000 players for the first round! We never imagined so many people would participate. To be honest, some people didn’t understand what the goal was at first. In terms of reaction from the oil industry, it was like a blackout.
McCarthy: Why did you decide to create a “game” instead of a traditional documentary?
Dufresne: It is time to create new ways of telling stories. The web gives us a lot of tools to create and innovate. And the game is a very good learning tool. The entire project was driven from the start by the idea of combining documentary film and video games, auteur perspective, and spectator freedom. Several factors pushed us in that direction: the desire to innovate, explore new forms of narration and involve the public.
The world’s future is being shaped by energy issues, and we saw gaming as a lever for raising awareness. I’m totally convinced that the web can regenerate the documentary genre. As for video-game writing, what has contributed to narration more than gaming in the past 20 years?
McCarthy: Do you think the interactive nature of the piece will compel more viewers/players to take action since they’re “invested” in the decision-making process…rather than the passive nature of watching a documentary?
Dufresne: Absolutely, that’s the idea. For the moment, fewer people have seen the project than if it were a traditional documentary, but those who have played are much more involved. A lot of people told us they came first for the format, then stayed for the subject.
McCarthy: What do you hope audience members will walk away with Thursday night?
Dufresne: I hope that people will leave with the energy to try new ways of expressing their activism, I hope they will see that there are many new possibilities through the web.
‘Artists on the Line: A Conversation on Art, Activism, and the Keystone XL Pipeline‘ will be held on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 at 7pm; members $8 , public $10, tickets available here. Viewing of NOW at the Corcoran exhibition, Mia Feuer: An Unkindness, follows the program
By: Joe Orzal, AV Manager
“It is not our role to speak to the people about our own view of the world, nor to attempt to impose that view on them, but rather to dialogue with the people about their view and ours. We must realize that their view of the world, manifested variously in their action, reflects their situation in the world.” -Paolo Freire
Free of mediation or narration, Question Bridge: Black Males uses true dialogical practice as an educational medium that allows both the viewer and the participants to engage their curiosity and experience. As an employee and a DC native, I’m proud that the Corcoran chose to install this exhibition and push for community gatherings as a reflection of its spirit. True to the nature of Question Bridge, the Blueprint Roundtable Discussion held at THEARC consisted of an honest, straightforward dialogue absent of media mediated euphemisms commonly used to define the Black experience. The end result was an enlightening discussion of the life-affirming humanization that is so often needed in an era of colorblind idealization, especially in a city wrapped in complex racial and economic tension.
Question Bridge is on view at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and THEARC until until February 16, 2014. To join the discussion, come join the Corcoran College’s SPECTRUM student group for a panel discussion this Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 7 p.m. (RSVP here).
On Thursday, February 6, the Corcoran will host artists, activists, filmmakers, and journalists as they reflect on the social, environmental, and political relevance of Mia Feuer’s exhibition, An Unkindness. Through a discussion of the Keystone XL Pipeline, the panel—moderated by Michael McCarthy, Editor-in-Chief of DC Modern Luxury Magazine—will explore the role that art plays in deconstructing complex social issues. It’s a night that could not be more relevant, and we hope you’ll join us. In order to get the most out of the experience, we have a few tips before you do:
PLAY Fort McMoney.
This documentary-game, created by celebrated filmmaker David Dufresne, places users at Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada and the Athabasca oil sands development. Through interactive game elements, users decide on the fate of the city over the span of four weeks. During that time, they explore the social, political, economic, and cultural history of Fort McMuray. Users also have the chance to walk around Alberta and meets its residents and learn from them. Each week of play, users will be presented with new challenges and will have to call upon the knowledge they have gained to guide the city’s future. Play now!
In 2013, President Obama said that he was “willing to work with anybody” to combat the threat of climate change. Franke James –author and activist—considers herself to be that “anybody” and is using multiple outlets to get her message across. Join her in emailing President Obama with advice on how to combat climate change, and add your name to the list of “anybodies.”
SKATE on black ice.
This ice rink, part of the NOW at the Corcoran exhibition, Mia Feuer: An Unkindness, is truly unlike any other. For the past several years, Feuer has traveled around the world to places where oil is extracted for the earth and created work that responds to the social and environmental effects of that process. The result is a series of immersive installations that are at once topical and deeply personal, including a synthetic black skating rink open to the public in the museum’s Rotunda.
JOURNEY down the line.
Travel along the entire length of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline with Steve Mufson through his TED Book Keystone XL: Down the Line. As an energy reporter for The Washington Post, Mufson has written extensive on the proposed pipeline and the narrative surrounding it. With his book, Mufson explores these topics further based on his experience on the ground in the towns and amongst the people who would live with this pipeline should it come to be. The resulting story is far more complex than that which is portrayed in the media.
‘Artists on the Line: A Conversation about Art, Activism, and the Keystone XL Pipeline’ will be held on Thursday, February 6 at 7 p.m.; Members $8, Public $10. Purchase your tickets now: https://getinvolved.corcoran.org/artists-on-the-line.
- ‘Snow White Neighborhood – Fort McMurray’, Prasan Naik.
At the inaugural Outside the Frame—a new programming series featuring three experts talking on some aspect of one work of art from the Corcoran’s collection—the focus will be on Albert Bierstadt’s masterpiece, The Last of the Buffalo. Fittingly, one of the featured speakers will be author Stefan Bechtel, whose book Mr. Hornaday’s War: How a Peculiar Victorian Zookeeper Waged a Lonely Crusade for Wildlife that Changed the World, offers an in-depth look at the early conservation efforts around the American bison population. Read more →
By Ellen Kassoff Gray
After a long day at Equinox Restaurant, there is nothing like coming home to our two incredibly handsome german shepherds. These two dogs have been part of our family for nine years, and are so dear to us, we consider them our second and third sons. They are a great inspiration for my annual fundraiser, Sugar and Champagne, benefiting the Washington Humane Society. Now in its thirteenth year, the Washington Humane Society’s annual dessert and champagne reception honors our local crusaders against animal cruelty: Washington Humane Society’s Humane Law Enforcement Officers, Animal Care & Control Officers, and Humane Educators (a special toast to all the 2014 WHS Field Service Award Recipients); raises thousands of critical dollars each year necessary to combat animal cruelty; and educates school-age children in the DC community. Sugar and Champagne is the first and only event to grant exclusive access to DC’s lucky dogs so that they can join their human companions inside the Ronald Reagan Building. With over 50 chefs and 20 wineries participating this year, it will be bigger and better than ever! For more information and tickets, please follow this link!
And to recognize all the special paws out there, I recommend you spoil them with these tasty treats!
(Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour)
2 cups white whole wheat flour or premium whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats, regular or quick
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup peanut butter, crunchy or plain
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon cold water, enough to make a cohesive dough
- Preheat the oven to 300°F. Lightly grease a couple of baking sheets, or line them with parchment.
- Mix together the flour, oats, parsley, dried milk, and salt.
- Add the eggs and peanut butter, stirring to combine; the mixture will be crumbly.
- Add enough water to bring the dough together; depending on the season, you may need to add a bit more (winter), or a bit less (summer).
- To make biscuits using a dog-bone cutter, roll the dough about 1/4″ thick, and cut with a 3 1/2″ cutter (or the size of your choice). Gather and re-roll the scraps, and continue to cut biscuits until you’ve used all the dough.
- To make dog “cookies,” drop the dough in walnut-sized balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Flatten them to about 1/4″.
- Bake the biscuits for about 40 to 60 minutes, baking the smaller cookies for a shorter amount of time. When finished, the biscuits will be dark golden brown, and will be dry and crisp all the way through.
- Remove the biscuits from the oven, and cool right on the pans.
Yield: about 42 larger (3 1/2″ dog-bone) biscuits, 60 smaller (round) biscuits.