As summer does the slow fade, the trees begin to turn and autumn makes its grand entrance. The DC Area’s summer activations are too packing it up and now preparing for the seasonal shift. So. Much. To. See. And. Do:
Artechouse: Aṣẹ: Afro Frequencies
ARTECHOUSE kicks off the celebration of its 5th anniversary with the debut of a groundbreaking cultural exhibition, Aṣẹ: Afro Frequencies, in the nation’s capital. Created by ARTECHOUSE Studio featuring designs by Vince Fraser, a London-based Afro-surrealist visual artist, the sensory-filled, immersive exhibition takes visitors on a journey that celebrates historical and social aspects of the African diaspora and Black culture through the artist’s lens. Open to all ages, Aṣẹ: Afro Frequencies will be on display through fall 2022. The main audiovisual installation in the Immersion Gallery, Visions of the Black Experience, employs 18-channel, 270° floor-to-wall surround projection array, and a 22.5-channel hyperreal spatialized audio system to shed light on the cultural and diasporic triumphs and social justice issues facing the Black community. The word itself Aṣẹ (ah-shay), a philosophical belief held by the Yoruba people of West Africa, is drawn on to invoke power to produce change. Multi-sensory installations throughout the art space depict the journeys of African kings and queens reimagined in a new digital context. Furthermore, visitors can virtually “try on” African masks, which are assembled around the viewer’s computerized reflection like an Instagram filter. Aṣẹ’s visuals are echoed by pulsating rhythmic drums and stirring spoken words from Philadelphia-based poet and musician Ursula Rucker. A Leeway Foundation’s Transformation Award winner, Rucker’s words intricately narrate the exhibition, connecting the dots of Fraser’s imagery and speak to similar themes of empowerment, ancestry, and social justice. ARTECHOUSE DC is open 10:00 am-10:00 pm daily at 1238 Maryland Avenue SW. ARTECHOUSE DC’s XR Bar is open Monday–Thursday 4:00 pm-close and Friday–Sunday 11:00 am-close. Tickets are $17-25 with special pricing for families Monday–Friday. To purchase tickets online, visit: artechouse.com/location/dc.
Vessels Exhibit at the Conrad
The Conrad DC has launched its second art installation as part of a quarterly exhibition series in partnership with Latela Curatorial, a women-owned and operated art advisory studio based in Washington, DC. In an effort to uplift local artists, this new program continues with its second installation, “Five Directions: Vessels” by Washington DC-based artist & muralist Julia Chon, better known by her artist name Kimchi Juice, which is now on view in the lobby at Conrad Washington, DC through January 13, 2023. The exhibition features five kimchi pots inspired by the principles of Korean feng shui: pungsu-jiri, which is a practice that employs the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water) in an effort to find harmony within the natural world. The installation of Vessels also coincides with an initiative led by Chef Ria Montes, Chef de Cuisine at Estuary, the Conrad’s signature restaurant. The program aims to elevate women in the DC culinary industry through a bi-monthly dinner series called “Miss-en-Place.” Similar to Kimchi Juice, Chef Ria draws inspiration from her Asian background and infuses it into her craft. The next Miss-en-Place dinner will take place on October 20 and again in December. 950 New York Avenue NW.
Mexican Geniuses: A Frida and Diego Immersive Experience
Theis immersive exhibition, which first came to life in London earlier this year, is dedicated to the legacy of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and will showcase the passion, beauty, and emotional relationship that left a profound impact on the art world and beyond. With over 300 projections of bold and vibrant colors, this highly innovative digital experience immerses Washingtonians in the work of two of the most prolific artists of the 20th Century. Curated by a diverse and multi-disciplinary team of art historians and specialists, creative writers, stage designers, and multimedia producers, the life and art of Frida and Diego is explored and embraced in a unique exhibition of light, color, and sound. The iconic artwork of Frida and Diego will come to life with the latest video-mapping technology in a strategic layout that is designed with an all-digital, hands-free experience in mind. The immersive exhibition is structured in four galleries that tour through Frida and Diego’s individual and shared spaces, with the projection of paintings, photographs and animations, in a multisensory experience that will be captivating to audiences of all ages. Tickets are on sale now through Fever’s website, with adult tickets available for $36 and children for $19.90, children under 2 are free. This experience has been co-produced by Brain Hunter who have brought Mexican art and culture to the world in all its forms and expressions, and Fever, who have revolutionized the world of entertainment through immersive experiences. 1235 W Street NE. feverup.com/m/105148
Conservatory at MGM National Harbor
MGM National Harbor celebrates autumn with the debut of an immersive Conservatory, a 234-pound chocolate display at Bellagio Patisserie, and new seasonal dishes at its marquee restaurants including Osteria Costa, Diablo’s Cantina and TAP Sports Bar. MGM National Harbor’s latest Conservatory display highlights the beauty of the season leading guests on an enchanting journey with vibrant florals, illuminating dragonflies and whimsical fairies. The Conservatory immerses guests in the colors of fall built around a stunning 18-foot-tall cornucopia, a 24-foot crescent-moon, a birch bridge and multiple water features. Guests can walk underneath oversized monarch butterflies, dragonflies and fall leaves suspended overhead. The presentation is complimentary to all guests and will be on display at MGM National Harbor through November 13. For more information, visit mgmnationalharbor.com
Beyond King Tut: The Immersive Experience at National Geographic
Commemorating the discovery of King Tut’s tomb 100 years ago, take the opportunity to enter the tomb at the National Geographic Museum. Experience cinematic projections of King Tut’s treasures, meet the gods of the underworld, and learn more about the Explorers who continue to study the mysteries of the Boy King’s life. Descend into Tut’s tomb and enter a 280-degree projection room where you will come face-to-face with a replica of King Tut's golden burial shrine. You’ll discover more about Egyptian mummification and follow Tutankhamun's journey through the afterlife. End your trip with a photo opportunity featuring the iconic National Geographic golden border. 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 1145 17th Street NW; nationalgeographic.org/tickets
INTERSECTIONS at The National Building Museum
The National Building Museum will bring leading Black voices in design, art, and architecture to the Museum for INTERSECTIONS: Where Diversity, Equity and Design Meet, dynamic discussions about culture, equity and representation in the built world through the lens of design. The programming is a part of the Museum’s ongoing signature series, Equity in the Built Environment, which focuses on the relationship between equity, social justice and our built environment. Running through December 14, INTERSECTIONS includes a robust program series of nationally recognized Black architects, designers and artists. They will engage program participants in conversations centered on actions to promote social justice in the built environment. The season will also include three workshops and a roundtable discussion.The schedule for the fall INTERSECTIONS series is as follows:
Thursday, November 10, 6-10 PM (in-person): Germane Barnes…at the Intersection of Storytelling, Architecture and Cultural Narrative Germane Barnes, Principal and Founder, Studio Barnes, is a multi-disciplinary designer who uses film, exhibitions, large scale installations and furniture to investigate the connection between architecture and identity. The evening includes a screening of his award-winning short film You Can Always Come Home and includes live music, drinks and light bites. $20 Museum Member | $15 Student | $35 Non-member; Register here.
Wednesday, December 14, 6-8 PM (in-person): Cory Henry…at the Intersection of Design, Development and Community Cory Henry, Principal and Founder of Atelier Cory Henry closes out the INTERSECTIONS series with the question of whether design should reflect culture, history and community concerns. Henry challenges traditional partnership dynamics and reframes perceptions about who design truly serves. $10 Museum Member | Free Student | $20 Non-member; Register here.
Saturday, November 19, 2-5 PM (in-person): BlackSpace…at the Intersection of Diversity, Agency and Design The final workshop will help participants reconceptualize the design of an existing interior space using principles of inclusive and culturally affirming design. A reception will follow, providing additional opportunity to network with BlackSpace Collective facilitators. No design experience needed! Open to all professionals, students, and the design curious. $35 Museum Member | $20 Student | $50 Non-member; Register here.
INTERSECTIONS Roundtable Discussion
Tuesday, November 29, 6:30-8 PM (in-person): Large Firm Roundtable…at the Intersection of Equity, Advocacy and Industry In 2020, the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) task force of the American Institute of Architect’s (AIA) Large Firm Roundtable (LFRT) began their work on the responsibility of architectural leaders in increasing diversity and fostering equity within their field. The LFRT, representing 70 of AIA’s largest firms, will discuss their work at this roundtable. A reception to follow the discussion. $10 Museum Member | Free Student | $20 Non-member; Register here
The Office Experience
This summer, fans of The Office will be transported to the world of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company with The Office Experience. Celebrate your favorite moments and characters from the widely acclaimed television series in the largest-ever official interactive fan experience based on The Office, created by Superfly X and Universal Live Entertainment in consultation with The Office’s U.S. creator Greg Daniels. This interactive two-story experience features 17 areas filled with original props and costumes, set re-creations and more, allowing fans to visit Scranton Business Park and other sites associated with the beloved series. Guests will be able to set foot inside the Dunder Mifflin office including Pam’s desk, Michael’s office and Ryan’s closet, as well as relive iconic moments such as Kevin’s Chili Spill and Beach Day. The Office Experience includes an on-site themed retail store replicating the Warehouse, featuring exclusive products for sale and open to ticketed and non-ticketed guests. Open through January 16, 2023. Timed entry tickets start at $35.50 plus taxes and fees. 1020 G Street NW. www.TheOfficeExperience.com