Arts & Entertainment

Northern Virginia Art Beat

Explore the diversity of art expositions across NoVA:

Full-blown Vogue

Neo Indie Arts Festival, at the Jefferson Community Center (3501 S. 2nd St., Arlington) on July 26, between 6 – 11 p.m.

You can find a little bit of everything here: a battle of the bands, ongoing performances, art exhibit, ‘zine making workshop, film showing, fashion show, secondhand and vintage clothes sale, with an arts and crafts marketplace. Admission is free.

Progressive Satire

Roy Zimmerman’s “Funny Songs About Ignorance, War and Greed,” Lubber Run Amphitheatre (N. 2nd & N. Columbus St.). July 26 at 8 p.m.

What’s funny about war, poverty, ignorance, bigotry, neoconservatism, homophobia, greed, lust and fear? Ask Roy Zimmerman: he has written satirical songs for 20 years. “I congratulate Roy on reintroducing literacy to comedy songs,” said Tom Lehrer. “And the rhymes actually rhyme!” Joni Mitchell added to the praise: “Roy’s lyrics move beyond poetry and achieve perfection!” Join Zimmerman for a free evening of hilarity, no matter what your politics.

Anybody the legendary Tom Lehrer comes out of hiding to endorse has to be worth a listen. (Have I mentioned it’s free?)

Call 703-228-1850.

821artbeat.jpgHylo Gan Cwmbran*

*”Hello from Cwmbran.”

Art Exchange: Cwmbran =Arlington, at the Lee Arts Center (5722 Lee Highway, Arlington). Runs through July 31. Gallery hours: Mon. – Fri. 9:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sat. 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

No, our typesetter hasn’t gone haywire, leaving out vowels; Cwmbran is in Wales. Like most Welsh words, I wouldn’t hazard to guess how it’s pronounced ( suggests “koom-brahn”).

In any event, Cwmbran is the hometown of the Llantarnam Grange Arts Center in Wales. If memory serves me well, Novi Trump, the director of Lee Arts Center and an accomplished ceramicist in her own right, recently completed a multi-week working trip there. The fruits of her labors exhibited amongst the fabulous ceramics display on the 10th floor at this year’s Art-omatic.

After exchanging artists in residence, now we have an exchange of art. The works of eight Welsh ceramics artists, curated by Llantarnam Grange Arts Center, are on display at the Lee Arts Center. The mini-gallery here is indeed small; in fact, it is a hallway doubling as a gallery space. Keeping in mind that virtually all of the space is devoted to the Center’s excellent pottery and print-making studios, small spaces never seem to be a problem. The shows are invariably tight, though high quality displays.

The Welsh works on view are varied, as one might expect in an exchange like this one. There are the obligatory pitchers, cups, and vessels, then there are the works of Wendy Lawrence, who creates highly textured forms that seem a combination of pumice and mineral deposits, as if they came from some volcanic hot springs.

My favorites were the two white porcelain works by Sam Bakewell. Seemingly classical marble sculptures, they are actual body casts of hands and feet.

The feet are nice, though quizzical with its curled toes. The hands, however, are the most captivating; we find a pair of hands and forearms emerging from the wall, and reaching out towards us. In this contextual vacuum, we can’t quite determine if the hands are deformed, misshapen by malady or engaged in work or communication; they seem to speak and act at the same time.

On a more basic level, they capture what it means to be human and alive. Those miraculous opposable thumbs and fine motor skills embody definitive markers of who we are and how we got here. Whatever Bakewell’s intention, it’s hard not to feel more alive and more aware of your humanity.

Call 703-228-0560 or see

On a Different Note

Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy St., Arlington).

Additional ceramics are on view through July 31 during normal library hours. See Brenda Townsend’s ceramic raku boxes, hand-built and fired using the artist’s own glaze recipes.

This is a free event. Call 703-228-5990.

Bare Humanity

“As We Are: the Enduring Nude,” at Del Ray Artisans (2704 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria).

Here we have a run of figurative shows, closing this Saturday, July 26. Gallery hours are Thurs. noon – 4 p.m.; Fri. noon to 9 p.m.; and Sat. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The closing party and live auction runs this Saturday evening from 7 – 10 p.m.

Call 703-838-4827 or see


“A Celebration of the Figure VI” at MOCA DC (1054 31st St. NW, D.C.; in the Canal Square courtyard at 31st and M St. in Georgetown.). Runs through August 2. Gallery hours are Wed. – Sat., 1 – 6 p.m.

This annual show can get a bit wild, in a controlled, good-natured way. The past few years have featured some sort of body painting sideshow attraction. This year being no exception, the final round of the body painting contest will determine the overall winner at the closing party Friday, August 1, from 6 – 9 p.m.

Free event. Call 202-342-6230, or see

Note: MOCA DC offers figure drawing sessions every Wednesday night from 7 to 10 p.m. One three-hour pose, so it’s great for painters as well. Artists: $12 fee; seniors: $10; art students: $5.

Artist Opportunities

McLean Project for the Arts on the second floor of the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean, Va.). Closes on July 26. Gallery hours are: Tues. – Fri. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sat. 1 – 5 p.m.

McLean Project for the Arts has its annual ramp show for artists in their figure drawing sessions and Corcoran students. Call 703-790-1953 or see

Note: Summer figure drawings sessions are every Tuesday night, 7 – 9:30 p.m. The fee is $7 per session and 20-minute poses in the round are the rule here.