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James Huckenpahler is one of D.C.’s most innovative artists—and also one of its best librarians. For years he has been mining the photographic and sculptural potential of 3-D image modeling; several of his shows at Hemphill Fine Arts have started with a digital photo of an object that he then transforms and renders into hyperdigital landscapes. But it’s not this part of his practice that concerns “Welcome to Chocolate City,” presented at Hemphill as a special part of the “Artist-Citizen” group show. Huckenpahler first decided to lecture about the history of D.C. art when he heard a class of George Washington University undergrads comment that while D.C. was pretty, it lacked culture. The fifth-generation Washingtonian had to show this wasn’t the case. If this tour, billed as a “contrary visual history of D.C.,” is anything like his visual work, he will be tapping unexpected resources and arranging them in unprecedented ways. It may not resemble the D.C. you know, but it will be a place where you wish you lived.
The program begins at 6 p.m. at Hemphill Fine Arts, 1515 14th St. NW. Free. (202) 234-5601. hemphillfinearts.com