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No matter how many scavenger hunts you embarked on as a kid; no matter how often you tread into the neighbor’s yard, how deeply you dug into the dumpster at the end of your block, or how far you ventured down the dribbling stream out back; no matter how much great stuff you found, nothing you gathered could rival the trove District artist Jeff Spaulding accrued for his latest show, “The Hunt.” The artist must have hijacked a fleet of Waste Management Inc. trucks and combed their bowels for the castoff gems he transforms—with a shake of the absurd and a dash of surrealism—into eerie and lively artwork. Bucket Girl—two rubber buckets attached end-to-end, compressed just so, and mounted on a steel pole (pictured)—makes a Degas dancer for the recycling age. Sphinx—a Styrofoam spaniel washed up from the sewers minus his nose—elevates a Dollar Store doggy into an ancient ruin. Most chilling of all is Blind, a wool cape stretched taut over a steel armature that turns the cloak into a walking ghost. If more artists practiced Spaulding’s skilled manipulation of detritus into art, the landfills would be packed with dirt, not diapers. On view from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, to Saturday, May 27, at the McLean Project for the Arts’ Emerson Gallery, 1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean. Free. (703) 790-1953. (Jessica Dawson)