This Saturday, in a handful of neighborhoods across D.C., you can spend the whole night at an art party. Well, kinda. This year’s Art All Night: Nuit Blanche dares local artists, performers, and musicians to show off some of their most exciting work until 3 a.m. in venues and lots located in Dupont Circle, Shaw, Congress Heights, and on H and North Capitol streets. You only have eight hours and a lot of ground to cover, so choose wisely and pack an energy shot. Here are some of the more interesting acts on the docket:
2129 S St. NW 7 – 11 p.m. Stop at the Washington Studio School for a cookie and listen to tunes spun by DJ and artist Brian Kelley. While you nosh, gawk at live models bedecked in exotic costumes and posed atop theatrical set-ups.
2015 Q St. NW 7 p.m. – midnight Like a fine-arts Evel Knievel, Rafael Gallardo will attempt the impossible by painting several canvasses at once outside Q Street Fine Art.
2010 P St. NW 10 p.m. – midnight Burlesque performances and banned book readings fill two hours at Fantom Comics’ newish Dupont storefront.
9 Hillyer Ct. NW 12:05 a.m. This reprisal of “Outside and Play” by sound artist Alex Braden proves that a band can jam without even being in the same room. At exactly 12:05 a.m., musicians spread throughout Hillyer Art Space will play individual parts that blend together into a larger composition when streamed through the artist’s website. To listen to this piece, bring along headphones and a smartphone that can stream the signal.
Shaw (and its environs):
1630 7th St. NW 7 – 10 p.m. The Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Librarywill exhibit a video piece, “Neighborhood Portal.” A live feed will bring crowds in Shaw and Congress Heights together through what amounts to a massive FaceTime session.
801 K St. NW 7 p.m. – 2 a.m. Though it’s not exactly the hottest venue in D.C., the Carnegie Library will feature hourly musical artists spanning such genres as go-go, hip hop, afrobeat, and jazz.
645 New York Ave. NW 7:15 p.m. – close Inside its spacious performance space, Warehouse Theater plans to fill the night with live music and spoken-word exhibitions curated by Emergence Community Arts Collective. The event culminates in the aptly named Funky Good Time dance party at 2 a.m. Between shows, poet Jenny V will regale audiences with poetry during what the venue calls “artistic intermissions.”
1013 to 1748 7th St. NW 7 p.m. – 3 a.m. Seventh street will be lined with murals, photos, and performance pieces throughout the night. Larger-than-life photos by local artist Rosina Teri Memolo will fill picture windows; down the street, check out brand-new murals from D.C. muralists Aniekan Udofia and Kelly Towles, and view the art/activism of indigenous artist Gregg Deal, who will debut several new murals and a new performance piece, “Redskin.” (Read our Q&A with Deal on his newest exhibit before you check it out.) If you’re tired of static images, walk over to the wall where Parallel Film Collective will screen arthouse films from award-winning directors.
All over Shaw 7 p.m. – 3 a.m. Throughout the area, plenty of small businesses will exhibit the work of local sculptors, painters, and performers. Among the participating venues: Right Proper Brewing Company, Shaw’s Tavern, Dino’s Grotto, Swatchroom, and Touchstone Gallery.
2700 – 2900 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE 7 p.m. – 3 a.m. The sidewalk will come alive with live painting, mural creation, and high-energy hip-hop performances. Down the street at the Petey Greene Center, revelers can take part in family-friendly activities like talent shows, face-painting, and karaoke sessions.
2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE 8:30 p.m. – 3 a.m. Reggae, hip-hop, and theatrical performances will take the main stage at the neighborhood’s Gateway Pavilion. Inside the pavilion’s “large room,” attendees can view a hip-hop fashion show, shimmy to the beat of Caribbean music, or catch a screening of a 20-minute film honoring the life of D.C. go-go legend Chuck Brown.
1001 H St. NE 7 p.m. – midnight Who says drunk food can’t be art? Ben’s Chili Bowl will show off its new location with an open house that includes food samplings and live music. And judging by the, ahem, chilly response chef Daniel Boulud got when he called the D.C. institution’s half-smokes “bad,” it may be wise to eat here to maintain your District credibility.
1007 H St. NE 7 p.m. – 3 a.m. D.C. loves its Afrobeat. Go to the former HR-57 location for face painting, live drumming, and sets by DJ DrewCool and DJ Underdog.
1300 H St. NE 7 p.m. – 3 a.m. “U.S.A.I.R.A.N”aims to bridge the gap between Iran and the U.S. As part of this 5×5 Project performance, artist Sanaz Mazinani will highlight the lack of an Iranian embassy, which last closed its doors in 1980, by outfitting the site of the former Robert L. Christian Community Library in intricate Islamic muraled windows and walls that reference Iran’s old diplomatic building.
“Starburst intersection” at H Street, Benning Road, and Bladensburg Road 7 p.m. – 3 a.m. Capital Fringe will take over this space with its signature brand of eclectic art. Expect performances by Eric Powell Jr., Gully Waters, Leftist, Karen Culi, Identity Krisis, and Tina Camara, followed by live DJs.
North Capitol Street:
15 Florida Ave. NW 7 p.m. – 3 a.m. This outdoor lot will house graffiti art, musical performances, and art both static and performance-based. The space will also feature fiery hula routines and a bevy of food trucks.
“Green Lot” at Florida and Q St. NW 7 p.m. – 3 a.m. You guessed it: More DJs, alongside visual-arts performances and projected video art, like Amy Cannestra’s “Loss, Liberation, or Objectification.”
“Fairy Garden” at 1518 North Capitol St. NW 7 p.m. – 3 a.m. This space will include a commissioned graffiti mural by Seb Reani, body art, a sculpture and light installation, and more video art.
To check out the full list of events, visit the Art All Night website. Photos courtesy of Art Soiree.