Alex Goldstein of the Fridge
Alex Goldstein of the Fridge

Alex Goldstein

The timing of this weekend’s (e)merge art fair is just right for The Fridge’s Alex Goldstein. He says his current Ben Tolman show is among the best exhibits he’s run since opening the Fridge in 2009. So he’s pleased that, at least for this weekend, D.C. will feel like a major destination for contemporary art.

Unfortunately, Goldstein says, he couldn’t afford a hotel room to display at (e)merge. So for half the cost, he booked a 24-seat shuttle van, which will triangulate all weekend between (e)merge’s Capitol Skyline Hotel location, The Fridge, and But Is It Art?—-the scrappy (e)merge alternative organized by artists Alex Ventura and Victoria Milko.

“It made sense to me to literally provide a link between the polished and the DIY, with us in the middle,” he says. “That’s where we’ve been the last two years.”

The plan is this: From Friday to Sunday, you can pick up a shuttle in front of the lobby at Capitol Skyline in Southwest, and be carried to The Fridge off of Barracks Row, and then to But Is It Art? at 79 Hanover Pl. NW. The service is free.

While (e)merge’s lineup features almost every notable contemporary art gallery in the city—-as well some international galleries and several dozen unrepresented artists—-it’s spun off a notable number of satellite events. In addition to But Is It Art?, there’s the street art-centered Submerge in Mount Vernon Square all weekend and Saturday’s Nuit Blanche art parties stretching from Chinatown to Shaw. (Disclosure: Artists Jeffry Cudlin and Kathryn Cornelius have some performance art planned at Capitol Skyline, and I play a small part in it.)

Goldstein wants collectors coming to D.C. for the weekend to get a picture of what’s going on. At major art fairs in New York and other cities, he says, satellite events will often find corporate sponsorship for a shuttle. Goldstein wasn’t sure he could do that, so he decided to pay for the limousine service out of pocket.

When I chatted with Goldstein on Friday, he hadn’t told the organizers of (e)merge about his shuttle yet. “I figured they’d see the press release like everyone else,” he says. “I just felt like this was something I’d do either way.”

The shuttle will run noon to 8:50 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 6:50 p.m. Sunday. You can board the bus five minutes after the hour at Capitol Skyline, 40 minutes after the hour at The Fridge, and 50 minutes after the hour at But Is It Art? Ben Tolman is giving a tour and talk at The Fridge on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery