“Open Source”—-an exhibition of works by students in George Mason University’s School of Art—-runs the gamut from paintings and sculptures to video and audio. Two painters set their work against deep black backgrounds—-Lindsay Hawks, in a series of domestic items limned in creamsicle tones using bleach on bed linen, and Brook Marcy, whose weighty portrayals of decaying fruit reference 17th century Vanitas paintings. Ryan McCoy’s large-scale agglomerations—-pine needle ashes, rust, baby powder, and acrylic—-are texturally mesmerizing, suggesting Astroturf layered with a dusting of snow. Peter Lee films himself in a visually inspired routine in which he pastes patches over his body that, through green-screening, become conduits for “alternative” personalities that range among various races and ethnicities. But the most winning work is “Barcode Orchestra,” a video collaboration in which Hawks, Lee, and Alex Straub approach shoppers with a handheld gadget that turns ordinary consumer-product UPC codes into musical flourishes. The artists could have done more with the melodies those bar codes create, but seeing kids’ eyes widen and hearing a grown man say, “Sweet!” offers an unexpectedly resounding endorsement of the power of art.
Through March 25 at Carroll Square Gallery, 975 F Street NW. Open during regular business hours. (202) 624-8643.
An opening reception will be held today from 6-8 p.m.