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D.C.’s galleries began the year flogging hope—-with a Shepard Fairey megaexhibit at Irvine Contemporary—-and ended it with, um, chickens. For galleries, as with art institutions worldwide, times proved tough, but Washington’s scene also saw moments of, well, hope. In her essay in our Arts in Review issue, critic Maura Judkis writes:

The market for luxury purchases like art followed the same curve as much of the economy, and some galleries closed their doors while others relocated. But the plastic cup of opening-night chardonnay doesn’t have to be half-empty. G Fine Art has relocated to the H Street Corridor, joining Conner Contemporary in an area previously known for novelty bars. New galleries, such as the Fridge and Gallery H, opened. Local art-scene booster the Pink Line Project chronicled openings and parties on its snazzy new Web site.There’s much to be hopeful for.

Read her list of the best that galleries had to offer here.