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Some Strings Attached: the willful marionette at SAAM

last weekArts / Museums : Eye Level

SAAM's annual birthday celebration honoring the legacy of media pioneer Nam June Paik—an artist known for his interest in robotics and humanizing technology—featured artists Lilla LoCurto and Bill Outcault. Their work, the three-foot tall the willful marionette was built from 3-D scanned images of a human figure. Show More Summary

Light Fantastic: Gabriel Dawe in Conversation

2 weeks agoArts / Museums : Eye Level

The final program in the WONDER series of artist talks featured Gabriel Dawe in conversation with Nora Atkinson, the Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft at the Renwick Gallery. Dawe's Plexus A1, one of the nine room-filling installations commissioned for the exhibition, spins a new riff on the theme of alchemy: it turns thread into light.

Feeling Washed Up? Consider the State of the Ocean on World Oceans Day

2 months agoArts / Museums : Beyond Bones

Recently I’ve been to the beach. I went down to visit an old friend, the USS Lexington. I had stayed aboard her back when I was in 9th grade, about a couple of decades ago, and hadn’t seen her since. … Continue reading ?

WONDER Artist Interview: Jennifer Angus

3 months agoArts / Museums : Eye Level

Artist Jennifer Angus uses brilliantly colored insects in her thought-provoking installation, In the Midnight Garden, on view through May 8 in the exhibition WONDER. Eye Level had a chance to catch up with Jennifer and ask her about her work, the importance of insects to the natural world, and even to take a peek into her closet.

Listen Up! What's the Sound of Your Museum? Your Mission?

This week's guest post is by Dave Lewis, one of my 2016 mentees. This post came about through one of our monthly conversations and also reminded me of a conversation I had while traveling this winter in Italy. The sound of Italy to me: the noise of multiple coffee saucers make on a counter, followed by the clink of the spoons that always follows. Show More Summary

John Grade: Second Nature

5 months agoArts / Museums : Eye Level

Last Sunday afternoon, Seattle-based artist John Grade spoke to an enthusiastic crowd in the Renwick's Grand Salon about his artworks/earthworks.

Painting with LED Light at the Renwick

6 months agoArts / Museums : Eye Level

"Years ago when we started looking at LEDs they just weren't ready for use in museums," says Scott Rosenfeld, lighting director at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery. In 2010, Rosenfeld set out to see what he could learn about LED lighting and apply it to the museum. Show More Summary

Luce Unplugged: 5 Questions with Stronger Sex

7 months agoArts / Museums : Eye Level

Join us for the first Luce Unplugged of the year next Thursday, January 14th at 5:30 p.m. Stronger Sex, a beloved local experimental noise-pop band, will kick of the concert series' first show of the year.

In This Case: Luis Jiménez's Model for "Fiesta"

8 months agoArts / Museums : Eye Level

In redefining the myth we're really redefining ourselves... Luis Jiménez,Texas Monthly, September 1998 The Luce Center is filled with all kinds of treasures and Model for "Fiesta" by Mexican-American artist Luis Jiménez is no exception. The General Services Administration (GSA)...

SAAM's Symposium Charts American Art’s “Shifting Terrain”

8 months agoArts / Museums : Eye Level

On October 16th-17th, over two hundred international participants gathered at the Smithsonian American Art Museum for the symposium "Shifting Terrain: Mapping a Transnational American Art History," to reflect upon the increasing globalization of American art history during the past decade and how this affects research on art practice here.

Considering Rewind at the Baltimore Museum of Art: Emotion and Learning

Shakia Gullette, Curator of Exhibitions at the Banneker-Douglass Museum, is one of my 2015 mentees. We've had wide-ranging conversations, from career plans to meaningful exhibits to issues of inclusion within the museum field itself....Show More Summary


I assume that if you’re reading this post, you have the privilege of historically unprecedented access to news and other media, and also care enough to have sought out some of the places where art happens near you. As a composer and as a cultural entrepreneur, my interest is in the structures beneath the forms.... More

Women of Color Leading Essential, Activist Work in Cultural Institutions

9 months agoArts / Museums : Museum 2.0

A new poster from the National Park Service,based on Rich Black's 2009 image. Over the past few months, I've been doing research for a forthcoming book on relevance. One of the best parts of developing a book is learning new stories....Show More Summary


Maysoun Wazwaz is an arts administrator, advocate, educator, dancer, and activist. This is a real grab bag of a list. I started off with so many links and spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to share with you. Should I organize a Top 10 list? Is there a specific topic on... More

Being Natural: Nancy Greig

9 months agoArts / Museums : Beyond Bones

In 1994, Dr. Nancy Greig inherited what was “basically a hole in the ground.” More than 21 years later, the Cockrell Butterfly Center is a world-renowned exhibition, and Greig’s vision is a major part of the success of both the … Continue reading ?

Luce Unplugged: 5 Questions with Near Northeast

10 months agoArts / Museums : Eye Level

Next on Luce Unplugged, our free, after-hours local concert series, we're featuring sets by two rising D.C. acts. Friday, October 16 from 6-8 p.m. we will be kicking it off with Cruzie Beaux aka Kristina Reznikov who "brings digital beats...

What did I Find at New Founde Lande?

I'd been meaning to write a post about my experience at the New Founde Lande pageant in Trinity, Newfoundland and had been pondering how to approach. Rebecca Harz's recent post, Should Exhibits Tell Stories? made me think more deeply...Show More Summary

Luce Unplugged: 5 Questions with Fellow Creatures

12 months agoArts / Museums : Eye Level

Our last Luce Unplugged of the summer arrives next Thursday, August 6th at 6 p.m. Our featured band will be Fellow Creatures and will be co-sponsored with local music site D.C. Music Download.

Draw it like you throw it

Teresa Williams, public program intern, interviews artist Erik Scollon about his work and his Artists Drawing Club project which took place at the museum, March 19, 2015. Stepping close, visitors gathered around the Korean moon jar from the Joseon dynasty.  As their eyes swept across the ceramic’s form, taking in its smooth and elegant shape, […]

What, Me Worry? Crowdsourcing Teenage Memories

It's sometimes tricky to figure out the starting place for collecting memories for an exhibition project. Do newspaper press releases work? What about the Facebook page? The museum staff's own network? How do you figure out who willShow More Summary

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