Covered Dish and Unveiled Art

By Lavanya Ramanathan
Friday, February 15, 2008

Washington sure loves its art parties. (Who doesn't go to the After Hours bashes at the Hirshhorn? Who wasn't in line to get into the Performance Week closer?)

Tomorrow, we'll be in the queue for the D.C. Slideluck Potshow, the local edition of an international series of bashes that allow artists to present their photos, paintings, sculptures and general aesthetic visions through slide shows. In exchange for their enthusiasm, art fans and scenesters get yet another chance to congregate -- and gorge on a potluck buffet.

The brainchild of Casey Kelbaugh, an advertising and editorial photographer, the first Potshow was held in Seattle back in 2000, and has since expanded to 25 cities, including Copenhagen and Madrid. Kelbaugh visited Washington to inaugurate its first Potshow (also the last) back in 2006 at the old Numark Gallery. This time around, it lands at Touchstone Gallery downtown.

What to expect? Well, kind of a potluck of images.

More than 20 local artists submitted mini-shows of their work lasting up to five minutes (40 to 50 slides is average), and no one was turned away. Many chose music to accompany their shows, too. But if you're looking forward to the retro click and shuffle of a real slide projector, you're out of luck. These "slides" are actually digital images, and the "projector" a mere laptop. Sniff.

Admission is free, but know that if you're not bearing comestibles, you're not getting in. On the plus side, it's a chance to show off just what an incredible cook you are. The event is BYOB, but no red wine is allowed, because it is a gallery space, folks.

7-11 p.m. Get there early because space will be tight. Touchstone Gallery, 406 Seventh St. NW, second floor. For details visit or e-mail


CONCERT Mary J. Blige and Jay-Z It's definitely East Coast representing with this bill, which pairs the original "Around the Way Girl" and R&B goddess Blige with fellow New Yorker Jay-Z on the "Heart of the City" tour. Jay-Z, of course, has made two stops in the area in the past two years, and both of them were next to impossible to get into, so we were relieved to see this tour stops at Verizon Center. The duo are there April 6, but if you can't wait that long, you can also catch them March 26 at 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore. Tickets go on sale today at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster. 7:30 p.m. at both venues. 1st Mariner Arena show, $47.75-$123.75, 201 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore. Verizon Center show, $49.75-$150.75, 601 F St. NW. 202-397-7328.

THE SCENE Thursday Nights at Bourbon Bourbon in Adams Morgan is a bar, to be sure, but lately, the folks there have been cultivating a little higher-objective scene on Thursday nights. The anchor is the Modernist Society's intellectual chatfest, held the final Thursday of each month. Third Thursdays, however, are for DJ Name Names, who'll spin a party called Bohemian Groves kicking off Feb. 21. Free (and there are even $3 beer and bourbon specials; ask about 'em). 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Bourbon, 2321 18th St. NW, second floor. 202-332-0800.

EXHIBIT "Color as Field" What better place than Washington to stage this survey? "Color as Field: American Painting, 1950-1975," opening Feb. 29, covers the movement in abstract art that focused on thinned paint poured, painted and spread to soak into unprimed canvases to create a simple wash of color. Some of the movement's stars, such as Sam Gilliam and Gene Davis, were based in Washington (and were celebrated with a citywide ColorField.remix festival not too long ago), but this show at Smithsonian American Art Museum will look beyond our local scene, to include Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and a slew of others. Free. 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily Feb. 29-May 26. Eighth and F streets NW. 202-633-1000.

CONTINUED     1        >

© 2008 The Washington Post Company