If the Washington Monument is a thermometer, what might the Renwick Gallery become as a Washington souvenir?
With that open invitation to artists, a fun if self-indulgent crafts show was launched to honor the gallery on its tenth birthday. Among the 17 answers on view beginning Friday:
"Super Puzzle" by Sal Fiorito, one of four area artists whose works were chosen from 60 proposals received, may be the best parody. His movable glass letters set in a red frame can be arranged to spell "Renwick Gallery." The puzzle lights up, comes equipped with a giant key chain and would make a grand souvenir if only it would fit on a tour bus.
Andrea Uravitch, also local, offered "Spirit of the Renwick," a construction of fiber on wood, foam rubber and plastic foam. It's a takeoff on the crosseyed lion over the gallery's front door, using the head of James Renwick. An appropriate pigeon perches on top.
"Wrens" are included in several guises, punning on the name. Stickpins, a tea cosy and porcelain postcards depict the building, the "Dedicated to Art" inscription or a piece of the birthday cake (subject of an earlier 10th anniversary show). Eric Gronborg's photo-process on commemorative plates and David Feldman's silkscreen on clear plastic, suitable for a coffee table, are elegant efforts on an intentionally tacky theme.
A giant quilt, with panels colored by 154 gallery visitors, testifies to mass creativity: one anonymous artist adorned the gallery with a Vegas-style marquee, others added palm tree or mountain backgrounds.
As in life, there are always more pigeons. Lynn DiNino made several 13 inches long in fiber, one in a fancy bonnet with a pin reading, "We Flock to the Renwick."
"THE GRAND RENWICK GALLERY SOUVENIR SHOW" -- Through October 11 at 17th and Pennsylvania NW. Daily, 10 to 5:30.