Some new faces will soon appear on the 26-member, presidentially appointed National Council on the Arts, the advisory body to the National Endowment for the Arts. The nominees, still awaiting confirmation by the Senate, are: Joseph Epstein, Helen Frankenthaler, Margaret Hillis, M. Ray Kingston, Talbot McCarthy, Carlos Moseley, Lloyd Richards and James Wood. Their terms expire in 1990 . . .

The cool, Deco images of "Miguel Covarrubias Caricatures," at the National Portrait Gallery, have been given a reprieve. The exhibit will run through Feb. 10, as will "Metropolitan Opera," a collection of photos chronicling 100 years at the Met, out front and backstage . . . At the National Gallery of Art, a series of "The Films of Kenji Mizoguchi" begins Feb. 2. Also of interest at the National Gallery is "Fourteen Americans: Directions of the 1970s," in which New York artists talk about the art that emerged from the "Me Decade," screening tomorrow through Feb. 4 (842-6110) . . .

Sanskrit love poems and the haunting sitar meld in "The Peacock's Egg," a fresh installment of "Word/Song III," the Smithsonian Resident Associates' continuing program of music and poetry. Feb. 3., 7:30 p.m., at the Hirshhorn Museum (357-3030) . . . New Hirshhorn director James T. Demetrion will give an informal talk on "Collecting for an Art Museum: Is There a Future in the Past?" Feb. 5 in the museum's auditorium . . .

Mary Oliver, who won the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for her book of poetry, "American Primitive," will read from this and other works at the Folger Library on Feb. 4 and 5 (544-7077) . . . Bowling Green John Cephas, Harmonica Phil Wiggins, Barry Lee Pearson and Otis Williams explore the poetry in blues music tomorrow at noon, also at the Folger . . . Less poetic, and just slightly more visceral, is the work of Baltimore's claim to cinematic fame, John Waters. The Baltimore Museum of Art hosts a retrospective of his films, beginning with "An Evening With John Waters" on Feb. 7 (301-396-6310)