ART

"Winslow Homer Watercolors" is a sight worth seeng_99 works portraying a watery world that few American painters have been able to approach in style, in texture. At the National Gallery through May 11.

CLASSICAL MUSIC The Boys Choir of Harlem, performing at Howard University's Cramton Auditorium this afternoon, will be a sort of prelude to a week-long arts festival on the Howard campus sponsored jointly by the departments of music, theater and visual arts with a theme of "Texture in the Fine Arts." The festival, which will include workshops, lectures, panels and master classes as well as performances, is free and open to the public (for information, phone 636-7082).

Among the musical highlights will be: a Lieder recital, and demonstration of German diction for singers, given by Ute Jahr Tuesday afternoon and including the world premiere of five songs by Nicolas Breton; a concert by the Howard University Orchestra Wednesday evening; a lecture-recital contrasting the piano sonatas of Mozart and George Walker on Thursday; a recital and awards ceremony for the winners of the D.C. schools' piano competition, also on Thursday; and a concert Thursday night featuring the University Choir, faculty soloists and the Howard University Jazz Ensemble.

There will be a little Haydn festival this week in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, focusing on his two great oratorios. "The Seasons" will be performed by the Choral Arts Society on Wednesday night, and "The Creation" will be presented next Sunday night by the Oratorio Society.

This might be labeled Orchestra Week in the Washington area; orchestral activity, always abundant, seems even more hectic than usual. Besides the National Symphony (with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting), the following may be heard: The Friday Morning Music Club Orchestra, with Robert Gerle conducting and pianist Anne Schein as soloist, this afternoon in the Terrace Theater; the Arlington Symphony, this afternoon at the Kenmore Auditorium; the Alexandria Symphony, this afternoon at T.C. Williams High School; the Montgomery County Youth Orchestra, this evening at Albert Einstein High School, Kensington; the National Chamber Orchestra playing music of Finland, Friday night in the Terrace Theater; the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, Saturday night at Fairfax High School; and the American Chamber Orchestra, Saturday afternoon at Anderson House.

George Crumb will be featured in the Kennedy Center's American Composers Series, Wednesday night in the Terrace Theater.

Other highlights of the week: David Wright and pianist Paul Tardif, today at the Phillips Collection; the Ecco Trio, tonight at the National Gallery; Chamber Soloists of Washington, tonight at the National Presbyterian Church; lutanists Linn Barnes and Allison Hampton, tonight at Strathmore Hall; violinist Rivka Golani and pianist Samuel Sanders, Saturday night in the Terrace Theater; pianist Ruth Laredo, Saturday night at the University of Maryland's Center for Adult Education. DANCE

Meredith Monk's "Quarry," an award-winning dance-theater work from 1976, receives its final performances at the Kennedy Center's Free Theater this afternoon and this evening; admission is free, but seating is extremely limited. David Appel and Fish That Swim/Dance presents three premieres and other recent repertory at George Washington University's Building K Studio Theatre Friday and Saturday. A new edition of Mary-Averett Seelye's poetry through movement, including the premiere of a dance to William Carlos Williams' "These," will be offered Friday through Sunday at the Church of the Epiphany. Perlo/Bloom & Company present several dance, music and collaborative premieres, including the company's first performance of Bebe Miller's "No Evidence," Saturday at Slayton House in Columbia. Computer dance/music artist Christopher Janney performs his solo trilogy "Inside Rhythms" Saturday and Sunday in a free performance (limited seating) at the Kennedy Center's Free Theater. FILM

The Canadians Film series kicks off Saturday at the American Film Institute with "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz," based on the novel by Mordecai Richler. The Billy Wilder retrospective continues all week there, too. Call for details.

Monday at 7:30 at the Carmichael Auditorium of the Smithsonian's American History Museum, Orson Welles' "Mr. Arkadin."

And Thursday at 7:30 at the Library of Congress' Mary Pickford Theater, more Welles: "Touch of Evil," a lurid film noir starring Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh and Welles himself. Tuesday at 7:30, Joseph Mankiewicz's adaptation of "Julius Caesar."

Among current releases, Woody Allen's "Hannah and Her Sisters" and Ken Burns' well-cut documentary "Huey Long," at the Key Theatre in Georgetown. POP MUSIC

The Goldensw,-2 sk,2 ld,10 Palominos are a super group put together by drummer Anton Fier from musicians on the cutting edge of new wave, jazz and vanguard pop. They make a rare concert appearance at the Bayou on Monday.

Pianist and singer Dave Frishberg has a way with a song, particularly with the many he has written. He'll be at Cates in Alexandria from Tuesday until March 22.

Jonathan Richman's odd blend of lyrical whimsey and musical minimalism remains one of rock's intriguing mysteries; he's at the Roxy on Thursday with the current edition of the Modern Lovers (early members went on to help form Talking Heads and the Cars). THEATER

Lucian Pintilie's revelatory staging of "The Wild Duck" (at Arena Stage's Kreeger Theater) is theatrical artistry at its finest. Endlessly probing, sardonically entertaining, breathtakingly original, it casts a whole new light on Henrik Ibsen, whose revolutionary brilliance has been dulled by decades of sober, high-minded productions. Without once betraying the 19th-century Norwegian playwright, Pintilie and the Arena cast make him look brand-new.