In June 2010, after a late-night session of painting, drinking, and generally rousting about with a group of friends, magazine editor Michael M. Clements found himself pondering an unshakeable question: “Wouldn’t it be great if we could do this at a bar?” The seeds of ArtJamz sprouted almost immediately into a traveling party, where the caterers brought not only beer and wine but also all-you-can-paint palettes, for-sale blank canvases, and invaluable artistic expertise. In the two years since that fateful, paint-spattered night, ArtJamz has become a citywide phenomenon, organizing collaborative events with the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and finally realizing the founding fathers’ vision of a tie-dyed capitol building.
Although these creative enablers still operate pop-up events at galleries and retail spaces across D.C., the brand-new, 1,800-square-foot permanent studio in Dupont Circle has an open-house policy to enable paint parties seven days a week. Freestyle paint sessions and classes are offered, charging separatley for studio time, canvas, and drinks. Day hours keep artists aged 5–18 in mind, whereas nightly sessions feature beer, wine, and creative cocktails for the 21+ set. More than 32 distinct colors await inspired brushes, and the walls of the cozy venue are fair game for a fresh coat. A trained staff is always on hand to offer advice if needed or requested, and to make sure nobody loses an ear.
The Phillips Collection emerged from one man's passion for art. Duncan Phillips filled his 19th-century Georgian Revival house with artwork, and he invited others to come and look at his collection. In 1921, the home formally became a museum of modern art. Impressionist and modern works fill its walls, and the collection continues to grow to accommodate contemporary artists.
Madame Tussauds Washington D.C. escorts guests on an interactive journey through American history. Only here, the past isn't manifested through movies, but through wax. Inside, The President's Gallery brings visitors face-to-face with all 44 US presidents, from Harry Truman to Abe Lincoln and his signature spinning bowtie. Cultural leaders, such as Martin Luther King Jr., stand tall nearby, and rock stars such as Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan compose silent jam sessions in the Music Room. Hollywood stars, sports heroes, and nonpresidential political figures round out the collection, which can be visited 365 days a year.
ArtSmash, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop’s annual gala, promises to present a lively evening of food, drinks, arts, and entertainment, with proceeds benefitting CHAW’s tuition assistance, outreach, and education programs. Admittance to the celebration gets gala-goers a potable philanthropic portion of delectable food, palate-pleasing wine and beer, and a signature cocktail. During the three-hour festivities, a spirited assortment of performers will entertain attendees, from a-capella collective Not What You Think to the casts of CHAWbaret and The Mikado. Take home work from local artists or the Capitol Hill Art League members in a silent auction, participate in invigorating dance lessons, or learn how to paint like the Renaissance masters, all skills and resources which can be later incorporated into lobbying for federally funded anarchist-hardcore day camps.
Led by a former New York City gallery owner, Hinckley Pottery's experienced staff is adept at teaching fresh potters how to turn mud into masterpiece. The intimately sized, one-hour Try It! course helps patrons bone up on pottery-wheel basics and decide whether or not to pursue more-advanced wheel techniques, such as creating a vase using only your thighs. The 3,300-square-foot studio, housed in an industrial warehouse, boasts 14 electric wheels, two kick/electric combination wheels, and one treadle wheel, in addition to two electric kilns, two gas kilns, and a propane-fired raku kiln. Try it! courses are available at select times. Click here for details and to find a time to meet likeminded crafters, channel workweek stress into a mound of clay, or craft a large bowl that can hold novelty sized paper clips. Call ahead to reserve your space in class.
L'Eclat de Verre's skilled technicians specialize in putting the finishing touches on precious works of art. Each image-wrangler has completed four years of framing school, mastering 18th century, contemporary, and rare fourth-dimensional techniques. Since no two pieces of art are alike, the method of construction will vary depending on what is being framed. All framing methods are conservation quality and use acid-free materials to ensure long-lasting displayability. For those looking to add a finishing flair to their pieces, more than 800 varieties of textured and handmade papers from all over the world are available as matting choices. As with wholesale pizza parlors, prices vary from piece to piece, with 8"x10" objects ranging from $85–$210 on average, 16"x20" objects ranging from $170–$380 on average, and 24"x36" objects ranging from $310–$625 on average.