An exploration of things to do in Arlington

Monday, February 13, 2006

Ellipse Photo Show

So, I had a little lull in my attempts to explore and test more of the fun opportunities in Arlington, but this past week, got back on track (although the snow storm cancelled an activity I was really looking forward to :-(.

Anyway, ... This past week, I checked out the photo show at the Ellipse (that's the Ellipse Art Center in Arlington, not the grassy field near the White House). First, a word about the Ellipse if you decide to check it out. To get there, come out of the Ballston Metro and take a left on to Fairfax Drive (going away from the IHop). You'll go through a construction area, and then the building will be on your left (less than a 1/2 block away). Yes, the address is correct - 4350 N. Fairfax Drive - it's on the bottom floor of an otherwise normal looking office building -just go in, you'll find it.

Second, my rant - hours - what's with us and hours? -- post offices, banks, small art galleries all keep hours when most of the world is at work. Hours for the Ellipse, 11-7, W-F, and 11-2 on Saturday. A few weeks ago, I went to the PostSecret exhibit in Georgetown - hours were 6-10 PM every evening. It was mad packed. Granted, that exhibit has a lot of pop culture appeal (and NPR coverage) right now, but still. BTW - that exhibit was cool, but really, was it all that? What's with this PostSecret phenomenon?

But I digress, back to the Ellipse Photo Show. Summary - if you live or work in the Ballston or Clarendon area - GO. It's worth it. It's free, and there are some really cool pictures there. I wouldn't recommend making a big evening of it or a major event - it's too small for that - but if you are in the area, it is definitely worth it.

As for the pictures, there are some very cool ones. I'm not an art critic, and when it comes to pictures, I tend to prefer ones where I think "how did they do that with a camera?", so you can take my opinions with that grain of salt. But with that being said, my favorites (...drum roll please...)

"Nine to Five" - OK, this violates my normal preferences for "how did they do that" and for color pictures, but I just liked it. It's a picture taken looking up one of the steep Metro escalators (I don't know which one). The angles of the escalator look like really sharp lines, but with the rounded top of the Metro cover. And then you have the small people going up and down the escalator which just make the escalator look really massive - I don't know, I just liked it.

I also liked the one titled "21st Century Artist" - it's a picture of a girl with a paintbrush coming out of a computer - meets my "how did they do that" criteria, plus it's just kind of funky. I also liked the still life of a magnolia which looks like it was taken through a microscope, and there's a picture of a guy by the Colorado River that just looks fake - which is kind of funny. Oh, and probably my runner up favorite - the picture of two bath rugs hugging. Again, how did they do that?

So, as I said - if you live or work in the area, I definitely recommend checking it out. It's well worth the time.


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