Best Gallery Opening-Night Party Hosts

Best: Irvine Contemporary
1412 14th St. NW, (202) 332-8767   
2nd Best: Flashpoint
916 G St. NW, (202) 315-1305
Irvine Contemporary’s openings this year were the glitziest by far, thanks entirely to Shepard Fairey. Fairey’s magic touch brought in crowds for both “Regime Change Starts at Home” and “Manifest Hope,” which boasted a Belvedere Vodka sponsor and a party from MoveOn.org. Second best, though, belongs to Flashpoint, which has become a total scene on opening nights. For each exhibit, a DJ sets up in the front of the gallery while people push past him to pack tightly into the space. Though each opening feels like reliving the crowds of inauguration weekend all over again, you’ll never hear a soul complain—in fact, they’ll wait in long lines in the cold to get in, as hundreds did for the recent “DCist Exposed” exhibit. That’s because a Flashpoint opening is always different from the last, and never dull. For Cory Obendorfer’s “Flavor of the Month,” the gallery invited the roller dirby girls featured in the artist’s work to skate around the opening. To match the artist’s lollipops-and-gumdrops aesthetic, guests were invited to munch on Ring Pops and Laffy Taffy, or peanut butter and Wonder bread sandwiches. After an evening at Flashpoint, don’t be surprised if your photo turns up on Brightest Young Things. 
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