Don’t Be Bored: “Academy 2011,” Phantogram
Nineteen students from area schools, including American University, George Washington University, Corcoran College of Art and Design, and University of Maryland, were selected to show their work in Conner’s annual MFA/ BFA show “Academy 2011”—but the 11 Maryland Institute College of Art students may win the most attention. In Ginny Huo’s “Mother’s Table,” pictured, a taxidermied dog perches under a dining table, with tennis balls affixed to the feet of the table, chairs, and dog to protect the Pergo floor. Less tongue-in-cheek is Dan Gioia’s “Sphere,” a globe of sod, which puts a new spin on earth art, literally (you can spin it!). More contemplative pieces include American University student Emily Biondo’s “Shrouded,” a prayer shawl woven from speaker wire accompanied by an audio piece of religious services digitally pieced together. From the Corcoran, Sierra Suris’ photos of “Missed Connections” are also intriguing. Part art-object, part process documentation, the photos capture authors of the wistful Craigslist ads and pose them at the place they missed their connections. Suris’ images somberly capture the physical disconnect and vulnerability in our virtually networked world. (John Anderson) The exhibition is on view 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays to Aug. 20 at Conner Contemporary Art, 1358 Florida Ave. NE. Free.
Yah mo b there: Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs unite in Caucasian soulfulness at Wolf Trap tonight. Wispy silver hair will blow in the wind; Dockers-clad hips will rock to and fro. For those young'ns who only know McDonald from The 40-Year Old Virgin or the sample of "I Keep Forgettin'" in Warren G and Nate Dogg's "Regulate," get familiar! 8 p.m. $25 for lawn tickets; $42 in-house.
Los Angeles bro-tonica group The Glitch Mob headlines 9:30 Club tonight, bringing a light show and possibly a female acrobat. Openers Phantogram and Com Truise are more interesting, though—the former, an electronic downtempo rock band from New York state, play a kind of updated, poppier trip-hop; and producer Com Truise—who was in town this year at a much smaller venue during Forward Fest— is straight-up '80s sci-fi, to sometimes awesome effect. 7 p.m. $20.
Former Ambassador and U.S. Special Envoy on Afghanistan Peter Tomsen visits Politics & Prose to talk about his book The Wars of Afghanistan: Messianic Terrorism, Tribal Conflicts, and the Failures of Great Powers, in which he spells out how the United States does not understand the ongoing power struggles in that country. 7 p.m. Free.
New Yorker Christopher Grant reads from his debut novel Teenie, about a bright Brooklyn girl whose success is endangered by problematic relationships. Busboys & Poets, 14th & V. 6:30 p.m. Free.
Serpico, the 1973 cop drama starring Al Pacino, shows as part of the Sidney Lumet retrospective at Artisphere. 8 p.m. $6.