Arts Desk

Openings: Edward Gorey and Art for Democracy

What's new this weekend in local arts.

It's a fruitful collision that only comes 'round once every four years: Halloween meets the presidential election. Accordingly, this weekend brings a couple of new arts events that plumb the spirit of both.

Beginning tonight, Happenstance Theater Company presents its annual Cabaret Macabre at the Round House Theatre in Silver Spring. While the show isn't new, its material will be. The spooky performance—inspired by "Edward Gorey, Victorian nightmares, dangerous croquet, and Gothic romance," according to its website—clocks in around an hour, and features live melodramatic music. Runs to Nov. 11 at Round House Theatre Silver Spring. Tickets $10 for students, people under 30, and senior citizens; $15 for everyone else.

Saturday, an exhibit of Jeff Gates' bipartisan political posters opens at Curator's Office. Part of his "Chamomile Tea Party" project, which the artist recently brought to area Metro stations, his posters recast WWII propaganda with messages that address critical issues in political and civil discourse. His ambition is twofold: engage people with art and stamp out partisan politics. One of those objectives seems more attainable than the other. On view noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays at 1515 14th St. NW.

Contemporary Wing, meanwhile, is gearing up to present its biggest exhibition yet. Starting Saturday, the young gallery unveils "Of the People," an off-site exhibit dedicated to the theme of democracy. It features a variety of pieces, from Shepard Fairey's well-known material to Egyptian street art to the feminist work of Guerrilla Girls. On view 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays at 1250 9th St. NW. Opening reception Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

At Civilian Art Projects, two exhibits open tonight: one from D.C. artist Judy Jashinsky and another from U.S. News & World Report's Director of Photography Avi Gupta. Jashinsky's exhibit, "13 Days + 13 Nights, 1962: The Cuban Missile Crisis," focuses on her reaction to the 13-day confrontation between the United States and Cuba, which she has spent years studying. Gupta's exhibit, "lonesum," is an ongoing series of photographs showing objections from everyday life. "The sum of these parts," says Gupta, "reflect the weight of a residual cosmic loneliness found in everyday situations." On view 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 1019 7th St. NW.

Top: Avi Gupta, Untitled, courtesy Civilian Art Projects and Avi Gupta

Left: Shepard Fairey, "Imperial Glory," 2012, courtesy Contemporary Wing and Shepard Fairey

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