Arts Desk

Openings: Qingming Riverside, Homage to Michelle

The presidential inauguration looms, but fear not: You needn't be sucked in just yet. There are quite a few things opening this weekend that have little to do with presidents and parades. Here are some ways to avoid the inaugural madness while you still can.

Qingming Riverside, Hong Kong Dance Company's elaborate spectacle that debuted at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, comes to the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater tonight and tomorrow. One hundred dancers and creative personnel draw upon China's ancient dance traditions to depict the lives of residents on the Bian River during the Northern Song Dynasty from 960–1126 AD. Jan. 11-12 at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theatre, 2700 F St. NW. $10–$180.

Fiber artist Roslyn Langdon's works are so detailed that at first glance, they seem like paintings. It's only when you step closer that you realize she's achieved that level of detail through rug hooking. Her latest show, "People and Places," opened Wednesday at Rockville's VisArts Gallery. On view Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. and Thursdays and Fridays, noon to 8 p.m., to Feb. 16 at VisArts Gallery, 155 Gibbs St., Rockville. Free.


Steven Cushner returns to Hemphill Fine Arts this weekend, just six months after his last show. With “The Shaped Paintings, 1991–93,” Cushner returns with a series of deep cuts from his own extensive painting catalog. These are works that George Hemphill believes deserve a second chance: According to the gallery, reviewers didn’t take to these post–Color School paintings on nonrectilinear canvases the first time around. Read more>>> On display 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays to March 9 at Hemphill Fine Arts, 1515 14th St. NW. Free. (Kriston Capps)

Opening today at the D.C. Arts Center is "Journeys," a series of paintings by Shanti Chandrasekar. The abstract images are rooted in Chandrasekar's Indian heritage, but because they're nonrepresentative, they're open to interpretation. On view Wednesdays—Sundays, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at D.C. Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW. Free. Opening reception tonight from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

One opening that does tie in to all the inauguration hype is Laura Elkins' "Homage to Michelle." For the last four years, Elkins has used the image of Michelle Obama to create self-portraits that are both personal and political. These works, part of Elkins' larger "White House Collection," in which she paints herself as first ladies, will be on display at the Mini-Fridge, the Fridge Gallery's new space, starting Saturday. On view Thursdays—Saturdays, noon to 8 p.m., and Sundays, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., to February 9 at the Fridge Gallery, 516 1/2 8th St. SE. Free.

Top: Qingming Riverside. Courtesy Hong Kong Dance Company.

Left: Laura Elkins, Self as Michelle Drinking Tea. Courtesy Fridge Gallery and Laura Elkins.

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