Unless you’re reading the Alibi in the buff (and hey, I’m not judging), you’ll agree that the fabric stuff cloaking and warming your naked body is pretty fundamental to most folks’ daily existence. Kate Carr and Jane Lackey of Santa Fe and Natalie Smith of ABQ recognize the importance of textiles in Western culture, but they want us to take another, deeper look. Hence Material Worth, an exhibition opening at the Inpost Artspace on Saturday, March 8, from 5 to 7pm. Carr’s low-key works use colored felt and birch plywood in simple-seeming meditations on form, color and utility. Lackey’s pieces begin with a fragile field of onionskin paper enhanced with everything from thread to labels, ending as stitched-up maps that cavort with mental scale. Claiming kinship with both painting and the kind of tchotchkes you might pick up on vacation, Smith’s print-inspired “soft-posters” of fabric are assemblage art at its least intimidating. Inpost Artspace is located at Outpost (210 Yale SE) and is open Monday through Friday, 2:30 to 5pm, as well as during Outpost performances and by appointment.
Material Worth, which stays up through April 25, is part of a dizzyingly vast array of activities, projects, exhibitions and workshops happening throughout the month of March called Women & Creativity. And they all look blisteringly cool. You can get in on a trading card exchange; a multigenerational, multimedia storytelling exhibit; classes that fuse ballet and West African dance with modern jazz accents; an India ink workshop followed by a day of grown-up coloring; a bookmaking workshop and oodles more. Many events start this week, so check out the complete list at womenandcreativity.org, and then go do something fantastic with your badass, beautiful self.
What angel wakes me from my flowery bed? Oh, nevermind, it’s just my good old friend seasonal allergies. Well, the course of true love never did run smooth. Like half this city, you might be sneezy and congested, but Duke City Repertory Theatre shall verily jolt you out of those springtime blues with a glorious dose of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Cell Theatre (700 First Street NW). The wondrous strange Shakespearean comedy’s got ne’er-do-well Puck, a fairy king and queen, enchantments, a duke, dreams and true love. Director Dr. John Hardy leads seven actors in 20 roles Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm. Opening night is Thursday, March 6; tickets range from $5 to $20 at dukecityrep.com. The show’s run is brief as the lightning in the collied night, so do catch it by March 16.
On the walls of Griffin & Mandeville (8338 Comanche NE), where art meets yoga meets coffee, J.A. Zona has taken the recycling of clothing to an aesthetic extreme with Warmth. Reducing heaps of discarded sweaters, coats, skirts and shirts to mere strips with nothing more than a pair of scissors, the artist reassembles them as vast, loose hangings by knotting, weaving, tying and braiding the pieces of cloth back together. “These forms are enormous,” she points out, “and make the viewer feel like they’re in another universe.” Comfort and strangeness emanate from these gorgeous, exaggerated constructions—see for yourself, but quick, because the show’s closing reception happens Saturday, March 8, from 5 to 8pm. See thegriffingallery.comor call 554-2228 for more info.
The so-called “water wars” of Los Angeles are examined in There It Is—Take It!
Show Up Show Down is a monthlong series of talks and exhibits cropping up Downtown throughout March and into April. Curated by Nancy Zastudil, the show’s four projects hail from across the US to shed light on the interaction of humans with manmade environments like houses, freeways, nature preserves, community spaces and gardens. All the month’s events unfold within the confines of a pop-up gallery at 105 Gold SW, open Monday through Friday, 6 to 8pm, and on weekends by appointment. See showupshowdown.org for complete info.
First up, opening on Friday, March 7, from 6 to 8pm, is Kim Stringfellow’s There It Is—Take It! Owens Valley and the Los Angeles Aqueduct, 1913 - 2013. The format is a 90-minute audio tour that can be listened to along a stretch of highway in Owens Valley, Calif. Situated well to the north of LA, the region is entangled in a long history of Golden State “water wars” and the source of endless self-mythologizing á la Chinatown. Though you obviously won’t be taking a west-coast day trip to the water conduit yourself, Stringfellow’s self-guided tour draws together interviews, music, archival audio and field recordings to paint a detailed auricular portrait of a place as it has existed through the tumult of history. Get to the opening early and catch a short artist’s talk from 6 to 6:15pm. There It Is—Take It! stays up through March 13.
Open House welcomes the community in style.
Later in the month: Kate Daughdrill’s and Mira Burack’s Edible Hut is on display March 14 through 20. A Detroit-based living sculpture and community space in a public park, Edible Hut is about the construction of relationships as much as the creation of a structure. ● Ryan Pierce and Amy Harwood represent Signal Fire, a group that uses public lands to get people actively engaged with the natural world, March 21 through 27. ● And Open House happens March 28 through April 4. Matthew Mazzotta’s interest in conceptual and participatory art has led him in this case to team up with folks from York, Ala., to create a “public intervention” in the form of a house-like structure that unfolds into a 100-seat open-air theater.