Art All Night at the Katzen Arts Center presents art in a different light
Student participation give attendees more to enjoy during Tenleytown event
Early fall exhibitions, arts and crafts, an interactive mural and more were on display on Sept. 29 at the Katzen Arts Center as the museum took part in D.C.’s citywide one-night art festival event, Art All Night.
“Without Provenance: The Making of Contemporary Antiquity” by Jim Sanborn presided as the third floor exhibition, showcasing grand sculptures alongside auction price values with mock catalog descriptions that rely on wit and comedic writing. Attendees observed the works from close and afar, some onto the exhibit’s ploy and other’s trying to figure it out.
Housed on the second floor, “Selections from the Artery Collection” brought vibrant and lively pieces from the 1970s and ‘80s to Katzen, lining the walls. Set against the nighttime outside the museum, the museum elicited a sense of originality that the whole “Art All Night Festival” strived for.
The bottom floor, while also hosting “Robert D’Artista: A Portrait,” provided introductory materials to museumgoers to get them acquainted with the space.
Many attendees of Art All Night at Katzen said the event was their first time at the Katzen Arts Center, according to Sarah Leary, a Katzen office assistant.
“This was a great event for them” Leary said. “There’s something for everybody here.”
Art, as a concept, can be daunting to those unfamiliar so an open event like “Art All Night” aims to make the term, and its corresponding pieces, less scary and instead more approachable and enjoyable. “Art All Night” also presented artists with a chance to create new works. Leary made it a point to include their student employees in the event.
“We really wanted to make sure we were getting our students involved in both not only the museum here but the greater Tenleytown area as well and really get them involved in the community,” Leary said.
In the lobby of the arts center, an interactive art mural was posted on a wall with markers of all colors at the ready for attendees to make their mark on the giant poster.
Nsilo Mavour, a senior in the School of International Service and gallery attendant at the arts center, worked on the mural as a project for Art All Night by laying the groundwork. He drew portraits for others to build off of and add to.
“Whenever I draw, I draw with a blank state of mind,” Mavour said. “I let the pen tell me what I want to do.”
Creating a two-way art piece is something that Mavour appreciated once all was said and done.
“I like the interactive piece of it, so I think I might make a lot more art pieces where people can touch and interact with it,” Mavour said.
Filling the museum were the sounds of live music performed throughout the night. Austin Burrell, a sophomore in the Kogod School of Business and shift supervisor at Katzen, performed for friends and strangers alike despite some trepidation.
This was Katzen’s first time participating in Art All Night, and the experience was a positive one, according to Leary. She hopes for the event to expand in following years.
“We’ll hopefully do a lot more,” Leary said. “It also depends what exhibits we have going on then, too, so we can only go up from here.”