Living in a big city can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Every week there’s somebody willing to feed, entertain, occupy, educate or annoy you for free. “Free in D.C.” rounds up the best free events in the coming week to help you stretch that paycheck just a little bit further.
“The Drag Illusion Photographs” by Michael Lang | Touchstone Gallery | Oct. 31-Nov. 25 | Opening Reception Nov. 2 6-8:30 p.m.
If the new season of RuPaul’s All Stars Drag Race leaves you craving more, or if you’ve ever gone to a drag show and wondered “How do they do it?,” this exhibit is for you. Touchstone Gallery will be displaying a photo essay about drag queens by Michael Lang. Lang emphasizes the transformation of drag by shooting backstage pictures in black and white and performances in color, giving an inside-and-outside look into the performance art of drag transformation.
“To Plant Flowers While Waiting” by Ai-Wen Wu Kratz / Anything but Straight Lines by Rhona LK Schonwald | Touchstone Gallery | Closes Oct. 28
Ai-Wen Wu Kratz’s exhibition of paintings, drawings and photography currently on display at Touchstone Gallery is a relentlessly optimistic response to Samuel Beckett’s play “Waiting for Godot.” Rejecting Beckett’s portrayal of nothing-matters apathy and stagnancy, Wu Kratz advocated finding and creating beauty even if you know it’s pointless. Wu Kratz participates in this process in her whimsical and beautiful works all centered around flowers.
Rhona LK Schonwald’s concurrent exhibit, “Anything but Straight Lines,” celebrates fluidity with paintings that flow and bright colors that collide and interact with each other. Schonwald uses her paintings to reject the rigid structure that often dominates our lives and reconnect with the fluidity that she sees as essential to human nature. Schonwald’s paintings appear to capture the moment of contact between several beautiful colors, freezing their interaction with each other before they merge into one color.
“Monument to the Unelected” by Nina Katchadourian | The Washington Post windows | Closes Nov. 9
If this election has you longing for the glory days, whenever they might have been, stop by Nina Katchadourian’s “Monument to the Unelected.” The display in the ground-floor windows of the Washington Post is a series of fake election posters for the eventual losers, all painted by Katchadourian. The streetfront exhibit isn’t enough to plan a day around, but if you’re in the Farrugut area, it is a great and beautiful place to think about what could have been.
“Syntax” by Cheryl Wassenaar | Long View Gallery | Closes Oct. 28
In her exhibit “Syntax” Cheryl Wassenaar uses found materials from commercial signs to create work that combines painting, sculpture and graphic design to create works with recognizable but heavily distorted letters. The repurposing of the text creates tension in the viewer as they try and ultimately fail to read through her distortions. Wassenaar creates beautiful pieces that seem recognizable and entirely unique at the same time.