Jon Sham/Patuxent Homestead
Michelle Nugent’s The Pedicab Project is a highlight of Asian Art Initiative's "PARTICIPATE," opening on First Friday.
Courtesy of Asian Arts Initiative
SPEAKING OUT: Wing Young Huie is showing at Asian Arts Initiative’s “PARTICIPATE” exhibition, which is opening on First Friday.
+ Asian Arts Initiative
Because it’s cool, the Asian Arts Initiative isn’t celebrating its 20th birthday for just one day. For the next four months, the Chinatown organization will be showing off artwork, putting on monthly events, and fêting at not one, not two, but three venues.
“PARTICIPATE: Asian Arts Initiative’s 20th Anniversary Exhibition” is a multi-pronged display that asks the question, “How would you define the Asian-American experience?” Twenty artists have provided answers, which come in the form of performance art, community-based projects, installations, photographs and videos.
Michelle Nugent’s The Pedicab Project stands out in the lineup. She offered rides to strangers in Baltimore on her tricycle — known as a “pedicab” — and her en-route banter will boom out of her festive, kaleidoscopic pedicab that’s also on display.
Also part of the show is a timeline of the arts center, stretched out from the Asian Arts Initiative’s current headquarters to Painted Bride to the Gilbert Building, where it used to set up shop. The timeline includes snapshots of the last 20 years that were provided by community members and visitors to the Asian Arts Initiative.
Given the opportunity to reflect on the last 20 years, I asked curator Katherine Shozawa if she thought the arts center had been able to propel local Asian-American artists into the national arts scene.
“Yes and no,” she said. “Sometimes the established artists we show put us on the map.”
Opening reception Fri., Feb. 7, 6 p.m., free, through May 23, 1219 Vine St., 215-557-0455, asianartsinitiative.org.
+ Snyderman-Works Galleries
Kim Alsbrooks is closing the curtain on a project that transformed the aluminum can into an opulent object.
She has painted portraits of presidents, colonels and aristocrats on hundreds of old, crappy flattened cans, which she found in corners of the city like on Two Street after the Mummers stampeded there on New Year’s Day.
The exhibit, “Last Memories: The End of My White Trash Paintings,” features her work over the last 10 years.
Alsbrooks’ style “mimics the 18th-century portraits of museum collections — and mocks them at the same time,” according to a press release from the gallery. “Much of the success of the work lies in the perfect marriage of the particular piece of trash to the individual portrait, the juxtaposition of which serves to challenge the perception of the social elite in today’s society.”
Opening reception Fri., Feb. 7, 5 p.m., free, through Feb. 28, 303 Cherry St., 215-238-9576, snyderman-works.com.
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