Multi-Needle Monday: Contemporary Crafts at the Renwick Museum

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to visit one of my nieces in her home town of Washington DC. She is a recent doctoral graduate, new mother and busy career woman. I honestly do not know how the young moms of today (that sounds so old fashioned) do it all and so well.

Fortunately my daughter Lindsey was on spring break at the same time as my niece. We decided to take a relaxing road trip through the beautiful country side from our house in Ohio to Washington, DC. Spending a few precious days with one of your children is such a gift. Especially since I am now officially an empty nester.

We selected a few days to visit with a few specific sights to see, the Cherry Blossom Festival and Renwick Gallery exhibit. Growing up in New Jersey I visited Washington, DC many times but never at the exact time of the famous cherry blossoms. Since my daughter Lindsey and I have seen most of the historic sites in past visits our main focus was to visit with my niece Kim and her adorable 2 year old son Atticus.

As I mentioned above, the cherry blossoms were supposed to be in bloom on this very week. However, nature had other plans and a cold snap moved in (probably from Ohio) and the blooms decided to stay closed until we drove back home. Yes we missed the blooming cherry blossoms by just 2 days!

Our other specific destination to visit was the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian. Let me tell you it did not disappoint. renwick1BL

The exhibit is titled, “Wonder” and it is dedicated to the future of art. There are a total of nine contemporary artists featured in the large scale works which completely fill the gallery rooms. The artists use a variety of materials such as; wood, recycled tires, marbles, thread, index cards, branches and dead insects.renwick2BLrenwick8BL Photos shown above are the small mountains of index cards with Lindsey hiding and branch pods where Kim is peaking out between the branches.

The gallery promotes and encourages photography which is pretty unorthodox for a museum. renwick6BL They also want visitors to tag the museum photographs on Instagram. If you have an Instagram account you can view hundreds of amateur photos posts at the tag #RenwickGallery. Lindsey really embraced this task and we all eventually took advantage of the fun and interesting photo op session.

I will fast forward to the artist Gabriel Dawe’s work of cotton embroidery thread. According to Smithsonian.com Dawe used 60 miles of embroidery thread in 15 colors to create an optical illusion in a rainbow color palette. The installation took 10 days to complete. He says it is a visual representation of the full spectrum of natural light. It is truly fascinating. The thread has been hooked from floor to ceiling in a repeating overlay. The classic architectural features of the gallery also make a perfect backdrop for photographs.renwick3BLrenwick4BLrenwick5BLrenwick10BL

The variety of materials used in this exhibit are so unique but yet so easily accessible. I think what I love about this show is the use of some repurposed materials such as wood, branches, tires and dead insects .I hope you enjoy my photos of our visit to the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC and I am sorry to tell you the show will be ending July 10, 2016. If you have a chance to visit in the next few months you will be amazed and happy that you did.

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12 Comments on Multi-Needle Monday: Contemporary Crafts at the Renwick Museum

  1. Joanne
    April 26, 2016 at 6:13 pm (4 years ago)

    Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us Marie! Looks like a very inspiring place to visit. I’m sure the art you experienced there will find its way into one of your own future masterpieces!

    Reply
  2. Karen S
    April 26, 2016 at 8:30 pm (4 years ago)

    Thanks for sharing your pictures, for us to enjoy.

    Reply
  3. Carolyn
    April 27, 2016 at 7:49 am (4 years ago)

    How awesome! I live in Baltimore, grew up in a rural town outside Washington, D. C. and I’ve never visited this gallery. I see a “field trip” with my grandson in my future. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  4. Meghan M.
    April 27, 2016 at 1:17 pm (4 years ago)

    So neat! I live in OH, too =)

    Reply
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  5. Pam Robbins
    May 2, 2016 at 6:38 am (4 years ago)

    Thanks for posting this. I am visiting my daughter in DC, and went to visit the exhibit. If it were not for your recommendation, I would have missed this amazing exhibit. Thank you!

    Reply

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