Parking garages and hotel rooms: The new art venue?

On October 3rd-6th D.C. hosted the third annual (e)merge Art Fair at the Capitol Skyline Hotel. After a little bit of a trek from the metro, along the highway through underpasses I saw the Capitol Skyline Hotel, conveniently located across from a McDonalds. The venue was advertised to be right in the heart of the up-and-coming Navy Yards but that was not really case. The semi run down hotel did not appear to be the ideal place for an art fair.

After entering the foyer I immediately saw a performance art piece called Self Portrait of Jack Torrance by Andrew Wodzianski, it was simply the artist hacking away at a typewriter recreating the legendary Stephen King character from The Shining. This was intriguing and enticed me to begin exploring the galleries. Each conference room of the hotel contained a variety of works from interactive art to performance to portraits to classic paintings to sculpture, there was a little something for everyone.

Next, I headed to the parking garage where apparently more works were hiding. The converted garage space made a surprisingly cool, industrial venue for the art pieces. While some artists grumbled that the gloomy garage did not have the most ideal lighting, most pieces were enhanced by the contrasting stark but shadowy affect of the garage.

After “emerging” from the depths of the underground garage I headed to the second floor for the rest of the fair. The second floor was a floor of standard hotel rooms and I was curious to see how the fair had transformed them into art spaces. Each room contained individual galleries from all over the world. With beds and all in the room, it was a very interesting bustling place for these gallery shows and was quite unique. You could get as close to the art as you wanted and even have a conversation with the gallery curator or artist themselves!

I found the (e)merge Art Fair very interesting with a somewhat voyeuristic quality. The success of the multitude of artists was hit and miss but there were some pieces that I really appreciated.


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