August 2019 Events at Smithsonian American Art Museum

By Editorial Team on July 30, 2019
Courtesy of Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Art Talks and Activities

SAAM Arcade
Saturday, August 3, and Sunday, August 4, 11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
SAAM is turning into an arcade! Enjoy two days of play with a free, family-friendly event for gamers of all levels. The fifth annual SAAM Arcade features 13 select indie games, vintage consoles, arcade cabinets, traditional table-top board games, and new games created for old consoles. This year, the Arcade showcases indie games that recognize the diversity of gaming audiences, makers, players, characters, and cultures, encouraging the industry to break barriers and celebrate underrepresented segments within the gaming community. ASL interpretation will be available during this program.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Kogod Courtyard
Tickets: Free
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/saam-arcade

Tanya DePass: Barriers Are Meant to be Destroyed, Not Just Broken
Saturday, August 3, 6 p.m.
Learn about diversity in the gaming industry from Tanya DePass, founder of the non-profit organization I Need Diverse Games, who presents a keynote talk that explores the theme of SAAM Arcade 2019, “breaking barriers.” DePass explains how video games fit into unconventional spaces such as art museums, and expands upon how programs like SAAM Arcade serve as a critical aid to promote this idea. She also discusses how her organization seeks to highlight projects and research by marginalized groups within the gaming industry, and talks about her past and current work that encourages a more diverse gaming environment. ASL interpretation will be available during this program.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium
Tickets: Free
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/tanya-depass-barriers-are-meant-be-destroyed-not-just-broken-august-3-2019

Double Take: One Artwork Two Viewpoints
Tuesday, August 6, 6 p.m.
Stuck in the city but longing for the seashore? Join SAAM’s chief curator, Virginia Mecklenburg, and Cindy Aron, historian and author of Working at Play: A History of Vacations in the United States, as they discuss the origin of vacations, depictions of leisure in SAAM’s collection, and its place in American culture.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, meet in G Street Lobby
Tickets: Free
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/double-take-one-artwork-two-viewpoints-august-6-2019

See Me at SAAM
Wednesday, August 7, 2 p.m.
In an effort to make SAAM’s treasures accessible to all, See Me at SAAM provides an interactive space designed to improve the well-being of individuals with dementia and their care partners. This popular series brings people together to experience and discuss art in a small group setting.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, meet in the Kogod Courtyard
Tickets: Free; Registration required. Please email access@si.edu or call (202) 633-2921.
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/see-me-saam-august-7-2019

Conversation Talks: Time-Based Media
Friday, August 23, 1 p.m.
Explore time-based media art, a field that spans video, film, audio, and computer-based artworks, and learn how SAAM conservation experts protect these works. In this installment, media conservator Dan Finn maps the complexities of Nam June Paik’s masterworks, including SAAM’s iconic Electronic Super Highway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii. Join us and discover how SAAM preserves the antiquated technology found in this massive video installation.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, meet in the G Street Lobby
Tickets: Free
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/conservation-talk-time-based-media-august-23-2019

Art Bites: Death of Cleopatra
Friday, August 23, 12:15 p.m.
Take a lunch break and join SAAM’s research fellows as they share their new discoveries about artworks from the collection. In this installment, research fellow Eva McGraw discusses Edmonia Lewis’s Death of Cleopatra. Come learn the stories behind this artwork and find out what it tells us about America’s ever-changing culture.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, meet in the G Street Lobby
Tickets: Free
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/art-bites-gallery-talk-eva-mcgraw-august-23-2019

Beyond the Studio Workshop: Tunnel Book Making with Jodi Hoover
Sunday, August 25, 1 p.m.
Hear from professionals that work in the arts, then sharpen your own creative skills with a hands-on activity related to the speaker’s own expertise. In this installment, artist and librarian Jodi Hoover shares how she uses elaborate storytelling and layered, hand-cut collages to create tunnel books in order to explain the world around us. Hoover also describes how this type of project can be scaled down to fit into the Luce Foundation Center’s Art-O-Mat vending machine. Participants then get to create their very own tunnel book structures to take home.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center (third floor)
Tickets: Free; Registration required, tickets available August 11, at noon.
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/beyond-studio-workshop-tunnel-book-making-jodi-hoover-august-25-2019

Music, Performances & Film

Luce Unplugged: La Marvela
Thursday, August 8, 5:30 – 7 p.m.
Luce Unplugged showcases DC’s best local bands surrounded by beautiful artworks in the Luce Foundation Center. In this installment, La Marvela celebrates female vocalists and the rich rhythms from the Colombian Caribbean region. Libations and snacks are available for purchase at the on-site bar. A staff-led discussion about an artwork chosen by the performers starts at 5:30 p.m., with the music beginning at 6 p.m.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center (third floor)
Tickets: Free
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/luce-unplugged-la-marvela-august-8-2019

Steinway Series: Natalia Kazaryan
Sunday, August 11, 3 p.m.
Critically acclaimed pianist Natalia Kazaryan performs pieces by female composers for this installment of the summer Steinway Series. Kazaryan, a graduate from The Julliard School and now an adjunct piano faculty member at Howard University, has received top prizes from the Eastman Young Artists International, the Zosciuszko Foundation Chopin, and the New York piano competitions. Shea has also been recognized by Queen Sophia of Spain with a “Sobresaliente” Award.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium
Tickets: Free
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/steinway-series-natalia-kazaryan-august-11-2019

Take 5! With Tyrone Allen
Thursday, August 15, 5 – 7 p.m.
Relax and Take 5! with free, live jazz music in the beautiful Kogod Courtyard. In this installment, bassist and DC area native Tyrone Allen celebrates the 80th birthday of legendary local bass player Butch Warren with a lively tribute. Allen, who learned how to play bass from his father, a DC public school teacher, studied jazz and classical music at the Eastman School of Music before attending Berklee College of Music. He has performed at Blues Ally, Twins Jazz Club, Bohemia Caverns, and the Kennedy Center. During the concert, you can stop by the Courtyard Café for refreshments or borrow a board game to play.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Kogod Courtyard
Tickets: Free
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/take-5-tyrone-allen-august-15-2019

Ongoing Programs

Sketching: Draw & Discover
Tuesday, August 6, 13, 20, 27, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Draw inspiration from artists’ sketches as well as the thousands of objects on display in the Luce Foundation Center, then spend some time sketching in this weekly workshop. Some materials provided; please bring a small sketchbook and pencils.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center (third floor)
Tickets: Free
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/sketching-draw-and-discover

Conservation Conversation: Preserving SAAM’s Collection
Wednesday, August 7, 14, 21, 28, 3 p.m.
Learn how museum conservators preserve SAAM’s artworks in the Lunder Conservation Center. The center has five state-of-the-art laboratories and studios equipped to treat paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, sculptures, folk art objects, contemporary crafts, decorative arts, and frames. Group size is limited.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Lunder Conservation Center
Tickets: Free
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/lunder-conservation-center-programs

Art Signs: Gallery Talks in American Sign Language (ASL)
Thursday, August 8, 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, August 18, 1 p.m.
Join us for lively gallery conversations in American Sign Language led by Deaf gallery guides. Don’t miss a single one, as this popular series examines different treasures from SAAM’s collection for each installment. For more information, contact SAAMAccess@si.edu.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, meet in the F Street Lobby
Tickets: Free
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/asl-tours-art-signs

America InSight: Verbal Description Tours
Sunday, August 11, 1:30 p.m. and Thursday, August 15, 3:30 p.m.
Join a docent-led tour designed for visitors who are blind or have low vision. Discover highlights of the collection through rich verbal description and sensory experience. Touch components for sculptures and model recreations of paintings may be incorporated into the tour. For more information, contact SAAMAccess@si.edu
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, meet in the F Street Lobby
Tickets: Free
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/verbal-description-tours?location=1558