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Arts Agenda

Victor Ekpuk, Composition #.11, 50 x 50", pastel and graphite on paper, 2011
As the summer wears on and people go on vacation, the number of art related events tends to drop. That being said, here's what's going on this week:

>> A panel discussion will be held at the Hamiltonian Gallery this evening with the Hamiltonian Fellows. Curated by Fellow Zoƫ Charlton, Fellows Converge: Broadly Thinking will include work by all of the Fellows. The artists were asked to investigate the work of two other Fellows and to not necessarily imitate or adopt the processes used, but instead to appreciate the challenges that the other artists face in creating their work. 7 p.m.

>> Have you been dreaming of hopping in the car and driving across the country just because? Then the Art Soiree opening of Route 66 by Jack Fleming at CITIES Restaurant and Lounge might be what you're looking for. Fleming takes viewers on a tour of 27 states through photographs he took over 24 months and 15 separate one-way trips from California to Ohio to D.C. $10 cover (cash only); 7 p.m. to closing.

>> We all know that Maryland is blessed with one of the most beautiful natural features in the world -- the Chesapeake Bay -- and Frances Borchardt takes full advantage of the artistic bounty it provides in her upcoming solo exhibition Prints In Pieces: Views of South County. Borchardt photographically documents the everyday life of her hometown south of Annapolis and then does something that no one else does: creates a sort of montage using old type cases that adds an interesting, and certainly unique, look to her work. Head on over to The Art League on Thursday to meet the artist, see her work and hear some bluegrass from The Higher Ground String Band. 6:30 to 8 p.m.

>> The Torpedo Factory Art Center is hosting its Second Thursday Art Night: Alive with History on, you guessed it, Thursday. Highlights of the evening will include an Artist of the Year reception from 6 to 8 p.m. for Tony Cowles, the Friends of the Torpedo Factory's 2011 Artist of the Year, and his exhibition Living LARGE!. Cowles will be around at 7 p.m. for the awards ceremony and artist talk. From there, you can enjoy the aforementioned opening of France Borchardt's Prints in Pieces: Views of South County as well as a photobooth and a special DIY historical button project. 6 to 9 p.m. Free.

>> The Pleasant Plains Workshop cordially invites you to attend an informal artist's talk with Amber Robles-Gordon on Friday evening. Robles-Gordon will discuss her current exhibition WIRED, a collection of work she created using found objects as well as ribbons, gimp, fabric, wire and other materials. 6:30 p.m.

>> Dr. David C. Driskell has had an impact on the arts for close to six decades through his artwork as well as scholarship, curating and teaching. This Saturday, the Brentwood Arts Exchange plans to celebrate that and Dr. Driskell's 80th birthday with the opening of Artist Reflections, a collection of work by Dr. Driskell and three of his former students. 4 to 7 p.m. Free.

>> People have always had the desire to go beyond their current existence and move on to something bigger and better. DCAC's art collective Sparkplug has taken up the challenge of creating work that explores the desire for non-existent places, unreachable times and unattainable states of being in their exhibition Something Other Than The Present. DCAC will host an artists' talk on Saturday at 5 p.m.

>> Let me be frank, y'all are obsessed with pandas, so there certainly is no more fitting show for the D.C. area than Angry Woebots' solo show Gruesome Smiles, opening at Art Whino: National Harbor this Saturday. As suggested by the name, these are not cute, cuddly pandas. No, these pandas would probably rather rip your face off and eat it with a side of bamboo than let themselves end up in a zoo. Think about that next time you're watching Mei Xiang and Tian Tian lounge around their enclosure. Anyway, the reception begins at 8 p.m. and will feature the vocal stylings of reggae singer Ruth-Ann Brown. Free.

>> Saturday night offers the return of Wonder Emporium at the Warehouse Loft, an event that promises sensory overload in the form of digital installations, aerial performances, fire-spinning, food trucks and a surprise guest. Attendees can get in on the fun by creating their own art in the interactive painting party, playing around with a plasma generator, signing the plasmabook, and having some fun with the user-generated light show. Enjoy all of this creativity while listening to music provided by Ana Sia, All Good Funk Alliance and Lara. 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Tickets: $15 online, $20 at the door.

>> As someone who has previously acknowledged my love of doodling, I can tell you I'm intrigued by the new show opening at Athenaeum this week. Drawing Analogies features a group of artists who create non-traditional drawings as a way to explore and understand their environments. For example, artist Mindy Hirt used a deep window and drew in the space with string; Renee van der Stelt used graphite on paper and inspiration from cartographic diagrams and cloud formations to reveal hidden movement in space; and Victor Ekpuk used the graphic signs and symbols of an ancient African system of writing to develop scripts that create a background narrative to a larger representation of a small portion of a symbol. An opening reception will be held on Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m.