Best Upcoming Events for Art Lovers in Washington, D.C.

May 31, 2014 8:00 AM

File photo of an event at the Smithsonian Institution. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for A+E Networks)

File photo of an event at the Smithsonian Institution. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for A+E Networks)

If you’re an art lover in D.C., you won’t want to miss these summer events that celebrate the rich artistic culture in the nation’s capital.

Artscape Arts Festival
The Patricia and Arthur Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric
140 W. Mt. Royal Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201
(410) 752-8632

Date: July 18-20, 2014

Considered “America’s largest free arts festival,” Artscape is a three-day art extravaganza and an art lover’s dream. Its staggering four million square feet of exhibit space attracts over 350,000 attendees each year. At this event, attendees will find a wide array of popular and unique art in the way of outdoor sculpture, art cars, photography, visual art exhibits and even fashion designs—all produced by more than 150 fine artists, craftspeople and designers. Live entertainment will be equally plentiful with outdoor music concerts, as well as dance, theater, opera and even performances by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Family-oriented projects, competitions and a children’s entertainer will be accompanied by a bevy of tasty international foods and drinks.

Related: Best Up-And-Coming Visual Artists In Washington DC

American Cool
National Portrait Gallery – Smithsonian Institution
8th St. and F St.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 633-8300

Date: Through Sept. 7, 2014

Being “cool” isn’t a learned behavior—it’s a natural confidence and individuality. This exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery celebrates those artists who are the epitome of “American Cool.” “Cool” is a concept that was coined back in the 40s by American jazz saxophonist Lester Young and the exhibit has identified individuals from each generation who fit that bill, and are innovators in their field and possess their own unique way of being. They are what the exhibit calls “successful rebels of American culture.” Icons like Marlon Brando, Billie Holiday, Lauren Bacall, Jimi Hendrix, Madonna, Benicio Del Toro and Jean-Michel Basquiat all possess a strong sense of artistic vision, cultural rebellion and legacy. They, among many others, are “American Cool.”

Becoming Patsy Cline
Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
901 Amherst St.
Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 662-1473

Through: July 6, 2014

Before she became American country music icon Patsy Cline, she was Virginia Patterson Hensley. This intriguing exhibit entitled “Becoming Patsy Cline” is the first to focus entirely on the famous singer’s early days of amateur talent shows and even her attempts to become a pop singer. It also recounts how her family moved several times in their attempt to overcome poverty. Visitors will enjoy seeing rare photos of Cline, her clothing and other objects that explain the late country icon’s history, influences, the important people who contributed to her success and the significant moments that helped her career take off.

Frederick Festival Of The Arts
Carroll Creek Linear Park
100 S. East St.
Frederick, MD 21701
(301) 662-4190

Dates: June 7-8, 2014

Come out for some fun in Frederick. This three-day juried festival of fine arts showcases more than 100 artists and craftsmen from all around the country. The open-air event takes place along Carroll Creek Linear Park and will feature mixed media arts and crafts including sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, jewelry, as well as works of glass, metal and wood. At the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, festival-goers of all ages can enjoy an art market, gallery exhibits and craft projects like paper mosaics, paper roll art and even mural making. Children can enjoy exhibits by the Boys & Girls Club of Frederick County, as well as international films. The festival will supply lots of entertainment with two stages for musical performances, along with theatrical performances and food.

Related: Best Local Art Enthusiasts In Washington DC To Follow On Twitter

Kevin Don Porter is the author of OVER THE EDGE and MISSING—two mysteries available on Visit his website at

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