For one night art galleries in DC’s China town area pulled their version of an all nighter. Eight different addresses had food, drinks, music, and art from 7pm-3am. Everyone from the girls in the tiny skirts and barley walkable heels to guys who did not bother to change out of their pajamas were in attendance.
October 20th was the second annual DC Art All Night. The events one page website gives very little information of the event, so attendees have little to go off of. All you are given is a list of addresses and a map. Each of the addresses had something different about them.
800 I St was the semi official start point. Although it did not really matter where you started. The venue was technically the information center. This place was trying really hard to be an outdoor club and it was really close to succeeding. It just missed by a little. First off it is mid October. It gets rather cold at night, so standing in a big courtyard at 10:45 is not high on my to-do list. I also think I was there a tad too early. Maybe by 11 or 12 it could have defiantly turned into something.
There was 915 F St, where you had to wait about 10 minutes for an elevator to take you up to a bunch of studios that were open and full of art, artists, and wine. This space was not made for the number of people that tried to cram in. It was near to impossible to get any where let alone lookat any art. The spacewas small enough as it was, but the people did not seem to mind that others had to push their way through to see anything. The art was not good enough to deal with this nightmarish maze.
Next was 923 F St which was strictly music. The line was halfway around the block. It was great that even while you were waiting you could still hear the music. The music was supplied by several live bans through out the night. This seemed to be the busiest venue, however it probably also helped that it was one of the biggest.
901 New York Ave was the calmest venue I went to, it was also the only actual white walled gallery space. It was a little out of theway, however. Many of the venues were in the same general area, but this one was a little off the beaten path. The walk was not impossible, but if you had too much of the free wine it would have made quite a long tipsy stumble. Because this space was a little further away it was not as packed so it made looking at the art much easier, which was a really nice change of pace.
DC Art All Night has the potential to be a really cool yearly event with just a touch more planning and information up front. I came into this thing knowing nothing more than a much of art related places were open until 3am. I understand wanting to keep some mystery about the event, but they literally tell you nothing and that is a problem.
Here is a man on the street video from the event made by Art All Night: Nuit Blanche DC