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Sunday, November 08, 2015

“WONDER” Opens Nov. 13 at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Works by Nine Major Contemporary Artists Transform Nation’s First Art Museum in Celebration of Reopening

WONDER,the debut exhibition at the newly renovated Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, celebrates the opening of the historic building with immersive installations by nine leading contemporary artistsJennifer Angus, Chakaia Booker, Gabriel Dawe, Tara Donovan, Patrick Dougherty, Janet Echelman, John Grade, Maya Lin and Leo Villareal. “WONDER” will open Nov. 13 and will be on view for six months. The exhibition is organized by Nicholas R. Bell, The Fleur and Charles Bresler Curator-in-Charge of the Renwick Gallery.

The artists featured in “WONDER” were selected for their ability to transform spaces through installation and for their focus on process and materials. Each was invited to select a gallery in the Renwick while the building was closed for a major two-year renovation and then create an installation inspired by that space.

Public Programs and Events
A series of public programs and events will accompany the opening. Celebratory galas will be held Tuesday, Nov. 10, and Wednesday, Nov. 11 (tickets $75). A morning ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, Nov. 13 (weather permitting), will precede a free open house where the public can explore the galleries, meet curators and enjoy live music. The Renwick will remain open after hours that evening to present a large-scale version of its DIY program, “Handi-hour,” featuring “all you can craft” activities inspired by artworks in “WONDER,” craft beer and live music. This event is ticketed ($25 in advance, $30 at the door) and available for ages 21 and up. A free festival Saturday, Nov. 14, for children, families, and visitors of all ages, will feature craft activities, artist demonstrations, musical performances and museum tours. renwick.americanart.si.edu/opening-events.

The Renwick Gallery is the branch museum of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, featuring a wide range of contemporary craft and decorative art. The Renwick Gallery is located on Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street N.W. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. Website: renwick.americanart.si.edu
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