Posted Jan 24, 2019
Getting my teenage boys excited about a family outing to any museum, let alone an art museum (insert melodramatic teen sigh and eye roll here), is a challenge. Long gone are the days when art scavenger hunts and museum story times were enough to entertain. So when something comes along that is deemed "cool" enough to get them interested in art, I'm all over it.
ARTECHOUSE, a new arrival on the Washington, D.C. art scene in June 2017, is just the place. An innovative space dedicated to showcasing large-scale installations by cutting-edge technologists and digital artists, ARTECHOUSE brings together art, music, science, and technology to provide visitors an immersive, multi-sensory and multimedia art experience. In other words, this is not your typical art museum!
New Nature by Marpi (Fall/Winter 2018)
Curated from artists all over the world, ARTECHOUSE's exhibitions harness the power of innovative digital tools, artificial intelligence (A.I.), responsive technology, and real-time data processing to create an interactive and participatory creative experience. Rather than simply observing a fixed artistic work, here, kids are invited to move, engage and interact with everything around them, allowing them to experience and connect with art in new and powerful ways.
Sakura Yume // Cherry Blossom Dream (Spring 2018)
Not only are the exhibits visually stunning and fun for kids to explore, they also spark curiosity in the "how" behind the art for a true STEAM-based learning experience. Each time we visit (which is pretty much every time they have a new exhibit - we're hooked!), my kids are both mesmerized by the artistic works and interested in learning about the process and technology used to create them.
Sakura Yume // Cherry Blossom Dream Exhibition (Spring 2018)
ARTECHOUSE typically hosts a new exhibition every two to three months. Their current exhibition, Everything in Existence, showcases four multimedia installations by internationally-acclaimed Italian artist studio, fuse*. I recommend this exhibition for older elementary kids and up, as the subject matter and experience may be a bit mature for younger children. This is a perfect outing for families with tweens and teens.
Multiverse by fuse*
The Multiverse installation fills the entirety of the main exhibit space with sound and a dramatic moving visual display that envelopes you; even making you feel like you are moving at times. This is not simply a looped video on replay, but generative art created in real time using cutting-edge software such that no two experiences are ever exactly the same.
Multiverse by fuse*
A powerful exhibit for social media-addicted teens (and adults, too!), Amygdala processes tweets in real time, interprets the emotions behind them, and transforms them into art that changes based on the collective mood of the world spinning around outside.
Amygdala by fuse*
The Snowfall installation is simplistically amusing. Step up and watch as the true YOU is revealed (in my case, with phone in hand).
Snowfall by fuse*
If you are looking for a great date night idea, ARTECHOUSE is open until 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and until 11:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Admission is limited to adults 21+ in the evening hours, and there is bar in the main exhibition area that serves "augmented reality" cocktails that are uniquely designed to go with the installations. Be sure to download the ARTECHOUSE app for the full experience.
Check out these family-friendly activities and events for more fun and affordable things to do with kids in Washington, D.C.
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