Arts and entertainment are always in season in NoVA—you just have to know where (and when) to find them.
Whether you’re looking to browse your way through to find some peace of mind, or you’re eager to find rising talent, these locations are a just a short drive (or Metro ride!) away, and will have you gazing into a new perspective.
Plus, they’re a cool way to spend time out of the summer heat.
Torpedo Art Factory Center
Just across the water from the nation’s capital, the Torpedo Factory Art Center is the largest collection of publicly accessible working artist studios in the United States. For July, catch current exhibit, Julia Kwon: More Than a Body, based on the perspective of othering and objectification of Korean-American women, until Aug. 4. // 105 N. Union St., Alexandria; free
There’s a good chance you won’t find the same piece of artwork on display the next time you visit Gallery Underground. The art exhibition space changes its featured artwork each month to keep things fresh and enticing. Currently on display is HOT, an exhibit embodying the theme of heat through various pieces. When the exhibit concludes on July 26, guests can experience Fire, Earth, Water, Air, starting on July 29 (through the month of August), which features work relating to the four elements of life in Western culture. // Crystal City Shops: 2100 Crystal Drive, Arlington; free
Del Ray Artisans
This nonprofit reaches the local community through a range of creative expression and artistic pieces to act as the artistic center of a city that has thriving creative activity. Current exhibits include the temporary The 2 Sides Project (July 11-14) , which showcases the stories of children who lost their fathers on each side of the Vietnam War, through film and digital photography. The exhibit will also air the documentary inspired by the project. In upcoming weeks, the gallery will showcase pieces from the weekly summer art camps, and a month-long exhibit starting on Aug. 2 titled Fresh Meat. // Nicholas A. Colasanto Center: 2704 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; free
As a second location for the Arlington Artists Alliance, the gallery features artwork of various mediums that are free from partiality towards style and trend. The current show, Black and White, showcases work from 20 artists that have interpreted their own images without color, while not using the color black. The darker shades of “black” have instead been created through mixing of colors, creating various hues and depth in each piece. The exhibit displays until Aug. 4. The upcoming August show will feature work by Matthew Miller, including acrylic works of Italy that capture picturesque cityscapes, with an opening reception held on Aug. 9. This location is accessible via the WMATA Orange Line. // 2800 Clarendon Blvd., Suite R-800, Arlington; free
Greater Reston Arts Center
The Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) offers year-round contemporary art exhibits to the community. The current exhibit is A Purposeful Manner Towards a Vague Destination by Douglas Moulden, which features large-scale acrylic paintings inspired by photographs and memories of his favorite landscapes throughout the DMV. The artist is from Washington, DC and currently lives in Maryland, and the exhibit will be on display until Aug. 27. Starting on July 13, the gallery will also host Overlooked, a gallery dedicated to works that hope to bring awareness to issues that are often ignored or not addressed. // 12001 Market St., Suite 103, Reston; free
The largest contemporary art gallery in the nation’s capital … need we say more? The upcoming exhibit Lola features the work of a West Coast mixed-media artist, who is bringing her “slick resin works to the mid-Atlantic.” The exhibit will open July 17, and concludes on Aug. 18. Following July, an exhibit by Jason Wright will showcase at Longview Gallery, where viewers can “catch the wave,” according to the website. // 1234 Ninth St. NW, Washington, DC; free
Established in 1971 by four students from Washington, DC, the gallery supports local art through the display of new and emerging artists. The current exhibit The Habitual Line, showcases artist Joseph Shetler who addresses post-minimalism through simplicity in art and life. The exhibit will be on display until July 28. The next exhibit to look forward to is Artists’ Choice, an outside group art show using the space for the collaborative display. // 2118 Eighth St. NW, Washington, DC; free
For more fun things to do this summer, subscribe to our Things to Do newsletter, hitting your inbox every Monday and Thursday morning.