Naked Eyes at Artechouse

Artechouse has become a go-to destination when DC area families want to do something a little different. For those unfamiliar, Artechouse is a different kind of art gallery that explores the interaction of art and technology.

While many of Artechouse’s past exhibits have been interactive and recommended for all ages, their latest installation is a little different. It is decidedly less interactive than past exhibits and contains fewer elements likely to engage children.

Artechouse recommends Naked Eyes for ages 12+. This recommendation is not based on any inappropriate content but likely interest level. I brought three of my children (aged 3, 7 and 10) because they have enjoyed Artechouse’s past exhibits so much. They handled it fine and enjoyed their visit. However, Naked Eyes is very dark and contains a lot of flashing lights. Children who scare easily or who are afraid of the dark probably won’t enjoy the exhibit.

If you do go, here is what you can expect. The first room you will enter is large with a large white block of light that changes shape projected on one wall. The floor contains multiple tubes of light that visitors are welcome to walk between or sit between to take in the exhibit. The exhibit also contains three other smaller rooms. One has multiple projectors which move and change patterns, one has a black-and-white light pattern that changes, and one is even darker than the rest and visitors are invited to sit on a bench and watch a large installation of light tubes changing patterns.

I always think that exposing my children to new and different art forms is valuable, but do be aware that this exhibit is not for all young children. If you would like to go anyway, Artechouse makes a great date night or Moms Night Out destination. From 5:30 – 11:00 pm each night Artechouse turns into 21+ venue. And, yes, there is a bar!

If you go, tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under. Tickets are sold for timed admissions to keep the number of visitors at any given time limited. If you are late, you will still be allowed in. You can stay as long as you like and the average visit is about an hour. There is metered parking near Artechouse as well as several garages. Naked Eyes will be showing through June 20th.

The newly opened Wharf DC is a short drive, or about a five minute walk, from Artechouse. After our visit to Artechouse we walked to the Wharf and had lunch and played in the fountains and on the swings making for a nice afternoon in the area.

Photos: Jamie Davis Smith

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