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DC gallery shows: ‘Then and Now: 40 Years,’ ‘Fall Solos 2013,’ ‘Against the Bias

Against the Bias

Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery has been yarn-bombed. The U Street art space’s facade is dripping with fabric vines, and a knitted garden sits atop its storefront window. The thematic thread leads inside to “Against the Bias,” a show made from scraps and strands. Its sentry is a six-foot-high fabric cactus fashioned by Stacy Cantrell, who also led the 13-person Yarn-Bomb Dream Team to craft the exterior display.

Yarn is not the only material. Jimmy Miracle’s boxes are made of wood and lined with black velvet, whose dark depths set off the light that shimmers on piano-wire-like filaments. Emily Biondo’s four wall sculptures resemble large doilies, but at their centers are small speakers that murmur different monologues by “accomplished female professionals.” Lily deSaussure embroiders small faces in white thread on white paper, while Jo Hamilton’s larger self-portrait is colorful and crocheted.

The most vivid contrast comes in Jesse Harrod’s “Late Bloomers,” whose four tendrils are covered by a riot of cloth remnants and topped with roughly shaped concrete caps. The piece’s four arms have a childlike exuberance, and the heavy tops provide a sobering counterweight.

Against the Bias is on view through Dec. 21 at Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, 1632 U St. NW, Washington, DC 20009.