Arts Focus: Ways of Seeing Time at Gallery 3700

This column is sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Time never stops. As it moves, our perspective can change and evolve. A new exhibit at Gallery 3700 called Ways of Seeing Time by Arlington artist and scientist Kristen Orr examines how we perceive time.

Ways of Seeing Time started as the Artist’s attempt to heal from a recent heartbreak and evolved into a collection of positive ideas about time. “At first, these thoughts were negative,” Orr reveals, “but then I began collecting positive ways to think about time.” With the thought that these ideas might help others deal with existential dread, Kristen assembled her favorite ways of seeing time into a zine (a small art booklet) that she made copies of and shared with many people.

The work on view in Gallery 3700 recreates select pages from this zine at a large scale using cut vinyl text and gouache paintings on watercolor paper. “And it turns out that there are so many ways that we as humans conceptualize time,” Orr adds. If you have your own way of thinking about time, Orr invites you to write it down in the notebook in the gallery as part of the exhibit.

Kristen Orr is an artist, designer and biologist based in Arlington. She creates line drawings, prints, paintings, zines and installations that explore how humans perceive the natural world. Her work has organic, rhythmic qualities and often contains an underlying sense of humor and poetry. She is influenced by popular science writers such as E.O. Wilson, Jonathan Weiner and Fredrik Sjoberg, and she frequently collaborates with artists, scientists and natural history museums.

Her interests in art and science led her to work in fields like museum exhibition design and scientific illustration. She currently works as a freelance designer with recent clients, including the Hirshhorn Museum and the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. Seventy illustrations by Kristen are featured in the popular science book How to Win Friends and Influence Fungi published by St. Martin’s Press in February 2024. In all that she does, she believes that increasing accessibility to scientific information through art and design is the best way to engage people with the wonders of the natural world.

A hidden gem in Arlington’s Green Valley neighborhood, Gallery 3700 exists for arts organizations, individual artists and artist guilds to present their work. Recent exhibitions include WE PAUSED! Unbound (Jun 2022-May 2023) in collaboration with Arlington’s Studio Pause, and just prior to the pandemic, an exhibit by the Guild of American Papercutters (GAP) featuring the works of 34 artists from seventeen states and Lithuania entitled Places in Paper.

Gallery 3700 is located in the Cultural Affairs Building, 3700 S Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington, VA 22206. Situated beside Jennie Dean Park and just steps from the popular Four Mile Run dog park and walking path, take a few moments of time to drop by on your next walk, jogging or biking excursion.

Gallery 3700 Hours:
Monday — Friday: 12-10:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday: Closed

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