I was near the White House the other day, so I took some time to visit the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery.  It's free and just off of Lafayette Square, so all around perfect.  Currently, the gallery is hosting nine artist installations in a show called "Wonder," meant to inspire the creative mind through the reimagined use of every day objects.  The exhibit will run through July 2016 if you happen to be in the Washington D.C. area.  And the best part?  Photos are encouraged!

The first installation you see as you walk in the main door is "Untitled" by Sara Donovan.  These rock-like sculptures are made from pieces of paper, but you don't really see them unless you are up close. The shadows and contrast are perfectly generated to give the illusion of eroded limestone rock faces.

The installation that seems to be getting the most attention is Gabriel Dawe's "Plexus A1."  He wove colored thread in a rainbow pattern to create what looks like light rays traveling through a prism.  The sculpture is beautiful in its material simplicity and its contrasting complexity, in that the movement of the colors look different from all angles.

Upstairs, the room with Janet Echelman's "1.8 Detail" netting design on the ceiling encourages visitors to lay on the floor and look at how the lighting hits the nets to create different movement and shapes.

In the adjacent room is a giant felled tree made from wood blocks and suspended from the ceiling.  I actually preferred the view of this installation by John Grade through the doorway.

The remaining five exhibits included giant birds nests made from interwoven sticks that swooped up into the ceiling, glass marbles that appear to be slowly consuming a room - creeping up the walls and over the floor, a threatening fence made out of black rubber tire spikes, a room that transformed its walls into a giant entomology display (with real bugs!), and a dripping light chandelier.  Definitely stop by the gallery if you have the time - even 5 minutes will inspire you.