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Renwick Gallery

We are a nation in love with second chances. And when those second chances involve beauty, it’s a story likely to be sung from the rafters. Local photographer Tatiana Gulenkina would agree. After all, she had her Canon 5D Mark III at the ready when the Renwick Gallery—the first space in the United States specifically built as an art museum—reopened late last fall after an extensive two-year renovation. Each piece in Wonder, the Renwick’s inaugural six-month exhibit in the new space, is mammoth in ambition and size. Many of the installations “play on the idea of the interaction between humans and nature­—[they] make crowds of adults aimlessly wander around with childlike excitement,” says Gulenkina. Toward the end of the evening during the opening gala, a patron wandered alone under Gabriel Dawe’s “Plexus A1,” which is crafted from tiny multicolored threads. It’s an ethereal piece, Gulenkina notes, as the work’s color scheme seems to morph depending upon one’s perspective in the room. “The best view of the installation is when you stand right in the middle of the room and look up; the piece appears as a solid ray of light instead of separate strings,” she says. “Seeing visitors interacting with artwork in new and unexpected ways always gets my imagination going.”