The Phillips Collection has plenty of enticing things they offer when they put together events, but telling me that I can make my own Lite-Brite masterpiece??? YOU BETTER NOT BE JOKING PHILLIPS!!!

This Thursday, Phillips After 5 is gonna take you Nordic—-that means simulated aurora borealis, a light show, industrial design, Olafur Eliasson, regional beers and cheeses and more. Oh yeah, and electro-acoustic jazz and a theremin. A THEREMIN. When was the last time you heard one of those played live?

If this event isn’t awesome, I am going to be so bummed out, because if you’ve got Lite-Brites, beers, a northern lights light show, a theremin and art and you can’t make it cool, you’ve got a real problem.

Nordic Lights is this Thursday, February 6, 2014 from 5-8:30pm. Reservations strongly advised. $12; $10 for students as well as visitors 62 and over. Members always admitted free, no reservation needed.

Your Sunday Instruction: See Van Gogh, Catch a Buzz, Buy Some Records

This is your Sunday. This is your plan of action:

1. See Van Gogh - The Van Gogh exhibit Repetitions at The Phillips Collection closes on Groundhog Day/Super Bowl Sunday (February 2) and I’m pretty sure you already know that visiting a high profile exhibit on the last weekend it’s open is always a bad idea, so this Sunday is your somewhat reasonable last chance.

2. Catch a Buzz - Stroll on over to Filter coffeehouse (a few blocks away from the Phillips) and grab an espresso pick me up or my favorite: the “Flat White.”

3. See Van Gogh, Again - Get your caffeinated self on the Metro and head over to the National Gallery of Art and take a look-see at what may have been Van Gogh’s last painting: Green Wheat Fields, Auvers, 1890.

4. Buy Some Records -  Post Van Gogh, walk over to Penn Social for the 5th Annual DC Record Fair. Live DJs all afternoon and over 40 record dealers.

Sounds like a full day to me…

Ruby Anniversary: AAC Celebrates This Saturday

40 years is a long time to keep anything going, be it a relationship, a habit, a collection, or in this case, an arts program. This Saturday, Arlington Arts Center opens CSA: Forty Years of Community-Sourced Art which surveys the work and careers of some of DC’s favorite artists who were incubated by AAC.

Sometimes I feel like AAC is an unsung hero of the local art scene; it’s actually a revelation to me that they’ve been doing this so long! But looking at the careers of exhibiting artists like Ken Ashton, J.J. McCracken, Nikki Painter, Erik Thor Sandberg and Foon Sham and you know they gotta be doing something right.

CSA: Forty Years of Community-Sourced Art opens this Saturday, January 25, 2014 with reception from 6-9pm. Exhibit runs through April 13, 2014. Arlington Arts Center is located at 3550 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA.

You Are Not Alone! Balancing Creativity with Everything Else at The Hirshhorn Tonight

Finding any kind of balance in life is a challenge, but balancing creative output with “other” always seems especially tough. Tonight, hear how other artists try to manage it at the panel "Living & Sustaining a Creative Life" which is also the name of a new collection of essays by 40 practicing artists and edited by Sharon Louden. Co-panelists include local artists Patrick McDonough and Jeff Spaulding.

Also of note is the co-sponsorship of this event by Curator’s Office and American University’s Studio Art Program. Curator’s Office, sans permanent space, will be doing more programming and collaborative work this year, and this first foray of 2014 may be a good barometer of what to expect in the next year.

"Living & Sustaining a Creative Life" begins at 7pm on Thursday, January 23, 2014 at The Hirshhorn’s Ring Auditorium. Event is free but get there early as it’s first come, first served.