Writing has been used expressively as well as communicatively from time immemorial — especially in the Far and Middle East — and now calligrapher Rose Folsom creates sinuous, abstract forms that seem to jump and skip in Strathmore Hall’s Rose Folsom: Written Paintings. The moving lines and the shapes they leave in their wake work together to speak a new language. “Today we are surrounded by words that state facts; that demand something from us. I paint words that allow for wonder and mystery,” the artist says. Visit the exhibit to see a new take on the ancient art of calligraphy, the art of fine handwriting. Strathmore Hall, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Closed Sundays through Dec. 30. Free. 301/581-5146.
— Joanna Shaw-Eagle
The American Film Institute Silver Theatre anticipates Christmas with a trio of revivals. The Muppet Christmas Carol, a 1992 revamp of the Charles Dickens prototype, continues daily through Sunday. Frank Capra’s 1946 classic It’s a Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart as the small-town family man whose morale needs a rescue effort on a desperate Christmas Eve, begins daily screenings Saturday and continues through Christmas Day. A Christmas Story, a 1983 domestic comedy derived from one of Jean Shepherd’s radio memoirs, also begins an eight-day engagement on Saturday. Tickets are $7.50 to $9.25. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. 301/495-6720 or www.afi.com/silver.
— Gary Arnold