cu l t u re Magic Man If an artist can define a city in transition, Gabriel Mellan (gabrielmellan.com) is it. His current work includes massive sculpture, photography and video. “I make big, loud and often heavy sculptures that sometimes move, illuminate and make noise,” says the artist, who experienced childhood in DC and Maui before spending his teen years in Japanese public schools. His most recognizable work, an interactive sound column dubbed “Heptachord,” challenges our capacity to appreciate our senses. The year ahead for the Corcoran College of Art + Design grad promises more pop-up exhibits at places like Union Market; a photography project in Finland; and filmmaking in China, Bangladesh and Nepal. “I’m really humbled to have a life that allows me to pursue my passion of art and teaching,” Mellan says. FACTORING ART Gabriel Mellan in front of his work “(_)(2)(2) (16+32),” named for a math equation.