Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding

Our first fine art department show in the new Center for Design, Media and the Arts building here at the Alexandria Campus!

Each year we dedicate one show to a topic theme for an outside artistic group or singular artist to broaden the minds of our students and show them what serious shows can be.  This year we collaborated with George Mason’s graduate MFA program.  The artists within the masters program determined their theme.

The artwork is brilliantly constructed.  Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding serves. “as a reflection on accumulations of  moments of recognition after a catastrophic event.”  The artists used themes of, “shelter, repair, reconstruction, self-reliance, collectivism, exchange, organizing, technology and functionality,” to communicate the temporary paradigms that experienced by those touched by catastrophic events.

Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Canopy by Kate Fitzpatrick and Kerry Hentges. Photo by Britt Conley

The work, “Canopy,” is created from cut canvas, grommets, red thread and pine.

Opening Night of Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Photo by Britt Conley
Opening Night of Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Photo by Britt Conley

Kate Fitzpatrick and Kerry Hentges built “Canopy,” to reflect the protection, and shielding from the outside elements that is necessary with makeshift shelters.  They explain, “Although these kinds of shelters are temporary and made with found items that come apart or lose strength, people are linked and reconnected through the process of rebuilding.”

Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Canopy by Kate Fitzpatrick and Kerry Hentges. Photo by Britt Conley

 

Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding, Refuge: Under it’s Own Weight by Erica Hopkins and Emily Fussner. Photo by Britt Conley

One of the unexpected works, is the installation by Emily Fussner and Erica Hopkins, which consists of dipped wire in flax paper pulp.

Opening Night of Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Photo by Britt Conley
Opening Night of Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Photo by Britt Conley

“Refuge: Under its Own Weight”  traverses our building structure.  The majority of the work resides in the main gallery room, however small trails of wire rest outside the gallery wall, holding up to the outdoor weather elements.

Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding, Refuge: Under it’s Own Weight by Erica Hopkins and Emily Fussner. Photo by Britt Conley

The next, they explain, “is on of the most basic shelters: a primitive refuge at once secure and delicate.  It is a sanctuary, made from available materials with care by the dweller.”

On the gallery north wall, resides “Inverted Rank: Shifting Gear” by Jennifer Lillis and Giacomo Gamble.  The used found bicycles to show how bicycling is used, “as a primary mode of transportation.  Often times after catastrophe, systems of communication and transportation  are broken down, causing shifts in social power,” they continue, ” By breaking bicycles down  to their base components, we manipulate the function of it’s mobility to inverse the power in a capitalist society to knowledge base in archaic structures.”

Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding, Inverted Rank by Jennifer Lillis and Giacomo Gamble. Photo by Britt Conley
Opening Night of Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Photo by Britt Conley
Opening Night of Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Photo by Britt Conley

Just seeing the individual parts of the bicycles makes one aware of the difficulties of rebuilding.

Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding, Inverted Rank by Jennifer Lillis and Giacomo Gamble. Photo by Britt Conley

The lone tire, splattered with mud seemingly illustrates, the distances that one must traverse when transportation breaks down.

Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding, Inverted Rank by Jennifer Lillis and Giacomo Gamble. Photo by Britt Conley
Opening Night of Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Photo by Britt Conley

Kerry Hentges has altered books to explore the “personal items and family heirlooms,” that are lost in disasters.   “A circular patters is cut int he center of the book,” she explains, “causing ti to lose all meaning and functional purpose.  The layered cuts mimic the weather pattern at the center of the large storm, known as the stadium effect.”

Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding, What Remains by Kerry Hentges. Photo by Britt Conley
Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding, What Remains by Kerry Hentges. Photo by Britt Conley

Finally Brigitte Caramanna created “The Universal Power Paradox” to show how, “Power is becoming vital to our existence.”  She illustrates how this vulnerability leaves us, “at the mercy of our planet supporting us.”

Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding, The Ultimate Power of Paradox by Brigitte Caramanna. Photo by Britt Conley
Opening Night of Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Photo by Britt Conley

Brigitte adds, these etchings show, “Our rise or demise,” as, “determined by the way we use our resources.”

Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding, The Ultimate Power of Paradox by Brigitte Caramanna. Photo by Britt Conley

The opening for the show, was great.  It wasn’t long before everyone began arriving for the “Aftermath” opening reception at 4pm on November 7th.

Opening Night of Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Photo by Britt Conley

Everyone excitedly prepped for a lovely early evening gathering.

Opening Night of Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Photo by Britt Conley

The installations were a hit!

Opening Night of Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Photo by Britt Conley

The raining day, made for a lovely backdrop.  It was all about the art.

Opening Night of Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Photo by Britt Conley
Opening Night of Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Photo by Britt Conley
Opening Night of Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Photo by Britt Conley
Opening Night of Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Photo by Britt Conley

One of the great new features of our gallery is the TV screen.  Perfect to showcase the artists biography and artist statements.

Opening Night of Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Photo by Britt Conley
Opening Night of Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Photo by Britt Conley

The show was curated by our very Jessica Gardner.  She is our ceramics faculty and an artist in her own right.

Opening Night of Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Photo by Britt Conley
Emily Fussner stands within her installation. Photo by Britt Conley

The installations perfectly used the space at hand.  Our new gallery walls are still en route.  The artists problem-solved beautifully.

Opening Night of Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Photo by Britt Conley
Opening Night of Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Photo by Britt Conley
Opening Night of Aftermath: Cycles of Rebuilding. Photo by Britt Conley

If you haven’t seen the show, please do come in.  It runs until December 17th, 2017.

For more information about the show, contact Jessica Gardner at JgGardner@nvcc.edu

Post by: Britt Conley,  Fine Art Department Studio Assistant

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *