Margaret Boozer is the Founder and Director of Red Dirt Studio, an artist incubator in Mt. Rainier, MD, and Co-Director and founding member of NY Urban Soil Institute’s Art Extension Service. Over the years, her studio practice of digging native clays has led to collaborations with soil scientists and work that explore intersections of art and science.
Margaret came to speak with our ceramics students about her studio and about clay, it’s color, it’s function and out of the box creating.
“Red Dirt Studio is a warehouse studio and incubator for a small group of independently practicing artists and creative professionals, from fresh out of school to nationally known. We share resources, offer critical feedback and push each other toward greater professionalism in our work. It’s a space for projects, community exchange and radical imagination.”
One of the wonderful aspects of Margaret’s job, working with scientists as Director at the Art Extension Service to the NYC Urban Soils Institute. She is also passionate about found clay in situ and using various clay colorings as palette within her artistic creations. Digging it up and bringing it back to the studio allows her to add geographic storylines to her creative process.
For more information on Margarette visit: http://www.margaretboozer.com/
This years NOVA/MASON show was a huge success! Our collective arts foundations students, who are Foundations level students (Freshmen or Sophomore) currently enrolled NOVA and Mason students. showed us how exceptionally talented they are!
This exhibition explores the dual challenges faced by Foundation Level art students: learning about a new medium and honing their craft within the structure of the class assignment. Innovation celebrates those works that expand on, push the boundaries of, and go beyond those in class assignments. Whether in craft, design, or concept, developing technical skills and an artistic voice is not an easy task. Innovation is an exhibition dedicated to the students working on building their skills and finding new approaches. All works exhibiting personal growth or an innovated approach to classroom work will be considered
There are a variety of positive aspects to bringing our students together in one exhibition. NOVA students get to see the level of art by their student colleagues at Mason and learn about the arts program from them and their professors as well. Often Mason students are prior NOVA students and having alumni return to see their friends is rewarding for all!
Each year the exhibition toggles between NOVA and George Mason. This coming year everyone working to have the exhibition in a professional arts venue to help provide an extraordinary learning experience for how galleries work and provide a broader community experience and access to seeing everyone’s art!
This year’s Juror is Babette Pendleton, the current exhibition and programming curator at George Washington’s Corcoran School of Art & Design in DC who also teaches within the Curatorial Practice program at MICA. She holds a BFA in Dance & Choreography from Cornish College of the Arts, and an MFA in Curatorial Practice from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) with a minor in Critical Theory.
Experimentation, intentionality, and collaboration are central aspects of Babette Pendleton’s multidisciplinary work as an artist, curator-producer, and researcher. Her national and international curatorial work manifests in forms of collective and collaborative organizing, project management, visionary and strategic consulting, and exhibition/performance producing. Babette is the director of Yellow Fish, a durational performance art festival which aims to bring awareness to the significance and study of time through cultural practices and artistic mediums, while facilitating community involvement in historical and contemporary thought surrounding Durational Performance. Notable past work includes, director and founder of the Pendleton House—a twenty-five person interdisciplinary art collective; director of the experimental gallery space, New Tomorrow; and producer and project Manager for Sarah Cameron Sunde’s global series, A Durational Performance with the Sea. She most recently worked as a consultant with Robert W. Deutsch Foundation in Baltimore, MD and Coffey Street in Brooklyn, NY. Her current research focuses on reconfiguring contractual agreements inside collecting and commissioning initiatives with specific emphasis on putting care practice and performance methodologies at the forefront of contract law. Babette
The works she chose are inspirational and often tell a personal story or stories of others or experience itself.
This year’s show is headed by Jessica Gardener and Brian Davis. Jessica head’s our NOVA Alexandria Ceramic’s and 3-D Arts program and Brian, teaches New Media and Sculpture at George Washington University and George Mason University.
The reception was offered time for students and families to dive deeply into our student’s intentioned-artwork.
School shows are often the first experience our young students have with exhibiting to the public.
The rewards are immediate, as art-goers have a huge appreciation for technique and process.
It’s also a wonderful moment for our artists to explain their work to others.
Before long it was time for Jessica to gather everyone together to begin the awards ceremony. First, our Provost, Dr. Annette Haggray was kind enough to give a wonderfully inspiring thank you to all of the students, for their creativity, confidence and talents.
Babette spoke about all of the works and the extra-ordinary creative ways the students went beyond the classroom assignments and used highly innovative creative thought.
First award of the night was our Honorable Mention , which went to MJ Gomez-Salazar! Congratulations!
Our Third Place Winner, Ian Dermott! Congratulations!
Brian Davis, 3-D professor at George Mason, proudly took pictures of all of the winners! It’s a rewarding moment!
Our Second Place winner went Faani Tabrizi Nezhaad’s. She could not be there but her family was!
Our first Place winner’s award went to Pasindu Weeramunda! Congratulations!
Finally, Congratulations to our People’s Choice winner, Ryan Funkhouser!
Students from all of our arts came in to see the works and learn from them!
Dr. Nicole Munday, Associate Dean for the Social Sciences, enjoying Vicente Figueroa’s Artwork.
Vicente Figueroa discussing her artistic Book artwork.
Jessica takes a picture of Robbyn Smith and her incredible artwork: Barking Mad Blue.
It’s an exciting show and everyone really enjoyed the works and meeting other students!
Sofia Vazquez-Espada enjoyed explaining her work : Color is a Concept.
Students enjoying Ariana Barbery-Cornejo’s work: Perception Features.
Rachel McGrath and Bethany Davis’ photographic images were wonderfully well recieved.
Yesenia Garcia in front of her lovely piece: Izanami.
A special thanks go out to Brian and Babette for ALL their hard work and creativity in making this show happen.
Stacy Slaten, the head of our 2-D Department proudly enjoying the student work from her and others classes.
This year’s Student Fine Art Show was absolutely wonderful!!! On the evening of February 26th we gathered to celebrate all our Fine Art Department Students and those who were juried into the 2020 Student Fine Art Show. A special thanks goes to Professor Stacy Slaten, for organizing the entire show!
At 5:00pm, people began pouring in to check out all the amazing artwork. Anya peering out to say Hi!
The artwork is incredible this year. The technical prowess is evident.
It’s always an joy to have our gallery to show how creative and talented our students are!
The reception evening also offers a great opportunity for students to discuss their work with an engaged audience.
Of course it’s also a night for creating memories for their time, here at NOVA.
Our Provost, Dr. Haggray is always in attendance and a big supporter of all our Alexandria Arts Departments.
The reception is also a great night for parents, friends and family to see the work of all those they’ve been supporting. Many of the students quietly work away until the pieces are ‘show ready.’
Dr. McClellan, our Dean for the Liberal Arts Department, fully invests time and efforts to help make sure our Fine Arts Programs are supported and that our students, faculty and staff are appreciated. We are thrilled to have him in our corner : )
We were also lucky to have our new Northern Virginia Community College President, Dr. Kress, in attendance.
She gave a truly inspiring speech that touted the talents and efforts of every student in the Arts who has been working hard to become the great artist they are destined to be. There are many who may not have gotten into this years show, or even won awards this year, but who are tremendously talented, creative and worthy a huge applause for being bold enough to put themselves out there by being visually expressive and sharing their creative efforts. I have to agree whole-heartedly. So many talents in our department who have amazing futures ahead 🙂
We were also fortunate to have a phenomenal juror, Sarah Hardesty. Sarah’s drawings, paintings, and installations have been included in numerous exhibitions including VisArts, Rockville, MD; Metro Micro Gallery, Arlington, VA; ISE Cultural Foundation, New York, NY; Davidson Contemporary, New York, NY; MPG Gallery, Boston, MA; Wheaton College, MA; the Tucson Museum of Art and MoCA Tucson, AZ. She has been awarded residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Wassaic Project, the Carriage House at Islip Art Museum, Santa Fe Art Institute and Vermont Studio Center. Grants include the Joan Mitchell Foundation, a Leon Levy award, and a VFIC Mednick Fellowship. She received her MFA in Painting from the University of Arizona in 2005, and her BS in Studio Art from Skidmore College in 1998. She was born in Strong, Maine and currently lives and works in the Washington DC area. She is an Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at Marymount University and a resident artist at the Arlington Arts Center
She really enjoyed being able to work with us and found it difficult to chose from all the wonderful work submitted. That said, she put together an amazing show that showcased well.
Everyone is always surprised when they win and Thuy was surprised to win for her honorable mention and then to win again later!
The awards ceremony is a great time to support those who win the top prizes. Especially when we know all that went into becoming the artists they are.
Congratulations to all the winners!
It’s a proud moment for everyone.
Of course the students are the most surprised!
Professor Stacy Slaten, who heads our 2-D department loved meeting with the students and their families.
It’s great to see the students who have worked so hard to be amazing artists, get some recognition. Congrats Iana and Sam!
Some of the works were so technically amazing, you just had to take picture!
Anthony, Thuy and Diana, are some of our amazing artists!
Congratulations to Noria for winning 2nd place!
Amy and Simon showing each other their latest artistic projects.
Thumbs up indeed! Matthew and Thuy having a great time!
I walked by and overheard a gallery-goer say this was their favorite piece.
Looking at Miranda’s amazing conte crayon with our juror.
Mary Higgens, curator for the Rachel M. Schlesinger Center Concert Hall and Arts Center speaking to Thuy.
Yep, Thuy received two awards and both are well deserved.
Stacy is a very proud teacher!
Moustafa was thrilled to get into this years show!
Lucy and Emu enjoyed the night.
So many proud families.
Happy Students are my favorite moment to capture 🙂
It’s hard to find happier students and Marjorie and Franny!
All is all the Student Fine Art Show is a great moment in time for all our students.
Congratulations to everyone’s creative endeavors and to those being able to show this year.
Looking forward to see what more they are working on this semester!!!
I was fortunate to get an opportunity to curate a show at The Workhouse Arts Center for July and August. I decided to feature our over 50 community who are in the Arts at Northern Virginia Community College.
We are lucky enough to have adult learners in nearly every class at NOVA. Older students come with a tremendous amount of experience and where-with-all. They are generally very creative and passionately jump into projects. This mindset is shared to the younger students by their simply being in the room with them. Their art is often at a high level of quality, craftsmanship and most importantly, concept. For this reason, it was easy to pull out some examples of what this community has to offer.
The exhibit features the art of JoAnn Ackerman, Britt Conley, D’Arcy Dean, Ireen Cleaton-Jones, Stephen Kohashi, Miyuki Matsuoka, Elizabeth Noguchi, Amy Reed, Tuyen Stricker, Wesley Walker and Dick White. This is a mix of students and varying art department assistants from Ceramics, Fine Art and Photography.
The show will be up for another second Saturday art walk night in August. Please come down to see the show and all of the other artists at The Workhouse Arts Center.
To contact any of the artists email Britt Conley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A very fun exhibition featuring Artists who Teach from the tri-state area of Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
Joseph Wade instructs at St. Stephens and St. Agnes School. He submitted multiple 3-D works. His Wooden Chipboard Boxes and ceramic cups are wonderfully paired.
High Water Mark at the Spring House, a monoprint by Emily Shepardson, began, “as a silkscreen print of a small outbuilding,” before she used Akua inks with stencils of her own creation. She says, “I particular like the interplay of orange and turquoise inks and the way of the path take s you into and out of the image.” Emily teaches at Thomas Jefferson Middle School.
Hiromi Isobe created “Hot Step” a lovely Acrylic on Canvas painting that fills the visual space with a seemingless endless journey. Hiromi instructs art at Washington and Lee High School.
Drew Mulligan, an instructor in Arlington created this lovely salt print, Untitled #26. The shapes dialog across the space in a lovely way, where negative space is darker and the whites move the eye.
It always nice to see our Provost, Dr. Haggray. She attends our arts events on a regular basis and engages with everyone in her quest for meanings in everyone’s artistic intent. She and our Dean are wonderfully supportive of all our students efforts.
Amy Bruce, an instructor from Edison High School, created this incredible mixed-media, 100 day project. Each day, she created another 6×6 panel using paint, wax paper, ephemera and digital paints to support a new quote. The students loved this and everyone read through each day’s quote.
Kate Elkins, who also teaches at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School, drew this beautiful portrait, titled, Paige, a high school art student. The medium is charcoal on hand-toned paper.
Opening’s offer a great opportunity for our arts community to get together, say hello and get excited about how the semester is going. Our Associate Dean for the Arts, K.V., (seen walking as she views the work), loved the show.
Virginia Teaford, who teaches at Yorktown High School in Arlington, Virginia, came with her family. Her painting is displayed with Beth Coast’s beautifully shaped ceramic bowl. The color and curves in each complement one another. Virginia’s 30×40 painting was inspired by the Kennilworth Gardens in D.C. She explains, the gardens are “Mysterious and overwhelming in scope.” She wanted to capture how the garden’s, “lead you in and encloses the viewer.”
Jade Xia, a teacher from St. Stephens and St. Agnes School, loves botanicals. Her oil on canvas, “Blackberry” is palpably juicy. You can almost taste the fruit. She describes herself as, “a faithful pupil of nature and constantly in awe of it’s great work. If I lived in J.R.R. Tolkien’s world of Middle Earth, I’d be a Hobbit – not only, because I am short and love food, but also because I share their love of “good tilled earth, things that grow and peace and quiet.” With her greater work she describes “the tensions between branches of plants,” as being, “comparable to human relationships, their stories are growth and decay echo the fundamental human concern with life and death.”
Our visiting artists from this exhibit work at both public and charter schools, teaching in the arts. The reception offered a wonderful opportunity to meet up. Hiromi Isobe, from Washington and Lee is photographed by Faylinda Kodis of H.B. Woodlawn.
George Laumann, who also teaches at H-B Woodlawn, created this photograph, titled, “In Memory of Haley.” He explains, the work is from, “a series of digital photographs reflecting the loss I felt when my niece tragically died in a traffic accident, several years ago. In the photo I’m represented by my shadow and the reflection over Haleys image in the cell phone.” This powerful image was placed on it’s own wall in the gallery.
Faylinda’s mixed media work, Cisco Bay is wonderfully narrative. The color appears to jump off the monocromatic background. A wonderful mix for movement of the eye. Faylinda teaches at H.B.-Woodlawn.
One of the anchor pieces of the show is Cecily Corcoran’s, “This is What Democracy Looks Like.” Cecily teaches at Swanson Middle School and her oil on canvas painting pays homage to the Women’s March.
Students really enjoyed the opportunity to meet some of the artists this night. They were able to ask them about the works, as well as their life as an artists and teachers.
Julie Gilmore is a ceramicist who teaches in Alexandria at Mount Vernon High School and at the Workhouse. Her, “Teapot Red Amour” opens the exhibit space with an intimate and detailed ,two piece work. The deep red glaze, called Randy’s Red, offers a lovely warmth.
Kenmore Middle School’s, Jeff Wilson created this wonderfully structured, mixed-media, lit sculpture. He incorporates, lids and fencing material with thread and micro LED lights. He explains, “I have been collecting lids for 30 years and have a collection of about 30,000. Lids have become my medium of choice.”
Jeff spent much of the reception explaining his work to eager ears.
He thanked Stacy Slaten, our faculty 2-D teacher for the organizing the show. Each year we put on a topic show which brings in artists from the community to show in our gallery and give the students the opportunity to see what professional artists are doing, meet with them and learn about how create, manage their work and time.
T.C. Williams, Minne Howard’s, Anna Davila stands with her poignant, oil on canvas work, titled “The Protector.” The work speaks volumes.
Julie Gilmore takes a look at Miriam Cutelis’ mixed-media painting, “First Signs of Spring,” which is created with glue and acrylic paint. The work perfectly pairs with Beth Coast’s wheel thrown and altered Raku vase.
Raku is always a very interesting ceramic process. This work by Beth Coast is another show stopper. She has numerous works in the show and they all show variations on lovely folded form.
Rachel Albert’s “Back Where it Begins,” is a colorful mixed media sculpture created with copper wire and fused glass. The linear quality of the wire with glass beads, wonderfully reflects the lined fussed glass base.
Rachel also created her, “Book of Life” which she illuminated from the underside with LED lighting. The ceramic book with glass overlay offers a wonderful effect with the light. Rachel teaches at Bryant High School.
Rachel also created, “On Culture,” made with Clay, Acrylic and Sand on Wood. The coloring is fantastic. All, small elephants lined up in rows. The work, she explains, represents, “Reflections of race, culture and privilege.
Anna Davila and Amy Bruce discuss their art at the opening reception.
Joseph Wade, also created this ceramic, “Wood Fired Pottery” set.
Another stunning mixed media drawing is Sara Bukoski Lovelace’s “Pink Plants.” Sara teaches at Mount Vernon Community School. “Creating quickly and wildly in mixed media, with many materials at once,” she explains, “is my favorite way to create and where I feel most natural and at home creatively.”
Green Spring, by Janice Rollins, is an acrylic on paper work of the famed Green Spring Gardens, in Fairfax County. Janice teaches at George Washington Middle School.
Julie Gilmore also created this serene watercolor titled, Grandma’s Barn. Julie teaches at Mount Vernon High School and at the Workhouse Arts Center.
Another Mount Vernon High School teacher, Lauren Strummer works with dry point etching. “Home,” is a lovely etching of two lambs, “gently nuzzling.”
Watching my Back is an incredibly colorful and energized oil painting on wood panel. Angelika Schafer instructs at Mount Vernon High School.
Students photographing Allen Beland’s Strange Fruit, a digital, infrared image, printed on canvas. Allen teaches at Yorktown High school.
Jordana Rochkard created, “I Wish,” an encaustic painting with text. She teaches at Patrick Henry Elementary.
Rebecca in Wonderland, Portrait of the Daughter is an oil on canvas work from Ksenya Litvak who teaches at Commonwealth Academy.
The opening was a real treat for us. To meet many of our area artist-teachers and hear about their work and artistic lives was beneficial for all of us. A big thank you and a round of applause to ALL the artists who participated!
What a great semester, it’s been! Every so often I pop in, with camera in hand, to see what’s going on around in the classrooms and hallways of our Art Department. I’m always thrilled at all of the creativity : )
Just because class is done for the day, doesn’t mean it’s not still time to create, and learn…
Pete Van Riper’s class, has been working on the figure.
Pete Van Riper’s evening class covers Drawing I-IV students. It’s a wonderful mix of beginning to advanced students all learning from one another as well.
We are around mid-semester and artwork is on the walls!
So much talent. Pete’s classes concentrate on the under-structures of the figure, hands and the skeleton as well as still life.
The students are learning a lot and getting to know their materials.
Stacy Slaten’s class is working on Pastel and Charcoal drawings
Her painting class had Regina Meile in for a guest artist talk, critique and general advice session. The students loved it!
The information is already paying off. Students are coming in to work on their projects in between classes. That’s a great thing!
Jessica Gardner’s Ceramic classes are a joy to visit! You never know what you’ll come across!
Stacy Slaten to her painting glass to the zoo to sketch the animals and then turn them into paintings.
Of course self portraits are also an important part of nearly every drawing class : )
Can’t wait to see what the summer students will create! See them soon… Classes begin again soon.
Blog post by Britt Conley, Studio Assistant to the Fine Art Department.