Wayson R. Jones
Memory, Mostly Self
June 9, 2017-July 30, 2017
Artist’s Reception: 2-4pm, Saturday July 8
The Margaret W. & Joseph L. Fisher Art Gallery at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center located at Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria Campus will display a unique series of acrylic portrait paintings by artist Wayson R. Jones. The show, Memory, Mostly Self, will be on display in the gallery from June 9 to July 30 with an opening reception scheduled for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 8.
For this show, Wayson has used old snapshots of himself as a child to influence previous work. For Memory, Mostly Self, he wanted to combine the energy of his childhood image with archetypal images from popular magazines Ebony and Jet. The portrait images are created with a resistance technique in which acrylic gloss medium is used to “draw” on the paper surface. Powdered graphite is sprinkled on the still-wet medium and worked with a palette knife, scraping with the edge to create the facial image and using the flat blade to deposit the black ground. At times, other under drawing marks are laid down with pencil or ballpoint pen.
“Many of these portraits are based on my likeness in a family snapshot in which, at about age 7, I’m together with my older brother and several cousins.” he explained. “Other images channel male images from Ebony and Jet magazines of the 1960s. I want to fuse the energy of that childhood likeness and those archetypal images with a sense of the urgency and mystery that often inform my life now. The power of these figures lies, in part, in their emptiness. Rather than provide a home for facial features, the portraits are shells that evoke a sense of presence by enclosing energetic gestural marking and illusory space.”
Wayson recently received the Prince George’s County Arts and Humanities Council Individual Artist Grant. He received a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Maryland College Park, studied drawing fundamentals and intermediate drawing at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop and figure drawing at the Washington Studio School. In previous years, he has displayed his work in various solo and group shows in the D.C. metro area, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New York and California.
May 12, 2017-July 30, 2017
Artist’s Reception: 2-4pm, Saturday May 20
The galleries at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Art Center at the Northern Virginia Community College Alexandria Campus will display the art exhibit Lachesis’ Order by artist Amelia Hankin. The show will be installed in the Passage and Forum galleries from May 12 to July 30 with an artist’s reception scheduled from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 20.
Hankin’s current body of drawings and screen prints reference the superstitious beliefs that emerge in everyday life – from stepping on cracks in the sidewalks to opening an umbrella indoors. She said we find ourselves unwilling to take chances on these habits, ingrained from childhood, despite how irrational they may be. Through repetitive imagery rendered in fine detail, Hankin questions the tipping point between harmless acts of routine and the human obsessiveness with order, manifested in these rituals.
“Superstitious beliefs are ingrained in my everyday routine. These beliefs trace back to childhood, where innocently believing the ‘what if’ of stepping on a crack in the sidewalk or opening an umbrella indoors carried consequences. Though I’m aware of the irrationality of this thought process, I’m not willing to disregard the compulsion to adhere to the warning,” Hankin said. “When does an innocent act of avoiding walking under a ladder, for instance, transcend into obsessive behavior? When does it become unhealthy? I grapple with these questions within my own psyche, but also observe that the universality of human nature is governed by order and control – often manifested in belief structure and ritual.
“Often times, the compulsive behavior is amplified when inevitable outside forces come knocking. It can be as simple as a glitch in routine or as life-altering as a birth…or death. Being a visual artist, the act of creation through repeat mark making and pattern brings a sense of control, relieves any form of stress or anxiety that can build, layer upon layer, and calms the mind. I see the act of drawing as a form of self-preservation.
“My recent body of drawings and screenprints relates to an overall series of work that explores the idea of superstition in relation to compulsion. In the drawings, I repeat the forms of otherwise banal objects: feathers, scissors, folded paper, and umbrellas. The feathers act as dreamcatchers and the folded papers form “fortune tellers,” a childhood game that supposedly predicts the future. The objects are given weight through the context in which they’re imagined, acting as relics that symbolize birth, regeneration, and death. The overall series is a nod to forces out of my control that can influence or impact the everyday.
“This piece, along with a majority of my work is meant to serve as a subtle reminder of the connections between ourselves, our environment, and the microcosmic forces that have a very tangible effect on our day-to-day interactions. I hope my work will not only serve as a reminder of the omniscient in ourselves; but of our environment contributing to and shaping our collective and individual self-perception.”
Hankin is currently the artist-in residence in screen printing at American University in Washington, D.C. She received her Master of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design and has exhibited at the Janet Turner Print Museum in Chico, California, Miller-Yezerski Gallery in Boston, Eastern Oregon University, University of Richmond Museum in Richmond, Virginia, Ridderhof Martin Gallery at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and many other galleries and universities in Virginia, Rhode Island, New York and Ohio. See more work by Amelia Hankin by visiting her website.
April 17, 2017-June 4, 2017
Artist’s Reception: 2-4pm, Saturday May 20
The Margaret W. & Joseph L. Fisher Art Gallery is honored to exhibit a series of sculptures by regional artist Wilfredo Valladares in his solo show Unmasked. The show will be on display April 17 to June 4 with an artist’s reception from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 20.
Wilfredo explained that this body of work
explores the interconnectedness of cultures. In creating the series, he used bronze wood, bronze steel, cast iron rolling pins and other materials. The sculptures capture relationships between people and cultures and tell their unique stories.
“Portraits and headdresses capture relationships between time, memory and space. In this body of work, casting and found objects have become conduits that allow me to transform stories and memories into tangible visual information,” Wilfredo said. “In the casting process, the seams left by the molds become scars that speak of the stories buried in the facial expressions. The identity of found objects are kept intact in some of the pieces where the objects’ silhouettes convey the cultural aspects of the portrait. Fire is used as a tool that infiltrates the materials by reshaping the original form leaving voids behind as it travels through the piece.”
Wilfredo is a versatile artist with experience in different aspects of the art industry including curation, installations, printmaking and bookmaking. He is the curator and founder of the Latin Perspectives Annual Art Exhibit in Baltimore. Wilfredo is also the founder of The Hispanic Heritage Month at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Maryland, where he also teaches art. In previous years, Wilfredo has shown his work in a number of solo and group exhibitions in the D.C. metro area, Georgia, South Korea and Honduras.
At the Seams
March 17, 2017-April 30, 2017
Artist’s Reception: 2-4pm Saturday, March 25
The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center at Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria Campus welcomes regional artist Lina Alattar who will display her show At the Seams in the second-level Passage Gallery from March 17 through April 30 with an artist’s reception from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 25.
Alattar works predominantly with ink and acrylic paint to explore the value of chance and impermanence in the creative process. For At the Seams, Alattar used the thickness of acrylics along with fluidity of the ink to create “another visual paradox played out in these color fields, as marks obscure the traces of layers that are revealed through the surface.”
“The search for balance is fundamental in my work. Each piece starts with the notions of risk juxtaposed with calculated marks,” Alattar said. “Broad, spontaneous color fields are confronted with deliberate and intricate markings. A visual order is constantly shifting, as I invite in the arbitrary yet stay conscious of its counterpart.”
Alattar received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Middle Tennessee State University where she studied painting and graphic design. She continued her education in Gubio, Italy, through an Art Study Program where she trained with painters who encouraged an experimental and process-based approach to painting. Alattar is the recipient of the 2016 Art Bank Grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She has participated in several solo and group exhibitions in the D.C. metro area, New York City and London.
Theme & Variations
March 3, 2017-April 13, 2017
Artist’s Reception: 2-4pm Saturday, March 25
The Margaret W. & Joseph L. Fisher Art Gallery at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center at Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria Campus will open its second show of the 2017 season on March 3 with the collection Theme & Variations by artist Sally Canzoneri. The art show will be on display through April 13 with an artist’s reception scheduled for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 25.
In this exhibit, Canzoneri used a small number of digital photographs she took near the Old Street tube stop in London to create a variety of two- and three-dimensional paper works. These include prints, sculptural artist books and lenticular pictures. In lenticular pictures, viewers see one image from one side of the piece and a second image from the other side. Walking by, viewers see a transition from one image to the other. Canzoneri uses an old technique with folded paper to create these pictures.
“For past exhibitions, I’ve created collections of pieces around a theme. This time, I worked more like a composer taking a melody and creating variations on it,” Canzoneri said. “The Old Street pictures form the ‘melody’ of the exhibit, with the artworks being the variations.”
Canzoneri grew up in rural Vermont and has previously lived in Minnesota and Illinois. She now resides in Washington, D.C., with her husband, daughter and their three-legged dog. She studied with internationally-recognized book artists including Hedi Kyle, Keith Smith and Cristina Balbiano d’Aramengo. Since 2013, she has shown her work in a number of group and solo shows in the D.C. metro area and Vermont.
The Margaret W. & Joseph L. Fisher Art Gallery is located on the second level of the Schlesinger Center. The galleries are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and during concert hall events. For additional information about art shows and concert hall events, call the Schlesinger Center at 703.845.6156.
The Reverence of Water
March 3, 2017-April 30, 2017
Artist’s Reception: 2-4pm Saturday, March 25
The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center will welcome regional artist Cheryl Edwards as she presents her latest art exhibit from March 3 to April 30. Edwards’ collection The Reverence of Water will be on display in the center’s Forum Gallery, and an artist’s reception is scheduled for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 25.
For this collection, Edwards used ink stain on raw canvas in her exploration of the reverence of water and its relationship to identities. She explained that she chose this process because it is “a wet-on-wet water-based process and it’s conducted without the use of brushes.” While working on this collection, Edwards experimented with different types of water to create the ink stains; some are created using regular DC tap water while others are created using sacred water obtained from the Shrine at Catholic University.
“My work in this exhibit is an ongoing exploration about ‘the reverence of water and its relationship to identities.’ In 2014, I began exploring the properties of water as an element of core identity. I was initially struck by the reverence of water by the Afro Cubans during my time spent in Havana. I spent a lot of time observing and talking with many Afro Cubans during my visit. The discussions were primarily about art, activism and the fact that many Cubans had not crossed the water and had not been to the other side.
“My observations were very private as I watched on a daily basis the people of Havana sing to their Orishas and make flower offerings to the Atlantic Ocean. When I came home, I immediately started researching elements of water as it related to memory and identity. It occurred to me that the relationship of water to identity is deeply rooted in our core as human beings.
“The adult human body averages approximately 53 percent water. As a matter of fact, all life is evolved on a molecular level from water. In October 2014, Pope Francis stated the following at an assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences: ‘Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.’
“It has been a journey for me as I grew up in Miami, Florida, primarily around the Atlantic Ocean and in a Catholic Christian environment. I further wanted to understand the key relationship of water to memory of self-identity.
“New research has been developed from the Institute for Static and Dynamics for aerospace constructions of the University of Stuttgart in Germany supporting the theory that water has memory. And as such, water transfers data based upon the element of historical memories. My investigation is leading me to try and understand the extent that water is responsible for the memory of self-identities.
“This is a free-flowing process much like the ebbs and tides of a body of water. The search for my core identity has been awakened by this inquiry into the property of water and its elements. I was influenced by the work of Sam Gilliam, Helen Frankenthaler and Mark Rothko. I was particularly struck by the watercolors created by Rothko during the period of 1941 to 1947. It was this period and this medium in which Rothko transitioned and evolved to his signature color fields.”
Born in Miami Beach, Florida, Edwards has lived in Washington, D.C., for 23 years. She started her work in art in 1988 in New York City during a class at the Art Student League taught by the late Ernest Crichlow. Edwards has exhibited her work in a number of shows in the D.C. metro area as well as in New York, Virginia, Maryland, Florida and Hong Kong. She is currently represented by Susanne Junggeburth Gallery in Germany.
For more of her work, follow Edwards on Facebook.
Feb. 3, 2017-March 12, 2017
Artist’s Reception: 2-4pm Saturday, Feb. 11
The art galleries at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center are excited to welcome and introduce chromesthetic artist Lonnie Pauls. She will open her first ever solo show Chroma on Feb. 3. Her artwork will be on display in the Passage Gallery of the arts center through March 12.
Malia Alana “Lonnie” Pauls is an Afro-Cuban-American fine arts chromesthetic abstract painter who works mostly in acrylics and inks. Pauls simply describes chromesthesia as art that’s created to sound. Her work is heavily-inspired by music of all genres, and she often listens to music while painting, allowing it to impact and direct her creative process. She describes her interest in chromesthesia as a marriage between her first love of music and her current love of painting.
“I paint to music more often than normal every day sounds. For example, one painting I produced called ‘THIS MUST BE MY DREAM’ is one based from the song of the same title by The 1975,” she explained. “The song itself is an up-beat, eclectic alternative pop song that had a vibrant sound. When I heard the song for the first time, I kept seeing a splattered paint effect in my mind, almost like the drum had paint on it and each hit on the snare drum brought up a new color.”
After being involved in many art forms throughout her life, including culinary arts, music, dance, and photography, Lonnie took interest in painting in 2013 with the help of Gina Lewis, an art professor at Bowie State University. Lewis introduced Lonnie to the work of abstract artist Gerhard Richter; since then, Lonnie hasn’t stopped painting. Besides Richter, Lonnie is inspired by other artists such as Jackson Pollock, Alma Woodsey Thomas, Mark Rothko, Joan Mitchell, Michael B. Platt, Sam Gilliam, and her mentor Aziza Gibson Hunter.
Lonnie, 22, graduated from Bowie State University with a Bachelor of Science in public relations and is currently enrolled in the Master of Arts in Arts Management program at George Mason University. She currently resides in Manassas, Virginia. In the future, she hopes to pursue her dream of opening nonprofit arts sanctuaries in the United States and becoming a gallery curator.
Winston W. Harris
Stanley Clarke Series: with Special Guest Midnight Jazz Hour & Time Experience
Jan. 5, 2017-Feb. 26, 2017
Artist’s Reception: 2-4pm Saturday, Feb. 11
The art galleries at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center at the Northern Virginia Community College Alexandria Campus will open its 2017 season with The Stanley Clarke Series with Special Guest “Midnight Jazz Hour & Time Experience.” Artist Winston W. Harris will display his jazz-inspired work in the Forum and Fisher galleries from Thursday, Jan. 5 to Sunday, Feb. 26 with an artist’s reception from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11.
Harris’ mixed media drawings are heavily inspired by legendary electric and acoustic bass player Stanley Clarke, who is a four-time Grammy Award winning artist also known for being a gifted performer, recording artist, composer, producer and conductor. Harris often listens to music while he creates and uses both sound and instruments as blueprints for his work. He is a huge fan of jazz and other genres of music, previously completing art series inspired by the music of Jill Scott and Anita Baker.
“During a live performance at Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., I was able to draw legendary jazz guitarist Stanley Clarke. His manager saw the drawings and asked me if I wanted to meet him,” Harris said. “I presented the drawings to Mr. Clark and he autographed them. The series marks the beginning of my relationship between Stanley Clarke and an artist in a residency program in 2007 at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
“In the series “Midnight Jazz Hour” the viewer will be introduced to my interpretation of elements used to represent visual association. My interest is to stimulate concepts of Jazz and to question how American Jazz may look as visual sound. I listen to jazz artists: Jean-Luc Ponty, Quincy Jones, Bradford Marsalis and Miles Davis for inspiration. I applied innovative techniques to represents the same metamorphosis devices to experimental printmaking by reinventing artwork produced during my 2013 artist in residency program at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center.
Harris said this exhibition reflects his interpretation and understanding of time by combining three series into the conceptual theme.
“The “Time Experience” series identifies my interest to recognize the importance of time as an event itself in American Culture, what part it plays in one’s Lifetime or how one uses it,” Harris said. “The viewer will be introduced to the evolution involving selected imagery that represents the mechanical parts of high profile time pieces.
“The artwork represented in this exhibition expresses my ideology of what “Time” symbolizes from different perspectives. This printmaking process relates to the different modification I’ve adopted in my artwork as well. Using different elements to display a transition such as introducing two disciplines into one format, transforming two-dimensional prints, reinventing the image by recycling past artwork into a new identity.”
A Virginia native, Harris received his bachelor’s degree in painting and printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University before receiving a certificate of management and exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution and a master’s degree in printmaking from Howard University. In previous years, he has shown his work in group or solo shows at George Mason University, Pepco Edison Place Gallery, Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts and the Maryland Hall for Creative Arts.
Nov. 19, 2016-Jan. 29, 2016
Artist’s Reception: 2-4pm Saturday, Dec. 10
The art galleries at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center at Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria Campus will display works by Professor Emeritus Sherry Trachtman. The Life Cycles exhibit will open in the second-level Passage Gallery Nov. 19. The show will be on display through Jan. 29 with an artist’s reception from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10.
In previous works, Trachtman has expressed feelings about changes in a sense of place over time, cultures forcibly changed by others and the expectations of marriage. She describes her Life Cycles series as a “passage of time in one’s life.”
“This work is informed by symbolic meanings of spirals in Celtic, Maori and African cultures,” she explained. “As I read about and looked at examples of these art forms, I realized that my own attraction to the spiral shared something with the beliefs of these ancient peoples and I like that.”
Trachtman said she is similar to many artists because she also works in series to explore in different ways motifs and ideas that trouble or delight her.
“In earlier bodies of work, I’ve expressed my feelings about changes in a sense of place over time, cultures forcibly changed by others, personal narratives, the expectations of marriage and spiritual, ethnic and religious issues,” she said. “Overall, my work is largely narrative. I am, however, also very interested in making 3-D, material-driven abstractions. I am drawn to cylindrical objects such as spools and tubes in a range of sizes. I think the spirals are a 2-D version of these favorites.”
Trachtman received a bachelor’s degree in art design and a master’s degree in painting from American University in Washington, D.C. She served on the fine arts faculty at NOVA’s Alexandria Campus for 30 years before retiring in September 2015 and being elected professor emeritus. She is a signature member of the National Collage Society, and her work has been juried into many national shows. Trachtman has won three national awards, and she currently maintains a studio in Arlington, Virginia, where she plans to teach small groups of motivated adults.
Raising: Motherhood in Modernity
Nov. 4, 2016-Dec. 18, 2016
Artist’s Reception: 1-3pm Saturday, Nov. 12
Jessica Gardner’s art exhibit Raising: Motherhood in Modernity, will be on display in the Margaret W. & Joseph L. Fisher Art Gallery from Friday, Nov. 4 to Sunday, Dec. 18 with an opening reception from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12.
Gardner explained that since becoming a mother, her artistry and the way she approaches art has changed. Elements of motherhood and the good and bad of being a parent can be found in the ceramic pieces she created for the exhibit Raising: Motherhood in Modernity.
“My work has traditionally been a subtle reflection of the introspective nature and self-assessment that form the pillars of my personality. And then I had children. Suddenly, my tendency toward diplomacy in life and in my art gave way to exhaustion and turmoil,” Gardner said. “This body of work reflects the simultaneous elation and emotional erosion that coalesced into my experience of motherhood in modernity. I view my work as hopeful but also painfully honest.”
Gardner is an art professor at NOVA-Alexandria. She obtained a Master of Fine Arts at Georgia State University, a post baccalaureate certificate at the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree from Alfred University. In the past, Gardner has held solo exhibitions across the country and has been included in publications such as 500 Teapots, Vol. 2, by Lark Books and Ceramics: Art and Perception.
Sept. 23, 2016-Nov. 13, 2016
Artist’s Reception: 4-6pm Sat., Sept. 24
The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center at Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria Campus welcomes regional artist Matthew Grimes who will exhibit his show (IN)MATERIAL in the Passage Gallery Friday, Sept. 23 to Sunday, Nov. 13 with an artist’s reception from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24.
“As so often in life, more is to be discovered beyond what is transpiring immediately in front of us. The act of paying attention to this serves the genesis of my currently expanding line of deconstructed collage paintings,” Matthew said. “The streets, in particular of Santiago, Chile, are laden with posters screaming intentions via graphics and words. Yet it isn’t the designed communication that pulls me in, but the allure of the endless decaying layers of juxtaposed color and texture producing in concert an entirely silent chance of passive composition.
“Off the street, further investigation of these happenings takes place on wood panel along with paints, drawing, and the occasional found object, reinterpreting the original found moments via gestural innovation. My intention is to bring to light the electrical beauty of which falls silent to most passersby.”
Matthew was born in Winchester, Virginia, and earned his A.A.S. in ceramics from Lord Fairfax Community College before receiving a B.F.A. in ceramics from James Madison University. From 2006 to 2007, he continued his art education at the Corcoran School of Art + Design in Washington, D.C.
While still an undergraduate student, Matthew earned a number of awards and annually received the Marion Park Lewis Foundation Grant. After graduation, he became an apprentice with Kevin Crowe of Tye River Pottery. In previous years, he was an adjunct professor at the Corcoran School of Art + Design and also taught ceramics at The Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia. Matthew has also lived and worked in Bizen, Japan, where he had a short-term apprenticeship with current Japanese National Treasure Isezaki Jun.
Matthew mostly works in ceramics and mixed media artwork. His work has been shown in numerous national group exhibitions while also exhibiting solo nationally and internationally. Matthew currently maintains an art studio in Arlington, Virginia, and teaches at George Washington University.
John M. Adams
Sept. 23, 2016-Nov. 13, 2016
Artist’s Reception: 4-6pm Sat., Sept. 24
The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center at Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria Campus will display the paintings of well-known regional artist John M. Adams in his show Current Interrupted. The show will be on display and available for public viewing in the Forum Gallery from Friday, Sept. 23 to Sunday, Nov. 13 with an artist’s reception from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sat., Sept. 24.
Adams specializes in painting, drawing and site-specific work. His work can be found in private, public and corporate collections including in the Wilson Building at D.C. City Hall and the D.C. Art Bank Collection. Adams said his artwork is often influenced by passion for exploring the natural world as much as it is influenced by the structure of the urban setting where his studio is located. He describes his recent work as art that “activates the perceptual connection between artist, object and view.”
“In this new body of work I am continuing my exploration of the art object as a catalyst for contemplation and meditation for the viewer as well as the artist,” Adams said. “The ‘Deconstructed’ series consists of paintings that have been separated into strips and reconstructed in a way to create new relationships by being put into a new context. Fluid marks are juxtaposed with the regulated rhythm of sharp horizontal line breaks, which creates a fluttering vibration and tension in the paintings. I’m interested in what happens when snippets of perception are edited, reconfigured, and compartmentalized to give them new meaning as part of the whole.”
Adams was born in Hampton, Virginia, and grew up in rural Gloucester, Virginia, surrounded by the open water and tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master of Fine Arts from James Madison University. He currently lives in Reston, Virginia, and maintains a studio in Arlington, Virginia.
He has received numerous awards including a Graduate Fellowship from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and a Strauss Grant. Adams is also working on site-specific artwork that will be on display in the Schlesinger Center in early 2017. Check out a time-lapse video of one of Adams’ site-specific creations here.
Sept. 16, 2016-Oct. 30, 2016
Artist’s Reception: 4-6pm Sat., Sept. 24
The Margaret W. & Joseph L. Fisher Gallery at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center will exhibit Casey Snyder’s mixed media artwork in Physical/Ephemeral, on display from Friday, Sept. 16 to Sunday, Oct. 30 with an artist’s reception from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24.
Casey predominantly works with mixed media materials in a two-dimensional format. Oil paint, spray paint, acrylic paint, ink, plastic and collage are many of the materials and processes employed in her works. She said the Physical/Ephemeral exhibition has allowed her to explore new formats and ideas for her work and has encouraged her to try creating work that she feels questions the boundaries between painting and real space.
“Physical/Ephemeral is a continuation of my studio practice in which I investigate how we conceptualize space and materiality. Using mixed media and collage painting, my work forms a collision of materials that shift in-between the spatial, pictorial and tactile,” Casey explained. “The assemblages flux in-between the personal and public, logical and senseless, theatrical and literal. Fragments become isolated or mutated, displacing the routine into the peculiar.
“The notion of creating or dissolving an edge propels my practice. Oil paint, spray paint, acrylic, ink, plastic, rubber, tape, paper and various drawing materials are my methods of creating this play of boundaries. Using a process of collecting, isolating, and dislodging; new images are spun from ones that already exist. Curious figures, machine like inventions, cutout forms, and abstracted objects become visual islands, which infuse the familiar with the idiosyncratic or unknown.”
Casey is currently an adjunct professor at Montgomery College and Frederick Community College in Maryland. She received her BFA in painting from Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio and later her MFA in painting from Kendall College of Art & Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Casey works at the International Arts & Artists as a grants project coordinator and is also employed at the Glenstone Foundation, a contemporary art museum in Potomac Maryland.
July 29, 2016-Sept. 11, 2016
The Margaret W. & Joseph L. Fisher Art Gallery at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Center Concert Hall and Arts Center will exhibit unique drawings and painting by Tanya Ziniewicz in the show Évoluer. The show will be on display in the gallery from Friday, July 29 to Sunday, Sept. 11 with an artist’s reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6.
Évoluer is made up of a series of paintings and drawings representing “Land,” “Excavation,” “Ascent,” “Bouyant,” “Mirage” and “Évoluer” where she explores a number of elements including subtleties of human interaction, imagination, and transience. Tanya’s Évoluer collection is inspired by her recent artist residency experience in France. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in drawing from the Cleveland Institute of Art and a Master of Fine Arts in printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design. She is concurrently exhibiting her work in a group show at the Musée de Peinture de Saint-Frajou in France.
“Imperfection. Surface. Time. Transformation. These are seeds of my inspiration. Every image is part of an organic unit that is a continuously growing body of investigation. Each work represents a stage of growth essential to the development of succeeding work,” Tanya said. “Aspects of imperfection, surface, time and transformation are interconnected, and they help define each new chapter of exploration.
“The Land series investigates subtleties of human interaction, imagination and transience through a network of organic linear forms that are continually emerging, growing, reaching and intertwining. The series begins as a study of delicate balance between positive and negative space, between what is visible and invisible, by way of quiet but intricate panoramas. While the forms are invented, they suggest such things as rhizomes, ribbons, neurons or strands of muscle tissue. My intention is for the images to waver between definition and ambiguity, inviting the viewer to discover a unique interpretation and association.
“The Excavation series begins digging below the ground to reveal a subterranean network of colorful forms. In creating these images, I imagine building and traversing paths between observation and invention, logic and emotion – similar to a mind filled with thoughts that sprout and extend, curl and unfurl, tangled like a mass of unwound string or a clustered mound of roots.
“The Ascent series follows the forms on an upward climb into airy, sky-like negative space, as variations in movement and tension suggest infinite possibilities, overlaps, endings and beginnings. In Buoyant and Mirage, the forms float above and move through water-like space. I imagine the forms sinking, swimming and floating. I imagine them adjusting and adapting as they transition between water and air. They submerge and emerge, changing in color and visibility, and I compare these transformations to changes in perception and understanding that result from slight shifts in perspective. I completed the Évoluer series, a continued study of the forms, during my summer residency at La Porte Peinte in Noyers, France.
“I am interested in exploring possibilities for differences in physical characteristics of these forms, such as width, color, weight, and surface texture, to provoke a variety of interpretations. Some seem like leaves and stems, some like wire and tape, and some like soft ribbon or fiber.
“Similarly, I am interested in exploring variations in the space around the forms. I intend to create illusions of depth in indefinite but vast surrounding spaces. The strands might be my (or your) emotions or mounds and tangles of abstract thought. Or, they might be strings of sentimental memories, overlapping and confusing one another. Or, they might be to-do lists yet to be written, fears not yet confronted or knots waiting to be untied.
Tanya explains that art-making is not isolated to the studio for her. Instead, it is a manifestation of her thinking. She considers it a process and a creative byproduct of her experiences. Tanya draws inspiration from all aspects of her
life and continues to seek new input from observations in nature, culture, interaction and reflection. Follow Tanya Ziniewicz on Twitter and Facebook.
July 29, 2016-Sept. 11, 2016
The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center at Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria Campus is honored to exhibit the works of artist Raye Leith in her show, Blueprints, on display in the Forum and Passage galleries from Friday, July 29 to Sunday, Sept. 11. An artist’s reception is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6.
Leith has been painting and drawing for five decades. She’s fueled by a basic desire for connection and communication. Leith is an eclectic artist who also has experience in theatre design.
“In these drawings I call ‘Blueprints,’ I’ve interwoven larger-than-life portraits with miniature cityscapes and expansive landscapes. I’ve skewed the portraits to express a sense of gravitational disorientation, and I’ve juxtaposed them with soaring expanses and apocalyptic disasters,” Leith explained. “I’ve also inserted minute detailing in the pocket spaces between human forms.
“The individual portraits in the Passage Gallery are developed from my weekly model studies.
“I do the drawings on Lanaquarelle 300-pound paper using indigo and ivory NuPastels. I’ve favored these pastels for three years for the unique way the crystalline dust absorbs and refracts light to create an especially rich and deep blue. For me this blue is soulful – spiritual and expansive. It also brings to mind an earlier age of architectural blueprints and cyanotype photography – two media with which I feel a kinship.”
Leith maintains a studio in Washington, D.C., and lives in Bethesda, Maryland. She has taught at the University of Maryland and Smithsonian Associates and has exhibited in Washington, D.C. and internationally, most recently in Germany, Austria and Israel. Follow Raye Leith on Twitter and Facebook.
Collaborative Art Exhibit
The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center will showcase the collaborative art exhibit “A Game of Consequence” from Friday, June 10 to Sunday, July 24 in the Forum and Passageway galleries. The works were created by color8art, a group of six women artists who often work on projects together and inspire each other through art.
A Game of Consequence
June 10-July 24
Closing Reception: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 23
Color8art is a group of six women who interact with each other both as friends and as professional artists. Different backgrounds, nationalities and ages make for a multi-dimensional group of artists who share a love of creating inspirational art. In their interactions, they critique one another and often look to each other’s work for ideas. This circle of thought and inspiration reflects itself in pieces that – while staying true to each artist’s individual style – contain the spirit of the group.
Consequences is an old parlor game; each player takes a turn choosing a word or phrase for a question in order. The story is then compiled and read aloud. The result is nonsensical, playful and often hilarious. For this art show, the group took their interactions to another level. Similar to a game of Consequence, each artist created an individual piece that began with each of the six artists walking around the studio and making a gesture, mark or brush stroke on each piece. The artists then returned to their respected pieces and completed the work. Each work displays a history of the individual touch of each artist. As a result, the viewer is privy to the collaborative experience of each piece and is left wondering which artist created which marks.
Artists: Lesley Clarke, Kay Walsh, Maruka Carvajal, Lisa Bohrer, Katie Joselow
Curator: Michele Hoben – Michele Hoben has acted as an independent curator in unconventional settings, restaurants and most notably for more than two years at Evolve Properties Pierce School Lofts. At Pierce School, shows were initially curated to highlight a common element of art, evidenced in three to four artists’ work. In addition, she has provided solo shows and group shows to emerging and established artists including Amy Lin, Marsha Staiger, Beverly Ryan and Patricia Gerki.
“My artwork is influenced by many years of exposure to multicultural environments, my love for art, my architectural background and my passion for colors. I enjoy so much painting! It is a chance where I get involved with my thoughts and my memories and feelings; it’s my moment.”
Maruka said she is fascinated by cities because they are short-lived but form a long lasting memory. Her theme has been devoted to expressing life in urban settings, capturing feelings, sounds, colors and shapes that she has kept in her memories of special cities.
“I just want to represent the emotions that those places provoked in me. My work is very strongly colored and mostly composed with geometric shapes always in the search for a harmonious color relationship. While I am painting, the composition drives me along in a way that I feel I am exploring the cities I have been, in a way where the abstract allows me to share an inner sense, place and time with the viewers. My paintings are about urban impressions. I hope that my work provokes an emotional response in the observer.”
“I am an acrobat of color, swinging from shape to shape, walking a tight rope of line, responding in the moment to the energy of colors and the spontaneity of line. Like the circus, my works display an array of movement, form and exotic imagery. I use strong gestural marks that move through colorful landscapes. I am intrigued by the symbols of language, the improvisation of graffiti and street art and the classic, gestural, artwork of Japan and China.”
Katie said she often starts her paintings by building layers of color and texture before letting her intuition take over and introduce gestural marks and lines.
“The final product is a journey through my consciousness of a moment. I am influenced and inspired by Paul Klee, Brice Marden, Amy Sillman, Franz Kline, Hans Hoffman, Jackson Pollack Gen Miyamura and Kaz Orii.
“My painting is born out of a love affair with nature. I strive not to imitate nature, but to capture my innate response to it. My art is a result of a deep need to express the pure sense of wonder, joy and awe I experience when I am surrounded by the natural world.”
Katie said she’s interested in the effects that color, light and exposure to nature have on establishing a sense of well being. “I play with color and light along with organic form as I paint. My goal is to engage the viewer with my use of exuberant color and movement.
Katie is a long time art teacher, painter, photographer and potter. She has her own clay program, Clay Workshop for children and is an exhibiting member of The Art League of Alexandria. Her pieces have been exhibited at the Art League Gallery, Target Gallery and Foundry Gallery. She grew up in Arlington and currently lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with mher husband Dick. her daughter Katie Joselow is also a painter and they sometimes paint together. Her son Jon runs his own sports academy for children in Southern California.
“I work with acrylics, found objects and related media to prepare my abstract works. I focus on embedding emotion and conflict into my paintings. My goal is to draw the viewer in to fully reflect the underlying theme, conveying it independently.
My work represents scenes and emotions often tied to Scotland. My homeland is dark, remote, brutal, wet, sparkling, green and bright, and I create paintings that capture emotions identified with Scotland and my experiences there, which are fundamental to my identity.
“The contrast and conflict in our lives being such an important part of our humanity, I make it a centerpiece of my work. While it can be difficult for words to express true meaning, I have discovered abstract painting shows the fullness of life’s subjects in a natural way. I try to show my life experiences and thoughts, and to communicate and connect with people through my work.”
“Use what talents you have: the woods would have little music if no birds sang their song except those who sang best.
–Reverend Oliver G. Wilson
Kay’s in-depth fascination with painting began after a productive career in graphic design.
“Combining unusual ideas to develop concepts with various materials and techniques has always been intuitive. Mark-making, layering, pictorial depth and at times collage, are tools that develop an abstract narrative for the viewer to seek and enable a personal connection.
A constant investigation, curiosity and humor serve as the foundation for my work, allowing for imagination and inspiration to thrive. My intention is to communicate and share an uplifting mood to the viewer.”
Precious Metals: Precious Visions
June 10, 2016 – July 24, 2016
The Margaret W. & Joseph L. Fisher Gallery at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center at Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria Campus is pleased to showcase the work of Northern Virginia artist Mark Howe. The exhibit Precious Metals: Precious Visions will be on display from June 10 to July 24 with an artist’s reception from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday June 10.
Mark was born into a military family in Coronado, California. He traveled extensively and as a result, carried the impact of that with him. He graduated high school in Galveston, Texas, and attended the U.S. Naval Academy from 1970-1972 before enrolling in the College of Architecture at Virginia Polytechnic Institute where he studied from 1973-1975. Mark designed and built several restaurants and private residences in the years thereafter.
In 1977, Mark entered a juried competition for Virginia Craftsman at the Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond for his work in marquetry, precious metals and gems. He received a certificate of distinction for “exemplary contemporary use of inlay realizing relatively complex pictorial ideas.”
“At that point, I decided I would begin my art career since that would give me the freedom to design and express myself with no restrictions,” Mark recalled. “It was a very liberating time in my life.”
Mark’s work recalls the meditative paintings of Mark Rothko, the surfaces of early American Abstract artist August Vincent Tack as well as Austrian symbolist Gustav Klimt. Despite the echoes of these artists, his work reflects a unique sensitivity to material and surface.
“Gold is seductive. Its essence and beauty mesmerized me the moment I began working with it 21 years ago,” he said. “My desire is to captivate my audience, inspiring them to observe and appreciate gold in a way that leaves them awestruck and truly comprehending the powerful potential and allure of this magnificent metal.”
Howe’s work contains many elements, and he often begins with the careful and intricate layering of gold leaf followed by the introduction of silver leaf along with natural mineral and metallic powders to bring color and action to the image. The layer of gold, in combination with the other elements, produces a feeling of movement back into the past or a projection into the future.
“Gold flawlessly endures the passage of time. It’s elemental by its very nature. It is the essence of strength and beauty and has graced cathedrals and castles of kings and queens, Mark said. “It’s seductive qualities have been known to bring out the best and the worst in mankind and much conflict has been perpetrated in its name.”
An artist’s reception for Mark’s show in the Fisher Gallery will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, June 10.
The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center will exhibit a unique photography series from Friday, April 29 through Sunday, June 5 in its upstairs Margaret W. & Joseph L. Fisher Art Gallery and passageway gallery and in its downstairs Forum Gallery. The three shows in the series are “Defining Spaces,” “In Passing Series,” and “Ambit.” The Schlesinger Center is honored to showcase this haunting and daring series of works by contemporary artists and photographers from the D.C. Metro area.
The Margaret W. & Joseph L. Fisher Gallery will host the small group exhibition, Defining Spaces. These photographers met while studying photography at Northern Virginia Community College and formed a group called the Small Collective, inspired by their Professor Joe Small. The photographers are Russell Creger Barajas, Megan Leary and James M. Locke.
Their photographs are all shot on large or medium format film, but the printing processes range from the hand-applied emulsion of platinum prints, to silver gelatin, to archival inkjet. Each artist explores spaces – those surroundings that define us – to tell our stories. These are sometimes physical and sometimes emotional – evoking past, present and everything in between.
Small Collective is new. We share a common passion for analogue photography, and its continued artistic importance and vibrancy. Having met at the campus of NOVA Alexandria, we named our group after photography professor Joe Small, who brought us together and encouraged us to learn from each other in a communal atmosphere.
James M. Locke
Immigrant from Northern California, has successfully lived in abject poverty as a working photographer for over four decades. Retired from the National Gallery of Art, now allowed residency with his wife and two adorable spoiled cats in Alexandria, VA.
Grew up in South Jersey. After completing studies in economics, she moved to Alexandria, a suburb notoriously close to Washington, DC, where she may or may not work. She has been studying photography for the past decade, through the program at NOVA and artist workshops across the country.
Russell Creger Barajas
Was born in Northern California, and was a goldsmith and sculptor before switching to writing, journalism and photography. She lives in Arlington, with her husband, three sons and a tiny, aging, rambunctious dog.
In Passing Series
The upstairs passageway gallery will host the work of NOVA photography professor Aya Takashima who will be showing a selection from her In Passing Series.
These photographs were made from a moving vehicle. Most of the time, the people in the photographs were not aware of a camera photographing them. In the photographs, I found stories with humor, curiosity, and irony.
Every once in a while, the subject was aware. They returned the gaze and, at that point, I realized that I am no longer an observer but a participant in their story. In passing, I captured a split second of the world around me. A second before and the second after existed but those moments will never be revealed.
In Passing Photography is remembering the names of things I once saw. The mechanism of a camera and interaction of light as well as movement reveal what I might not have seen. The sense of motion blurs that line between an immediate understanding and a gradual awareness of hyper-reality and pseudo-concreteness that photography depicting motion can offer.
The notion of how one crosses the threshold of perceptual understanding fascinates me, more specifically, the awareness of one perceiving oneself perceiving. There is a tension between selective focus and motion blur that facilitates the awareness of how well one thinks and sees the world around themselves.
Award-winning local artist, Catherine Day will exhibit works in the downstairs Forum Gallery. She is known for using multiple layers of fabric that allow her images to shift and move, thus changing the focus and intensity of the work. The exhibit entitled Ambit is inspired by her practice of everyday photography during her daily walks, at county fairs or on a seaside trip. Her works have long explored notions of loss and memory.
“All of my work springs from my practice of photographing daily, whether at home, an outing, a funeral, or hospital calamity. Constructing an image grants me perspective and composure during life altering events or in the everyday. My work has long explored notions of loss and memory.
“Using multiple layers of fabric allows the image to shift and move, changing the focus and intensity of the work. Creating a dreamlike landscape, it allows the piece to constantly change, as memory and life often does. Whether at a county fair, a seaside trip, or on daily walks with my dog, I photograph as I see the world and then manipulate to present my vision and perspective: perhaps a bit twisted, certainly haunted.”
Rhythm and Hues
March 5, 2016 – April 24, 2016
Greg Braun is an artist who lives and works in rural Hartwood, Virginia, in a home he renovated himself that includes an office, workshop and studios. His time is divided between creating artwork, designing computer software and studying the history of mid-century modern architecture.
His work has been exhibited in New York, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, California and Schoenebeck, Germany.
After graduating in 1982 from the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C.,
with a major in sculpture, he continued making studio art and exhibiting work at local galleries in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. He worked for several fabrication facilities, including a neon sculpture studio, until taking up a long-term career as a cabinetmaker for custom cabinetry and millwork shops.
His casework experience includes exhibit fabrication projects for national museums, science centers, and corporate exhibits. In 1990, Greg transitioned from fabricator to draftsman and began using AutoCAD computerized drafting software. His current body of work is an extension of these long term architectural pursuits, creating sculptures and site-specific installations that entice viewers into experiencing a new architectural topography.
“When I first visited the Schlesinger Center I immediately got ideas for splashing rhythms of color across the walls. The pieces for this show were made to create as much fascination and delight in the grand space as possible through the use of dynamic asymmetrical panels and vivid color palettes. For me, site specific work is the best way to transform spaces into landscaped experiences. My interpretations become visual comments to a visitor’s experience. I am a creator of architectural perspectives; I create a new place, a time and a memory of the journey one has passed through using architectural materials.
“The panels are derived from hand drawn sketches as the guiding content. The raw and passionate strokes of ink from the initial gestural sketches capture the excitement I want the audience to experience. Communicating ideas through geometry is my common language, having been a draftsman for many years, so my shapes come from an intrinsic mentality for expressing the world through geometry. Much like an orchestra playing the succession of varying long and short notes, the controlled asymmetry of my panel shapes ignites speed and motion. Choosing the complimentary or contrasting hues is a mechanism to bring about the dynamism to match the asymmetrical shapes.”
March 18, 2016 – April 24, 2016
The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center, Margaret W. and Joseph L. Fisher Art Gallery at the Alexandria Campus of Northern Virginia Community College announces the exhibit Dear Suburbia Mixed Media Works by Jessica Kallista. Dear Suburbia opens Friday, March 18 and runs through Sunday, April 24. The artist’s reception is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, March 18.
Dear Suburbia is an immersive experience using storytelling to explore a bio mythography of everyday life in the suburbs of Northern Virginia in the early 21st century. The works of Dear Suburbia call to mind the familiar artifacts and ephemera of the mundane and reimagines and transforms them into dreamlike elements of magical worlds that are just below, above or somehow beyond our reach. Dear Suburbia addresses embodiment, identity, mindfulness, space and place as experienced by a stranger in the strange land that is suburbia. The process, practice and pieces form a collective call to action, a documentation of a lived experience and a communication with the world beyond this strange land.
Kallista is an artist, poet and curator living in Northern Virginia. She received her M.F.A. in creative writing with a concentration in poetry from George Mason University in 2002. Her poems have appeared in Phoebe, Sou’wester, and So to Speak. Her work has been included in exhibitions at George Mason University, The Adam Lister Gallery, Epicure Café, Gallery Underground, Target Gallery, The Fridge, Tempus Projects, The Bricks of Ybor and Olly Olly. In 2014 she founded Olly Olly, an alternative art space in Fairfax, Virginia, in order to create space for local art and artists with a focus on experimental, conceptual and performance art.
“Storytelling/Global Narratives” is part of Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here DC 2016 – a book, arts and cultural festival planned for January through March throughout the Washington, D.C. area. Exhibits, programs and events will commemorate the 2007 bombing of Baghdad’s historic bookselling street and celebrate the free exchange of ideas and knowledge and to stand in solidarity with the people of Iraq and with people at home and abroad who are unable to make their voices heard. The exhibit in the Fisher Gallery is a collection from 10 regional artists and will be on display through March 13.
Matt Pinney is a visual artist living and working in Washington, D.C. His work can be found in private collections internationally and is shown regularly throughout the U.S. He received his BFA from Indiana University and MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He is currently an assistant professor at Northern Virginia Community College’s Manassas Campus and also teaches at the Art League at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria.
“For Global Narratives, I painted what at first appears to be a depiction of refugees fleeing in inflatable rafts, hoping to immigrate to the lands that offer more promise than the constant bombardment of war. Within these rafts are also those who have different purposes. A day on a boat, the beauty of the sea, a lovers tryst. It is these different ways of experiencing the ocean that are important to me. The ocean is often seen as a barrier. An illusion of insulation against the tragedies experienced far away. A natural separation from the lands and cultures that have been primarily valued for the resources that provide for our standard of living in the west. My experience of boats have been of sun-filled luxury and exploration, swimming and fishing. It is hard for me to reconcile that with the images of desperate escape under the control of gangs of smugglers and thieves. In the painting, “A Day at Sea”, all of these experiences are brought together in one boat. We must acknowledge that we are less and less isolated every day, that our actions or inaction is a part of the whole. When we don’t support our neighbors, we endanger ourselves.”
Amelia Hankin received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has exhibited at the Janet Turner Print Museum (Chico, California), Ellen Miller Gallery (Boston), Eastern Oregon University, University of Richmond Museum (Richmond), Ridderhof Martin Gallery at the University of Mary Washington (Fredericksburg), 55 Mercer Gallery (New York City), International Print Center New York (New York City), the 808 Gallery at Boston University (Boston), The Chazan Gallery (Providence, Rhode Island), Columbia College (Columbia, Missouri), The Xavier University Art Gallery (Cincinnati), and the RISD Museum of Art (Providence, Rhode Island). She received an artist’s travel grant to study Eastern woodblock printmaking techniques at Kyoto Seika University in 2005. Since then, Hankin has attended residencies at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, the Women’s Studio Workshop, and Vermont Studio Center. Collections include, Fidelity Investments, the Seaport Hotel in Boston, Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, and NIH as well as numerous private collections. She has taught printmaking, design, and drawing at American University, George Mason University, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Rhode Island School of Design. Hankin is represented by the Miller-Yezerski Gallery in Boston.
“The debris of plastic containers, washed up bags, and broken knick knacks invade my space and the otherwise green landscape. Moments of quiet are interrupted by the grumbling of a motor boat and turbulence of a plane. I’m on Theodore Roosevelt Island to collect material for my latest body of work. By picking up new material, I delve into the unknown breeches of a project that begins as a wispy thought and evolves into tangible work. It’s work that explores natural patterns found in otherwise banal objects: decaying rope, piles of brush, and spring leaves.
“By focusing on the visual patterns around me, I filter out the noise of humanity and investigate the quiet details of objects that are passed over but very much present in our daily lives. Back in the studio, I carefully observe the patterns left on the surfaces of these objects. Patterns that show the wear of time, exposure to the elements, and erosion of the surface. Through the process of drawing, screenprinting, and painting, I recreate the textures and surfaces into patterns I own. The natural elements of the objects serve as a subtle reminder of the connections between ourselves, our environment, and the microcosmic forces that have a very tangible effect on our day-to-day interactions. I hope my work will not only serve as a reminder of the omniscient in ourselves; but of our environment contributing to and shaping our collective and individual self-perception.”
Spencer Dormitzer attended The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1986 and has been a working Artist for over 25 years. Spencer has also worked as studio manager for New York Artist David Reed and as an executive producer for The New York Cosmos. Currently, Spencer Dormitzer is director of Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, located on U Street NW and lives in Capitol Hill with his wife and two sons.
“Conceptualization of my work mostly comes from an instinctive, trusted place. The true endeavor is carrying out the idea. Scribbling seems so easy; a natural, even simple form of artistic gesture. To carry out an idea through a mere scribble can bring about a strange, and often difficult process, where many emotions rise and fall throughout the completion of a drawing. I consider myself a broken storyteller, using abstract and inanimate forms to ambiguously unite with a title. This connection results to form an abstruse conversation between artist, the artwork and the audience.”
Nikki Brugnoli (1981) received her BFA from Seton Hill University (2004) and her MFA from The Ohio State University (2007). She serves as adjunct faculty at George Mason University and is the assistant graduate programs coordinator and graduate advisor in the School of Art as well as the coordinator of the art lab at the Lorton Workhouse, Lorton, Virginia, assistant coordinator for the D.C. Cultural/Flashpoint/GMU MFA Fellowship Program, Washington D.C., and a Hamiltonian Mentor. Nikki has also taught at Northern Virginia Community College and The Renaissance School in Charlottesville, Virginia. In addition to her full time academic services at George Mason University, Nikki is the project associate for the Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here DC 2016 Project.
“The history of my work has been driven by a fascination with surface and color, material manipulation, gesture (large and sweeping, small and compelled), and ideas of memory and the body. More recently I’ve been investigating loss: loss of life, loss of love, loss of memory, and loss of trust. I examine the opposites that exist in us all. I confront them on the skins of my visually constructed surfaces. My deepening curiosity is like a wedge, a hammer, and a spark that ignites the fire that burns through the histories of my works, the layers, the papers, the canvases, the objects, the photographs, and the exchanges.
“My studio practice includes and demands relentless photo-documentation of the spaces that are landscapes and inner-scapes about the relationships I occupy, and re-visit from my past, and also of the blurry edges of memory. Both physically and conceptually I document the body, historically, my body. I possess a deep need to understand it, beyond what I can see, and also to acknowledge it’s changing form. We are the only true witnesses to ourselves and in my own revelation of this truth, I began to deconstruct and rebuild the very body I occupy. Through my own circuitous understanding of the construction of the body, and abstraction, I mine and repeat these processes and observations onto other ideas, manifestations, and forms. I use Caravaggio-inspired and learned contrast observations to make visible things that are often unseen, forgotten, unremembered, discarded and overlooked to give new form to the rubble and remains to which I am trying to give a voice. Understanding what it means to be human is the only way to define myself as a maker with a vision that is important enough to leave a residue, a visual form.
“When all else fails, I pick up my pencil. I make a contour line drawing of something found in front of me. I carefully observe the ways in which it exists simply, and yet as a complex system. It is through this repeated, slow process of close examination of infinite parts and possibilities that I find re-entry into my constantly shifting and changing studio practice and spaces.”
Stacy Slaten is an artist and educator as assistant professor of painting and drawing at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria. She is a mixed media artist whose first love is drawing. Born in Georgetown, Texas in 1978, Stacy has lived all over the state of Texas, particularly in West Texas and received her undergraduate degrees at Texas Tech University. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in drawing and painting, another in jewelry design and metalsmithing, a minor in psychology, and a third Bachelor of Science in human development and family studies with an interdisciplinary minor in substance abuse studies. She then went to Ohio for her graduate work at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and earned a Master of Fine Art degree in painting and started teaching there while she earned her degree.
“I am interested in the content that the human figure implies through the body and of the self. The body is a vessel that carries everything we are inside and out, both substantial and unsubstantial. I love the anatomy of the body for both its medical and expressive qualities. As a female, I am especially involved in the implications of feminine body politic and gender equality so I often use the female figure in my work. The female figures investigate what it means to continually rewrite identity as a woman and feminine figure. They symbolize both strength and fragility.”
Annette Isham currently lives and works in Washington, D.C. Isham received her B.A. in studio art at the University of Richmond and M.F.A. from American University. She was awarded a fellowship at the Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington, D.C., where she has shown two solo exhibitions. Isham is exhibited nationally and internationally including America’s Man in Vilnius, Lithuania, Condition X at Westside Gallery in New York City and Man as Object, Reversing the Gaze at SOMArts in San Francisco. Last year Isham completed a residency at the Eastside International in Los Angeles and she is now teaching Time Based Media and Foundation Design at The Corcoran College of Design and George Mason University.
“My work researches identity, role-playing, and physical limitations. I explore these dynamics experimenting with video, photography, installation, and by developing and acting out characters. My work relishes the absurd and often layers moments of fantasy and reality, creating worlds that play with time and space.”
Sharon Fishel is a visual artist who is also the director of the ArtReach Program, an in-gallery and outreach art educational program at The McLean Project for the Arts, a non-profit visual arts center that exhibits the work of emerging and established regional artists. She has also taught for many years for both The Corcoran School of Art (2000- 2004) and as an adjunct associate professor at American University from (1992-2003). She received a Virginia Commission Artist in Residency Grant through her work at MPA in 2012. Previously she worked as the principal instructor for the Art Reach Program at The Whitney Museum of American Art (1978-1983). She holds an M.F.A. from Queens College, CUNY an M.A. from NYU and B.F.A. from The University of Hartford.
Nancy Sausser is an artist, curator, and writer living and working in the Washington D.C. area. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from the University of Washington, in Seattle, and a Bachelor of Arts in studio art from Kenyon College. Her sculpture, executed primarily in low-fire ceramic, has been exhibited around the Washington area and her writing has been published in the Washington Post, Fiber Arts Magazine, Washington Review and in numerous exhibition catalogs. She has been putting together exhibitions of contemporary art for over 25 years and is currently exhibitions director and curator at McLean Project for the Arts in McLean.
“I am interested in exploring an inner sense of place and how this becomes part of an individual’s orientation in the world. My work is essentially landscape-based, but abstracted to the point where it also speaks through the elemental language of form.
I refer to the components that comprise the natural world in an attempt to understand how the outer world leaves an imprint on the interior space each of us carries with us from place to place. The dynamic conversation between the organic and the geometric is also a subject for exploration.”
“As an artist, my methodology emulates that of a historian and enters into the arena of archaeologists, archivists, and curators. Historians write, and re-write history privileging certain evidence while imposing specific agendas, to reshape history. Confronting history as a construction; I provoke viewers through a visual historical representation, unmasking illusions of precision and truth. By deconstructing and analyzing the way the historical record is fabricated, my work reveals the futile nature of preserving an accurate history.
“The contextualization of objects becomes imperative to how my work is perceived. My goal is to redefine the importance of installation and presentation of objects. The objects themselves are important, but become secondary to the structure and organization of the installation. The structural framework challenges viewers to consider the origins of knowledge about the past and how archaeologists, archivists and curators reinterpret and mythologize historical evidence. Elaborate, curated displays suggest the research and conclusions imbedded in the objects. The arrangement reflects a stratified composite structure, mirroring written narrative history.”
Elsabe Dixon is an artist and educator whose practice includes photography, curating, installation, writing, performance, and social engagement. Dixon received her B.A. from Averett University with a minor in history. In 2011, she received her M.F.A. from George Mason University. Dixon teaches art foundation courses at the School of Art at George Mason University and works for the Glenstone Foundation.
South African born, VA-based artist Dixon uses biological life cycles of insects to investigate and rationalize her relationship with changing industrial and digital systems as well as network interfaces through audience interaction. Dixon explores the concept of sensory memory and visceral reaction through her work. Her practice consists of industrial and natural objects, which facilitate conversations with poets, writers and the audience. How do we visualize and remember the idea of a sentence? This work investigates meaning through our experience of sign, science, map and symbol as sensory memory.
The journey along the Silk Road runs through Baghdad (City of Peace) founded in 762, which became a remarkable center of learning, a meeting place for scholars, scientists, and philosophers and a storehouse for knowledge from many lands. The city was ideally planned as a circle 2,000 meters in diameter and built of brick outer ring with residences of functionaries on the inside. The second ring was built for staff and family members. The city blueprint strangely resemble the system of Icelandic “Réttir.”
Nov. 14, 2015 – Jan. 14, 2016
Maryanne Pollock is a graduate of Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and Rome, Italy. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in printmaking with a teaching certification in 1981 and continued her studies in painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Corcoran College of Art and Design and has done graduate work at the American University.
Maryanne spent six years living, working and exhibiting extensively in Egypt and says that it profoundly changed her work. She has lived in Adams Morgan in Washington, D.C. since 1992.
Maryanne’s show at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Art Center is an intergenerational collaboration intended to build awareness of global refugeeism, not just from war, famine and poverty but also climate change. The original idea was based on a painting Maryanne called “Afterlife,” now in the collection of a crowned Prince of Qatar. “Refuge” also takes it’s cue from Iraqi textiles and art from the middle and eastern art where the Italian Renaissance has its roots.
Shanthi Chandrasekar is a Maryland artist who has been drawing and painting since early childhood. Her interest in understanding different media has led her to experiment with sculpture, photography, printmaking and papermaking. She has also been trained in the traditional art form Tanjore Style painting. While many of her works are influenced by her Indian heritage, her true inspiration comes from the mystery and majesty of the world around her; her muse lives where the scientific overlaps with the spiritual.
Shanthi’s works have been displayed in a variety of locations through the Washington D.C. area, and she has won numerous awards. She won the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award 2013 for Works on Paper. She was awarded the Individual Artist grants from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, MD in 2009, 2013 and for 2016. She also won the Maryland Traditions Master Apprentice Award to teach Kolam drawing in 2010.
Shanthi won the gold and the fan favorite medals along with a solo show in a competition conducted by the District of Columbia Arts Center called the DC Art Decathlon in 2012. The ten media specified by the gallery were drawing, painting, collage, photography, sculpture, printmaking, fiber art, conceptual art, audio and video. James W. Mahoney was the curator for the show titled Journeys and created work in the ten different media. Mark Jenkins wrote a review for the show in the Washington Post.
Shanthi also won the Best in Show and the Urquhart Awards in the Art League juried shows in 2012 at the Torpedo Factory in VA. Her artwork has been exhbited at the Joint Mathematics Meeting and Bridges Math Art show. Her work is part of a travelling exhibition, Erasing Borders by the Indo-American Arts Council, NY. She also participated in the Artomatic shows in 2012, 08 and 07. She had a solo show of drawings on paper titled Red Dots at the Art League in VA in 2011.
She has been invited to participate in the following shows for 2014 and 2015: Heritage India, curator Harriet Lesser, Strathmore (2014); Density Fluctuations, curator Sarah Tanguy, American Center for Physics (2014-2015); Chicago School of professional Psychology, DC (2014- 2015); Takoma Park Community center & Sandy Spring Museum (2015), Women’s National Democratic Club, curator Nuzhat Sultan, Breathe in Gold Light, New Door Creative Gallery, Baltimore, curated by Kelly Johnson for her MICA MFA Curtorial Practice Thesis show (April-May2015); Verizon Gallery, Ernst Cultural Community Center., NVCC, Annandale(June 2015), UUCR(August-September 2015) Personal Patterns: King Street Gallery at the Cafritz Foundation Art Center, Silver Spring, curated by Claudia Rousseau(October 2015).
She is currently the exhibits director for the galleries at the Takoma Park Community Center. She offers classes and workshops and is a teaching artist listed on the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County roster. She works from her studio at Pyramid Atlantic, Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland.
Find out more about Shanthi and her artwork by visiting her blog.
Ann Schlesinger received her B.A. in studio art and art history from the University of Virginia, her MFA in painting from American University, and had a year of postgraduate study at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich.
Ann has been the recipient of a Fulbright in Painting, the Annette Kade Fine Arts Fellowship, the David Lloyd Kreeger Award and the Art Prize from the University of Virginia. She has taught at several schools in the area including American University, the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution Resident Associate Program. Currently, Ann teaches drawing and painting at Northern Virginia Community College.
“What excites me most in painting is the process of searching. I play around with the composition – pushing things up and down, left and right, blowing them up and shrinking them back, changing the angle of my view, altering color and texture – until everything feels as if it’s exactly right. There is a constant push and pull. It’s intuitive and analytical at the same time.
“In these paintings, one can see the remnants of that search with bits of line, color and texture peeping out, the remains of a search that continues until I have a sense that everything is in balance, and what I was looking for is captured. Although it is representational, it is really about abstract relationships.
“There are struggles: line vs. form, movement vs. solidity, clutter vs. space, realism vs. abstraction. As I work on a painting, the search is continuous, with many changes from start to finish. These paintings are about space and spacing. The precise placement of objects within the composition, and how they relate to each other and to the frame is paramount. And what exactly does finished mean? For me, it means that all parts work with each other, and that there is enough there to convey form, movement and a sense of space.”