Friday, December 16, 2005

Articulation at Pyramid Atlantic

Recently I walked the frozen tundra of Georgia Avenue in order to visit some of the venues in Silver Spring’s December Art Walk. And the highlight of the walk was an amazing installation at Pyramid Atlantic.

Created by Francie Hester and a multitude of other persons, this collaborative installation (titled "Articulation") is a touching in memoriam for Diane Granat Yalowitz.

Diane Granat Yalowitz was a journalist and writer for Washingtonian Magazine, where she was a senior editor and writer covering immigration, medicine and counseling. She died last year at the age of 49.

I am not a big fan of installations; most of them are a waste of time and space. However, the installation at Pyramid Atlantic is simply amazing.

Under Hester’s direction, people and friends who knew Granat worked on a project to wrap about 20,000 paper clips with bits of paper from her publications. The paper clips were then linked and joined together to make strings that dangle from the ceiling of the vault inside Pyramid Atlantic.

The instant allegory, especially when touched, is that of rain or a tropical scene, especially since the installation also includes the accompanying music of percussionist Luis Garay, sung without words by Joan Phalen (I am told as dictated by the mystical Chassidic tradition of "nigun").

There’s also a hypnotizing element by Lisa Hill: a digital screen that dynamically shows the process of wrapping the paper clips. It reminded me of a code breaking computer attempting to decipher an encoded message. Hill noted that "words surfaced, then disappeared, then resurfaced," and on the computer screen, the words float in an out of the mystical digital surface of the screen.

This installation was one of the most moving examples of the genre that I have ever seen, and it made me reflect on the power of words and art, when married together by skilled artists delivering something new and memorable to the dialogue of that often maligned genre.

The exhibit at Pyramid Atlantic goes through December 23rd.

Tonight's the night

Working till the last minute for my yearly opening in Georgetown tonight from 6-9PM.

Just finished "American Justice," charcoal on Paper, 7 x 29 inches, and the original drawing is matted and framed under glass to 10x32 inches.

American Justice by Campello
See the other drawings here.

Cajun Christmas

Cajun Christmas is private home as a public art project by Laura Elkins running through January 28, 2006.

Cajun Christmas is a seasonal work painted by Elkins as

"if the devastation of the floodwaters in New Orleans has extended to my house on Capitol Hill. This work uses the house as painting support and is the latest piece in HOME wRAP, a group of monumental paintings that addresses the politicization of private life and the demise of domesticity."