Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Glassing the gallery

Cheryl Derricotte, Future HouseOne of the nation’s leading warm glass studios, our area's own Washington Glass School, has joined forces with the area’s largest hot glass studio DC GlassWorks. This collaboration has delivered an outstanding sculptural exhibition of work by the member artists and instructors.

The Washington Glass School is known for narrative and content-driven glass work, and DC GlassWorks has become an area favorite for sculptural blown glass artwork, and together they represent everything that has made the region one of the planet's hottest spots for contemporary art glass.

And now artDC hosts a hot exhibition at their new gallery at the Lustine Center in Hyattsville, MD, showcasing the collaborative spirit of the two studios in a show titled The Common Element: Glass and Sculpture.

The Common Element: Glass and Sculpture
ARTDC Gallery
5710 Baltimore Avenue
Hyattsville, MD 20781
August 15 - September 6, 2009
Reception August 15, 2009, 4-6 pm

Artists include: Patrick Burke, David Cook, Joe Corcoran, Cheryl P. Derricotte, Nancy Donnelly, Sean Hennessey, Michael Janis, Steven Jones, Brendan Kager, Jennifer Lindstrom, David D'Orio, Anne Plant, Ragan Sheridan, Erwin Timmers, Megan Van Wagoner and Sue Weisenburger.

Preview here.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: August 31, 2009

Baltimore's Galerie Myrtis will host “Picture a World without Cancer”, a fundraising event in support of the Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts, a nonprofit health, education and creative arts organization which serves individuals, families and communities affected by cancer and other serious illnesses.

Galerie Myrtis is seeking works of art (ceramics, painting, photography, sculpture and textiles) to be sold in support of the event. The sales proceed will be divided as follows: fifty percent to the artist and the remaining fifty percent (50%) will be donated to the Smith Farm Center.

The proceeds will support Smith Farms Center’s project to expand their facilities and services to the community. These plans will enhance their programs, increase participation, make programs accessible and increase their visibility in the community.

Fundraising Event:
Location: Galerie Myrtis, 2224 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218
Date: Sunday, September 27, 2009
Time: 2:00 – 7:00 pm

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: August 31, 2009 (There are no submission fees)

JURORS: Alvah Beander, Appraiser of African, African American and African Diaspora art; Tim Davis, International Visions Gallery; Phylicia Ghee, Photographer; and Julia Keller, The Walters Art Museum.

ELIGIBITY: This opportunity is open to artists residing in the Washington Metropolitan and Baltimore areas. Artists working in the following disciplines are invited to participate: ceramics, painting, photography, sculpture and
textile. All works must be original creations made by the artist within the last 2 years.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS: CD's are preferred and should provide: images of the artworks, current artist's statement, biography and resume. A list which includes the following information must accompany the CD: title, dimensions, medium, year and price of featured works. 35mm plastic slide mounts must be labeled with the name of artist, title, and labeled “top” on correct viewing side of slide. A list which includes the following information must accompany the slides: corresponding number, title, dimensions, medium, year and price. Please include a Self-addressed stamped envelope for return of your slides.

Artist may submit no more than five (5) artworks for consideration.

Please send materials to:

Galerie Myrtis
2224 North Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21218

For additional information please contact Galerie Myrtis at 410/235-3711 or

In the Flesh II at the Target Gallery

Prompted by this Kevin Mellema review, I dropped by Alexandria's Target Gallery last weekend to see the exhibition In The Flesh II (through August 30 with an Opening Reception: August 13 – 6-8pm, and a Gallery talk with curator Andrea Pollan at 7pm).

Target Gallery has been consistently one of the Greater DC area's best, and many times, only art venues to routinely showcase artwork by artists outside the Greater DC region, as their national calls are usually well responded to by artists all over the nation and even internationally.

Under the skilled guidance of gallery director Mary Cook, the gallery has refined its presence, thanks in part to the superb set of jurors that Cook has been able to bring to the gallery, such as Andrea Pollan for In The Flesh II. Pollan writes in her juror statement:

Figurative art has had a resurgence in recent years, no doubt brought on by the barrier-breaking internet and its promise of access to all kinds of social information - including things previously kept private – that emphasize what strange and fascinating creatures we are. Witness the popularity of, where the more extreme the videotaped image or behavior is by social consensus, the more frequently a link goes viral and gets viewed. Our self-absorption knows no bounds. Our bodies are endlessly fascinating.

Concurrent with this technological phenomenon is an international spate of important survey exhibitions of such figurative artists as Willem De Kooning, Francis Bacon, and Alice Neel. The Hirshhorn currently has its “Strange Bodies” exhibition on view with works in all media that span the 20th and 21st centuries, and The Phillips Collection is presenting the historic survey “Painting Made Flesh.” Clearly there is something in the wind.

The organizing premise of this juried exhibition is figurative work. From over 800 submissions, it was extremely difficult to cull an exhibition of only 27 works. Many very fine works were sacrificed in the final few rounds of jurying. My primary criterion was to select works of artistic quality, sometimes traditional and sometimes not. Clearly the poetic, the mysterious, the contemplative, the whimsical, the political, and sometimes the dark side of humanity characterize many of the works on view. This may be attributed to my juror’s bias that includes a predilection for a good imagined story.

Figurative work in general encompasses a broad range of genre and technique. For the works at the Target Gallery, I aimed to assemble a collection of art that reveals the power the figure has to engage the viewer whether realistic, expressionistic, surrealistic, documentary or mediated by another medium. As an audience we more easily identify with figuration as we already have an entrée into the work of art by virtue of the subject. Given the depicted content, we then by nature project narratives onto the work, so we become an active participant in the interpretation of the work. These stories are the deeply seated human connection that binds us to each other and to the art on view.

Many thanks to the astounding number of artists who submitted from around the country and to the staff at the Target Gallery, especially Mary Cook, for providing a wonderful opportunity to get to know work of so many artists in far-flung areas.
As soon as one enters the gallery, the first thing that we notice is the very interesting installation by Stephanie Liner, which in a sense dominates at first sight, in part because of its scope, and in part because of the size and fascinating sculptural ideas delivered by the artist.

Full view of Installation

Stephanie Liner – Momentos of a Doomed Construct. Full view Installation.

Full view Installation (side view)

Stephanie Liner – Momentos of a Doomed Construct. Full view Installation (side view).

large form with door open

Stephanie Liner – Momentos of a Doomed Construct. Large form with door open.

Stephanie Liner, detail (inside large form) Image Credit to John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Stephanie Liner – Momentos of a Doomed Construct, detail (inside large form).

It is also clear that Momentos of a Doomed Construct (is it Momentos or Mementos?) would have shown better by itself in a larger space, kudos to Pollan for selecting it and kudos to Target for showcasing it as well as they did.

This show is full of great work, and there are several artists here who should really be seen by our local collectors and by my fellow art dealers. Pollan's experienced eye has delivered a winner and this show is by far one of the best figurative shows that I have seen in years.

The first piece that attracted my attention was Anna Kipervaser's Inunion (3), an oil painting on shaped panel that immediately brought to my mind the similarly shaped panels of Cuban artist Aimee Garcia Marrero that we showed in Georgetown and also in Bethesda several years ago.
Anna Kipervaser - Inunion (3) - Oil on Shaped Panel

Anna Kipervaser, Inunion (3). Oil on Shaped Panel

In either case, both artists' technical facility translates superbly to the shaping of the panel, which then delivers a piece that somewhat marries painting with sculpture and that does well in either case.

Ann Piper – Censored – Oil on Canvas

Ann Piper, Censored.Oil on Canvas

Ann Piper's Censored is just a good painting, period. This is an obviously skilled painter with enviable painting skills and a talented brush, and she flexes those abilities in a rather simple but sexy painting with a hint of playfulness and a load of seriousness attached to it via its title.

Jason John's mastery of the genre of hyper-realism blew me away. This is hyper-realism at its best with a hint of surrealism, or is it?

Jason John - Conversation of a Paranormal Event – Oil on Board

Jason John, Conversation of a Paranormal Event, Oil on Board

Has the child's magical flick of the wrist lifted the object in the upper left in a gravity-defying act? or is the object a helium filled balloon orbiting the painting of its own accord? The answer lies in the way that the man responds to the scene and under John's talented hand, the painting succeeds in grabbing our attention through his.

Other works worthy of attention were Colin Asmus' two pieces in the show, which deliver a marriage of social situations with a touch of internet insanity and excellent painting skills. I also liked Jeffrey Haupt's sexy and a little eerie Miss A, a large oil on panel (56'x35") which is a steal at $1,250.

Strong narrative is the key to the success of Jami Nix's 42nd Street Time Square Station, a piece depicting a bunch of NYC cops with canine assistants inspecting the famous subway station.

Rachel Sitkin's graphite titled Under Question represents drawing well in the show, as does Jeff Markowsky's superb charcoal drawing.
Woman is the Other by Valerie Patterson
Finally, Valerie Patterson's watercolor Woman is the Other has a touch of the magical madness of Gregory Gillespie's work, and leaves us unsure if we're witnessing a macabre act or a depicting of loss of identity or self-esteem.

This show is a winner; almost every piece could have been a Best in Show on its own, and my choice for Best in Show would go to Jason John.

Don't miss the opening on Thursday, August 13, from 6-8pm.

New DC gallery

New (to me anyway) is Momento Gallery at Wisconsin Avenue, NW in DC. They come to the scene already representing some well-known DC area artists such as Andres Tremols, Richard Dana, Joan Belmar, Randall Packer and Patricia Secco.

Visit them online here.