Summer Art Camp started a couple of weeks ago, and this week is the second session of Art Now!, which focuses on contemporary art, and is taught by practicing artists and art professionals. We have had a pretty amazing group of artists teach these sessions, and many of us here at GRACE wish that we could go to camp to! Pam Rogers, Julia Bloom, Joanne Bauer and Elizabeth Kendall are among our teachers this year, just to mention a few. The kids have been doing both site-specific installations as well as artwork that they can actually bring home with them.
Artist and GRACE alumna Rebecca Kamen is the recipient of the 2013 Strauss Fellowship, awarded by the Arts Council of Fairfax County. Kamen works mainly in sculptural installation, as was her 2009 show, Divining Nature: An Elemental Garden, at the Greater Reston Arts Center, which was inspired by the periodic table. Kamen will also be one of the key note speakers at the VAEA conference this year. We reached out to Kamen recently to congratulate her, and she commented on how GRACE played a role in her career development: “My sculpture installation at GRACE, Divining Nature: An Elemental Garden, inspired by the periodic table, has been an incredible catalyst since its exhibition in Reston.” For a short video on her exhibition at GRACE click here.
Philadelphia based painter Morgan Craig has traveled world wide to find his subjects; dilapidated and abandoned interior spaces, often portraying the ruins of urban dwellings, factories, asylums, and penitentiaries. He has found inspiration in a range of locations, from cities like Detroit to forbidden nuclear zones in Ukraine. Craig says about his work “While evidence of these pasts or present-day difficulties may not be pleasant, I feel it imperative that societies realize their impact on the past, present, and future concepts of identity and history.” Craig paints mainly with oil on linen, and the majority of his work is large scale, and sometimes stretches through several panels. The largest work included in this show is 72″x168″ and basically covers the whole back wall of the gallery. We’ve been busy getting this show installed the past two weeks, but we are very excited by the result. We have also installed new window panels in the gallery to be able to show more of his work. Come see the show and join us for the opening reception on April 18, 6-8pm. Morgan Craig will be present and will give an artist talk around 6.30 pm. How Familiar the Stranger: Paintings by Morgan Craig will be up April 11 – May 19.
After an intense 4 day install EMERGING VISIONS: Voices is open. The opening reception was a lot of fun with almost 300 people attending, and if you have not yet, you must come by and see the result of these students’ hard work. As you might know EMERGING VISIONS is not a school assignment, which means that these young artists, guided by their teacher and our Associate Curator Erica Harrison, take this on as extra work. On our side we hope this gives them some insight in to how a gallery and an installation is run and what it’s like to exhibit your work in a professional space, and hopefully we help foster some young artists.
We are almost done installing EMERGING VISIONS: Voices, and will be ready to open tomorrow at 11am. The opening reception is tomorrow, Friday March 15, 5-7 pm. The show is coming together beautifully and there is so much young talent in the gallery right now. I really encourage you to come see this show.
EMERGING VISIONS: Voices is the second installment of Youth Art Month and opens on March 15. All our artist students have been busy working with both their teachers and with us to finalize their work, and we are going to end up with about 45 different works in the gallery. We are very excited to show off some of the young talent of our area. Here are a few previews of works in progress.
We are on our last week of Winter Solo Exhibitions: Beverly Ryan / George Smyth, and have started preparing for March, which is Youth Art Month. As part of celebrating this we do an exhibition with works from schools that participate in our educational program, GRACE Art, as well as an exhibition with selected works from our area high schools, called Emerging Visions: Voices. This year South Lakes High School, Herndon High School and Oakton High School will participate. Our Associate Curator, Erica Harrison, has been busy working with the students to give them feedback, and we are very excited about the work we’ve seen so far.
George L. Smyth is currently showing two series of work at the Greater Reston Arts Center. The photographs below are from his series The Braddock Project, and two of these can be seen as part of a series of several photographs as part of Winter Solo Exhibitions: Beverly Ryan & George L. Smyth. The Braddock Project documents Braddock, Pennsylvania, a once-bustling small city suffering the collapse of the steel industry, and the menace of crack cocaine. As part of this project, Smyth has vowed to return to Braddock twice a year over the next decade, to document the process of the city’s resurgence.
Smyth has been a serious photographer since 1990, and uses alternative photographic processes such as pinhole and infrared. For this project he used a labor intensive process called the bromoil process, which simply put is a traditional darkroom print where the silver has been removed, and replaced with printer’s ink.
Beverly Ryan is one of two artists featured in our current show Winter Solo Exhibitions: Beverly Ryan & George L. Smyth. Ryan is a local artist based in Alexandria, and works out of the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria. She works in a variety of media, but focuses mainly on oil on canvas and wood panels. In our current show you will see her series Suits and Skirts, which addresses the recent financial crisis in the U.S.
You will also see mixed media works on aluminum from Ryan’s most recent series, the Post-Industrial series, which speak of the decline of the manufacturing sector in the U.S.
Ryan attended the Corcoran College of Art and Design, and currently teaches at The Art League School is Alexandria, VA and is an adjunct professor in the Art Department at Montgomery College in Germantown, MD.