Internationally-renowned sculptor Foon Sham, who lives in Fairfax County and teaches sculpture at the University of Maryland, creates large meticulously-engineered structures. His approach to art making is one of a consummate commitment to quality and devotion to his materials.
Hatch is a 10-foot sculpture comprised of carved discs, fashioned from the cross sections of diverse trees. The discs are held in a graceful balance that could represent uplifted arms, the horns of an enormous ox, or a ship on the horizon.
During a summer residency in Scotland in 2009, devoid of his usual tools and materials, Foon collected local wood samples and phone books as inspiration for a new series of drawings (see above). In these works the wood serves as a three dimensional component while the grain structure determines the direction of the compositional lines.
LineWorks: Drawing Redefined is on display at the Greater Reston Arts Center until January 3, 2014. Read more here.
Line-based glyphs and pictograms were among the earliest forms of communication. Wedges pressed into clay slabs, drawings on the walls of caves, and script writing all link our earliest ancestors to the creative process of conveying thoughts and information through linear images. Line-based drawing remains a critical component in the work of contemporary artists, who are expanding the definition of drawing itself, through the adaptation of innovative processes.
The intention of this exhibition is to illuminate that a variety of materials, having been manipulated and reconstructed by inspired artists, can in essence constitute drawing. Several of the selected artists choose to transform objects in space, while others prefer to create compositions on flat surfaces. Each of the works are highly detailed, labor intensive, and involve thoughtful reflection. In addition, the works’ also highlight how human brains retain and disseminate information. Although each artist is focusing on their personal story, collectively their works share a common thread in exploring how memories are formed, collected, and forgotten, and in utilizing drawing to document their experiences.
Lee Gainer, a full-time practicing artist living and working in the DC metro region, takes snapshots of gatherings, celebrations, and other notable moments and translates them into detailed line drawings. Using a computer and a steady hand, Gainer overlays these drawings to create visual puzzles of intersecting lines that examine how memories are constructed and recalled.
“My artistic process is representative of the phases I believe are used to develop memories: the perception manufactured from expectation, the details recorded from experience, and the incompletely distinct recollection. The integrated result that becomes our memory is influenced and overwritten by different bits of information created from each of these steps. My works leverage this internal process using visual insinuation to simultaneously present the individually-meaningful moment and the universally-shared familiar experience.” – Lee Gainer
Beginning with earliest forms of communication, people have used line-based glyphs and pictograms as a way to share information. Wedges pressed into clay slabs, drawings on the walls of caves, and script writing all link our earliest ancestors to the creative process of conveying thoughts and information through linear images. Line-based drawing remains a critical component in the work of contemporary artists.
In LineWorks, we will present a variety of multi-media works by five artists who utilize line as an essential element in their work. Featured artists Lee Gainer, Sarah Irvin, Nikki Painter, Foon Sham, and Sarah Weinstock all create work that relies fundamentally upon line drawing. In addition, they all explore how memories are formed, collected, and forgotten, using drawing to document their experiences. The Greater Reston Arts Center’s gallery will be reconfigured into five independent spaces, each presenting a different and innovative process, expanding the definition of drawing itself.
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.