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Open Studios, Gallery Reception & Artist Talks

Event organized by VisArts

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Open Studios: 6PM
Opening Reception and Artist Talks: 7 - 9PM

Kaplan Gallery
Interact + Integrate

Featuring: Heloisa Escudero, Michelle Lisa Herman, Jackie Hoysted, and Denise Philipbar

INTERACT + INTEGRATE is an exhibition, organized by Jackie Hoysted, featuring four artists whose art practices are concerned with the interaction and/or integration of the audience in their work. Interaction is usually concerned with communication. It can simply be a manual interaction between people and things or for new media artists typically involves the interaction between humans, computers, sensors and networks. Conversely, integration is concerned about combining, assimilating, bringing together and the coalescing of people and things. For each of these artists the participation of the audience is essential.

Gibbs Street Gallery
Roberto Bocci: TwiLight Silhouette, Those Who Come and Those Who Leave

TwiLight Silhouette, Those Who Come and Those Who Leave is a series shot over an interval of approximately 90 minutes before and after sunset. The images are loaded with metaphoric and symbolic meaning hovering between day and night, lightness and darkness, Being and non-Being. As daylight falls after sunset, TwiLight Silhouette portrays evening joggers running around the 16th century Medici Fortress located in Siena, Italy (Bocci’s country and city of birth). In the panoramas runners are portrayed multiple times as they enter (those who come) and leave (those who leave) the picture frame. Their bodies are often silhouetted against the background sky. As runners loop around the fortress, daylight gradually dims transitioning to nighttime. The brownish haze in many early evening images, and the over-saturated sunset skylines is partly due to the presence of air pollutants like nitrogen oxide in the atmosphere. The otherworldly skylines and their apparent beauty are a stark reminder that if we continue abusing our environment humans may be heading towards the twilight of their existence on earth. With this series, he continues to experiment with single and composite images that explore ideas of time passage, space, simultaneity, the cyclical nature of existence as well as concerns about the sustainability of life on our planet.

About the artist: Roberto Bocci is a photographer and an installation artist born in Siena, Italy. His practice includes single and composite photographic images, installations, and experimental time-based media works. His artistic concerns encompass multiple points of view and questions of personal identity. Bocci has shown his work in the United States, Europe, Japan and Australia and has been awarded fellowships and grants including a Fulbright Fellowship, a Woodstock Photography Grant, an Arlington County Spotlight Grant and numerous Georgetown University research grants to support his work. He lives in Arlington, Virginia, and works in Washington, DC, where he is an Associate professor of Digital Art and Photography at Georgetown University.

Common Ground Gallery
Shona Macdonald: Sky on Ground

Shona Macdonald’s work, for the past fifteen years, has been determined by place. She responds to whatever environment in which she finds herself. Currently she lives and works in New England, a place that for landscape painters has long figured into the notion of a pastoral ideal. Her understanding of pastoral is any expansive green space that offers a respite from the built environment, a sanctuary. Her current work investigates the conflict between ‘natural’ and ‘cultural’ landscape. By this, she means that the ‘ideal’ of the pastoral has gone unchallenged yet continues to shape the human relationship to the landscape. She perceives that the pastoral, (or nature) is still idealized in this country, particularly in New England, because it represents a place in which to escape.

The paintings in Sky on Ground attempt to counter this ideal by representing the landscape as an uneasy, mysterious, and unpredictable place. The work acknowledges that reflections in water are a significant part of the history of painting yet rather than depict reflections as places that evoke elevated or sublime emotional states, she focuses attention on the puddle as a melancholic after effect. These works reflect (literally and metaphorically) upon the environment. She offers a poetic space, such as a puddle, to gaze into. Puddles, and their attendant reflected images, shrink and disappear, hinting at our transient and fragile hold on the earth. At the heart of this work there is an uncanny ‘doubling’ embedded in the use of reflections that she purposefully employs to exaggerate a sense of dislocation and displacement as people move throughout the world.

About the artist: Shona Macdonald received her M.F.A. in 1996 in studio arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her B.F.A. in 1992 from Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. She has had selected solo shows at the Tarble Arts Center, Charleston, IL, (2015), Gridspace, Brooklyn, NY, (2014), Ebersmoore, Chicago, (2012), the Roswell Art Museum, Roswell, NM, (2011), Engine Room, Wellington, New Zealand, (2010), Proof Gallery, Boston, MA (2009), Reeves Contemporary, NY, NY (2008), Den Contemporary, LA, CA, (2007), Skestos-Gabriele, Chicago IL, (2005), Galerie Refugium, Berlin, Germany, (2002), and Fassbender Gallery, Chicago (1998 and 2000). Her work has been included in numerous group shows across the United States, UK, Australia, and Canada. Reviews of her work are included in Art in America, Art News, the LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Sacramento Bee, Boston Globe, Artscope, and New American Paintings. She has been a Visiting Artist at over forty institutions, including Wimbledon College of Art, London, (1998), Georgia State University, Atlanta, (2007), Cornell University (2006), the University of Alberta, and the University of Calgary, Canada, (2002). Shona Macdonald was the recipient of a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, NY, (2009), a Fellow at Roswell Artist-in-Residence in Roswell, New Mexico, (2010-11), Can Serrat, Barcelona, Spain, (2012), the Cromarty Arts Trust in Scotland and will be resident at Ballinglen in Ireland, summer of 2017. She is currently Professor of Studio Art and Graduate Program Director at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and formerly Associate Professor at Illinois State University, where she taught from 1998 until 2006. www.shonamacdonald.com

Concourse Gallery
VisAbility Art Lab
April 6 – April 29, 2018

Group exhibition featuring artists from the VisAbility Art Lab at VisArts.

Artists include: Corey Barbee, James Billian, Mara Clawson, Edward Chance, Max DeMulder, Carlin Jones, Shaun McDonald, Tyler Mumford, Stanley Roth, Lindsey Schaufelburger, D’Ante Whitlow, Justin Valenti

About the VisAbility Art Lab: VisAbility Art Lab is a supported art studio for emerging adult artists with disabilities who have a strong interest in making art part of their professional careers. VisAbility Art Lab was founded as a partnership between VisArts and Madison House Autism Foundation with the goal to provide artists with a supported studio where they can explore and develop their artistic talents, participate in workforce development and life skills training, and forge a deeper and more meaningful relationship with the fully inclusive creative community. This exhibition is sponsored by the Studio of Colour and Design By Margie Billian.

355 Pod
yolk | shell | source | system
March 7 – June 10, 2018

yolk | shell | source | system is a collaborative installation by Beki Basch and Clay Dunklin. Working intuitively, the artists instate division and order based on the logic of the 355 Pod as it corresponds to the work by mixing high and low craft, disposable and archival, contemporary and ancient. Inspired by the confines of the space itself, Basch and Dunklin channel their own processes and ideas where design meets art meets institutional display.

About the artists:

Bekí Basch is an interdisciplinary artist who works in a project-based practice in which form is dictated by idea. She employs traditional and contemporary practices to investigate universal monomythic traits of cultural, historical and social issues through material. Her work creates suggestively narrative spaces from a wide web of connections. She received a BFA from MICA in 2009 and is on her way to an MFA at UMD, College Park this spring. Bekí has exhibited nationally and internationally in venues such as SÍM Gallery in Reykjavík, Iceland, The Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan, Ireland, Locust Projects in Miami, FL and Current Space in Baltimore, MD. She recently completed a one-month residency in Reykjavík, Iceland, which she was awarded to research multiple topics including environmental stewardship, national identity and the tourism boom. www.bekibasch.com

Clay Dunklin’s video, sculptural, and new media works serve to expand notions around the body and performativity. His work is situated on the thin veil that exists between the body and technology and marks a gooey, fluid, fragile state where various incarnations are reborn out of their former selves. Dunklin has exhibited his work nationally including shows at the Orlando Science Center and the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. Originally from East Texas, he received his BFA in drawing at the University of Central Florida in Orlando and is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Maryland, College Park. www.claydunklin.com