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For Immediate Release
May 24, 2002
6 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23220
Phone: 804.782.8672 / Fax: 804.782.9880
Email: cenewton@att.net

Artists Investigate Psychology of the Human Condition

RICHMOND, VA - Artspace invites the public to the "First Friday" Reception on Friday, June 7, 2002 from 7:00-10:00pm for three new exhibits. Musical entertainment will be provided by, "Chicago Jack." Artspace presents new works by five Virginia women artists - "Close" by Rachel S. White, "I Have Come This Far" by Brenda Wright, and "Seeing in the Dark" by the Women Photographers' Collective." Exhibits continue through Sunday, June 30, 2002. For more information please call 804-782-8672. Artspace is open Wednesday - Sunday, from 12:00-4:00pm or by appointment, and is free and open to the public. You can learn more about Artspace at www.artspacegallery.org.

Richmond-based artist, R. Sawan White, creates a personal installation in the Helena Davis Gallery with, "Close." Numerous tiny plastic envelopes filled with prints and mixed media embellish the intimate space. Inside the bags are secrets collected from hundreds of people - family, friends, and total strangers. White explains that, "the installation creates hundreds of tiny moments in which the viewer and the art are intimately involved." Depending on how you pronounce the word, "close" can mean decidedly different concepts. Close a door and we feel shut out. Yet to feel close to someone is to feel a sense of intimacy or inclusion. Deepest kept secrets are protected, kept closed. This mysterious yet honest installation gives the viewer the opportunity to see how closed they are or how open they could be. White was a provost scholar in the Painting & Printmaking Dept. at VCU and received a BA Honor Degree from Loughborough University in the UK. She has taught and exhibited locally.

Brenda Wright makes her Richmond solo exhibition debut with, "I Have Come This Far" a selection of images from her book of the same title, which features 100 of her best photographs from the last 30-some years. Wright will be exhibiting in the Main Gallery of Artspace. The Norfolk businesswoman is a gallery owner, respected photographer, and world traveler. Her photographs are a testament to her artistic talents and her love of travel. She has a particular interest in what's found off-the-beaten-path and usually in tatters. Mural covered walls, dilapidated signage, and unusual objects and places are among some of Wrights' signature works. She uses a strong sense of color and sense of humor when capturing these moments. And closing in on the composition provides a visual harmony to the large-scale prints. Wright has exhibited widely throughout the Tidewater area and is a frequent juror at Virginia's art institutions. Her self-published book, "I Have Come This Far" can be obtained through Artspace or Shooting Star Gallery in Suffolk.

In the Skylight Gallery is "Seeing in the Dark," images by the Women Photographers' Collective: Corinne Martin Diop, Melinda Trout LeBlanc, and Rebecca Silberman. Each member of the collective makes psychological photographs that are dark yet illuminated. "Pain is the name of the game in this garishly stunning, grisly reflection on life by three talented and inventive female photo artists," is how NewCity publication of Chicago described the exhibition. Haunting black and white, tinted, and manipulated photographs make up this collection. Diop's hand-colored images investigate the connection between environment and man - landscape is a mirror of the needs and desires of people. The streets and wires buzzing around are much like the veins, muscles, and blood pumping through the human body. LeBlanc's personal struggle with the death of her husband is expressed through gorgeous black and white prints that include multiple imagery and often text. The work expresses that death is an unavoidable aspect of life, and the experience of grief is the necessary journey by the survivor. Silberman's works are from a project called "Listening for Lazarus". This body of work recreates the journals, crude cameras and tintypes of a woman living in an asylum during the middle of the nineteenth century. According to the journal the images represent "a Mad, Round, World, horrifically proportioned and dreadfully malformed, a Place which has No Beginning and No End." All three artists reside in Southwestern Virginia, where Diop and Silberman are professors at James Madison University. They have extensive solo and group exhibition experience, and have received numerous awards. Silberman received the 2002 Individual Artist Fellowship from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, for works on paper.


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