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a non-profit gallery for the visual and performing arts

2833-A Hathaway Rd., Richmond, VA 23225
in the Stratford Hills Shopping Center

Gallery hours beginning Saturday, January 22, 2022:
Noon to 4pm, Tuesday - Sunday
Free and Open to the Public
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January 25 - February 17, 2019

"Collective Efforts: JMU Art 3D faculty exhibition"

Mixed Media
Frable Gallery

Sukjin Choi: Ceramics
Mark Rooker: Metal
Robert Mertens: Fiber
Alyson Taylor: Wood
Dymphna de Wild: Mixed Media
Greg Stewart: Mixed Meda
John Ros: Mixed Media

Opening Reception
Friday, January 25, 2019
6:00 - 9:00 pm
Free and Open to the Public

Closing Artist Talk
Sunday, February 17, 2019
2:00 pm
Free and Open to the Public

Artist Statements

Dymph de Wild

Dymph de Wild's work is informed, in part, by her origins in the Netherlands. Over a period of thousands of years, rising and receding sea levels affected her homeland, hiding the past's testimony. Her work exhibits a similar sense of contraction and expansion, of layering, of de-construction and re-construction that relates to the high and low tides of the sea. Even as she elevates the status of found objects into components of art works— attracting notions of respect and preservation—her pieces are as ephemeral as they are playful. She takes them apart and reuses pieces over and over. Through Surrealist techniques of appropriating, cutting-up, fragmenting, assembling and distorting, she attempts to discover a new balance in her collages, photographs, prints, drawings, and sculptural works. In her work de Wild deals with and reveals the tensions, uncertainties, extreme delicacy, and fragility of life, displacement and survival.

Allyson Mellberg Taylor

In my current works I am exploring the ways in which we communicate with each other and our environment (or fail to do so) and how that miscommunication manifests itself physically in our bodies and our surroundings. My characters exist in a void landscape where they desperately attempt to communicate with the people and animals around them. They are sick from ingesting and applying multiple chemicals to their bodies regularly without much consideration of the consequences for the environment or themselves. In keeping with the idea that we should think about the chemicals we use daily, I use only non-toxic, (and as often as possible homemade/homegrown) organic materials to make my drawings, paintings, prints, and sculptures.

My work is a means to express my sincere desire for humans to take notice of their environment and reconnect with the natural world. There is a pervasive attitude of invincibility in our culture that is highly problematic. Our world is becoming increasingly claustrophobic as people find more ways to not look at their environment or themselves, in a natural manner. In our 'closeness' of modern day overpopulation and digital accessibility there is a great deal of emotional distance. We see everything through a filter and have many routes of mental escape via the Internet and Television. By employing images that are reminiscent of children's storybooks and medical illustrations I hope to bring people back to a more tactile place where they might consider their environment with the care and curiosity of a child.

Greg Stewart

I am often grateful when stumbling onto something that is "out of place" in the world. I find it is these situations that work to stir imaginative acts, create potential for new possibilities, and generate reflective thinking; all acts of mobility. It is also in this way that sculpture begins to produce thoughts and to affect the body. It is in this way that I position my work.

The impetus for these projects stems from my interest in geography, more specifically, human geography; the study of how we situate, or arrange ourselves in the world. I'm also interested in aspects of mobility: mobility as a physical operation, metaphorical gesture, and as a spark for things that drive our limitless imaginations. There is also a presence of mobility in language that I am interested in: how narrative language creates series of events, how time and space unfolds through narrative and can create the most unlikely of imaginary circumstances.

I have always drawn inspiration from the notion that our world does not begin here or end there, but is always going on. And for the same reason, environments are never complete but are continually under construction. With this in mind, my work is often left seemingly unfinished. Oftentimes it may still be in the act of construction, or dislodging itself from its current category. Sometimes a system is included that invites further attachments, including my own body.

My work imagines a reality constructed out of a necessity to move from place to place. It also looks at how we might build to accommodate a portable lifestyle. Most recently I have been involved in building small mobile shelters that are often equipped with things that may seem contrary to our notions of being able to move easily. Portions of a library, a cooking station, vegetable gardens, fruit trees growing on roof tops, an outhouse. One particular project has the entirety of one's possessions forming the outside walls of a shelter, causing an actual envelopment by all that is owned. Other projects offer imaginary experiments and agricultural practices including imaginary species of animals; crossovers, hybrids, or strange attachments with inanimate objects. For example, the project Engine Of Bones imagines a mutation of a deer-like species that can grow fruit from its own flesh becoming both herd and migrating orchard at once. On The Edge Is Decorated With Carvings employs a brightly colored camouflaged character that makes stops along the shore of the Salton Sea, planting fig trees and cultivating pearl oyster mushrooms in a garbage can. Every Word Was Once an Animal observes shadows on the walls of an Alabama cave. Meat Not Taken is a series of traps built with the hope of catching a deceitful rabbit. A Future Before It Happened brews beer to make safe drinking water from one of Virginia's most impaired waterways.

I am also interested in the sense of play in the work. This sense of play operates in the potential for the object to be manipulated (mobilized), and in the use of color. The most direct association for the use of color is linked to children's toys. Related to the use of color to stimulate children and encourage the manipulation of toys, there is a similar strategy in this work. Despite a conceptual edge, and the inherent awkwardness of the work, color makes the work accessible, approachable, and playful. Using the term 'play,' in the less obvious sense of the word, reveals another interesting link. Play, defined as a space in which something can move, reinforces the spatial quality of the concept and the inherent nature of sculpture.

Robert Mertens

The cracked pavers found under foot while traveling alone.
A digital message before a fatal accident.
That loop, a drum roll, a double crochet stitch.
When the last breath mutters a now forgotten language.
Strands intersect, tangle and drift apart.

My research combines ideas of eschatology, acoustics, handcraft and loss; which I manifest in hybrid sculptures and installations. My practice is driven by concepts related to fragmentation, spirituality, repetition, pattern, interconnection and the emphasis of meaning found in craft processes. I search for broken narratives, end-time beliefs, quotidian gestures, textile structures, and the echo of entropy.

Eschatology is the study of "last things" or End-time myths.
What is material Eschatology? A dilapidated cassette tape of Sun Ra's home band rehearsals. A khipu cord found in a mountainside crypt. The crumbling concrete an activist stands upon as history glides past. The half-finished afghan blanket your grandmother left behind.

In my work, I consider the shifting nature of craft and tradition by deconstructing ideas of progression and time. I often employ traditional craft techniques such as weaving, felting, quilting and hand embroidery and combine them with advanced prototyping technology such as laser-cutting, digital fabric printing, and digital Jacquard hand weaving. I triangulate between the poetics of electricity, the production of the hand and daydreams of dystopia. How does humanity perceive its relationship to technology changing? Why is string considered any different than 3D printing? What tension can be gleaned from understanding this perceived difference or continuous blurring?

Notions of time are consistent threads throughout my work. I investigate the ways in which time becomes manifest, such as the accumulation of stitches, the duration of a repeated action or collection of zeros and ones. On a recent trip to Costa Rica, I developed a piece titled "Recollecting Time" in which I was thinking about the time spent traveling alone. I photographed street pavers of the sidewalks of San Jose and traced out the paths taken. I created an animation of the paver photographs paired with field recordings of myself traveling through the streets. The photographs were also turned into repeat fabric prints, quilted and embroidered with contour drawings of the map tracings. These techniques present different ways of perceiving time, the speed of the hand and the speed of the machine. The repeated gestures of stepping and stitching, collecting moments in material, action, light and sound.

In another body of work title "Indistinguishable Monuments" I further explore the role of technology and Craft to create documentation of ephemeral sites. This is composed of traditional handicraft techniques and digital rapid prototyping systems. For example: hand felted wool, which has long held comparisons to skin due to its rhizomatic and isotropic nature, is laser cut or "branded" with patterns taken from ephemeral images of sidewalk cracks found around Arlington, VA. This work is an exploration of what can constitute a monument. It questions the role of time/aging within a monument and surrounding it. Should monuments last forever? What is appropriate to memorialize in a monument? What does the symbol of a fissure or a crack signify in the nation's capital? Can monuments be considered portraits of a nation? This work considers the existence of materiality and embraces images of decay and through it I ask "should we celebrate entropy or lament it? In the words of Eva Hesse, "Life doesn't last, art doesn't last".

Mark Rooker

Mid-twentieth century typography and science fiction illustration has had a profound effect on my visual language from childhood. The bold use of line, color, and dramatic metaphor translate directly into my pieces, which I think of as three-dimensional illustrations. Science fiction has the power to challenge and entertain us by creating complex worlds and characters whose strangeness helps bring our own world into focus. I create pieces that speak of past optimism, present problems, and future possibilities. The wearer and viewer engage in a visual dialogue about issues of value and body adornment, and the consequences of systems of value. I also use a variety of precious, semi-precious, and common materials in construction combinations that can be surprising. The resulting aesthetic is complex, evocative, and functional. Using the hierarchy of view problem that is an issue in jewelry design, multiple views are activated in these pieces that creates an additional tension for wearer and viewer. Through scale I can experiment with notions of reality, representation, and humor that provide me with layers of perception and critique that allow my work to communicate with many different viewers. Engaging wearers and viewers in this on-going dialogue is part of my commitment as an artist to raising the status of metals and jewelry as an art form, and exploring ways in which art can be manifested in everyday life.

Sukjin Choi

My work is concerned with memory and the tracing of time. When I see rusted steel rods at a construction site, I think of the passing of time and space. The rusted skin of the steel presents a beautiful pattern to me. It reminds me that there is an intimate past fused inside of it, and I am loft with meditative euphoria.

I bring this sentiment- of how the patterning or skin represents one's inner self – to my ceramic sculptures. The relationship between the surface and the interior, to me, cannot be separated. I have found my aesthetic voice in a delicate, yet crucial blend between traditional Korean surfacing methods and contemporary objects. As I continue the exploration in my work,

I repeatedly ask myself: Who am I? Where have I been? Where am I going? This is my endless journey.

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