Jan 262012

For a show in December 2011, I selected work for the Target Gallery’s Petri Dish exhibit.  Petri Dish was a national, all-media, small works exhibition that has the primary focus of artist experimentation. The work in the exhibition fit within a standard petri dish.  The concept was great.  Historically, I worked at Georgetown University in drug development and molecular biology.  It was an exciting time, and I often thought about how I “should have” combined science and art; however the idea lain dormant.  I had the opportunity to bring this combination to life through networking with Mary Cook.

Mary Cook is the director of Target Gallery and the microwave project. She has seen some of my work through artdc’s Web presence, pop-up galleries, and a show that I juried for the Torpedo Factory’s Art League.  This is another instance of an art family.  While the DC area has a large active art scene, there are many connections bringing people together.  Outside of the Target Gallery, I think I first became aware of her work when I went to the G40 summit to view Peter Gordon’s work with the Microwave Project.  See more about Peter’s work below.

Mary invited me to select works for Target Gallery’s December 2011 show.  It was a great project.  She is very organized, which made my job significantly easier.  My attention was on the work, not the effort to acquire, organize, and manage submissions. She used Dropbox to create a depository of images to roll through.  This allowed me to look at the work as an entire group and make comments about work that moved me.  My selections were blind; there were no artist names attached to the images. There was such a wide range of work, which allowed me to push the connection beyond the sterile environment of the room and size limitations.

The layout of the show was extremely clean.  Mary mounted over 50 small white shelves to present the work.  It required viewers to walk in the room and look down at each piece. This was a great way to let the works lie on their own, and move your focus at an individual pace.

Before the close of the show, I moved through the gallery and found the 3 works by Daniel Miller.  I remember looking at his photos during selection.  At the time the light from these works of art excited me, but I knew I had to experience them face-to-face to connect.  They are kinetic.  LED bulbs blinking, creating movement.  I was impressed that he created his own custom controllers to time the activity of the lights.  If you flip the work over, you can see the semi-conductors and the work he did to manufacture a custom circuit.  I love kinetic art.  You may have seen the show that Grayson Heck and I produced at the artdc Gallery.  At a young age I used to tinker with electronics, so the fact that Daniel created his own microcontrollers sans breadboard attracted me further to “Under The Ice.”  I really enjoy Daniel’s work, and I told the gallery assistant I wanted to buy “Under The Ice, 2011.”

(Image courtesy of www.danmillerart.com )

I was excited to see that this show was mentioned in The Washington Post, and that this work is in the article.  That’s wonderful for a little provenance–icing on the cake!

 Posted by at 7:58 pm
Jan 212012

In September of 2011, the artdc Gallery hosted its 12” x 12” show.  This was our 3rd annual small works exhibition.  Our goal was to show a large number of works to a wide audience.  We decided upon a small works show to aid in keeping the cost per work small, hoping that more people from a local arts festival would buy. This show is an open call exhibit with very few restrictions.  It’s all-inclusive, which has been a great opportunity for us to develop relationships with new artists, and reaffirm connections with existing relationships.

I have bought a few things for the gallery from our 12” x 12” exhibits.  The work is affordable, and it creates access to work that I might not have found since there is a large group of over 100 works.

In the process of adding to the gallery’s collection, I decided to buy one of Lisa Rosenstein’s works for my self.  The work stood on it’s own, and she’s a representative of our activity.  I thought it would be important to have her work in my collection.

I enjoy her material use.  She plays with texture and layering that creates dimension with in her works.  I love the layers between the canvas, threads, and strings.  I can trace the details with my eyes for hours.  These two small works had wonderful presentation with a metal frame adding to the structure that she’s created.

I picked the one that spoke to me the most.  It’s titled Restrained Freedom and based on the juxtaposition of the “head” being restrained while the “body” is breaking free.  It has the theme of life, you can see there are 18 vertical dots, signifying Life in the Jewish religion (18 = Chai = Life).  The work is composed of acrylic, acrylic mediums, dimensional paint, archival paper, thread, and handmade net on canvas board.

I told her that I needed to purchase it for my personal collection, and she refused to let me buy it.  She gave it to me as a gift instead!  I’m so touched.  She is such a motivating force that makes me want to get out there and make more art.

 Posted by at 12:54 pm