Opening Reception: Saturday, March 18 from 2pm to 4pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, April 8 at 2pm
Exploring the objects and emotions often linked to the daily lives of women, artists Nancy McNamara, Dominie Nash, and Hillary Steel celebrate domestic pursuits in both subject and technique used to create hand-pulled prints and stitched and woven textile works. McNamara uses collagraph, solar plate, and other printmaking techniques to experiment with images of women’s garments as she explores feminine stereotypes in society. Nash creates fiber collages by layering hand-dyed and printed fabrics in quilted compositions featuring humble still life objects which express the importance of domestic activities. Steel weaves thread into cloth then transforms the woven surface by resist dyeing, printing, cutting and reassembling her textile works into abstract visual narratives embodying the labor of her process. The Domestic Pursuits exhibit marks a new kind of collaboration for McNamara, Nash and Steel, who are all residents of Montgomery County Maryland.
Working side-by-side for many years in a shared studio space located in the Takoma Park neighborhood of Washington, DC, the three artists have independently achieved success exhibiting both nationally and internationally, but they have never shown their work together. While they each have continued to develop unique bodies of work using distinctly different processes and techniques, the three old friends recently began to recognize subtle influences linking their work which was the impetus for this three-person exhibition. McNamara, who was a Peace Corps Volunteer and is now a professor of art, focuses on both the additive and subtractive nature of printmaking processes to manipulate and experiment with texture and color in works like Golden Triangle a collagraph depicting women’s clothing in motion where the figure is only a memory. Nash, an award-winning artist whose work is included in many collections which include the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, creates still life scenes in art quilts like Stills From A Life 9 using shapes that represent the objects we surround ourselves with which symbolize home. Steel, who is a teacher and has been an artist for more than 30 years, chooses slow and labored processes to hand weave thread into ikat designs and dye fabrics using batik and shibori techniques before constructing pieces like Embrace, one of her powerful wall-hung compositions.
BlackRock Center for the Arts presents Domestic Pursuits: Nancy McNamara, Dominie Nash, Hillary Steel from Saturday, March 18 through Saturday, April 15, 2017 in the Kay Gallery. The center will host a Meet the Artists Reception on Saturday, March 18 from 2pm to 4pm. All three artists will deliver brief remarks at 2:30pm and be on hand to answer questions throughout the reception. Nancy McNamara, Dominie Nash, and Hillary Steel will return to BlackRock on Saturday, April 8 to deliver Artist Talks and a Gallery Tour at 2:00 p.m. with the discussion focused on the creative process and techniques each artist used to create the work on display. The Meet the Artists Reception and Artist Talk & Gallery Tour events are free and open to the public.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Nancy McNamara (Silver Spring, MD)
Nancy McNamara is a professional artist and professor of art who resides in Silver Spring, MD and maintains a studio in the Takoma Park neighborhood of Washington, DC. McNamara received her an MFA from the University of Montana in Missoula, MT and a BFA in Ceramics from Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. She worked for many years with nonprofit international aid organizations, including serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Quetzaltapeque, El Salvador (1978 – 1980) at the Ceramica Saravia, where she developed lead-free glaze technology for commercial pottery for sale of dinnerware to the public, hotel and restaurant industry. McNamara also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in St. John’s Antigua West Indies (1982 -1983) and Montserrat, West Indies (1983-1985). Since 2000, she has taught studio art courses in printmaking, drawing, ceramics and design as an adjunct professor at Montgomery College in Takoma Park, MD. McNamara previously worked as an Assistant Professor of Art at Springfield College, Springfield, MA and as an Art Instructor at Capitol Hill Workshop in Washington, DC. Exhibitions of her work include solo shows at Glenview Mansion (Rockville, MD); Montpelier Cultural Arts Center (Laurel, MD); Gateway Heliport Gallery (Silver Spring, MD); and BlackRock Center for the Arts (Germantown, MD). McNamara’s work has been included in group exhibits at Pyramid Atlantic (Silver Spring, MD), Ellipse Arts Center (Arlington, VA); Capitol Arts Network (Rockville, MD); and Montgomery College (Takoma Park, MD). McNamara’s work is included in a number of prominent collections, including the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution; Library of Congress, 9/11 Collection; and the Public Arts Trust of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County Maryland. (No website. Artist contact information available upon request.)
Dominie Nash (Bethesda, MD)
Dominie Nash is a full-time textile artist working in a studio in the Takoma Park neighborhood of Washington, DC and residing in Bethesda MD. Nash received her MA from University of Chicago in Chicago, IL and her BA from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award (2012 and 2001), a Creative Projects Grant (2010) from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County Maryland, and the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities Art Bank (2014, 2012, 2010, 2006). Nash has widely exhibited her work both nationally and internationally, including solo exhibits of her work at Montpelier Art Center, Library Gallery (Laurel, MD), Hillyer Art Space (Washington DC), Emory and Henry College (Emory VA), Arlington Arts Center (Arlington, VA), Adkins Arboretum (Ridgely, MD), BlackRock Center for the Arts (Germantown, MD), and Delaplaine Arts Center (Frederick, MD). She has presented her work in small group exhibits at the Workhouse Art Center (Lorton, VA), Kramer Gallery (Silver Spring, MD), School 33 Art Center (Baltimore, MD), Crossroads Gallery (Falls Church, VA), and Howard County Center for the Arts (Ellicott City, MD). Nash’s award-winning textile works have been included in numerous juried and invitational fiber art exhibits which include the Renwick Gallery (Washington, DC); National Quilt Museum (Paducah, KY); Festival of Quilts (Birmingham, England); Columbus Museum of Art (Columbus, OH); Visions Art Museum (San Diego, CA), Perella Gallery (Johnston, NY), Mesa Arts Center (Mesa AZ); Susquehanna Art Museum (Harrisburg, PA); San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles (San Jose, CA); Erie Art Museum (Erie, PA); Collins Gallery (Glasgow, Scotland); Wayne Art Center (Wayne, PA); Dairy Barn (Athens OH); and Schweinfurth Art Center (Auburn, NY). Nash’s work is included in the collections of the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC; Braintree District Museum, Baintree, England; Visa International, San Mateo, CA; Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, CO; Kaiser Permanente in Folsom, CA and Roseville, CA; and DC Art Bank in Washington, DC. To learn more about the artist, visit: www.dominienash.com
Hillary Steel (Silver Spring, MD)
Hillary Steel is a teacher and artist who specializes in weaving and resist dyeing, incorporating ikat (also known as kasuri, jaspe and abrband) and shibori (also known as plangi or tie dye) into her hand woven wall pieces. She has been a resident of Montgomery County Maryland since 1994, and has a studio in the Takoma Park neighborhood of Washington, DC. Steel received her MA in Teaching from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, MD and her BA from State University of New York (SUNY) in Buffalo, NY. She completed post-baccalaureate course work in textiles and studio art at Buffalo State College in Buffalo, NY, and the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA. Her work is influenced by her travels to Cote d’Ivoire, Peru, Chile and Mexico. Since 2006, along with colleague Virginia Davis, Steel has been studying with and documenting the work of Mexican master rebozo weaver Don Evaristo Borboa Casas, producing hand woven rebozos on a backstrap loom and making a short film about his work. As an educator, Steel has taught in public and private schools in Pennsylvania, Maryland and is currently on the faculty at the Potomac School in McLean, VA. She has taught workshops at Penland School of Crafts in Penland, NC and the Franz Mayer Museum in Mexico City, Mexico in addition to leading numerous workshops as an Artist in Residence in Pennsylvania and the Washington DC metropolitan area creating site-specific collaborative textiles with students. Steel’s work has been included in numerous national exhibitions as well as international exhibitions which include the North American Cultural Center in San Jose, Costa Rica; the American Consulate in Tijuana, Mexico; and at the U.S. Embassy in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Her textiles have been the subject of solo shows at the McLean Project for the Arts in McLean, VA, Glenview Mansion Art Gallery in Rockville, MD, Artspace Gallery in Richmond, VA, the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts in New Castle, PA, and the Rosewood Centre Arts Gallery in Kettering, OH. Steel’s work is included in the book “Art on the Edge, Seventeen Contemporary American Artists” published by the U.S. Department of State. Her work is held in public and private collections, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery, Washington, DC. Learn more about the artist at: www.hillarysteel.com
- Monday – Saturday: 10am to 5pm
BlackRock Center for the Arts is located at 12901 Town Commons Drive, Germantown, MD.