Opening Reception: Friday, October 13 from 7pm to 9pm
Common Ground Gallery, VisArts (2nd floor)
Alyscia Cunningham presents a series of photographs that celebrate and promote the natural beauty of girls and women at all stages of life. The series includes unaltered portraits of female faces, between the ages of 7 weeks and 103 years. The aim of her work is to encourage self-love and shine light on our authenticity as humans.
About the artist: Alyscia Cunningham is an entrepreneur, photographer and author who has contributed to the Smithsonian, National Geographic, Discovery Channel and AOL. In September 2013, Alyscia self-published Feminine Transitions and is currently working on her second book and documentary titled I Am More Than My Hair. Both are social-change photography projects. Alyscia specializes in promoting our natural beauty because she believes the media does a good job of focusing on our insecurities by bombarding us with ads proclaiming that appearance without enhancement is inadequate or faulty. Her portraits are unaltered by Photoshop and reveal women as they are naturally, without the façade they put on for others. Alyscia is also one of the FrontLine Voices for Stop the Beauty Madness, a national campaign focused on changing the dynamics of beauty globally. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Ashton Kutcher’s A Plus.com, and Proud2BMe. http://alyscia.com
The Mad Duchess and Her Daughters
Gibbs Street Gallery, VisArts, (1st floor)
Stephanie Benassi’s art practice concentrates on the use of photographic images and processes to conceptually engage the contradictions, limitations, and fragmented simplifications that are inherent in photography. Specific research, travel, and material experimentation are developed into gallery installations that incorporate straight photographs, performative process-based works, and sculptural elements to create a complex visual and material experience. Drawing from diverse photographic genres such as landscape, forensic, Victorian memento mori, occult, and camera-less photography, she investigates the ways in which the material conditions and specialized languages of the photographic medium shape our relations to history, power, and the production of images.
About the artist: Stephanie Benassi (b.1980, Providence, Rhode Island) is a conceptual artist working primarily with photography. Benassi has participated in artist residencies including Vermont Studio Center and Virginia Creative Center for the Arts. She has shown her work at James Madison University, Broward College, Kutztown University and Loyola University Maryland and has been nominated for the Janet and Walter Sondheim grant as a semi-finalist in 2014 and 2015. She received her B.F.A. in photography from University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and her M.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University. She currently lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland. www.stephaniebenassi.com
Artworks for Freedom
Children in the Fields
Concourse Gallery, VisArts (2nd floor)
ArtWorks for Freedom and VisArts present a collection of essays and visual art collected through the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Program’s Migrant & Seasonal Farmworker Children Essay & Art Contests. These contests give farmworker children the opportunity to showcase their heartwarming and compelling stories on the national stage and to find power in their voices. The mission is to portray the realities that American farmworkers face through the words and visual art of their children and to spur action to provide better educational support for America’s farmworker children.
Winners are selected by a diverse panel of national community partners, including the American Federation of Teachers, National Consumers League, Human Rights Watch, and the National Migrant & Seasonal Head Start Association.
The Children in the Fields Campaign (http://afop.org/cif) is a project of the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP), a national federation of non-profit and public agencies that provide job training and services for America’s farmworkers. The campaign strives to improve the quality of life of migrant and seasonal farmworker children by advocating for enhanced educational opportunities and the elimination of discriminatory federal child labor laws in agriculture.
ArtWorks for Freedom uses all forms of artistic expression to raise awareness about modern day slavery and human trafficking. Working locally and globally and engaging art in all its forms, ArtWorks seeks to transform public perceptions, educating individuals, communities and policy makers, and inspiring action to put an end to modern day slavery. www.artworksforfreedom.org www.artworksforfreedom-dc.org
- Wednesday & Thursday: 12 – 4pm
- Friday: 12 – 8pm
- Saturday & Sunday: 12 – 4pm
VisArts at Rockville is located three blocks from the Rockville Metro station at 155 Gibbs Street, Rockville, MD. For information, please visit www.visartscenter.org or call 301-315-8200.