Now in its 31st year, the Tephra ICA Festival (formerly Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival) will take place on May 20–22, 11am–6pm, at Reston Town Center and will highlight more than 200 artists who are creating unique, handmade works in the fields of fine art and craft.
Each year, one artwork is selected from a participating Festival artist to use for promotion of the annual Tephra ICA Festival. This year Fly Me To The Moon has been selected by returning artist, and prior award winner in the category of painting, Cassie Taggart.
Cassie Taggart is a painter, sculptor, and mixed media artist based in Silver Spring, MD. Taggart’s work straddles the line between dream and reality—creating scenes that hold multiple truths by layering scale, time, and place. The painting Fly Me to the Moon examines the continuity of matter as it moves through the circle of life, and how death and decay are essential elements of a thriving and interconnected existence. As the COVID-19 pandemic transformed the world in less than a month’s time, Taggart developed this image with a begrudging sense of respect for the ingenuity and power of the microscopic world within us. The person lying in the bed presents the creativity of the pathogens blooming within their body. Lush greens and sprawling plant growth celebrate the flourishing of these powerful forces of nature, even as humanity serves as their petri dish.
When asked about the symbolism within her painting, Taggart emphasized the importance of the rabbits who bear witness to this scene—demonstrating the empathic capacity of animals which is often overlooked. Regarding the violin case and music stand, the artist speaks of the healing power of music, and how in caring for her elderly father she has experienced how music “brings him back to himself, and to joy.”
Taggart’s painting looks beyond an anthropocentric perspective and celebrates the vibrancy of life while still engaging the emotional complexities of transformation and grief.
(Souce Tephra ICA Press Release)