Hamiltonian Artists Presents2021–2023 Fellows new.now.

By Editorial Team on December 13, 2021

Sat, 18 December 2021 - Sat, 29 January 2022

Artist Talk: Wednesday, January 19 at 6pm
Closing Reception: Saturday, January 29 at 4pm

Hamiltonian Artists is pleased to present new.now., our annual group exhibition debuting the work of Hamiltonian’s five distinguished 2021–2023 fellows—Kyrae Dawaun, Cecilia Kim, Ara Koh, Samera Paz, and Matthew Russo. The exhibition will be on view from December 18, 2021 to January 29, 2022. There will be an Artist Talk on January 19 at 6 pm and a closing reception on January 29 at 4pm

This exhibition provides a snapshot of these five artists’ creative practices and works they will be expanding upon during their time with Hamiltonian Artists over the next two years. Materiality is at the core of much of the work and interpretation of form is manipulated through the artist’s personal experiences.

Kyrae Dawaun will present a selection of work across mediums. Tethered by language, Dawaun’s theatrical works depict archetypal characters and criticize rhetorical tropes. Cecilia Kim explores the liminal space of interwoven memory and overlapping familial relationships. Her poetic works study spoken text and warped environments through installation and video. Ara Koh will show works that highlight her unique relationship with clay. While Koh’s vessels and sculptures reference memory, the gestural landscapes and intricate surfaces in her paintings with clay are an exploration of texture and metamorphosis. Samera Paz explores the contemporary dilemmas of womanhood through photography and performance. Paz uses her body as a medium to explore femininity, sexuality, gender roles, and intimacy to face her own traumas and experiences. Having humor, presence, and a group dynamic, Matthew Russos’ energetic sculptures and abstract paintings challenge our understanding of material objects. Russos’ work discusses the purpose of the form through our environmental influences and experiential reality.

The 2021–2023 Fellows were selected by an independent national jury of arts professionals—Wassan Al-Khudhairi, chief curator at the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis; Tim Doud, artist, curator and professor in the Department of Art at American University, Washington, DC; Isabel Manalo, visual artist, educator and curator-at-large, Washington, DC; Jonathan Monaghan, visual artist, associate professor and chair of the Art Department at Catholic University, Washington, DC; and Terence Washington, arts educator, administrator, and project director for Readying the Museum, Washington, DC.

About the Artists

Kyrae Dawaun was born on the edge of Queens, NY, transplanted from this affective mecca onto Baltimore, Maryland, then Washington, DC. He received his BFA at the Corcoran College of Art + Design in 2013. His timely return to working in DC came soon after he achieved his MFA at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. He has been invited to work, reside, and exhibit in Los Angeles, Italy, Toronto, and Berlin. In 2016, Pyramid Atlantic hosted him as a Denbo Fellow, and in 2017 DC Commission on Arts and Humanities awarded him an Arts and Humanities Fellowship. He has recently exhibited at Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in Hampton Roads, and Sculpture Center in Long Island City.

Cecilia Kim (b. Seoul, South Korea; lives and works in Richmond) is an MFA candidate and adjunct instructor in Photo+Film at Virginia Commonwealth University and holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Kim has lived in five countries, including Australia, England, Singapore, and the United States. Kim was recently awarded Best in Show, First Place, at the 19th annual Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards. Her work has been shown in solo and group shows, including The Immigrant Artist Biennale, virtual; 0 GALLERY, Seoul, Korea; Target Gallery, Alexandria, VA; Hume Gallery and Sullivan Galleries, Chicago; and at film festivals and screenings, including the NoFlash Video Show, The Anderson Gallery, and Student Experimental Film Festival Binghamton. Kim was a resident artist at the Busan International OpenArts Residence in 2020, and at the Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency in 2021.

Ara Koh (b. Seoul, South Korea; lives and works in Washington, DC) received her BFA in Ceramics and Glass from Hongik University, Seoul, in 2018, and was an exchange student at California State University, Long Beach, in 2016. Koh graduated with an MFA in Ceramic Art at New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2020. Her works are installations claiming space across a variety of materials, particularly clay. Koh’s work has been exhibited in numerous museums and galleries, including the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT; and Korea Culture Center, Washington, DC. Koh has received numerous awards, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs Honor by the Korean government. Her works have been collected by Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, Daekyo Culture Foundation, Winell Corporation in Korea, and many private collections.

Samera Paz (b. Washington, DC; lives and works in Washington, DC) is a multidisciplinary self-taught visual and performance artist, activist, educator, and community organizer. Her work is inspired by social-political issues, mental health, and her identity as a Black and Colombian woman in today’s modern world. In 2015, Paz founded Girl Power Meetups, a women’s empowerment organization that hosts monthly meetups to empower, educate, and support young women in the DC area. She is active in her community as an organizer who facilitates public meetings and events and is a member of NW4BlackJustice, an activism collective founded by DC natives in the summer of 2020. Paz has exhibited her work and performed in art exhibitions around the United States. She has been interviewed and published in blogs and media for her art and work, including Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Politico, The Washington Post, Glamour Magazine, and many more.

Matthew Russo (b. Worcester, MA; lives and works in Washington, DC) earned his BFA in Painting from Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, Old Lyme, CT, and his MFA from American University in Washington, DC. As part of his art education, he studied in Prato, Italy, where he focused on traditional forms of painting and printmaking. His work actualizes theoretical research into sculpture, painting, and drawings. He uses abstraction as a language to dissect the relationships between objects, materials, and their roles in gender, consumerism, class, and personal history. Russo has recently exhibited his work at Dodomu Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, and But, Also in Washington, DC.

The exhibition will be on view from Saturday, December 18, 2021–Saturday, January 29, 2022. Join us Saturday, January 29, 2022, for the exhibition closing reception from 4–7 pm. Mark your calendars for the Artist Talk Thursday, January 19 at 6pm.

Gallery hours:

  • Tuesday through Saturday 11am – 6pm

Walk-ins welcome. Admission to the gallery is always free.

For the safety of our community and staff, all visitors will be required to wear a mask and are expected to adhere to social distancing guidelines. The number of visitors is limited to allow for social distancing. Public restrooms are not available at this time.

This exhibition is on view at Hamiltonian Artists, 1353 U St NW. For more information visit www.hamiltonianartists.org.