Spring 2019 Exhibitions at VisArts

By Editorial Team on March 26, 2019

Fri, 29 March 2019 - Sun, 19 May 2019

Really Large Numbers, Protostar, 2017, animation projection, Plexiglas, NaCl, 1 x 8 x 8 feet. Courtesy of VisArts.
Opening Reception and Artist Talk: Friday, March 29 from 7pm to 9pm

Really Large Numbers Laboratory
Birth of a Star
March 20 – May 19, 2019
Gibbs Street Gallery, VisArts, 1st floor
Really Large Numbers (RLN) is a laboratory that encompasses the individual and collaborative experiments/expeditions of Chad Stayrook and Julia Oldham. As a team, Really Large Numbers combines science, fantasy, and dream language to blur the boundaries between the REAL and the unREAL.

About the artists: Really Large Numbers, the collective effort of artists Julia Oldham and Chad Stayrook, has been a working collaboration since 2011. RLN has exhibited work in many major cities, at venues such as Cuchifritos Gallery, New York, NY; the Institute for Contemporary Art, Baltimore, Maryland; Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, New York; Emerson and Dorsch Gallery, Miami, Florida; Bronx Art Space, Bronx, New York; and Neon Heater, Findlay, Ohio. Their work has been supported in part by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York, New Yoek; Artists Alliance Inc., New York, New York; Oregon Arts Commission, Salem, Oregon; Guttenberg Arts, Guttenberg, New Jersey; and Residency Unlimited, Brooklyn, New York.

John Schlesinger, Untitled, neon, mixed media. Courtesy of VisArts.

John Schlesinger
Everything Must Go
March 20 – May 19, 2019
Common Ground Gallery, VisArts, 2nd Floor
John Schlesinger presents a site-responsive sculpture rooted in the ceiling and walls of the gallery made from locally-sourced demolition rebar, bent neon, and resin-soaked photographs representing waste from the local area.

About the artist: John Schlesinger is a veteran photographer turned sculptor. He has won a Rome Prize, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, a Peter S. Reed Foundation Award and two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. His work has been reviewed in Art in America, the Village Voice, Aperture, Bomb Magazine, Art News, and the New York Times. Collected broadly, Schlesinger’s output can be found at the Walker Art Center, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Houston Museum of Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Hamburg Kunsthalle, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Brooklyn Museum, and the MOMA. www.johnschlesinger.net

Richard L. Dana, Metablooms, 2017, archival digital print, 22 x 24 inches. Courtesy of VisArts.

Richard L. Dana
Here and Where
March 27 – May 26, 2019
Kaplan Gallery, VisArts, 2nd Floor
Richard L. Dana presents an optically explosive solo exhibition featuring recent digital prints that occupy the gallery in a variety of scales and configurations. Combining abstraction and representation with macro and micro shifts of scale, his work investigates narratives that deal with the individual’s place in the world. His recent work stretches, warps, pinches, twirls, massages, implodes, explodes, and extrudes digital information resulting in images that hint at infinitely unfolding mental, emotional, and spatial states.

About the artist: Richard L. Dana is a self-taught artist who works in a variety of different media and has exhibited extensively in the United States and internationally. His work has appeared in over 32 one or two-person exhibitions and over 140 group exhibitions.

Mr. Dana has exhibited his work in Washington, DC, New York, Chicago. Miami, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Internationally Mr. Dana has exhibited in museums, galleries, and biennials in the following countries: Belgium, Brazil, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Morocco, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. Mr. Dana received an undergraduate degree in Russian Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1975 and a master’s degree in International Relations from Johns Hopkin’s School of Advanced International Studies in 1977. He worked as an economist and Soviet Affairs expert in Washington, DC from 1977 to 1988. Having spent much of his free time painting since preparatory school, he decided in 1988 to transform into a full-time artist and has been creating art ever since. rdanaartist.com

Mara Clawson, Flapping Space, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 18 x 24 inches. Courtesy of VisArts.

VisAbility Art Lab
March 22 – April 21, 2019
Concourse Gallery, VisArts, 2nd Floor
Pop Up Gallery: Friday, March 29, 6 – 9 PM, Buchanan Room, 2nd floor
VisAbility Art Lab is a supported art studio for emerging adult artists with disabilities who have a strong interest in making art part of their professional careers. VisAbility Art Lab was founded as a partnership between VisArts and Madison House Autism Foundation with the goal to provide artists with a supported studio where they can explore and develop their artistic talents, participate in workforce development and life skills training, and forge a deeper and more meaningful relationship with the fully inclusive creative community.

Participants create art at their own pace, observe and learn art techniques from studio artists, work with a curator on developing exhibitions, and interact with members of the public who are attending art classes, camps, gallery tours and artist talks. Basic life skills and workforce development training are designed to promote self-sufficiency, success in the workforce, and growth as an artist and individual.

Within the studio, artists create both 2D and 3D work, including ceramics, digital art, painting, drawing, and sculpture. Artists join in the studio for part or full days with individualized schedules. Artists receive a commission on sales of artwork and design and licensing fees from merchandise.

The VisAbility Art Lab has grown and expanded since its inception which began as a pilot program in September 2015 with one artist. Currently there are over 12 artists who work in the communal studio. Many of the artists who attend the VisAbility Art Lab have increased their hours of attendance and the community of artists within the studio has many strong bonds.

Eric Westbrook Paterson, oil on canvas. Courtesy of VisArts.

Eric Westbrook and Students
Drawings and Paintings from VisArts Classes
February 28 – March 17, 2019
Concourse Gallery, VisArts, 2nd Floor
Eric Westbrook is a painter, illustrator, and art instructor living and working in Washington DC, and has been teaching drawing and painting at VisArts in Rockville, Maryland since 2014. He received a Bachelor’s degree in art and design from the University of Maryland, College Park. Formal training in landscape, figure and portrait painting continued at the Art League School in Alexandria Virginia, The Yellow Barn at Glen Echo, Maryland, and the Washington Studio School in Washington DC.

Eric’s students at VisArts represent a wide variety of ages and experience levels, but they all share a dedication to learning and practicing the tradition of representational art. Accuracy in drawing, and the ability to analyze composition and color are emphasized in their instruction. The excitement occurs when these “formal” skills are filtered through each individual’s eye and hand and become something new and unique.

Observation of the surface characteristics of a subject is important to Eric’s instruction. However, even more important is seeing beyond the surface to the inner structure, rhythm, and flow of a work of art. Thus, even the most “realistic” drawing or painting begins as a series of abstract shapes.

This exhibition is an overview of the still life, figure/portrait, and landscape classes he offers at VisArts. To see course descriptions and schedule, please visit https://www.visartscenter.org/art-classes/

About Eric Westbrook: www.ericwestbrook.com

About VisArts Education Program: VisArts provide children, teens, and adults with opportunities to express their ideas, develop their talents, connect with others, and enrich their lives. Our strength is our ability to bring individuals together through a shared creative experience, fostering exposure to new perspectives, respect for each other, and a more connected community.

Maria Lux, Installation of Dominus at DEMO Project in Springfield, Illinois. Photo: Will Arnold

Maria Lux
January 16 – April 14, 2019
355 Pod Space, Rockville Town Square
Maria Lux’s installation, Dominus, considers resistance—in both animal and machine—against the human force to domesticate and dominate. Raccoons (notoriously impossible to domesticate, but known for their fondness for human trash and their misunderstood propensity for washing things) and Roombas (self-driven robotic vacuum cleaners that often make bigger messes than they clean up) join forces to create chaos in the gallery space, emphasizing their perversely pleasurable defiance of human will.

About the artist: Maria Lux is a research-driven artist who makes installation-based works centering on the way animals are used to generate human knowledge and understanding. She works across disciplines, building projects around existing research and stories from fields such as evolutionary biology, medicine, agriculture, history, literature, film, and anthropology. While Lux’s background is in traditional drawing and painting, her current work includes a variety of materials and processes, ranging from dioramas and museum-style display cases, collage, and large-scale carving, to casting, stop-motion animation, or sewing. She places herself within a context of both art-worlds and scholarly discussions, and sees her work as part of a larger dialogue (connecting to the field of animal studies) that investigates the unique qualities of both animals and art-making.

Lux earned her B.F.A. from Iowa State University in graphic design and studio art in 2006 and her M.F.A. in painting and sculpture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2012. She has shown work throughout the United States including solo exhibitions in Portland, Oregon; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Rockville, Maryland. She has been an artist in residence at several residencies including the Prairie Center of the Arts in Peoria, Illinois, the Center for New Art at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey, and the Enos Park Residency in Springfield, Illinois. She is an Assistant Professor of Art at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington.

The installation includes: Faux raccoons, Roomba vacuum cleaner robots, household cleaning supplies, custom-made wallpaper, three drawings referencing social-media posts about robots and raccoons.

Raccoon names: Melanie (named after the internet-famous pet raccoon trained to use a broom), Rebecca, (the pet raccoon of Calvin and Grace Coolidge during his presidency), Pepsi, and Twizzler (boy-scout camp pets of the owner of one of the Roombas).

The 355 Pod Space is a partnership between VisArts and Federal Realty Investment Trust to present site-specific artist installations through the end of 2018.

Directions to 355 Pod Space: Turn right when you exit the building, you will be on Gibbs Street. At Beall Avenue (at the first “Stop” sign), turn right. Stay on Beall Avenue until you reach Hungerford Drive (Route 355). Turn right at Hungerford Drive (Route 355). Walk beyond the CVS. The 355 Pod Space will be on your right, just after the entrance to the parking garage.

VisArts at Rockville is located three blocks from the Rockville Metro station at 155 Gibbs Street, Rockville, MD.