Artist Talks Gallery Openings and Events

Winter 2020 Solo Exhibitions at VisArts: Nara Park, Jean Jinho Kim, Diane Szczepaniak, MJ Neuberger and Jack Warner

Jean Jinho Kim, The March, downspouts, rubber boots, auto paint. Courtesy of VisArts.

Reception and Artist Talk: Friday, January 24 from 7pm to 9pm

VisArts presents five solo exhibitions featuring sculpture. VisArts presents new work by Studio Fellow Nara Park, the 2019 Fleur and Charles Bresler Resident Artists: MJ Neuberger, Diane Szczepaniak, and Jack Warner, and Jean Jinho Kim. Even though their works spring from diverse ideas, processes, and materials, all of the artists investigate how sculpture shapes experience and precipitates relationships with physical and psychic space.

Jean Jinho Kim
The Big Leap
January 22, 2020 – April 19, 2020
355 Pod Space
Reception and Artist Talk:
Friday, January 24, 7 – 9 PM
Saturday, March 21, 6 PM: Walk to the 355 Pod Space with the artist. Meet at VisArts, 1st floor.
Jean Jinho Kim turns inanimate practical materials or cast offs – from downspouts and car parts to wire fencing and flagging vinyl- into lively sculptures that suggest movement and change.

A gathering of her brightly painted objects appears to be on the move, ready to roll, leap, or march beyond the confines of the unconventional 355 Pod Space – a 70-foot wall of windows on the edge of Rockville Town Square – curated by VisArts in partnership with Federal Realty Investment Trust.

The function of the downspout is to funnel rain water from roofs and away from foundations. It is a ubiquitous, dutiful utilitarian addition to nearly every home. Kim’s downspouts are bent as if ravaged by a hurricane, sprayed with bright auto paint finishes, and sport wheels or boots. The downspouts, stripped of their practicality, morph into transitional forms that seem to come to life with quirky intentions and gestures. Kim’s The March, turns lengths of metal downspout into a brilliant neon green puddle jumper with pink rubber boots. The bright yellow glossy Roaming sprouts bright red funnels and a couple of wheels with a pose that suggests the potential for speed or collapse. The artist’s playful subversion of ordinary work-a-day materials into evocative sculptural forms also hints at serious issues. Super storms, specie mutation, and resourceful re-purposing come to mind, but Kim keeps the viewer guessing with humorous grace and generous respect for individual imagination.

About the artist:
Jean Jinho Kim was born in Seoul, Korea and moved to the United States after graduating from high school. Currently, she works in Washington, DC Kim uses a wide range of materials, from acrylic paint to found objects, to create 2-dimensional paintings and 3-dimensional installations. She earned her B.F.A. in painting from West Virginia University in Morgantown and her M.F.A. in studio art at American University in Washington, DC She participated in residency programs in Berlin, Germany and Seravezza, Italy. Kim has exhibited her work in several solo and numerous group exhibitions in the U.S., Germany, Italy, Hong Kong and South Korea. Her work has been reviewed by The Washington Post, The Korean Times, and Korea Daily.

About the 355 Pod Space:
The 355 Pod Space is a partnership between VisArts and Federal Realty Investment Trust to present site-specific artist installations through the end of 2020.

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.

 

Nara Park, Presence 1, mixed media. Courtesy of VisArts.

Nara Park
Presence
January 15 – March 1, 2020
Gibbs Street Gallery
Reception and Artist Talk: Friday, January 24, 7 – 9 PM
Inside Art: Texture Workshop, February 23, 1 PM RSVP
Nara Park’s newest body of work, Presence, features free-standing sculptures composed of tiny painted Styrofoam beads imitating grains of sand. The microbeads form masses evoking markers or monuments. Park explores how monuments and sculpture mark space, time, and place. She considers how their “presence” serves to replace or remind us of the physical presence of a person or an event.

Park dyed the beads with acrylic paint and glued them together with archival adhesive. The accumulation of beads in multiple colors creates the illusion of disintegrating surfaces or the build-up of lichen, mold, or coral. Upon close examination of the works, the grains are visible and appear to coalesce in organic growth patterns.

Most of the sculptures are hollow emphasizing that there is a void under the surface of a monumental structure.

Hollowness coexists with bulk, physical lightness with visual weight, emptiness yet immanence. They are only surfaces, but they suggest solids. In contrast to the monument as symbol of strength, stability, and permanence, Park’s monuments reference the fragility of life and the passage of time. From tiny particles and illusion emerges a larger whole, glowing with individuality and undeniable presence.

“My work investigates our relationship to the landscape we live in and the imprint we leave in it when we are gone.”- Nara Park

About the artist: Nara Park is a sculptor and installation artist based in Washington, DC. She holds a B.F.A. in General Fine Arts followed by an M.F.A. in Sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she received the Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award by the International Sculpture Center and Henry Walters Traveling Fellowship. She is a recipient of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Fellowship, the Young Artist Award from the Trawick foundation and the Hamiltonian Artists Fellowship. Park’s work has been on exhibit at numerous venues including Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, The Phillips Collection, Grounds for Sculpture, Baltimore/Washington International Airport and American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. Her work has been featured in the Sculpture magazine, The Washington Post and Artnet News. Her public collections include The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC. www.naraparkstudio.com

About the VisArts Studio Fellowship: The VisArts Studio Fellowship provides a unique opportunity for a dynamic individual artist or collaborative artist team to create a new body of work, evolve an existing body of work, or develop a project in a stimulating, supportive environment over a six month period. Studio space is provided free of charge. Artists receive a $500.00 per month stipend. The Studio Fellowship offers the gift of time and space to two artists and/or collaborative artist teams each year to experiment and realize new work. The VisArts Studio Fellows present their work in solo exhibitions at the end of their respective fellowships.

Diane Szczepaniak, Flipping Panels Like Falling Water, wood. Courtesy of VisArts.

Diane Szczepaniak
Passage
January 22 – March 8, 2020
Kaplan Gallery, VisArts, 2nd Floor
Reception and Artist Talk: Friday, January 24, 7 – 9 PM
Diane Szczepaniak’s abstract sculptures and paintings draw the viewer into their space and generate a fresh experience with looking and sensing. Freed from expectations surrounding meaning, use, or underlying narratives, the viewer and the sculpture unite in what Szczepaniak refers to as “the phenomenon of form.” Her sculptures move away from a human-centered world, into one populated entirely by objects composed of form and space. The forms exist not as potential objects, but as something that can hold and reveal the essence of being.

Passage is a particularly poignant exhibition because it marks the end of Diane’s life. When her Bresler residency began, she entered hospice. Despite these difficult circumstances, she made a plan with friends and family to complete the work that she had proposed for the residency. This extraordinary collaboration resulted in the sculptural relief titled Flipping Panels Like Falling Water. Made from wooden cigar boxes, it was finished by artists Julia Bloom and Gloria Chapa with assistance from Diane Willkofsky. True to Diane’s lifelong pursuit as an artist, the work is made with an economy of means and with respect for slow attentive viewing. The work leads the eye in a dance with light and shadow not unlike the experience of observing actual falling water. Her life’s work was devoted to the phenomenological partnership between a form and an observer. In honor of her spirited life as an extraordinary artist, supporter of the metropolitan artist community, and arts educator, VisArts presents Diane’s Bresler Residency project.

About the 2019 Bresler Resident: Diane Szczepaniakhas been awarded an Individual Artist Award in Visual Arts: Sculpture from the Maryland State Arts Council, was a finalist for the Trawick Prize and twice a semi-finalist for the Sondheim Prize. She presents annual workshops exploring line, color, and space for Dudley House at Harvard University, as well as being an active board member of the Washington Sculptors Group. www.dianeszczepaniak.com

About the Fleur and Charles Bresler Residency: In honor of VisArts patrons, Fleur and Charles Bresler, VisArts invites applications and proposals from local, national, and international artists for a four month residency at VisArts at Rockville. This residency provides a unique opportunity for a dynamic individual artist or collaborative artist team to create a new body of work, evolve an existing body of work, or develop a project in a stimulating, supportive environment. Studio space is provided free of charge. The residency encourages interaction, dialogue and exploration both within the VisArts artist community and the larger Rockville community as well. The residency offers the gift of time and space to three artists and/or collaborative artist teams each year to experiment and realize new work. Each year the current Bresler Resident Artists present their work in a three-person exhibition at VisArts. For more info: Bresler Residency

MJ Neuberger, Pina (detail), mixed media installation. Courtesy of VisArts.

MJ Neuberger
Light gets in
January 22 – March 8, 2020
Common Ground Gallery, VisArts, 2nd floor
Reception and Artist Talk: Friday, January 24, 7 – 9PM
Inside Art: Art Retreat, February 2, 10 AM – 4 PM, RSVP
MJ Neuberger’s sculptural works, images, and light-based and performative installations and events offer the viewer haptic and visual opportunities to embrace shared vulnerability and alterity. Light breaks from shards of pottery shaken by the tiniest of movements of the body. She attempts to mend an heirloom cloth with her hair to acknowledge a connection to indigenous Filipino weavers denied by members of her family. A daily practice of lying prostrate within a bounded space records the imprint of the body on the ground over time. Her sculptural practice engages self-created rituals, elemental processes and native traditions as metaphors for reoccupying bodies abandoned across generations by colonial, racial, and gender-based violence.

About the 2019 Bresler Resident Artist: MJ Neuberger has presented work at Art Resources Transfer, Gathering of the Tribes and the Nuyorican Poets Café in New York and at exhibitions in Maryland, North Carolina and Indiana. She teaches art at Towson University, works with underserved youth as a makerspace coordinator, and organizes community-based art/performance events. Her writing and criticism have appeared in SPIN, The Nation and the Village Voice. mjneuberger.wordpress.com

About the Fleur and Charles Bresler Residency: In honor of VisArts patrons, Fleur and Charles Bresler, VisArts invites applications and proposals from local, national, and international artists for a four month residency at VisArts at Rockville. This residency provides a unique opportunity for a dynamic individual artist or collaborative artist team to create a new body of work, evolve an existing body of work, or develop a project in a stimulating, supportive environment. Studio space is provided free of charge. The residency encourages interaction, dialogue and exploration both within the VisArts artist community and the larger Rockville community as well. The residency offers the gift of time and space to three artists and/or collaborative artist teams each year to experiment and realize new work. Each year the current Bresler Resident Artists present their work in a three-person exhibition at VisArts. For more info: Bresler Residency

Jack Warner, Raze, Raise, Repeat, mixed media. Courtesy of VisArts.

Jack Warner
Outwork
January 22 – March 8, 2020
Kaplan Gallery, VisArts, 2nd floor
Reception and Artist Talk: Friday, January 24, 7 – 9 PM
Referencing the framework, structure, order, standardization, and fashion of the military, 2019 Bresler Resident Artist Jack Warner makes sculptures that investigate the performance of the body within structured environments. His enclosures, spaces, and objects consider how one might move or feel in the presence of heavy objects, tight confines, in front of walls, or in the presence of inscrutable coded symbols. He draws on his own experiences within the military system.

About the artist: Jack Warner creates sculptures that reflect the aesthetic and cold utility of military equipment and structures. Propositions for indeterminate machines, barriers, and weapons present themselves through the material choices and their support for each other as sculptural elements.

Having served in the Marine Corps, Warner developed an interest in the theatrics and presence of military forms. Acknowledging the alienating nature of military experiences to the un-inducted civilian he draws parallels to the coded language of the art world. His sculptures raise questions about how we are educated within coded communities to react to the objects we encounter; familiar or unfamiliar, friend or foe, affirming or denying our guarded understandings.

Warner received his B.A. in Studio Art from the University of Maryland College Park, as well as a B.A.in Art Education. He received his M.F.A from Mason Gross School of Art, Rutgers University. He lives in Baltimore Maryland and works as a Montgomery County Public School Art Teacher. www.jackwarnerart.com

About the Fleur and Charles Bresler Residency: In honor of VisArts patrons, Fleur and Charles Bresler, VisArts invites applications and proposals from local, national, and international artists for a four month residency at VisArts at Rockville. This residency provides a unique opportunity for a dynamic individual artist or collaborative artist team to create a new body of work, evolve an existing body of work, or develop a project in a stimulating, supportive environment. Studio space is provided free of charge. The residency encourages interaction, dialogue and exploration both within the VisArts artist community and the larger Rockville community as well. The residency offers the gift of time and space to three artists and/or collaborative artist teams each year to experiment and realize new work. Each year the current Bresler Resident Artists present their work in a three-person exhibition at VisArts. For more info: Bresler Residency

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

Editorial Team
Authored by: Editorial Team

Post provided by the East City Art Editorial Team.