On view through January 2, 2022
From October 15 through Jan 2, 2022, Arena Social Arts Club will present a major exhibition of works by celebrated artist, Lex Marie (b. 1992). The first solo exhibition by the artist will consists of a series of 15 paintings and 2 art installations, in between two locations, exploring the idea that one can restore lost memories through the act of storytelling. The collection of paintings are of childhood portraits of the artist, most with added collage elements ranging from progress reports to certificates of achievement to quarterly report cards rewarded to the artist during her childhood. The stories behind many of the works stemmed from memories removed from the physical form, but were revisited by the artist through conversations, reflecting and research with hopes to restore and preserve her own history and the history of those around her.
Lex Marie’s nostalgic portrait paintings are an unedited biography of her own life. Pulling from both her past and present experiences, she portrays emotions in her work surrounding topics such as systematic racism, single parenting and self- care. Lex’s portraits are unique in that through telling her story she captures the emotions that she has felt personally which also happens to be a similar story of many other people of colors that have long been unheard.
Influenced by classical portraiture, Lex emphasizes her subjects, often being herself or her son, by placing them front and center minimizing the initial impact of the smaller yet very important background details. The poses are soft yet stoic, the colors strong and vibrant, she captures a split second of a scene forcing ambiguity as to what that subject may currently be enduring a few moments before or after. She hints at answers to these questions in her provocative titles such as “At His Daddy House” or “Easter Morning Cartoons.”
About Lex Marie
Lex Marie uses her life and personal history as a Black woman, single mother and artist as her subject. Marie holds a BA in studio art with a concentration in painting from the University of Maryland, College Park. Marie’s first solo exhibition “Remember? Remember.” opened in two separate locations in Washington, DC through Arena Social Gallery (2021). Marie’s work has been curated into group exhibitions including “We Can’t Predict Tomorrow” (Arlington Arts Center, Arlington, VA, 2021, “Through the Eyes of a Muse” at Black Wall Street Gallery, New York, NY 2021, “FRESH START” by McCall Art Advisory 2021,“Women in the Arts” on Artsy, curated by Latela Curatorial 2020, and a virtual art fair curated by Monochrome Collective 2020. Marie was the recipient of the Alma Thomas Scholarship from Washington Studio School in 2019. She lives and works in the DC Metropolitan area.
About Arena Social Arts Club
Arena Social Arts Club is a DC based, 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization whose mission is to highlight minority artists/curators and showcase visual, performing, and literary arts in a multi-functional, community space that aims to advance the importance of cultural arts through events and authentic engagement.
Arena Social Arts Club on Barracks Row @ 507 8th Street SE.