ArtReach GW Community Gallery Presents Margarita PaduaAngels of Uncertainty: My Lady of Manaoag, Patron Saint of Pylons and Pawn Shops

Image Credit: Maggie Padua Untitled Studies, print on transparency film, hydrogen peroxide.

On view: July 12, 2021 – July 30, 2021

By appointment only RSVP Link: https://form.jotform.com/Gwartreach/margarita-padua–angels-of-uncertai

“Angels of Uncertainty: My Lady of Manaoag, Patron Saint of Pylons and Pawn Shops” is the culmination of Margarita Padua’s senior year in the Visual Arts department at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Focusing on themes of identity and environment, the pieces represent the intersection of her identity as an artist and Filipino-American with the sometimes xenophobic attitude of the small rural town where she grew up.

Untitled Studies in the exhibition alters a series of photographs taken in Front Royal, Virginia, distorting the landscapes and figures to create a work that juxtaposes bright, saturated colors with images of decay. The piece echoes the deterioration in Sally Mann’s wet-plate collodion photographs, which Mann says rely on her “Angel of Uncertainty” to harness the unpredictable power of the collodion medium. Padua’s photographic study recalls the fragility of the physical being and the delicateness of life. The distortion of the images reflects the twisted nature of the town’s lingering pride in the Confederacy.

Another piece, titled Permeations, uses transparent plates to show how Padua’s identity and environment overlap, how certain images and locations in her hometown bled into her. The piece titled My Cabinet uses found objects to create a narrative that comments on that same overlap. The resulting work is one that both attracts the viewer and makes them uncomfortable by creating a compelling narrative propelled by a sense of voyeurism.

Among the found objects included in the exhibition are multiple iconographies of the Lady or Virgin of Manaoag. These objects belonged to Padua’s grandfather, who grew up in Pangasinan, Philippines. One work combines the stubs of her grandfather’s prayer candles with long-exposure photographs of members of her family to evoke fragility, heritage, and inheritances, nuances characteristic of Padua’s work.

Margarita Padua spent a majority of her childhood and adolescence in Front Royal, Virginia, before moving to DC to attend the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, where she took classes in drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, animation, graphic design, and art history. She won a Presidential Scholarship from Bard College, where she will study studio art in fall 2021.

The exhibition is available to view by appointment only. RSVP through this link to schedule a visit. For more information, the ArtReach GW Community Gallery at THEARC gallery can be contacted at artreach@gwu.edu, and the artist, Margarita Padua, at mars.mei.3.0@gmail.com.

About the ArtReach GW

ArtReach GW builds programs and partnerships that foster community connections and civic engagement through the visual fine arts. As a part of the Honey W Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service at George Washington University, ArtReach free art programs and collaborative art projects are a vehicle to strengthen cross-cultural understanding, activate citizenship, and develop valuable art and design skills. ArtReach provides a safe, supportive, and enjoyable environment where DC youth and families make connections between art and their lives.

Contact: Aselin Flowers, Director of ArtReach GW Community Gallery, artreach@gwu.edu