Opening: Friday, August 5 from 6pm-8pm (Covid-19 guidelines will be in place for this in-person event)
Khánh H. Lȇ: From Behind There, We Are Now Here
August 5 – October 2, 2022 // Stone Tower Gallery
Khánh H. Lê creates mixed-media collages based on deteriorating photographs and collective memories of his personal and familial history as a refugee living in Vietnamese internment camps. Inspired by storytelling, crafting, and myth-making, his mixed-media base is a nod to his immigrant experience. Lê’s collage-style of patterning and layering uses craft culture as a metaphor for constructing identity. However, his work is imbued with tension in its materiality and the source of its composition. The craft-store jewels sparkle as if real, emphasizing the scene’s idyllic nature and belying the traumas of exile. Lê weaves his own and his family’s experiences as refugees from Vietnam. Working from images found in family albums, digital photographs, and fashion and decoration magazines, he explores an identity formed amongst and from the memories of others.
Even though I identify myself as a Vietnamese-born American, I still do not know the depth of what this descriptive label means. There is a discord within my own origin due to the fact that I was born in the wake of the Vietnam conflict. By the time I came into the world, Vietnam had already claimed its own independence. Being born too late effectively removed me from that earlier point in history and all that it signifies to people inside and outside of Vietnam. Growing up in the United States, I learned to adapt my identity living between two cultures. Identity is the central theme of my works, and I examine it through the bits and pieces of my personal memory and the collective history from the two cultures.
Contradictions and fragmentations are key issues in examining the notion of identity within the structure of my works. I collect images from family photo albums, digital photographs, and fashion and home décor magazines. Through the process of collage, I layer together the fragmented photo images to create a new historical narrative that is reflective of the tension within my own identity.
Khánh H. Lê (b. 1981, Long Dinh, Vietnam; lives and works in Washington, D.C.) continuously probes his personal and familial histories to carve out a cultural identity for himself. Lê creates dazzling compositions based on deteriorating photographs and collective memories of his and his relations’ experiences as refugees living in Vietnamese internment camps in the 1980s. Through the collaging of materials such as acrylic paintings, glitter, prints, and sparkling plastic craft jewels, Lê merges narratives—both horrific realities and idyllic fantasies—that are filled with tension as he explores notions of home, country, and safety.
Lê graduated with an MFA from Syracuse University in 2008. His work has been exhibited at the Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, New Jersey; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; and locally at Vox Populi, Honfleur Gallery, DC Arts Center, Hillyer Art Space, Transformer, CulturalDC, Pyramid Atlantic, and Arlington Arts Center. The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities awarded Lê an Artist Fellowship for the Visual Arts in 2011, and 2015 through 2020. Lê was awarded second place in the Bethesda Painting Prize in 2018 and was a 2019 semifinalist of the Sondheim Artscape Prize in Baltimore.
Legacy: A Celebration, Wearable Expression in Time
August 5 – September 5, 2022 // Popcorn Gallery
The Popcorn Gallery presents Legacy: A Celebration, Wearable Expression in Time, a collection of new, wearable works by Blair Anderson, founder of SilverWorks Studio & Gallery in historic Glen Echo Park. Anderson uses metals, gemstones, and found objects to tell her stories.
Legacy. What has been handed down to you? What are you handing down to others? Legacy can take the form of things or can be actions that affect others. Like a ripple in a pond, what we do and intend can influence, motivate, and even inspire. This show explores the relationship of the art of jewelry making and the influence artists have on each other and the resulting aesthetics. Looking at those who have gone before us, the show will also honor Deborah Dubois with posthumous collaborations. Anderson combines the influence of Dubois – whom she had never met – with her own design style. Part of the proceeds from sales of work in this exhibition will be donated to a college fund for Deborah’s granddaughter, Ella.
The show will also examine, on a global scale, the influence that the SilverWorks residency program has had. For the last ten years this residency has awarded young people free access to studio and classes, an exhibition, and has photographed their portfolios for college applications. We will take a look at where they are now and how the SilverWorks lives have interconnected through the art form.
Blair Anderson brings 35 years experience of silversmithing to Glen Echo Park as founder of SilverWorks Studio & Gallery and Studio 2: Hot metal. She makes wearable art that represents personal journeys by telling stories with metal and precious stones. These works have a depth of content often dealing with themes of social justice, spiritual awareness, and women’s issues to elicit reactions that often determine their patrons. The work chooses them. Anderson is married to her best friend, Bryan. They have one son, Daniel, an artist, writer, and web developer. Bryan and Blair live in Silver Spring, MD.
Deborah Dubois (passed June 10, 2021)
A founding member of the Annual Pleiades Art Exhibition, Deborah Dubois taught classes, courses and workshops through the Washington Guild of Goldsmiths, Montgomery College, Glen Echo Park, Longwood University, Touchstone Center for the Arts and others. Between 1981 and 1999, Dubois was contracted to repair and clean several pieces in the Gem Hall of the National Natural History Museum, most notably the Hope Diamond. In 1996, she became an Artist-In-Residence at Glen Echo Park.
Emma Stevenson Cowan: A Shift In Focus
August 5 – September 5, 2022 // Park View Gallery
The Park View Gallery presents A Shift in Focus, a solo show of work by artist Emma Stevenson Cowan. The exhibition features a collection of landscape paintings – a departure from the artist’s text-based work.
My current body of work is an exercise in discovering if I am a landscape painter. Each painting examines why I enjoy being outside. I use images from places I have visited once or visit frequently. They are either painted from life or from photographs I have taken. A few personal photographs originally meant for social media have instead become subject matter and have figures that act as a context for the landscapes behind them. Each painting is about something different: preserving a memory, attempting to capture a mood, or cloud formation, but each one is an experiment. My recent body of work could be seen as one collective sketch for a shift in focus for my paintings.
Emma Stevenson Cowan received her BFA and MS in Art and Design Education from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, with a concentration in painting and art history. After graduation, she moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to become a full time art teacher in an alternative charter school specializing in at-risk youth. There, she also began a successful after-school art program with help from the non-profit organization Congreso. Stevenson Cowan has recently returned to work in her hometown of Bethesda, Maryland. She currently works at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart – an all girls, Catholic, K-12 school – as a high school studio art teacher. At Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, Stevenson Cowan takes on many additional roles including Chair of the Visual Arts Curriculum Review Process, and the advisor to the literary magazine, and yearbook. She also volunteers at Mary House and DC Central Kitchen.
Glen Echo Park Partnership Galleries is located at 7300 Macarthur Blvd, Glen Echo, MD.