DCAC’s Nano Gallery Presents Pat Goslee Ace

By Editorial Team on March 29, 2021
Courtesy of DCAC.
On View: March 20 – August 29, 2021
Artist Talk: May 27, 2021

Ace is a small thing, defined as a “pip”.
An ace is the smallest, yet most powerful card.
An internet search result for the meaning of the Ace of Hearts
is a breakthrough in feelings.

This exhibition in the Nano Gallery is named in memory of Pat Goslee’s uncle who passed away when she was on the board of directors of DCAC. Ace was a nickname given to a man partially paralyzed on one side and epileptic from an accident at birth that left him trapped in the birth canal suffering from a lack of oxygen. Ace should have been a C-section. A kind neighbor once described Ace as ‘differently patterned’. He liked to play tennis and that is how he was given the nickname by the elderly men at the country club who would play with him. While he could not drive, he seemed to have some sort of photographic memory of maps and could tell you all the bus routes in town.

At the time of his death, the dire state of our infrastructure had become evident to Pat during a home renovation project. The old service lines were found to be lead. In order to decrease anxiety about contamination, she began making paintings as pelagic meditations or invocations to see the water clean.

During a pandemic home cleaning period, Pat discovered images of her uncle that were part of the1460 Wall Mountables installation she had made shortly after he died alongside difficult collective histories of Adverse Childhood Experiences (another meaning of ACE). In reading about Virginia history, the case of Buck vs Bell brought to light the history of the state institutions, separate for Whites and Blacks, where people were confined, often against their wills. This coincidence triggered a forgotten dream of finding her uncle at DCAC which brought about a keen awareness of White privilege regarding health care and environmental degradation.

In card games, some use a sleight of hand to slip something in without others seeing. These paintings are amalgamations of pips and patterns, examples of environmental interaction both internal and external — micro and macro— that operate as an avenue to the Ace of Hearts.

“Ace” is currently installed along with the timely community project “Mourning” by Maggie Golightly Haslem, that bears witness to collective grief offering a form of united support that proves to be a beautiful presentation of kindness that can hasten healing at both a personal as well as a global level.