Opening Reception: Thursday, November 17 from 7pm to 9pm
Artist and Curator Talk: Saturday, December 10 from 3:30pm to 5:30pm
Fabiola Alvarez Yurcisin
Jo Ellen Walker
Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery is proud to present CONSIDER YOURSELF ILLUMINATED: An exquisite group exhibition where art emanates light. Curated by Elizabeth Crisman, this show will celebrate the power and sublety of art that is created to radiate creative responses to the viewer and produce a unique and unexpected gallery atmosphere. This exhibition is free and open to the public.
A statement from Curator Elizabeth Crisman: As a means of enlightenment, the work in the exhibition CONSIDER YOURSELF ILLUMINATED lures you in by the light that each piece of artwork emanates. The Washington DC area is one of the busiest metro regions in the country and our lives become hectic and stressful to the point that we don’t take enough time to take care of our mental selves. Whether this is through meditation or introspection, this exhibit aims to make the viewer slow down and ruminate on the light before them. Each artist tackles topics that vary from grief, identity, memory, and time. The six regional artists in this exhibition, Fabiola Alvarez Yurcisin, Ani Bradberry, Melissa Burley, Tatiana Gulenkina, Robin Schaefer and Jo Ellen Walker convey these themes through work that was created to be self-illuminated. Whether it is lit from within or reflects, each piece is a delicate balance of light and darkness that brings balance and tranquility to the psyche.
Fabiola Alvarez Yurcisin thinks of her work as a navigational device that allows her to make objects and installations that appear as if they have always belonged together. She makes things that have their own visual logic.There are three central ideas to her work. One is containment. She wants to create work that responds to the action of keeping something under control or within limits. The second is making art that questions the speed in which we produce, consume and discard everything around us. The third centers on her interest to explore the non-visual aspects of language.
Anahita (Ani) Bradberry is an artist and art historian based in the DC area. She earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in modern and contemporary non-Western art with a focus on Japan from American University’s feminist art history program. After completing her MA, she focused on her own artistic process through light installation and the medium of neon sculpture. Interested in challenging predetermined roles in the global contemporary art world, Ani walks the line between artist and critical art writer to gain a deeper understanding of the cultural power of radical creativity.
Melissa Burley has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally in group and solo exhibitions receiving various grants and awards. Currently, she is a resident artist at the Montpelier Arts Center in Laurel, Maryland and previously a member of Gallery 10 in Washington DC for six years. Her work is in private collections as well as collections at Prince Georges Community College and the Maryland Parks and Planning Commission.The foundation of her work is primarily constructed with reclaimed and recycled materials and then illuminated with halogen or LED lighting. The main base of the frame is built of wood and metal while the interior components consist of lighting, natural and manmade materials. The combination of these materials and lighting create shadows on the surrounding wall surfaces and floors where the sculpture is displayed.
Tatiana Gulenkina is a Russian-born photographer and visual artist based in Washington, DC. She employs both digital technology and traditional darkroom equipment, as well as video and mixed media. She graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore in 2011, and since then her work has been featured in the British Journal of Photography, Harper’s Magazine, The Week, Wired, Juxtapoz Magazine, The Calvert Journal, The Photo Review, Tank Magazine, and other publications, as well as exhibited nationally and internationally. In 2014, she was named one of the 30 Under 30 Women Photographers by Photo Boîte Agency and 30 Photographers Under 30 to Watch by Complex Magazine. In 2015 and 2016, she was awarded individual artist grants from DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
Robin Schaefer’s most recent work is about layering time and memory and my process involves taking stills from old 8mm family films and printing them on thin translucent Japanese paper. The images are then painted and heavily saturated with encaustic wax. The wax works as a means of entombing the image, almost like amber, preserving it into an incandescent form somewhere between the projected image and the digital. The wax also lends to the surface a visceral and skin-like texture, giving it a mysterious physicality. The wax coated sheets are suspended together and illuminated in a simple lightbox. The selected stills conjure her own personal history and she revisits moments of tension or love embedded within her own sense of memory. The end result is a simple, somewhat clumsy moving image that has become a fixed surface, a mnemonic trace of fluid time.
Jo Ellen Walker was born in Washington, DC and is a Virginia-based artist working primarily in encaustic, neon and clay. Her work is influenced by her background as a civil rights attorney. Jo Ellen is particularly interested in mysticism and the spiritual totems in people’s lives that they rely on to navigate their way through life. She is specifically drawn to Greek icons, amulets, and the many monuments of Washington, D.C. These iconic images find their way into her work, and are often layered under beeswax and mixed-media fragments. The fragments are emblematic of the many layers of each person’s life; some hidden, and some that we show to the world.
The Joan Hisaoka Gallery is located at 1632 U Street NW. For more information visit www.smithcenter.org or contact Spencer at email@example.com or 202.483.8600.