March 2020 Exhibitions at VisArts Gallery

By Editorial Team on March 24, 2020
Bill Schmidt, Untitled, 2017, Gouache on panel


Editor’s Note: Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, art spaces in the DMV are closed.  Please visit the space’s website for information on virtual tours or purchasing art online.


Bill Schmidt
Working Close
May 13 – May 17, 2020
Gibbs Street Gallery, VisArts, 1st floor
Artist Talk and Tour, Sunday, April 26, 1 PM – 3 PM
Bill Schmidt presents recent abstract gouache paintings that he acknowledges are rooted in the structures, patterns, objects, and relationships that he observes in his everyday life. His internalization of the external visible world emerges in unpredictable ways owing to his willingness to work intuitively and allow process to guide him. Working Close suggests the activity of bending in toward the work of painting with concentrated attention, attending to the elements that enter and leave, and seeking some sort of dynamic equilibrium with shifting conditions. Found through making, Schmidt’s paintings are small evocations of the form, light, and space of life yet remain unmoored from specific narratives or representations. He hopes that the situations that he paints suggest multiple associations and allow viewers to reach their own understandings of what is seen.

About the artist: Bill Schmidt was born in Trenton, New Jersey in 1947. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (B.F.A., 1969) and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine before moving to Baltimore in 1969. He received an M.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art’s Hoffberger School of Painting in 1971.

He has received numerous grants and awards including the Semmes G. Walsh Award (Baker Artist Awards, 2016) and the Bethesda Painting Award (2015). He has exhibited his paintings, drawings, and sculpture extensively in the Mid-Atlantic region. Recent shows include Baker Artist Awards 2016 at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Squared at the Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MA; Variations in Paint at the Painting Center, NY, NY; and Interior Space – Small Scale Abstract Painting, Salena Gallery, Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY.

He recently retired after 18 years as the director of the Post-Baccalaureate Program in Fine Art at Maryland Institute College of Art.

In addition to his involvement with art, he is a musician who has played traditional American music on fiddle, banjo, and guitar for over 40 years. He has recorded numerous times and performed in Canada, Europe, and the United States.

Elizabeth Withstandley, Searching for the Miraculous (Part 3), 2019, video still.

Elizabeth Withstandley
Searching for the Miraculous
March 13 – May 17, 2020
Common Ground Gallery, VisArts, 2nd floor
Searching for the Miraculous is a trilogy of video/installation work stemming from Bas Jan Aders unfinished piece from nearly 45 years earlier. The project plays with fact and fiction by creating a new narrative comprised of elements from the past and some from the future in this new exploration into the miraculous. The project uses video, audio, music and sculptural elements creating a sampling of cinema, a connected journey by two people on either side of the Atlantic and a miniature boat cast off in the vast seemingly endless sea.

About the artist: Elizabeth Withstandley is from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She is one of the co-founders of Locust Projects, a not-for-profit art exhibition space, in Miami, FL. She remains on the board of directors and is actively involved with the organization. She taught photography at The University of Miami from 1999-2004. Recently she organized the exhibition Smoke & Mirrors at The Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA. She has exhibited work at SIM gallery Reykjavik Iceland; Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA; Winslow Garage, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, The Moore Space, The Bass Museum, Fredric Snitzer, Dimensions Variable, Miami, FL; The Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL; and The Tel Aviv Artists’ Studios, Israel.

Mia Eve Rollow, Shai, video still.

Mia Eve Rollow
Sailing Stones
March 20 – May 24, 2020
Kaplan Gallery, VisArts, 2nd floor
Mia Eva Rollow’s nomadic, globally-engaged art practice connects individuals and communities in the creation of collaborative poetic actions that address resistance, community, and transformation.

While living in Mexico for over a decade, working and learning from the art of the Zapatistas, Mia became familiar with Mayan Shamanism and Cosmology, and connected her life-long supernatural experiences to this broader, and traditional, context. She began creating deeply experimental and surreal artworks alongside communities and individuals as an elaborate strategy to create transformation through psychomagic acts, a phrase coined by Alejandro Jodoroski in his book Psychomagic: The Transformative Power of Shamanic Psychotherapy. Psychomagic is “a healing path using the power of dreams, theater, poetry, and shamanism, and which shows how psychological realizations can cause true transformation when manifested by concrete poetic acts.”

From March to May 2020, VisArts will present an exhibition of Rollow’s multi-media installations, sculpture, drawings, and performances from her community-based work in Mexico, India, and Palestine.

About the artist: Mia Eve Rollow, native to Chicago, is a multidisciplinary artist. After receiving her Master of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009, she moved to Chiapas Mexico where she, alongside Caleb Duarte, Founded EDELO, a Spanish acronym for (Where the United Nations Used To Be). EDELO was a house of art in movement and an international artist residency of diverse practices in San Cristobal De Las Casas, Chiapas, México. The project challenged the traditional artist residency and art spaces in that it placed residents alongside rural autonomous communities that have been using performance, theater, poetry, and a rich visual culture to demand drastic social, political, and economic change. The space invited collaborators to live and create within a period of time. Residents were from PHDs to jugglers, contemporary artist, activist, educators, rural farmers, and autonomous rebel community members. Presently EDELO Migrante, now a conceptual space, forms collectives of artistic collaboration with diverse communities; art that is for and from the people.

Please see her work at: &

James Billian, Cosmic Lamp and Red Sky, acrylic on canvas.

VisAbility Art Lab
March 20 – April 19, 2020
Concourse Gallery, VisArts, 2nd floor
Group exhibition of recent artwork from VisAbility Art Lab.

VisAbility Art Lab artists: Corey Barbee, James Billian, Mara Clawson, Sarah Davies, Max DeMulder, Sarah Dorros, Sam Fratantoni, Uriel Levitt, Jared Max, Shaun McDonald, Faith McLuckie, Ethan Mendick, Tyler Mountford, JoAnn Nickles, Sebastian Nkogolo, Lindsey Schaufelberger, Will Sandstedt, Nadia Sarfarazi, Yelena Simpson, Rachel Thomas, Cara Thompson, Justin Valenti, and D’Anté Whitlow.

About the VisAbility Art Lab: The VisAbility Art Lab is a supported art studio at VisArts for emerging adult artists with autism and other disabilities who have a strong interest in making art part of their professional careers. VisAbility Art Lab provides artists with a supported studio where they can explore and develop their artistic talents, participate in workforce development and life skills training, and forge a deeper and more meaningful relationship with the fully inclusive creative community.

Jean Jinho Kim, The March, downspouts, rubber boots, auto paint

Jean Jinho Kim
The Big Leap
January 22 – April 19, 2020
355 Pod Space
Jean Jinho Kim turns inanimate practical materials or cast offs – from downspouts and car parts to wire fencing and flagging vinyl- into lively sculptures that suggest movement and change.

A gathering of her brightly painted objects appears to be on the move, ready to roll, leap, or march beyond the confines of the unconventional 355 Pod Space — a 70-foot wall of windows on the edge of Rockville Town Square —curated by VisArts in partnership with Federal Realty Investment Trust.

The function of the downspout is to funnel rain water from roofs and away from foundations. It is a ubiquitous, dutiful utilitarian addition to nearly every home. Kim’s downspouts are bent as if ravaged by a hurricane, sprayed with bright auto paint finishes, and sport wheels or boots. The downspouts, stripped of their practicality, morph into transitional forms that seem to come to life with quirky intentions and gestures. Kim’s The March, turns lengths of metal downspout into a brilliant neon green puddle jumper with pink rubber boots. The bright yellow glossy Roaming sprouts bright red funnels and a couple of wheels with a pose that suggests the potential for speed or collapse. The artist’s playful subversion of ordinary work-a-day materials into evocative sculptural forms also hints at serious issues. Super storms, specie mutation, and resourceful re-purposing come to mind, but Kim keeps the viewer guessing with humorous grace and generous respect for individual imagination.

About the artist: Jean Jinho Kim was born in Seoul, Korea and moved to the United States after graduating from high school. Currently, she works in Washington, D.C. Kim uses a wide range of materials, from acrylic paint to found objects, to create 2-dimensional paintings and 3-dimensional installations. She earned her B.F.A. in painting from West Virginia University in Morgantown and her M.F.A. in studio art at American University in Washington, D.C. She participated in residency programs in Berlin, Germany and Seravezza, Italy. Kim has exhibited her work in several solo and numerous group exhibitions in the U.S., Germany, Italy, Hong Kong and South Korea. Her work has been reviewed by The Washington Post, The Korean Times, and Korea Daily.

About the 355 Pod Space – The 355 Pod Space is a partnership between VisArts and Federal Realty Investment Trust to present site-specific artist installations through the end of 2019.

Directions to 355 Pod Space: Turn right when you exit the building, you will be on Gibbs Street. At Beall Avenue (at the first “Stop” sign), turn right. Stay on Beall Avenue until you reach Hungerford Drive (Route 355). Turn right at Hungerford Drive (Route 355). Walk beyond the CVS. The 355 Pod Space will be on your right, just after the entrance to the parking garage.

VisArts at Rockville is located three blocks from the Rockville Metro station at 155 Gibbs Street, Rockville, MD.