Pyramid Atlantic Art Center Presents Joseph Shetler Practico-Inert

By Editorial Team on August 9, 2017

Sat, 12 August 2017 — Fri, 22 September 2017

Untitled. Blue pencil on paper. Courtesy of Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center.
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 12 from 6pm to 8pm

Artist Joseph Shetler exhibits a series of works on paper beginning August 12 through September 22 in Practico-Inert at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center (PAAC). Drawing on his Mennonite roots, Shetler’s works in graphite share simple patterns and progressions on grids. Of these purposefully simplistic works, Shetler says “One of the ways to live simply is to not place too much emphasis on the endless pursuit of worldly success, popular culture, and social media. As a visual artist, I create work that reflects these values; it’s a rejection of the things that I believe complicate our lives.”

In the existentialist philosophy of Sartre, learnt or inherited practical activities and material structures have the effect of limiting or nullifying true freedom of action. Unlike his other drawings, Shetler’s “grid drawings” are entirely unplanned. His process of working with the grid allows the work to evolve, patterns emerge from a  simple set of preset rules and practico-inert is realized.

Joseph Shetler (born Goshen, Indiana) is a DC-based post-minimalist artist. He approaches post-minimalism with a Mennonite lens, basing his aesthetic off of ana-baptist theology and simple way of life as well as art history. He was educated at Hesston College (A.A. 2004), Goshen College (B.A. 2006), and Arizona State University (M.F.A. 2014). Joseph has participated in residencies at Pyramid Atlantic, Ragdale, Anderson Ranch, and Vermont Studio Center.

Gallery Hours:

  • Tuesday through Saturday: 10am to 6pm
  • Sunday: 12pm to 5pm

Pyramid Atlantic Art Center is located at 4318 Gallatin St., Hyattsville, MD. For more information, call 301-608-9101 or visit