Reception: Saturday, September 7 from 2pm to 4pm
A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats by Andrea Limauro
“My aestheticism is the means to my political and social agenda. I do not hide my positions, in fact, they dominate my art. I use beauty to lure viewers to engage with my work and my agenda.
My art practice bridges my passion for creative and aesthetical exploration with my interests in history and politics, and my belief in the artist’s role as an agent of social change. Thus, my art practice is anchored in my belief that artists are political agents and that, given their ability to create objects and experiences that move and stir emotions in people, they have a social responsibility towards making socially meaningful creations that positively contribute to human progress.”
A centerpiece of the exhibition is a 12- foot wide quadriptych (four-part) painting originally commissioned by the NoMa Business Improvement District (BID). The painting,” A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats” is a 360-degree, flattened panorama of a flooded Potomac riverfront in a not-too-farfetched future, that shows historic, cultural, political, military, and strategic infrastructure sites in the D.C. metro region at risk of flooding.
The artist’s aim with this paintings and the other works in the exhibition is very clear.
Andrea Limauro is a visual artist and city planner, who holds a BA in Politics and Sociology from Essex University, UK, a graduate diploma in International Development from the University of Padua, Italy, and a Masters Degree in Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In his recent artwork, Limauro explores issues of migration and migrant identity, climate change, nationalistic narratives and gun violence.
To learn more about Andrea visit his about the artist page on the gallery blog.
Occupational Hazards by Aziza Claudia Gibson-Hunter
“Occupational Hazards was born from the indignity of living in a city in the process of being “gentrified”. In these works, construction materials were interlaced with layered patterns and text. Images of segmented cranes with repetitive triangles interrupt the patterned rhythms of city life. TYVECK, roofing material, drywall mesh, reflector tape, and temporary fencing are both media and message.
Targets shaped like black birds are a metaphor for a people that continue regardless of the manipulation of drugs, guns and poverty to dislodge them. The compositions of these works are without a square or rectangular perimeter, a reference to the tenacious boundlessness of a community, though under siege.
Collage is used to express both the shearing and erection of structures and community. This process also encompasses tearing, fitting together gluing, shifting, tacking; all of what can be experienced on a grand scale in a gentrifying environment. Assemblage gave me the opportunity to include found objects that bare witness to the changing environment.”
“Aziza” Claudia Gibson-Hunter was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She received her BS from Temple University, and her MFA from Howard University. After relocating to New York, she attended Bob Blackburn’s Printmaking Studio, the Arts Students League, and later received a fellowship from the Bronx Museum of Art. She joined “Where We At,” a Black women’s artists group in the early 1980’s. In 1987, she returned to Washington DC and in 1999, joined the Howard University Department of Fine Arts faculty. She continued her studies at the Canadian School for Non Toxic Printmaking.
To learn more about Aziza, please visit her about the artist page on the gallery blog.
Milagros in my Pocketbook by Alexandra N Sherman
Margaret W. & Joseph L. Fisher Art Gallery
“Milagros in My Pocketbook is a reflection of our age of anxiety. The themes of communication, environmental and political uncertainty, inequality, and war are explored in 2 and 3D collages through the devices of absurdity, whimsy, and even gallows humor.
I have created multiple conversations between vastly differentcreatures, real and imaginary, to illustrate the need for communication and respectful discourse in our increasingly divisive society. Anxiety over climate change, extinction of species, religion, disintegration of the rule of law, threats of war, and our terrible powerless state of being (the human condition) are all expressed through the juxtaposition of humans, animals, and insects. The works address death, risky behaviors, weapons of mass destruction, and let us not forget the need for comfort animals and a good cosmic shrug.”
As of late, it seems we need a miracle to fix what ails us politically and environmentally, hence the name, “Milagros in My Pocketbook” (Milagros is Spanish for ‘miracles’ and a reference to personal religious charms nailed to symbolic objects of prayer in the Mexican tradition). The piece from which the exhibition takes its name is part cynical and part heartfelt. The artists feels things would be quite different if we carried our hearts in our pocketbooks.
Many experiences have led to Alexandra becoming the artist she is today. She spent a portion of her childhood living in London and traveling across Europe where the art and architecture to which she was exposed became the foundation for her art. As a result of her travels, she developed a fascination with illuminated manuscripts and 18th, 19th, and early 20th century painting. Alexandra has a BA in Philosophy of Religion and an MFA in drawing and paintings from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has held residencies in Washington, DC and Buenos Aires, Argentina and has work in private collections and institutions.
To learn more about Alexandra and her work visit her about the artist page on the gallery blog.
Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center is located at 4915 East Campus Drive, Alexandria, VA.