Touchstone Gallery Presents Steve Wanna Transparent to Transcendence

By Editorial Team on August 29, 2022

Wed, 31 August 2022 - Sun, 25 September 2022

Steve Wanna, Myths of Creation – CE191111.1955, 32” x 32” x 2.5” (framed); Acrylic, powder pigment, resin, plaster, and mixed media on prepared board.
Opening Reception: Friday, September 9 from 5pm to 8pm

Steve Wanna makes art that showcases the hidden, often ignored beauty he finds in chaotic and seemingly random phenomena. Abstract, experimental, and multimedia, his work is inspired by science, nature, and philosophy, often incorporating elements of controlled randomness—uncertainty is built into the process.

Wanna generally engages with two intersecting questions: perception of the phenomenal world, and the artificial borders between form/process and artist/perceiver. Informed by the principle of emergence as defined in Systems Theory and Buddhism, he creates frameworks that allow processes to unfold and give rise to unplanned forms, inviting new experiences.

In Transparent to Transcendence, Wanna will exhibit pieces from his Myths of Creation series, as well as a site-specific installation. Myths of Creation is a celebration of the wondrous, almost magical scientific discoveries resulting from images by the Hubble Telescope: their implications on human civilization and our deep desire for storytelling and mythmaking. Hubble images are records of the chronology of the universe, showcasing ancient, cataclysmic events that, despite having occurred eons ago, still possess impact and immediacy. Similarly, each of Wanna’s works in this series is made by exploding various materials onto a prepared surface, thus capturing the very event of its creation.

As a composer and sound artist by training, perception of the passage of time is a strongly recurring theme in all of Wanna’s work. “I create fixed works and installations that deal with mainly three different manifestations of this concept: fixed works that represent or capture a single moment in time, fixed works that are the result of a long process, and works that are themselves processes in perpetual unfolding,” Wanna states. “The works in this exhibit come from an ongoing series that fits squarely in the first category. Through a unique process that involves elements of chaos, works in this series capture and freeze a single event or action, not unlike a photograph might.”

Steve Wanna is a multi-disciplinary sound and visual artist whose work includes music, sound design for dance collaborations, sculpture, installation, photography, and works for mixed media. Born and raised in Lebanon, he immigrated to the United States with his family as a teenager. He received a doctorate in Music Composition from the University of Maryland in 2004. Wanna has presented his work in a variety of media through exhibitions around the DC area, across the US, and internationally. His September 2022 solo exhibition is the culmination of his 2018-2022 Touchstone Foundation for the Arts Fellowship.


  • Wednesday – Sunday: 12pm – 5pm

Touchstone Gallery is located at 901 New York Avenue NW.