Showing posts from August, 2014

Jenny Lynn McNutt in "A Menagerie of Metaphors"

Jenny Lynn McNutt’s work will be featured in A Menagerie of Metaphors along with such art luminaries at Louise Bourgeois, Walton Ford and Kiki Smith. The show, the 103rd Annual Exhibition at Randolph College’s Maier Museum, will be on view September 12-December 14. Jenny Lynn will be the featured visual artist in the 23rd Annual Helen Clark Berlind Symposium (October 3-4) at the museum.
As the title of the show suggests, the work on view goes beyond illustration into the realm of allegory and Jenny Lynn’s rabbits fit right in. With their exaggerated haunches and ears, they evoke the quintessential idea of a rabbit or lanky hare, but their soulful, threatening, or rapturous attitudes add an anthropomorphic touch that underscores the “elastic continuum of creatures.” This theme, central to Jenny Lynn’s work, also figures in Precise Breathing, a project she developed about the honeybee between 2001 and 2010 beginning with a solo performance and culminating with a diverse installation of s…

In Residence: Karen Bondarchuk’s Corvids

Karen Bondarchuk’s series of corvids commands attention. She’s been focusing on these birds for several years, as well as work that has recently come to include the Wild West of Edward S. Curtis photographs and the 1952 film, High Noon. She cites also “The near extinction and relocation of every indigenous presence standing in the way of Manifest Destiny” as a potent influence as well.

Karen's birds are beautifully rendered, caught in candid moments, mid-animation. Enlarged to an “up close and personal’ size, they’re rather unsettling, with their beady eyes fixed on us. But the fact they’re so large and in most cases, consigned to the lower part of the composition so their forms are partially cut off, adds visual whammy. In some, Karen goes even further, introducing letters and words, and such oddities as a floating bottle cap—perhaps a halo above the un-saintly crow? In one, a slashing line of red, a beautiful gesture in and of itself, suggests blood. These are works that combine …

AXIS Show Unites 13 VCCA Fellows

Fellows who come to VCCA speak about the heady atmosphere of creativity and support that pervades the place. The many collaborations that have blossomed between Fellows over the years stand as testament to this, as does our annual Commission event that places collaboration front and center. But perhaps there has never been a collaborative happening quite like the upcoming exhibition at the Brentwood Arts Exchange (Brentwood, MD). AXIS unites 13 visual, digital, sound and literary artists who are VCCA Fellows. According to Indrani Nayar-Gall, the show’s title “suggests a center or core that is capable of connecting, changing, and moving things, people and ideas to create a multitude of possibilities and alliances; it is a crucial transformative concept at this point in history. Fitting with the title, this exhibition brings together contemporary artwork by artists from across the United States and Europe whose work connects in spirit while it diverges in form.” The show’s genesis can be …

Michener Museum Acquires Schaff's "Questing Nest"

Following her show, True Grit: The Poetic Images of Barbara Schaff at the James A. Michener Art Museum (Doylestown, PA), the museum paid Barbara the ultimate compliment by acquiring one of her drawings, Questing Nest.  
Using compressed charcoal and gesso on paper, Barbara creates an elegantly lyrical snarl of a bird’s nest; her line and inflections of light and shadow recall the wispy deftness of Asian art.

To quote the Michener Museum write up, Barbara “has spent most of her adult life in a passionate and disciplined search for the poetic image.” Her lifelong quest “for poetry is not about hiding behind a veil of secrecy and illusion. Poetic images drill down through the gentle topsoil of life into the gritty realities, the bedrock. Poetry is, above all, true-to the complexities of the human heart, and the eternal-and fleeting-mysteries of the universe.”

Wallach's Songs at Kingston Festival

Selections from Joelle Wallach's Post-Millennial Love Songs and Love in the Early Morning will be performed by Alison Davy, soprano and Gene Rohrer, piano on August 28 at The Uptown Gallery as part of the Kingston [NY] Festival of the Arts. 
Post-Millennial Love Songs explore poems about love, while Love in the Early Morning: Songs About Making Love to Milkmen is a “serio-comic song cycle of lust and longing, sexual fantasy and domestic comedy.”
Other composers on the program are Ralph Vaughan Williams, Lee Hoiby, and Francis Poulenc.

Duesberry's "Reflections of Maine, Coming Home"

Joellyn Duesberry’s dynamic paintings are densely packed with information. Not only does she revel in capturing details of the landscape, but also the formal aspects of paint on canvas using intense color and bold brushwork to convey light, shadow, scale and texture. 
Though she divides her time between Denver, CO and Millbrook, NY, Joellyn has a particular affinity for Down East's rugged beauty. "My instinctual search of the Maine Coastal landscape in the past five decades for subjects en plein air relating to aesthetic elements which fascinate me, has given me peak experiences unattainable anywhere else. Manmade traces seem to have been gentle on the landscape, and the geometry I seek to uncover in the land is thus often aided by structures, dwellings within the darkly forested sites or detritus on the beaches. My recent compositions of Maine show less struggle with building abstraction, whether stern hard rock or limpid water, and, therefore more of a load of deep feelings,…

Hartwig Rainer Mülleitner in International Steel Symposium, Riedersbach 2014

The three-week “International Steel Symposium Riedersbach 2014,” which began on August 11 will close with a final presentation: 25 Steel (Symposium) Symphony on Friday, August 29 in the plaster hall of the Energie AG power plant Riedersbach, Austria.

A total of 21 artists, including VCCA’s own Hartwig Rainer Mülleitner, have participated in the symposium creating a wide variety of objects made from steel.

Norbert Francis Attard’s "Feeling Wind" in Germany


Ayesu Lartey. The Right Place. The Right Time.

Writer, composer and performer Ayesu Lartey is in the middle of his five-week, NEA-funded VCCA Fellowship and relishing every moment. From New York City, Ayesu is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Parkside and received his M.A. in 2011 from NYU's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. His one-act musical, "Touch" (music, book and lyrics by Sam Salmond) was produced at Barrington Stages in 2010. "Voices of the Quilt" a musical documentary about the Aids Quilt (music, book and lyrics by Ayesu) is currently in development.
Writing songs since he was eight, Ayesu is clearly no slouch. He says he’s pretty fast, but even he was amazed at how much he’s accomplished while at VCCA. Thus far, he’s completed a Mass for choir and string quartet (they asked for a choral song; Ayesu upped the ante; that’s just how he rolls) and is polishing off a libretto for an opera based on Joan of Arc.
Ayesu spoke movingly of his experience at VCCA. What he says will resonate w…

Nussbaum's "Topology": the Arc of Life

Filmmaker Karl Nussbaum’s latest project is a 15-minute two-channel video performance piece entitled, “Topology”  — which is the mathematical study of shape and space. He is working on two separate videos to be projected side by side onto a 10’ x 15’ overhead screen mounted on a metal framework that resembles a huge cage. The screen, which is made of stretchy material, can he manipulated by the artist using a series of ropes while the videos play to create new topological/curvilinear shapes and make the images merge or interact. This not only underscores the topographical theme of the piece, but also adds a performance element as Karl moves about within the frame, casting his shadow and interrupting the projection beam while he makes adjustments.
In adding performance to the piece, Karl was inspired by Victorian scientists who acted as showmen and spokespeople for their discoveries, often taking their science show on the road. Another inspiration is the French father of animation, Char…

Zlotsky's “It happened, but not to you” at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts

The title of Deborah Zlotsky’s new show, “It happened, but not to you” at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, comes from Wislawa Szymborska’s poem, Could Have which “emphasizes a fusion between what has happened and imagining what might be.” 

Deborah’s imperfect geometry and striking color choices add warmth and charm to her paintings of jumbled forms, while ensuring they have a distinctly contemporary feel (September 11-October 11).

In Residence: Tanja Softić

Both delicate and forceful, Tanja Softić’s paintings are like visual poems, offering up lyrical pictorial passages that are richly layered with meaning and technique. Tanja knows how to balance things, pitting geometric forms against lacy filigree, silhouettes against drawn lines, blocks of bold color against washed-out hues. She uses veils of muted green and rose to form a backdrop for her idiosyncraticiconography that brings together glimpses of botany, biology and technology. These complex arrangements of fragments relate to each other visually, but also have a potent relational significance to the artist.
Recently, Tanja has become interested in splats. The kind you see on studio floors or on the street. They’re images of impact, of violence. She employs artificially made ones and ones that naturally occur during the painting process. The very deliberate way she goes about producing the former is interestingly complex. First she spills the ink to make the blots, than she photograph…

Madonia's "Invisible Fault Lines" to Be Published bySimon & Schuster

Kristen-Paige Madonia writes that Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers will be publishing her second novel, Invisible Fault Lines, in the spring of 2016. 

A contemporary novel with a historical twist. “Part mystery, part love story, part historical fiction, and all San Francisco, Invisible Fault Lines is a story of resilience and explores the ways we cope with the seemingly unsolvable mysteries of life.”

Del Tredici's "The Last Violin" to Premiere

David Del Tredici will be participating in Bargemusic‘s Labor Day Festival Here and Now performing the world premiere of "The Last Violin."

A floating concert venue moored at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, Bargemusic provides the intimate space of a chamber music hall with the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline. August 27–30 at 7:00 pm and August 31 at 4:00 pm.

Gagliano’s "Suspended in Paradise"

Michelle Gagliano’s work will be featured in Suspended in Paradise at Chroma Projects in Charlottesville opening September 21. Loosely based on the descriptions from Dante’s Paradiso, the work is the result of Michelle’s experimenting at VCCA with metallic pigments on panels. “I seem to have an Italian love for gold dust, leafing, and all metallic-y things,” she says. “It’s that reflective quality that has drawn me in, and Dante is all about reflection.” Through October 21.

Jennings’s Arthurian Era "Her Family of Men" Published

C.P.T. Jennings’s Her Family of Men has just been published by Red Feather Press. The first draft of the novel, set in Arthurian times, was completed during a VCCA residency as Caroline has so kindly mentioned in her dedication.