Tuesday, June 16, 2009

FARAWAY NEARBY / 35TH Anniversary Exhibition

William T. Zuk, Polar Landscape, India ink on fabric on panel, 36” x 36”

Freya Grand, Connemara, oil on canvas, 48” x 60”
Connie Slack, In Search of Resolution, acrylic on paper, 40” x 32”

June 18 – July 31, 2009
Opening Reception: Friday, June 19, 6 – 8pm
Awards Presentation at 7pm
Artists’ Roundtable: Thursday, June 25, 7:30pm

Greater Reston Arts Center presents an all-media, juried exhibition featuring sixteen artists selected by Dale Lanzone, president of International Public Art Marlborough one of the world’s leading contemporary art galleries. The exhibition celebrates the art center’s 35 year commitment to enriching community life by promoting involvement and excellence in contemporary visual arts.

The thirty-two works on exhibit showcase the broad ranging inquiry of today’s artists. Traditional media, including finely crafted oil and acrylic paintings, street photography, and meticulous drawings, share the gallery with delicate twig sculptures and paintings made with ash, clay, and tree resin. In discussing the works in FARAWAY NEARBY, Mr. Lanzone has said, “The works selected are of national and international origin representing a broad range of cultural backgrounds and artistic interests – there is no ‘school of’ represented here; we simply have individual artists expressing their varied visions and range of talents – if there was a school of the era of 2009, it would be the school of ‘there is no school.”

“China Revisited”, a mixed media painting by Brenda Belfield is emblematic of the artist’s rich, multi-layered relationship with the arts center. Belfield has been associated with GRACE since its beginning in 1974 and says, “I was one of the founders and created the name The Greater Reston Arts Center as I knew that someday, it would be much more than a local art center.”
Another artist familiar to GRACE audiences because of her long history of exhibiting in the gallery and at the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is Connie M. Slack. Her painting, “In Search of Resolution,” is a robust abstraction teetering on the edge of dissolution, giving meaning to its title.

“Some of my earliest memories are of walking from my house to Lake Anne Plaza to see the art hanging in GRACE gallery”, reveals Monica B. Stroik who was included in “Imprint: The Art and Artists of a New Town”, GRACE’s inaugural exhibition after its move to Market Street. Stroick shares Belfield’s and Slack’s bold approach to painting and says that, “GRACE has been one of those constants in my life as I have grown and developed as an artist. I feel a profound connection to it as a physical place and as a supporter of the visual arts.”

Artists new to GRACE continue the tradition of confident abstraction seen in Slack, Belfield, and Stroik. First time exhibitor Melanie Newlon’s “Convergence” and “Deep Earth” are color-saturated digital paintings offering long, satisfying views into imaginary vistas. Newlon states, “My work expresses my experience of “thin spaces” – places where the sacred and the mundane overlap.”

Nature and landscape as sacred, mythic space inform the work of several other artists in the exhibition. Freya Grand, who will have a solo exhibition at GRACE in the fall of 2010, paints large-scale, mysterious scenes that allude to a secret, inner life. Shinji Turner-Yamamoto who has an on-going, long-term project with the arts center, “Sleeping Tree,” will exhibit three mixed media works on panel. He describes his work as a search for the universal connections between mankind and nature. William T. Zuk, who employs a repetitive, automatic process, offers the following insight into his work on canvas, “The pen and ink marks together with the cubist nature of the work produces a suggestion of an unpredictable and faraway landscape where the angular motif infers a frozen structure of ice and land.”

While Grand’s, Turner-Yamamoto’s, and Zuk’s work evoke the mystical faraway, Michael J. Ohgren’s “Choices” evokes both the nearby and faraway. His meticulously crafted eight-foot wooden sculpture, a drawer filled with plaid shirts, takes an everyday dilemma, “What to wear?” and turns it into a meditation on the endless, monotony of life’s mindless decisions. A Vienna resident and recent MFA graduate, Ohgren is exhibiting his work at GRACE for the first time.

Greater Reston Arts Center
12001 Market Street, Suite 103
Reston, Virginia 20190

Gallery Hours : Tuesday - Saturday 11 -5pm

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