Friday, April 20, 2007

Annual Student Art Exhibition, 'Materiality and Meaning,' Opens April 20, Runs Through April 28

Chestertown, MD, April 20, 2007 — Washington College's Annual Student Art Exhibition will be held in the Constance Stuart Larrabee Art Center and the Rose O'Neill Literary House from April 21 to 28, 1 to 5 p.m. daily. The exhibition kicks off with an opening reception in the Larrabee Art Center on Friday, April 20, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Curated by Monika Weiss, Assistant Professor of Studio Art, "Materiality and Meaning: An Interdisciplinary Exhibition of Studio Art Senior Capstone Experiences" showcases works by Emily Bisulca, Amanda Finley Boutwell, Aimée Kidd, Anna Lodwick, Laura Nace, Kaitlyn Ruitenberg, Ali Sutton, Lindsey Webster, Emily Willie and Joy Woppert "Materiality and Meaning" offers a glimpse into the respective practices of these 10 young women artists graduating this year in Studio Art from Washington College. "While being simply that, a compilation of Senior Capstone Experiences works for the 2006-2007 academic year, I also hope that this exhibition conveys a thematically coherent and enticing curatorial vision," said Dr. Weiss.

"The assumed conceptual opposition between the two notions explored throughout 'Materiality and Meaning' inspired the show's title: the material and the physical on the one hand, and the meaning or idea on the other.

"How do they coexist in contemporary artistic practices? More importantly, how do they coexist in the works by these 10 young artists? To understand the multiple and overlapping connections, it is also important to remember that these artists are women, creating their works in the time of the second and third waves of post-feminism, certainly acknowledging their gender implications while at the same time striving to overcome any simplifying categorizations."

Emily Bisulca has developed a series of small-scale paintings that take a new approach to portraiture via a feminist glimpse into enlarged fragments of famous European paintings, articulating and contextualizing feminine representations in the classical tradition.

Amanda Boutwell invites viewers to share her private recollections of specific places in the form of painted vignettes/landscapes that seem both utterly familiar and foreign, accompanied by site-specific sounds recorded by the artist.

Language and its visual form as both powerfully meaningful and abstract is presented as a series of images and choreography of signs performed by the artist's family members and friends in Aimée Kidd's multi-media installation.

Playing with ambiguity of form and material, Anna Lodwick proposes an investigation of material structure in her installation built from colored fabrics as abstract and repetitive sculptures.

Portraiture as deconstruction of meaning inspired Laura Nace, who built an interactive and ever-changing sculptural environment where visitors are welcome to take part in altering her work.

For Kaitlyn Ruitenberg an abandoned barn, situated in a local landscape, becomes a site of meditation on the relationship between the artist's body and architecture, as well as the investigation of photography as a means to capture the ephemeral moment.

Exploring the theme of the degradation and destruction of the natural environment, Ali Sutton works with sensuous and organic objects that deal with the notion of collapse and change both aesthetically and ethically.

Investigating change in the development of an organism and questioning humankind's ability to alter life, Lindsey Webster based her watercolor installation on scientific research of Zebrafish embryos.

Memory and its traumatic, transient and manipulable relationship with image-making processes are the subject of Emily Willie's digitally altered family images.

Visual memory also is investigated by Joy Woppert, whose intimate etchings and color prints demonstrate the tension between the arguably universal quality of architecture and the fragmented and remote recollections of things past in her found photography.

The exhibition is accompanied by "Open Studios," a selection of works by students of diverse divisions—Beginning Drawing, Advanced Painting, Contemporary Practices and Methods in Studio Art, Digital Imaging, Ceramics and Printmaking—in the Department of Art, on view at the Constance Stuart Larrabee Art Center. An outdoor sculptural installation by Sara Simonsen is on view in the backyard of the Rose O'Neill Literary House.

"I am exceedingly grateful to my colleagues teaching studio art—Robbi Behr, Marilee Schumann and Andrew Wapinski—for their input in overseeing various aspects of the production of the senior theses as well as in making this exhibition possible," said Dr. Weiss.

"I am also very grateful to my colleagues in art history—Donald McColl and Aileen Tsui—for their advice and consultation; and to Josh Shenk, director of the Rose O'Neill Literary House, for hosting one of the works in the exhibition. Additional thanks go to Amanda Boutwell for her assistance in preparing and installing the exhibition."

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