CHESTERTOWN – Two artists explore relationships between art and its physical surroundings in a new exhibit opening Saturday, April 3, at the Kohl Art Gallery on the Washington College campus. Alex Castro, artist, architect, exhibition and book-designer in residence in the Department of Art and Art History, has collaborated with visiting assistant professor of studio art Ricky Sears to produce “Sight Specific,” an exhibition of more than a dozen paintings, sculptures and installations. The works include both new and previously displayed works. “We are playing with the relationship of ‘sight’ and ‘site’ as it relates to art,” says Sears. “Some of the works are being created on site, and others are creating imagined sights.”
Castro’s contributions to “Sight Specific” are what he describes as situations derived from a larger, long-term project. Labeled “Smith,” that ongoing work involves both writing and visual art and explores the idea of the artist/everyman and his relationship to the apparent physical world.
Castro received his undergraduate degree in art and literature at Yale University and received his master’s degree in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. His work has been shown at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and it is also in the collections of the National Gallery of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and numerous private collections.
One of his larger works, Liberty Garden, a 3/4 acre commissioned public artwork, is located on Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Castro is a lifetime member of the board of Yaddo, an artists' working community in Saratoga Springs, NY., and serves on both the Maryland and Baltimore City Public Art Commissions. He is the design architect of the American Visionary Art Museum and the Charles Theater in Baltimore.
Ricky Sears says his artworks respond to his experience of living in a built environment always under construction. “I use wood and glass windows extracted from urban and suburban homes to make oil paintings and sculptures suggesting the illusion of suburban spaces,” he explains.
Born in Washington D.C., Sears earned his bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Maryland in 2003 and three years later completed his master’s in fine art at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He has exhibited in New York at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and at Rochester Contemporary Art Center. Sears’ sculpture “Waterfront” is included in the Public Art Network’s 2008 Year in Review, completed during the 2007 Emerging Artist Fellowship at Socrates Sculpture Park (N.Y.C.). His first solo exhibit in 2008 in California, “The Lines are Drawn,” was listed in the Los Angeles Times as one of “Eight Things Not to Miss” the week it opened. (For more information, visit www.rickysears.com.)
The Kohl Art Gallery is located on the first floor of the Gibson Center for the Arts at Washington College, 300 Washington Avenue. “Sight Specific: Works by Alex Castro and Ricky Sears” runs April 3 through 17. An opening reception will be held Saturday, April 3, from 4 to 6 p.m. Gallery hours are Tues., 2 to 8 p.m., Wed. through Fri., 2 to 5 p.m., and Sat., 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Closed Sunday and Monday.)