Washington Post Review Museum Review

Washington Post Review Museum Review

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IN THE GALLERIES: University of Maryland spotlights six former students

Something of an artistic class reunion, the University of Maryland Art Gallery’s “Laid, Placed and Arranged” showcases recent work by six people who studied at the school between 1990 and 2010. The work is mostly mixed media, which suits the show’s aesthetic: stark and reductive, yet abundant in its range of materials.

The only participant who is chiefly a painter is Laurel Farrin, who contributes a sort of trompe-l’oeil abstraction with lengths of black and yellow that resemble pieces of tape. Most of the others use pigment in assemblages or primarily sculptural pieces. Among these are Francie Hester’s compositions on acrylic discs and aluminum bars — soft patterns on hard surfaces — and Hiroyuki Hamada’s mysterious, coffinlike forms, made of painted resin.

Ellington Robinson and Wilfredo Valladares like to play with fire. Jumbled scraps of burned paper provide the backdrop for a Robinson combine that includes several punching bags. Both of Valladares’s aggregations include carefully charred rolling pins, alongside other intentionally damaged relics of domestic tasks.

The cleanest lines are courtesy of Meg Mitchell, whose “Fern Stations” place small plants between sets of large wooden speakers that broadcast drones, ringing tones and birdlike tweets. The natural world might be the inspiration, but it sounds far away. That’s characteristic of these artists, whose methods usually involve not observation, but manipulation and even destruction.

Laid, Placed and Arranged
Through Dec. 8 at the University of Maryland Art Gallery,
1202 Art-Sociology Building, College Park.
301-405-1474. artgallery.umd.edu.

Fonseca, Fox,Yurcisin & Williams

There’s an intriguing echo of Wilfredo Valladares’s fire-shaped rolling pins in “Over, Under, Through,” a BlackRock Center for the Arts show whose three artists work with everyday stuff. Suzi Fox carves the wooden handles of hammers and clasps so they resemble human fingers. The artist responds to the innate sculptural qualities of practical items, while blurring the distinction between tools and their makers.

Fabiola Alvarez Yurcisin also works with found objects, notably a technology that’s nearly outmoded: videotape, which the artist weaves into walls and boxes. “Tile Play” is nine panels of interlaced ebony ribbon, recalling minimalist painter Ad Reinhardt’s arrangements of squares in slightly different shades of black.

Elisa Berry Fonseca’s materials include steel, but it’s often used to support constructions of fabric and paper. The artist’s wall pieces emphasize outlined forms, while free-standing sculptures suggest buttes and stalagmites, sometimes with mineral-like striations. What might be a sweater in another dimension here becomes a miniature landscape. That’s exemplary of all three artists, who find the distinctive in the ordinary.

In the upstairs gallery, Cedric Williams goes beyond merely documenting the ruin he finds at obsolete industrial sites. The evocative photo collages of “Dereliction” begin with images of a defunct Maryland cement factory or an abandoned North Wales quarry. They’re framed by bits of fabric and cardboard and caked-on sand and gravel — symbolic and actual traces of rock and earth. The Wales-bred Marylander’s pictures are in black-and-white; the 3-D elements add just brown and rare touches of green to the gritty palette. If nature is healing these man-made wounds, the process must have barely begun.

Read More: Washington Post Review — In The Galleries

CONTEXT Art Miami

CONTEXT Art Miami

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Booth #C318 Represented by Susan Eley Fine Art, New York City

CONTEXT Art Miami is the sister fair to Art Miami dedicated to the development and reinforcement of emerging and mid-career artists.  Over 100 international galleries, vetted by the CONTEXT Art Miami Selection Committee, exhibit highlights from their gallery programs, solo artist exhibitions and curated projects. The combined efforts of CONTEXT Art Miami and Art Miami provide a unique and alternative opportunity for leading primary dealers and their artists to be marketed contemporary art in America.

Laid, Placed, and Arranged

Laid, Placed, and Arranged

Gallery Openings

An exhibition highlighting Department of Art graduates of the MFA program, from 1990-2010.

University of Maryland Art Gallery

Laid, Placed and Arranged, the show’s theme is also a nod to Michel Foucault’s influential text The Order of Things, where he references the act of linking seemingly unrelated objects “in which a large number of possible orders glittered separately, in the lawless and uncharted dimension of the heteroclite.”

Artists: Laurel Farrin, Hiroyuki Hamada, Francie Hester, Hiroyuki Hamada, Meg Mitchell, Ellington Robinson, and Wilfredo Valladares.

Curated by Taras W. Matia, Assistant Director at the University of Maryland Art Gallery

This exhibition is supported in part by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.

 

 

Wordfall: Currents

Wordfall: Currents

Commissions

Installation by Francie Hester and Lisa Hill

Memorial Sloan Kettering
Josie Robertson Surgery Center
TYA Lounge
New York City

 

 

“Wordfall: Currents” Installed at Memorial Sloan Kettering

Wordfall: Currents by Francie Hester and Lisa Hill is now on view at the Teen and Young Adult Program Lounge in the Pediatric Center of MSK at 1275 York Avenue at 67th Street.

Wordfall: Currents, like its sister Wordfall several blocks south, draws on the poetry of Brendan Ogg, a 20 year old cancer patient who turned to poetry and art during his 14 month battle with the disease.  The young adults undergoing treatment at MSK wrapped fragments of Brendan’s poetry around 30,000 paperclips. The installation, also created by Francie Hester and Lisa Hill, is inspired by the lounge’s spiral staircase, and builds upon a theme of movement and written word to create an interactive memorial. The strands of wrapped paperclips fall from top to bottom of the staircase, bringing both a sense of contemplation and healing to the room.  The strands of black-and-white poetry are intermingled with monoprints of iridescent blue, gold, and green created by the artists.

The young patients are integral to the creation of Currents, and from it a community with a shared artistic goal has emerged. Plans are also underway for the patients to write their own poetry, engaging with the installation, which speaks to the power of words as legacy.  MSK’s new Teen and Young Adult Lounge is one of just a handful of programs across the country focused on this unique age group.

 

Installation by Francie Hester and Lisa Hill
1133 York Ave, New York, NY 10065

 

{ABOUT WORDFALL}

Text is integral to Wordfall. The catalyst is the poetry of Brendan Ogg, an aspiring writer who was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 19 during his sophomore year in college. In the face of his illness, he created a collection of poetry entitled Summer Becomes Absurd, which reveals the energy of youth, the wisdom of one who has met and acknowledged mortality, and an embrace and celebration of life. It was heartbreaking when Brendan succumbed to brain cancer at the tender yet insightful age of 20.

Wordfall weaves together six of Brendan’s poems as a tribute to his life and spirit. Friends, family, and others who did not know Brendan wrapped more than 80,000 paper clips with his words. A new community emerged among those who shared in the wrapping, in Brendan’s story and in the idea of words as legacy. Each participant found something unique in the artwork, reflecting that pieces of those we lose stay with us in new and sometimes surprising ways. The wrapped paper clips transformed the written work into an enduring memorial — linkages of words, random at times, but with inherent messages.

Below are two poems from Summer Becomes Absurd by Brendan Ogg. The book is available at Amazon or through Finishing Line Press.

{L’CHAIM} (“To Life”)

Feather rug, soft bed of matted grass,
Why did I question this place of endless beauty—
life—
Where was my heart before this time?
Put your hand there, fingers spreading from the palm,
And feel the warm, insistent pulse.
to my friend, in weakness?
Now I feel it in my breast.

{KEEP ME FROM FEAR}

Keep me from fear,
that cold paralysis,
the squirming nausea.
I have my whole life to be afraid.
I am sick of these half eaten fingernails. No.
There! With that declaration, the anvil weight of dread
falls loosely from the chain around my neck.
I have my entire life,
however long it is.
I have my own eternity in a hundred years,
or in an instant.

 

msk3-sml

 

{With Thanks}

More than 300 people across 50 states, and 2 continents, and were mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, who ranged in age from 10 years old to 91 years old, friends, teachers, and strangers, some who had survived cancer, others who were cancer caregivers, wrapped 6 of Brendan Ogg’s poems healthcare workers, and the homeless, around 80,000 paperclips using 60 pounds of paper. Thank you.

WITH SPECIAL GRATITUDE TO: The Ogg family & Howard Connelly, engineer and fabricator

 


 

{THE ARTISTS}

Francie Hester and Lisa Hill have collaborated on projects, installations, and exhibitions for more than twenty years.

FRANCIE HESTER has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally. Her work is represented in numerous private and corporate collections including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Airbus, Capital One, Freddie Mac, ASHA, and Booz Allen Hamilton. She has received honorary grants from the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and from the Arts Council of Montgomery County, Maryland. She received her M.F.A. in painting from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a B.F.A. in painting from the University of Michigan. Hester is represented by Susan Eley Fine Art in New York City.

LISA HILL is a fine artist, graphic/interactive designer and educator. She is the Assistant Dean for the Communication Design Program at Northern Virginia Community College and has also taught at Johns Hopkins University and the Corcoran College of Art + Design. Her work is represented nationally in many private collections, and she has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. She was awarded an honorary grant from the Arts Council of Montgomery County, Maryland. She received her B.A. in Fine Arts/Graphic Design from the University of Florida and her M.F.A. in Studio Art from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA.)

LisaHillArt.com

Wordfall and Art and Healing

Wordfall and Art and Healing

News

With growing evidence that they can help patients and their families heal, art installations and exhibits are becoming more prevalent in cancer centers.

MARILYN FENICHEL

When Alice Momm, art advisor for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) in New York City, was asked to find a compelling piece of art for the Josie Robertson Surgery Center, MSK’s new outpatient facility that opened in January 2016, her first idea was a sculpture for the outdoor terrace. But when she found out that the art would be competing with a large sign announcing the name of the facility, she realized she would have to rethink that concept.

When looking for art for MSK, Momm often turns to gallery owner Susan Eley. This time, Eley suggested exploring the work of an artist she represents, Francie Hester, who is based in Silver Spring, Maryland. Checking out Hester’s website, Momm gravitated toward an installation consisting of strands of 40,000 paperclips falling from a curved rod, exhibited at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus in Chantilly, Virginia. Hester had produced the work with her artistic partner, Lisa Hill, with whom she often collaborates.

Read the full review here

Maryland State Arts Council 2016 Individual Artist Award in Painting

Maryland State Arts Council 2016 Individual Artist Award in Painting

News
Our Town — NYC Paper Review

Our Town — NYC Paper Review

News

Taking Care of the Spirit

Art installation at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center inspired by late young man’s poetry. “Wordfall,” is a site-specific art installation inspired by Brendan Ogg’s poetry, conceived of by Francie Hester and Lisa Hill. It hangs in the lobby of the Josie Robertson Surgery Center at Sloan Memorial Kettering Cancer Center on York Avenue. Photo: Greg StaleyPhoto: Greg Staley

Read the full review here