Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ben Duke's Sublime Rupture Open in Target Gallery

What: Sublime Rupture, Paintings by Benjamin Duke
When: August 4 – September 2, 2012
August 9, 6 - 8pm; gallery talk with Benjamin Duke at 7pm

“Duke’s canvases are energetic and chaotic; he is unafraid of scale, lush surface, high contrast, saturated color, unstable angularity, exaggerated gesture and any of a number of devices that may make a self conscious, defensive painter squeamish. This exuberance is girded by masterful drawing, seemingly effortless mark and convincing picture structure; Mr. Duke applies his craft with conviction, enthusiasm and without apology.” – David Page, 2012 Open Exhibition Juror

The Torpedo Factory Art Center’s Target Gallery presents the exhibition Sublime Rupture, featuring a series of large paintings by artist Benjamin Duke, winner of the gallery’s 2012 Open Exhibition competition. A distinguished panel of three arts-experts who reviewed over eighty submitted proposals unanimously selected Duke’s work. The exhibition will open on Saturday, August 4th and run through Sunday, September 2nd, 2012. Please join us on August 9th, from 6-8pm for a reception to meet the artist and hear him speak at 7pm.
When asked about this series of work, Duke says:
“In my paintings I ask myself ‘Is this the way the world is?’ I reshape and retool my painting experience to answer that question.  But while the question begins with the world, it ends with the work itself: ‘Is this the way the world is in this work?’ The search is for the world in painting and painting in the world (painting worlds/ painting’s world). Am I in the world or is the world in me? I allude to my life, to writers’ works, to imagery, and it is my hope that this record of allusion conjures and creates the same. I am referring to text, theory, idea - but I am also finding myself already there, looking out to see in.”

About the Artist
Benjamin Swallow Duke was born in Louisville, Kentucky and grew up in Utah. He studied Literature, Philosophy and Art at the University of Utah receiving his BFA in 2002. He received his Master of Fine Arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore Hoffberger School of Painting, and has been teaching painting and drawing at Michigan State University since 2006. Duke has had numerous solo and group shows at the national and international level including at the Fitton Art Center in Hamilton, Ohio, “Weak Painting Group” exhibitions at The Kuandu Museum of Fine Art in Taipei and Da Xiang Art Space in Taichung City, Taiwan, and several solo exhibitions at Ann Nathan Gallery in Chicago. Duke’s work has been represented since 2006 by Ann Nathan Gallery, a well-established and respected downtown Chicago Gallery with a focus on contemporary realism.  Duke has also been awarded international residencies at Bamboo Curtain Studios, Taiwan from May to July 2009 and The Kuandu Museum of Fine Art from December 2009 through January 2010 at Taipei National University of the Arts, the premier Art University in Taiwan.
About the 2012 Open Exhibition Competition
When the artists of the Torpedo Factory Art Center conceived the Target Gallery in 1987, it was tasked with the mission to feature emerging and established artists from all over the country in shows that would engage and challenge the viewer. We accomplish this through a series of juried exhibitions that are open to all artists nationally and internationally. One opportunity that we offer annually is our Open Exhibition competition, which invites artists to submit exhibition proposals for a chance at a solo exhibition in the gallery. In addition to the honor of having a solo exhibition in a world-renowned art center, the gallery offers the artist a show catalog.  We choose a panel of three arts experts to choose the winning exhibition proposal. This year’s distinguished juror panel included Jack Rasmussen,
Director and Curator of the American University Museum at the Katzen Art Center in Washington, Catriona Fraser, international award-winning photographer and the Director of Fraser Gallery, and David Page, South African-born, internationally acclaimed Baltimore-based sculptor.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Peace Paper Project - Workshop & Exhibition

Made possible through out Art in Public Spaces program, this was a free workshop designed as a collaborative effort between Peace Paper Project and the Torpedo Factory Art Center's Target Gallery.

The workshop was be led Peace Paper Project Directors Drew Matott and Margaret Mahan, as well as Art Therapist Arielle Matthews. Participants were comprised of Torpedo Factory Artist and survivors of trauma and veterans in the Washington, D.C. area.

Through making paper from their own clothing and prints from their own images, workshop participants will utilize both traditional and contemporary applications of the paper arts as a means to tell their individual stories. The workshop will culminate with an exhibit of handmade paper, pulp paintings, pulp prints and broadsides made throughout the workshop.

About Peace Paper Recognizing the therapeutic benefits of the medium, Peace Paper works to make hand papermaking available to the world in numerous ways. Peace Paper works with survivors of trauma and uses a portable paper making studio and fibers that hold significance (such as articles of clothing that one might have worn during chemo treatment, or part of a military uniform, etc) to create hand made paper. Their goal is to bring paper to the people so that they may transform their unique fibers into works of art; expressing their stories through the pulp while using the medium of papermaking to enrich their artistic voices.

TF Artist of the Year Exhibit: Susan Makara's Masks

What: Susan Makara: Masks
When: June 30 – July 29, 2012
July 12, 6 - 8pm; Award Ceremony at 7pm

The Target Gallery presents Masks, a solo exhibition of work by Torpedo Factory artist Susan Makara, winner of the Friends of the Torpedo Factory Art Center’s Artist of the Year award. A special reception will be held on July 12th from 6-8pm, with an award ceremony at 7pm. Guests are encouraged to wear a mask to the reception.

The Torpedo Factory Art Center’s Target Gallery presents Masks, which opens on June 30 and runs through July 29.  This solo exhibition features paintings and sketches by Susan Makara, winner of the Friends of the Torpedo Factory Art Center’s annual Artist of the Year award. About this series of paintings Makara says, “Masks showcases my strongest and most fantastical work to date. The ideas for the series come from my imagination, visible only in my minds’ eye until I paint them. We all wear masks. Our true feelings and thoughts are not always revealed for others to see. Sometimes we hide the person within.”

The juror for this exhibition was
William Schran, Assistant Dean of Fine Arts at Northern Virginia Community College. About Makara’s work he said, “Susan demonstrates a command of the medium with powerful imagery that speaks to the viewer, yet presents a sense of mystery. There is a haunting dream-like quality with the figures, all hidden behind masks.  Behind the mask, who is looking at whom?”

Susan Makara holds a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. She served as assistant art director at a Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington, DC and as art director for the PBS series “Powerhouse.” Her work can be found in the School of Art Museum in Buenos Aires, at the U.S. State Department, in the homes of James Brady and Barbara Bush, and at the Garden Court in Jordan’s Royal Palace.