Thursday, September 04, 2014

Jimmy Miracle's Silver Triangle now on display at NIH!

Silver Triangle, 2014 
oak, filament, silver leaf, oxidized copper leaf, black velvet
I am interested in the accumulation, repetition, and presentation of ordinary objects, materials, and images. My purpose is to use the physicality of minimally altered forms to question perception and the nature of reality both on a personal and cultural level. I am after a kind of inept monumentality built from repetitious labor and craft with humble materials.  I seek majestic frailty and the curious sacred. Transforming the idioms of pop, minimalism, and conceptual art, I suggest spiritual narratives with ontological possibilities. I am interested in how ordinary materials and humble stories can form meaning and question our presuppositions about how we perceive reality. I employ prayerful, imaginative creation to approach these ontological questions. 

Jimmy Miracle repetitiously weaves mundane objects and forms such as spaghetti strainers, air conditioners, armoires, ladders, octagons, rectangles, and triangles with shimmering filament to elevate them into curious, sacred objects of aesthetic wonder. He was born in Florida in 1982 and received a B.A. in painting from Belhaven College in 2004. He began his art career while living in Brooklyn from 2006-2011, and he has lived in the Washington, DC metro area from 2011-2014. He currently lives in Berlin, Germany. While in New York, he worked as a studio assistant for Jeff Koons and studied drawing at the Art Student’s League of New York. He has had solo and group shows in New York, Berlin, London, and Washington, DC including StorefrontBushwick, Outlet Fine Art, HKJB, the Islip Art Museum, and The Castle Gallery. His most recent solo shows in Washington, DC include "Wearing Ethereal" at Flashpoint Gallery in 2013 funded by a grant from Cultural DC and "Yantras" at Neptune Fine Art in 2014.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Laurel Lukaszewski shows at NIH!

Laurel Lukaszewski
2014 ceramics
Artist Statement:
I am fascinated by repetitive forms found in nature, in patterns that seem to make sense out of chaos. I enjoy the poignancy that exists on the edge of celebration and loss, capturing the nostalgia that occurs when one suddenly experiences something long forgotten. Most of my installations identify with the idea of a moment captured in time, a nod to the concept originally from the Japanese tea ceremony of “ichi-go ichi-e” which translated means something close to “in one lifetime, one meeting” or “once in a lifetime.”
My works are most often installed on-site in response to their surroundings, whether extruded clay forms resembling three-dimensional line drawings or individually sculpted objects that multiply into the thousands. These sculptural drawings develop much like graphite on paper, being built up or “erased” when pieces are added or removed. Each time I install a work, it is different. When it is moved, it is dismantled and when reinstalled, it is reconfigured to respond to its new space. For me, this mutability is a fascinating and important aspect of the work, realizing that it will only exist as it is in the present.
Artist Background:
Laurel Lukaszewski is a Washington, DC-area based artist who creates installations and sculptures primarily from clay. Much of her work is composed of extruded forms resembling three-dimensional line drawings or calligraphic brushstrokes and is influenced by her graduate studies and work with Japan over the past two decades.

Laurel has exhibited in galleries and at art fairs across the country and in the UK. Since 2006, she has had ten solo exhibitions in the US, most recently at Messiah College in Grantham, PA and the Art Registry in Washington, DC.

A founding member of Flux Studios in Mt. Rainier, MD, Laurel was a visiting artist at Seattle’s Pottery Northwest in summer 2008 and the 2009 ARTworks artist-in-residence at the Holland Hall School in Tulsa, OK. She has served on a number of nonprofit boards including the Washington Sculptors Group, the National Cherry Blossom Festival and the Washington Project for the Arts Artist Council.

Please visit for more information.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Lore of the Horse shows power, strength of the Chinese brush

Powerful brushstrokes reflect the tradition of the Far East representing this Year of the Horse with the work of Washington area artist Tracie Griffith Tso in an exhibit at the Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health, July 14 through September 5, 2014.

This dual media exhibit explores Chinese brushpainting on paper and pottery, focusing on the power and strength of the horse, accompanied by a collection of spontaneous flower-bird compositions.

Ink paintings on rice paper show the lighter side of the brush with snowy, moonlit backgrounds and soft water scenes. Black ink adds contrast and movement to fish, birds, flowers and horses.

About the challenges of two mediums, she says, "I can instantly see how my work will look on paper. Claywork is more temperamental so each piece is a surprise."

An earthy echo is apparent in high-fire brown and white stoneware as dimension adds texture, shine and curves to the equation. Koi wind around a wine chiller, a black stallion dances across a platter and a panda perches on a teapot. Handpainting on wheel-thrown and hand built pottery is framed by symbolic patterning, peppered with auspicious red seals called chops.

Griffith Tso began studying Chinese painting at age 12 and specializes in spontaneous brushwork. The award-winning artist developed her style with a teacher who was schooled by a master in Hong Kong. Her introduction to pottery was as a teenager at a local art center, and she returned to the clay medium in 2005, partnering with potter Patricia Ferrell at Brushy Fork Creek Gallery in Crofton, Ky.

Traveling from her native California, Griffith Tso has been teaching and lecturing nationwide about Chinese brushpainting, a 6,000-old technique. A Torpedo Factory associate, she is a member of the Washington Ceramic Guild and the Kiln Club, exhibiting monthly at the Torpedo Factory Art Center's
Scope Gallery. The artist and her husband, along with her muse and rabbit, Cleopatra, reside in North Reston.

This exhibition and sale event runs from July 12 to Sept. 5 and is open to the public. Twenty percent of the proceeds of sales will go toward for the Patient Emergency Fund. The Clinical Center at NIH, Building 10, is located at 9000 Rockville Pike Bethesda, MD 20892. Display cases are located on the ground floor.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bill Firestone's write up in the Washington Post Blog

Artist Bill Firestone recently showed in NIH's Changing Art Exhibit. Check out a write up on his work in the Washington Post Blog below.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Leslie Shellow's Site Specific Installation at NIH!

Leslie Shellow has created a site specific installation in one of NIH's display cases on the third floor of Building 10! Check out the images and Leslie's artist statement below.

Artist Statement:
My work emerges out of my experience of nature as a simultaneous force of beauty and destruction. While walking in the woods, along seashores and riverbeds, I have closely observed growing and dying organisms that gather beneath my feet and reflect on their intricate patterning and their unique interactions with one another. In my installations, I invite the viewer to notice things they might normally disregard or overlook and to be reminded of the invisible world that goes on beneath our noses and outside our awareness.

My process is spontaneous yet slow, methodical yet intuitive. I respond to visual stimuli and allow them to navigate me through the creation of multiple drawn components that will eventually go into the installation. I work meditatively, building one small element on top of another in the very time consuming, arduous process of drawing and cutting every piece by hand. While the task of making the objects takes months or years to complete, the installation itself is a fluid, intuitive, process that is conceived on the spot and completed in one week.  I approach each gallery space with little preconception of how the work will end up. The landscape seems to grow of its own volition. The methodical yet haphazard process represents what I feel is happening in nature both inside and outside our bodies.

The materials used in my installations consist of many recycled products such as, phone books, wax, toilet paper rolls, old drawings, found paper, and dirt. It is important to me not to leave a heavy footprint on the earth with my work, for I want my art to add awareness without adding clutter.

This work underscores the opposing forces of nature:  magnetism vs. repulsion, contraction vs. expansion, growth vs. decay, and beauty vs. ugliness.  It is a combination of these polarities that can be seen in nature both inside our own bodies and in the world as a whole.  For the work to succeed, I feel it should compel the viewers to recognize themselves on a more cellular level, to recognize who we are inside.  

My installations are not static pieces of artwork. They continue to grow and evolve as the pieces go from gallery to gallery.  Each new installation is an outcropping of the one that came before.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Another beautiful sculpture was donated to NIH's collection!

Faye Bates Blessing Woman, 2006 Bronze

Blessing Woman is the first in a series of 12 sculptures that, together,  are entitled the Counsel of Twelve.  Five of her many,  unlimited blessings can be found carved in her hair – Highest Truth, Deepest Peace, Loving Heart, Gratitude and Grace.  With an open heart one can feel her emitting endless blessings and know they have been received.

This work of art was donated to the Clinical Center by Dr. Ellen Anderson.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Trish Crowe’s Work at NIH, May 5th – July 11th

In the past when I have seen a landscape of an open field or a rural farm I tend not to pay much attention, I stop briefly but quickly continue on my way. To me, some depictions of landscapes seem contrived and overdone. There are fields, mountains, flowers, may be the occasional bird or two, but they feel constructed from a “landscape recipe” rather than the creative being that designs them. When I first saw Trish Crowe’s breathtaking watercolor landscapes my view of traditional landscapes was turned inside out and upside-down.
Crowe, founder of the Firnew Farm Artists Circle, which opened nearly 10 years ago, is a studio she shares with group of 30 artists. The group of local artists initially met in the milking parlor to paint together while Crowe facilitated an afternoon critique of new works on a weekly basis. As the Circle grew, gathering more painters and photographers, Crowe converted the barn and silo into an exhibition space where this group of artists continue to work with students and local art teachers.
The Firnew Farm Artists have two exhibitions each year. One in the Firnew Barn Gallery, and others in local venues that include vineyards, Montpelier and this fall Woodberry Forest School in the Walker Fine Arts Gallery. The Circle’s focus is the natural Virginia Piedmont landscape that surrounds them. As Crowe states, “It is the perfect muse. It is line and color. It is ever changing and precious; and each artist has a unique and individual response to it. My watercolors of local fields and farms are a testimony to those artists who continue to challenge and push each other and me.”  
Trish Crowe will be exhibiting her wonderful watercolor paintings in NIH’s North Gallery from September 7th until November 2nd. Working with the strength of line, translucency of color, and depictions of local fields and farms, Crowe has built a body of work that is both, vibrant and timeless. Her work focuses on how creating art has been a journey to understand herself and world around her.
The visual texture and excitement Crowe creates in her paintings brightens the rooms at NIH. Standing in front of one of Crowe’s watercolors you can get lost in the scene, transported to a rural sunny field where butterflies move feely and the breeze is ever so slight. The transformative powers of these works are why they are such a perfect fit as one of NIH’s rotating exhibits. Patients and visitors alike can enjoy the playful uplifting watercolor paintings by Crowe.
I encourage you to visit Trish Crowe’s exhibit at NIH and view for yourself the magnificent exploration of self and nature that her work holds.

Written by: Erica Kempler

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Karen Hubacher shows work at NIH and creates for a great cause!

Karen Hubacher, now showing at NIH creates an Alchemical Vessel to benefit Smith Center for Healing & the Arts' second annual Alchemical Vessels Exhibition and Benefit! Check out Torpedo Factory's blog post below to learn more about Karen Hubacher's work and the Smith Center benefit.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Artist Rebecca Kamen Donates Six Paintings to NIH

Rebecca Kamen, an established artist and lecturer who has exhibited and lectured both nationally and internationally has generously donated six of her large-scale paintings on aluminum to NIH. These paintings from the Kami Series, address the Japanese concept of kami, wherein the vital life force energy is believed to reside in natural objects. Kamen has long been interested in Japanese and Chinese concepts of beauty and spirituality as expressed by the natural phenomena such as clouds, rocks, and water. What is fascinating about these works is that they have traveled to Switzerland and Egypt, as part of the Arts in Embassies program, and will now permanently reside in NIH’s Clinical Center.

Walking into Kamen’s studio one can observe her extensive scientific research into the exploration of art and how it intersects with cosmology, history, philosophy, and science. Just to note a few of Kamen’s accomplishments, she has been the recipient of a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship, a Pollack Krasner Foundation Fellowship, two Strauss Fellowships, and a Travel Grant from the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Most recently, Kamen received an Artist in Residency Fellowship in the Neuroscience program at NIH, using her work to create bridges between art and neuroscience.

         Currently, Kamen is working on collaborative art/science projects at Harvard University’s Center for Astrophysics and in the Neuroscience Division at the National Institutes of Health. We are so pleased to have such a wonderful donation from Rebecca Kamen grace the walls of NIH.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Community of Hope's Grand Opening of Conway Health and Resource Center!

A few of the artists in Community of Hope's collection. 

From left to right: David Ibata, Danielle Scruggs, Malik Langley, Aniekan Udofia, Camille Mosley-Pasley

Thursday, January 09, 2014

The Army Wife Now at NIH

Kristin La Flamme’s intricately sewn textiles tell a story of The Army Wife, the expectation and realities in the world of the military spouse. Adapting domestic items such as aprons, quilts, and sheets La Flamme juxtaposes upbeat imagery with the very serious business of life as an Army Wife. Her use of the aprons references a retro-housewife and as La Flamme said in her artist statement, “the clash of expectations vs. reality, which is also the clash a military spouse experiences daily.”
While these textiles are visually stunning, they belie a life where one is somewhat of a “nomad.” Perhaps the inability to settle down and plant roots as an Army Wife has challenged traditional ideals of family and community. Thus inspiring La Flamme to look back on the retro-housewife days of Leave it to Beaver and The Brady Bunch. As supportive as we are for our troops, La Flamme approaches the conversation of war, personal issues, and the numerous roles a spouse must play from the other side, that of the home front, and she does it in a cheerful and elegant light.
The Army Wife by Kristin La Flamme is on exhibit now at NIH’s Clinical Center, 3rd Floor and will run until March 2014.