Arts & Entertainment

Northern Virginia Art Beat

Well, it’s been an interesting week. Just so everybody is on the same page in regards to my review of the ‘I. Hate. You.’ piece at Fraser Gallery in the Artomatic show, through February 3. First of all, and probably most importantly, the photos of emails from a former girlfriend never showed a name or email address of any sort that I saw. As such the art works in question had an abstract quality about them, in that they were referencing no one in specific. In fact there was no way to know if they were even genuine emails.

They are after all simply photos of text on a page.

Had Mr. Sanford shown identifying information then they would have, to my thinking, crossed some sort of line best not crossed. While working the edge of that line, his work seems safely on this side of that line. Good work tends to be edgy, it’s a simple fact of life.

All of my comments about the works were in the abstract, dealing with the idea of some faceless, and nameless ex-lover, and not directed at any one person in specific. As stated, I have no way of knowing if there even is a specific person. Having received a number of, cough-cough, emails in the past 48 hours from someone purporting to be said ex-girlfriend. We can probably safely assume the emails in the art works are genuine emails. On the other hand, never having met Mr. Sanford, or his former girlfriend, much less seen them together…..I still couldn’t attest to anything. By the way, all of this would make truly Grade A performance art were it such.

If you date writers they may write about you. If you date artists they may put you in their art work. If you date country music singers they’ll definitely sing about you on stage in front of as many people as will sit there and listen to them.

‘Trading Spaces’ through February 25 at Target Gallery in the Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union St., Alexandria.  Gallery hours: Noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, and Second Thursday (Feb. 8) from 6-9 p.m. (703) 838-4565 (extension 4), or see www.torpedofactory.org

Trading Spaces is one of those ‘spread the love’ feel good events. The Torpedo Factory, now said to be the largest art center of it’s kind in the United States, helped in the formation of Art Space in Raleigh, North Carolina, said to be the second largest art center. The Target Gallery is currently showing the work of 18 artists from Art Space.

It’s a broad spectrum show that has everything from a traditional portrait to non traditional fiber work. There are in fact four fiber artists in this grouping. I liked the colorful handmade felt abstraction of ‘Light Through the Branches’ by Rachel Nicholson. However the best fiber work is probably Ann Harwell’s intricate quilt titled ‘Uspenski Cathedral’. Here we find a fractured, almost cubist, view of a church seen through the branches of a tree. The right hand side of the tree features branches with strong straight thrusts towards the upper right of the image. Those familiar with religious art will note the association of right with god, as in ‘the right hand of God.’ The needle work is extensive to say the least. Every stitch seemingly expressing the tree and it’s foliage. Nice work.

I also liked a couple of photos here, namely Alison Overton’s ‘Portmeirion (Ghost Gardens I)’. A bough lined path, some with motion blur, seems alive and menacing in a dreamlike way. Reminds one of childhood stories where the trees come alive and attempt to entrap children. Menacing southern miasma might be about the best way to sum it up.

  Another interesting photo is ‘What Hath We Wrought’ by Mark Crummett. Here we find an out of focus image of what seems to be a figure conducting an orchestra in front of some looping modern art sculpture. Close inspection reveals it to be a small figurine amongst an electronic landscape of diodes and doodads, with wire looping in air. Whether you take it as a garden, an orchestra, or whatever, it’s all about electronics in the modern age.
    
‘Flux: an art sensory overload’ Saturday January 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. at the Danville Body Shop, 1415 N. Danville St, Arlington, VA (behind Whole Foods grocery store) $5 suggested donation. Features art salon and raffle, music, fire and aerial dance, as well as theatre. For further information see www.artoutlet.org.

Artist Opportunities ———–

Greater Reston Art Center’s annual Champagne Art Auction will be Saturday February 24 at the Hyatt Regency Reston. This event will feature live and silent art auctions. Artists wishing to have their work offered for sale at this event are invited to drop off a maximum of three works for judging. At most one piece per artist will be selected. 20 pieces will be selected for the live auction, and 20 for the silent auction. All work to be judged must be dropped off at the Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St, Suite 103, Reston, VA ). by no later than 5 p.m. February 2. Work not selected should be picked up by February 6. There is NO jury fee!

This is a fund raising event, and as such 50% of sales will go to the GRACE gallery, and 50% to the artist. Reserve prices will be 50% of retail. Nothing will be sold below the reserve without artist approval. Items valued below $350 may be fully donated to the auction (no commission will be paid on lower priced items). For additional information contact Mary Saunders at GRACE, (703) 471-9242 extension 113, or email her at [email protected]