Structures: Sculpture at The Art League
August 6–September 8, 2014
Under Pressure, George Tkabladze
Opening reception: Thursday, August 14, 6:30–8:00 pm
Award: Monkith Saaid Memorial Sculpture Award ($500)
A showcase of work by Art League sculptors and 3-D artists, “Structures” will be on display concurrently with the annual “’Scapes” exhibit.
Juried by Rosemary Luckett
Juror's dialogue with George Miller
For juror Rosemary Luckett, “Structures” isn’t just the name given to this year’s sculpture exhibit. It’s also what brings the pieces together. Regardless of materials or process — whether additive, as a mixed-media sculpture pieced together, or subtractive, as a sculpture carved from stone and wood — each piece has a sense of being “built.”
Jurying the exhibit from submitted images was tougher than doing it in person, Luckett said. She last juried a show for The Art League in 2008, for the all-media exhibit, “Interplay.” With multiple images from each artist, it was still difficult to get a sense of scale and depth, Luckett said. As a guiding principle, she used the name of the show and looked for pieces that exhibited structure.
“I look for surprises,” Luckett said, as a sculptor herself and a student of contemporary and classical sculpture. At a first glance, most pieces can be separated into something you’ve seen before or something new, she said.
The exhibit is an eclectic mix of styles and media. As a mixed-media artist, Luckett said she was interested in seeing artists experimenting with the limits of their materials. “Once you know the technique, push the limits,” emotional, conceptual, and otherwise, she said.
Clay, fibers, metal, stone, wood, plastic, and especially found objects all feature in the exhibit. Larry Fransen’s piece, Wheels, is a wall-mounted, wind-up, kinetic sculpture that runs for eight to nine hours. Stacy Cantrell’s Aphrodite of DC is a full-size nude figure constructed by crochet.
Two other figural sculptures — Kathlyn Avila’s Ain’t I A Woman and Keith Fairbrother’s Man in Green — are “pillars” that pack emotion and narrative into their straight-backed poses, Luckett said. Those pieces both earned honorable mentions, as did Metamorphosis, a ceramic and resin piece by Helen Goodrum, and Rose Window and Portal, a polymer clay sculpture by Sam Miller.
For the Monkith Saaid Award for Best in Show, Luckett selected The Washington Football by Diane Blackwell. The abstract sculpture, constructed with bright red broadcloth and leather lacing, derives its meaning from the title. With a literally red surface and a misshapen form only vaguely reminiscent of a football, the piece abstracts from the heated conversation over the name of the Washington Redskins. Its tone is simultaneously humorous and serious, Luckett said.
Rosemary Luckett is a mixed-media artist who creates collage compositions with photographs, on paper with ink, in books, or within wood structures. Her mixed-media sculpture and installations range from small to life size. She has taught collage and sculpture at The Art League since 1997. Recent exhibits include the solo show “Earth Blankets” and several group exhibits at Touchstone Gallery in Washington, DC, “Re-Made and Re-Cycled” at Washington ArtWorks in Rockville, MD, and an upcoming solo exhibit at Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, VA, “Altered Terrain Today.”