MPA Opens Biennial Exhibit of Regional Artists
Exhibition Open Until July 30
Six artists were honored with cash prizes when the McLean Project for the Arts' (MPA) recently opened “Strictly Painting 8,” a biennial juried exhibition of a select group of thirty-seven artists who reside in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The “Strictly Painting” exhibits began sixteen years ago when the MPA curator, Andrea Pollan, wanted to show a survey of what people were painting. According to Dabney Cortina, Communications Director of the MPA, all the works involve painting in some form or fashion. Use of additional media is encouraged.
This year, approximately two hundred artists submitted their work. Each artist could submit up to 4 pieces in j-peg format on a disc. All artists must reside in the Mid-Atlantic region. Their work must have been completed in the last two years but have not been previously exhibited at the MPA . Margaret Huddy, one finalist, lives in McLean and Mike Cantwell, another finalist, is an instructor at the MPA’s DuVal Studio.
The six top finalists were Bongkyun Noh, Ryan Carr Johnson, Carolyn Case, Eric Garner, Cavan Fleming and Nora Sturges.
Jayme McLellan, the juror for the exhibit, selected the thirty-seven finalists whose work now hangs in the Emerson and Atrium galleries. This year’s selection was the largest of all Strictly Painting exhibitions. She also chose the six winning artists, with cash prizes totaling $1500 - $250 each. The prize money was gifted from the MPA.
McLellan is a curator and founding director of Civilian Art Projects, a DC-based gallery. She is also an adjunct-professor at the Corcoran College of Art + Design and St. Mary’s College in Maryland.
“It was hard [to select the winners]. Some worthy work didn’t make the cut,” said McLellan. “I look for artists whose work is a consistent series…very true to their own voice.”
A few of the artists shared their process behind their work:
Huddy has been painting since the age of 12. Her paintings were watercolors of a sycamore tree that is located in a development adjacent to her home. Over the years, she has painted several images of the tree in various stages of growth and seasons. She said, “I used to teach here [at the MPA]…I have a studio at the Torpedo Factory.”
Timothy Horjus, a Baltimore resident, submitted a large, abstract piece with cubist and industrial elements painted in vivid colors. He said, “It’s hard-edged abstraction that attempts to begin a discussion in the digital age about the persistence of painting…I use house paint…the palate is limited by corporate decisions on color.”
Brian Dang was an intern at the MPA last fall. His painting of a food-laden shopping cart has already been purchased by an MPA instructor and board member, Julie Lansaw. Dang’s piece was part of his BFA exhibition from George Mason University. He said, “It was about food processing and where food comes from – or lack of food.”
“I’m a painter,” said Lansing. I love the paint quality…colors – warm and cool – compositon…It’s kind of quirky because of its perspective.”
Also on exhibit, in the Ramp Gallery, are works by students in adult classes in the MPA’s DuVal Studio. These classes are offered through a partnership between the MPA and the Corcoran College of Art + Design. Nancy Sausser, the Exhibitions Director at the MPA, selected the displayed pieces. She tried to include work from all entrants.
Jason Mallett, a graphic designer by day has been painting in oil since 2001. His diptych of an coal power plant was eerie and dream-like. He said, “I painted from memory and photos to try to capture the mental image of what I saw as a kid.” His childhood bedroom window faced the plant, and the two panels mimicked the window panes and duality of a pleasant memory versus environmental pollution.
What: Strictly Painting 8, MPA/Corcoran Student Exhibition
Where: McLean Project for the Arts, McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Avenue
When: Until July 30, 2011
Additional Information: www.mpaart.org