February 5 – 27, 2016

Please join us for the opening reception of our new exhibitions on First Friday, February 5, 6-9pm


Marc Robarge + Alex L. Porter
Branching Out

Branching Out brings together the graphic pen and ink drawings of Alex L. Porter with Marc Robarge’s biomorphic sculptures. Growth defines the landscape, whether or not it is hampered by human intervention. Through the carefully detailed rendering of limbs and branches, Alex Porter’s art depicts the language of this natural process. The gesture of these landscape elements is of greater importance than the scenes than they eventually compose. His pieces are laboriously hand-drawn ink-on-paper works entirely comprised of careful, purposeful marks. To avoid becoming primarily ‘scenery’, the content of his images is displayed in form, but without color or depth. Marc Robarge’s work consists of two related, yet distinct, directions. Both paths are rooted in a reverence for natural forms, materials and processes.  One branch presents biomorphic sculptures conjured from tree limbs conjoined with pods, bark, berry and leaf-like forms. These works affirm the mystery of regenerative processes within the cycle of life and death. The second branch juxtaposes mass produced machined or technological elements with organic forms that offer an open ended commentary on cultural, societal, and environmental issues.


Helen Frederick
UNEARTHING: Images of Silence

UNEARTHING: Images of Silence feature three sculptures with videos of water (the river/the lake), walking (over sandy areas), and viewing the trees (into slow moving Northern California redwood trees). Round glass surfaces atop the sculptures provide these edited moving images of algae and rocks, dunes and plants. These are intended to provide light to dark exterior/interior experiences as if the viewer were inside the mind of the artist during exposure to some of the oldest living organisms in the world that now are facing a “hospice” condition.

Also featured are several paintings that further describe the activities of creatures that wonder about the changes in their endangered environment. Metaphors of the primordial forests are indicated, and are featured and developed in a video installation at the The Phillips Collection in Frederick’s Acts of Silence exhibition, February to May, as part of the museum’s INTERSECTIONS project directed and curated by Vesela Stretenovic, Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Frederick extends appreciation to and presents fellow artist Sean Watkins with his video assembly and production, ingenious video installation design, and for his collegial assistance and collaboration with the installation. Frederick also extends her appreciation to Matt Nolan for his photographs of the primordial forest taken in Northern California and accomplished during Frederick’s George Mason University provost award for creative study.


Nicole Fall
The Essential Visible

This installation represents three years of making. The apparent exuberance of some of the work belies the painstaking, slow process that has been at the heart of it. The imagery from nature is used to explore the human condition. It is based in the observation of nature, its life cycles, and the visceral responses that humans make every effort to control. Is man a part of nature or an aberration of it? Autobiography seeps into Fall’s work including the legacy of violence that permeates American history. That trauma ripples into the present and the future; the slaughter of the native people, slavery, war, the unbridled use of natural resources, to almost any American city’s streets. The kinesthetic, call-and-response making process, that includes: clay, welded steel, cast bronze, fiber, and printmaking employs color through the use of acrylic, oil, enamel and chemical patina. All of the formal aesthetic decision-making is in play as the work seeks to meld form, color, and concept.