August 5-28, 2016
Please join us for the opening reception of our new exhibitions on First Friday, August 5, 6-9pm
Exploit. As a verb it means “to take advantage of; to misuse”, as a noun it means “achievement”. Both definitions involve action. The sculptures in this series represent the tools employed to instigate fundamental change and the actions taken to reach that goal, be it personal or an attempt to generate shifts in social or ideological paradigms. One can easily fall prey to inertia, to practices that are “cemented in tradition” and in order to break free it may be necessary to commit a fervent act. I see the wedges as agents of change, as the means of engagement. They are the tools at my disposal to be points of contact between myself and the cement blocks — the challenges and difficulties that must be overcome and reordered to reach an objective.
Sculptor Jin Lee studied sculpture at the University of Maryland and the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Lee returned to Maryland in 2012 and currently teaches at Anne Arundel Community College. Lee received the Wharton Award in 2003 and has exhibited her work in San Francisco, Maryland, DC, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. She currently has work on exhibit at The Harvard Institute for Hellenic Studies in Washington DC and a site-specific sculpture at The Sandy Spring Museum in Sandy Spring, MD.
Lee’s work addresses concepts of tension, pressure, and the struggle to be free. Her explosive sculptures are comprised mostly of wedge-shaped elements tightly bound between heavy steel plates or trapped in cement and exhibit evidence of the performative aspect behind her concept.
In Persian you “see” dreams, in English you “have” them. Do we observe or possess dreams? Dreams and works of art are and aren’t true. They both challenge reality, trying to replace what is with what might be, and generate an altered state of consciousness. They are both fleeting and lend themselves to interpretation. In this body of work, I am exploring these concepts by giving my dreams a physicality that exists independent of me. I use the dream imagery to access and possibly unleash authentic human experiences. Dreams here have an existence independent of, and external to, the dreamer.
Bahar Jalehmahmoudi is an Iranian-American artist who works as an installation artist
and sculptor. She received her B.A in 2009 from San Diego State University, and her
MFA in studio art in 2013 from University of Maryland, College Park. As an artist who
grew up in Iran, her artworks reexamine freedom, femininity, identity, and humanity.
Her mixed media works transform recycled and found materials often associated with
femininity into constructed assemblages. While the materials she utilizes are quite
familiar, even commonplace, the densely layered forms she creates blur the boundaries
of form and function, body and space, seduction and revulsion. Her work celebrates
femininity through the socio-cultural mirror of Persian artistic culture. It originates in
personal experiences, but ultimately addresses universal artistic, political and social
i deas and aspirations.
Consumables is a show about bodies. The forms represent people who have been touched by illness, cut up, and put back together. Schechtman plays with materials that are utilitarian and expendable in an effort to align and mismatch their physical nature to their meaning. In this show their inherent characteristics are used to highlight the all-consuming nature of illness and the burden that our future bodies put on our present selves. Schechtman has created assemblages in an attempt to mimic the physical and psychological effects of disease. In her work, fluids host growth and crystallize; they are saturated, and spent. Tissue multiplies, bleeds together, and scabs into mass. Vessels are overtaken from the inside out, they are made fragile, and they obscure. They have control and lack of control exerting upon them simultaneously. Schechtman makes work akin to experiments. The materials are set within a loose framework and left to expand into their final form on their own. Schechtman is striving to depict unease. For example the small capsules hidden behind the stretched skins illustrate the empty yet bubbling anxiety of illness lurking just beneath the surface. They are the moment just before a tumor is diagnosed malignant or benign. Schechtman often engages with moments of morbid humor in her work. Embracing the gross and odd nature of the body is necessary to navigate and survive our own physicality.
Rachel Schechtman is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in Washington,
D.C. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from The George Washington University
in 2012. Her mixed media assemblages, installations, and videos often touch upon issues
tied to the body, health, and gender.