Friday, October 22, 2010

Artisphere Opening

I recently attended the opening day events at Artisphere, a new cultural center in my neighborhood. There were dance performances, music acts, scenes from Richard III performed by the Washington Shakespeare Company, and more. But the highlight of the day for me was the art on view in the galleries.

The first exhibit, entitled "Skateboarding Side Effects," features artists who "capture the form, shape, line and gestural movements of skateboarding through photography, drawing, painting, film, and sculpture." I know what you're thinking, but it's actually very interesting (and not just because it appeals to my inner 16-year-old). The centerpiece of the exhibit is Richard Vosseller's ramp-inspired curvilinear sculpture. I love it's sweeping arcs and the fact that it doesn't look too precious to touch. Vosseller also includes many sketches, plans, and a scale model of the sculpture. As I've mentioned before, I'm always interested to see sketches and other instruments used in an artists's process as it offers a glimpse of the story behind a finished piece.

Richard Vosseller, Physical Manipulations of Structural Surfaces: an Homage to Skateboarding, 2010

Richard Vosseller, Physical Manipulations of Structural Surfaces: an Homage to Skateboarding, 2010

Perhaps my favorite part of the exhibit is the trio of colorful paintings by Sean Greene. The lines and gestures in his paintings echo the movements of skateboarders and also call to mind images of graffiti (or tagging) and the bright graphics on skateboards. We actually got to see part of an action painting workshop lead by Sean Greene, in which he captivated a group of very cute little kids.

Sean Greene, Glide and Turn, 2010

"Skateboarding Side Effects" also features work by Tim Bearse, Mikael Elliot Broth, and Lia Halloran, as well as a short film on the history of the New York skating scene by Rick Charnoski and Coan Buddy Nichols. The exhibit will be on view until November 28.

The second exhibit, entitled "Surfaces," features photography by fellow Arlington resident Pete McCutchen. Each photograph offers a close-up view of a different decaying surface: rusted doors, buildings, cars. I love the brilliant colors in each cracked layer and the varied compositions.

"Surfaces" will be on view until November 7.

Overall, the day was exhausting but exciting at the same time. I'm thrilled that this new space (within walking distance of my apartment) will be hosting new exhibits featuring local artists and performances of all kinds.

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