artNOW: Baltimore at WC
CHESTERTOWN, MD—The Kohl Gallery at Washington College showcased the work of five fascinating contemporary artists in an exhibition titled “artNOW:Baltimore,” which opened Friday, February 10 and continued through March 30. Featured artists Christian Benefiel, Leslie Furlong, Andrew Liang, René Treviño and Karen Yasinsky work in a variety of media, from drawing to video to inflatable sculpture, and each is attracting growing acclaim for his or her provocative works.
artNOW:Baltimore is the first of three group shows that focus on up-and-coming artists from nearby cities. The Baltimore component will be followed in subsequent years by artNOW:Washington and artNOW:Philadelphia. Co-curator Alex Castro, an artist and designer who lectures in the Washington College Art Department, says each exhibition will present a group of artists whose works collectively reflect the creative identity of their home city. “What unites them is an intensity of exploration and a youthful vigor,” he adds. Collaborating with Castro on the show is Cara Ober, a Baltimore-based artist and professor of art who covers the visual arts for the magazine and online journal Urbanite.
Christian Benefiel is a sculptor who uses his skills in metalworking, ceramics, woodworking, glassblowing, sewing and digital media to bring shape and form to his visions. A recent winner of an Individual Artist Grant from the Maryland State Arts Council and a Roth Endowment Award, he has exhibited throughout the United States and in Finland, Latvia, Estonia and England. Benefiel studied as an undergraduate at East Carolina University and earned his MFA from the University of Maryland. For more on his art: http://christianbenefiel.com/home.html.
Using photographs and video, Leslie Furlong explores our urban landscapes, probing how they change and how they affect our perceptions and emotions. She holds a B.A. in Photography from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a MFA in Photography and Digital Imagery from the Maryland Institute College of Art. She has exhibited in group shows at venues that include the Corcoran, the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Berliner Liste. She also has been shown at Baltimore’s Contemporary Museum, Maryland Art Place and the Creative Alliance. More at http://www.lesliefurlong.com/.
Andrew Liang has a fertile imagination, and he translates his wild imaginings into highly detailed fantasy drawings and paintings. Sometimes he creates colorful cartoonish images that he might in turn incorporate into a large installation with moving parts (like the 2009 Human Foosball installation for 12 players, a life-size game he created with Michael Benevento). A native of Taiwan, he has lived in Baltimore since 1998. Learn more at http://www.andrew-liang.com/blog/.
A native of Kingsville, Tex., René Treviño earned his B.A. from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and his master’s in fine arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art. His art often reflects his identity as a Mexican-American gay man and his obsession with detail, pattern and the symbolic power of historical portraits. Gallery owner Costas Grimaldis has written of Treviño, “Through icons, images, and artifacts Trevino explores his own identity as an underrepresented minority in post-Warhol society. The role of celebrity, the weight of history and the waning influence of religious artifacts are all fair game for his contemplative subject matter.” For images and more information: http://renetrevino.net/.
An accomplished painter who has exhibited in prestigious venues from Berlin to Los Angeles, Karen Yasinsky has transitioned in recent years into a filmmaker. She creates evocative stop-motion animation from costumed clay models or drawings, imbuing her silent characters with personality and emotion through subtle movements. Tom Hall, the arts editor of WYPR radio’s Maryland Morning, has said that Yasinsky’s films “center on characters who can convey with just the slightest gesture how difficult it is to truly connect with another person.” The artist holds a bachelor’s degree in art history and mathematics from Duke and a master’s in painting from Yale. She has exhibited internationally, from Berlin and Prague to New York and Los Angeles.