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In an exhibition opening February 8 and continuing through March 29, 2013, the Kohl Gallery at Washington College will showcase works by five contemporary artists based in Washington, DC. The exhibition “artNOW: DC” features five young talents who employ a diverse array of media, from drawing and photography to animation and installation, to create art that is always innovative and often provocative. Those artists are Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, Chandi Kelley, Jonathan Monaghan, Kendall Nordin, and Michael Dax Iacovone.
On the opening day, Friday, Feb. 8, at 12:30 p.m., Monaghan, Kelley and Nordin will offer a panel discussion of their backgrounds, careers and artistic processes. That free public event, which will take place in the Casey Academic Center Forum at Washington College, is open to anyone interested in the arts and the creative process.
An opening reception will be held that evening from 5 to 7 o’clock in the Gallery, which is located on the ground floor of the Gibson Center for the Arts on the College campus, 300 Washington Avenue, in Chestertown. For the remainder of the show’s run, the gallery will be open Wednesday through Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m. Both the exhibition and the reception are free and open to the public. For information on other upcoming events related to the exhibition, visit kohlgallery.washcoll.edu.
“artNOW:DC” is the second in a series of three showcases produced through a collaboration between the Kohl Gallery and the College’s Department of Art and Art History. Through the project, the Gallery brings contemporary artists from nearby cities to exhibit their art and interact with Washington College students. The 2012 installation featured Baltimore, and the 2014 show will focus on Philadelphia. This year’s exhibition is funded in part by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Maxcy Family Visiting Artist Fund.
The DC-focused show is designed to reflect the creative identity of the nation’s capital, says Heather Harvey, an assistant professor of art at Washington College who co-curated the exhibition. “While not all of the work in the Kohl exhibition explicitly refers to DC,” Harvey explains, “all of the artists are deeply embedded in the DC art community, influencing and being influenced by that particular city.”
The five artists will be involved in several programs with Washington College students, including a panel discussion and individual lectures and workshops. Students will also be invited to submit creative responses to the exhibition. “The goal is to energize students who are interested in creative pursuits, expose them to cutting-edge art, and connect them to the artists and communities of nearby cities,” says Harvey.
Harvey’s co-curator for artNOW: DC is Natalie Cheung, a DC-based experimental photographer who teaches at George Washington University. As project manager for Jean Efron Art Consultants, Cheung helps clients select artworks and build collections.
About the Artists
Michael Iacovone spends his time investigating public spaces, walking through cities and driving across bridges while making maps, photos and videos of his experiences. He revels in formulas such as mathematical algorithms and in creating systems to generate art. Iacovone holds a BS in Photography and Art Education from the State University of New York, an MFA in Photography from Virginia Commonwealth University, and an MFA in Studio Art from Maryland Institute College of Art. His work has been exhibited widely both internationally and in the U.S. Iacovone co-founded the Free Space Collective, which uses art to spark community engagement and interaction.
Chandi Kelley uses photography to capture a sense of dualism, emphasizing the tension between fiction and documentation. A graduate of the Corcoran College of Art and Design, she earned a Young Artist Grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She spent two years as a member of the DC Arts Center artist collective, Sparkplug, and now serves on the Center’s Visual Arts Committee. Her work is in the permanent collection of the U.S. Embassy in Malta and in private collections throughout the U.S.
Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann received her undergraduate degree from Brown University and a master’s degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she is now an instructor. She describes her large-scale paintings as “baroque abstracts” that show how “patterned, highly-wrought, decorative elements coalesce from the chaos and contingency of an organic environment—and how they dissolve into that environment again.” Mann is the recipient of a Fulbright grant to Taiwan, the AIR Gallery Fellowship program in Brooklyn, and the So-Hamiltonian Fellowship in Washington. She has shown her work at Walters Art Museum, Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the US consulate in Dubai, UAE.
Jonathan Monaghan makes short films that combine high-end computer animation with surreal and fantastical scenes drawn from religious themes, popular culture and Western history. “The techniques I use to create my computer animations allow for anything you can dream up to happen on screen,” he said in a 2012 interview. “I am always trying to push the envelope to go beyond what you see made with the same software on television and Hollywood films.” He earned his BFA from the New York Institute of Technology and his MFA from the University of Maryland. His work has been shown at the Hirshhorn, the Today Art Museum in Beijing, and the BFI Southbank in London, and he has been awarded residencies from MakerBot Industries, Yaddo, and Seven Below Arts Initiative.
Kendall Nordin is a multi-disciplinary artist who has published poetry, helped produce a documentary film and played in an all-female “rock improv orchestra.” Her visual art incorporates myriad materials and media to explore the human experience and often plays with time, elongating the tiny moments between sensory input and comprehension, between idea and execution. Nordin has been part of group and solo shows in the U.S., Australia, and Estonia and is included in the viewing program of The Drawing Center, NYC. She completed her master’s in fine arts at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia where she co-founded “The 24-hour Drawing Project.”