"My pieces express my delight with nature and like nature, I want them to reflect a harmony of form, surface, and purpose. I strive to make small intimate pieces whose design and texture invite you to hold them.
There is something about birds that speaks to me. The contradictory aspects of their bodies intrigue me. I find the exquisite detail of their claws and the patterning of their feathers very satisfying. I perch them on my containers to encourage contemplation and conversation.
Currently I work solely in porcelain and mix my own glazes. I am fascinated with creating surfaces that mimic nature such as lichen, stones, or tree bark. Many of my pieces are designed as flower containers and are intended to reflect and compliment the natural environment they inhabit."
Taking an interdisciplinary approach, Monée combines drawing,
Photoshop, pigment, dye, weaving, and embroidery to execute her two dimensional work. Using personal narrative as a jumping point, the artist applies colorful and imagined imagery meant to overlay the
lurking fear generated by the familiar and the concealed. When the artist is producing scarves she prefers to draw from long- established methods of weaving, knitting, crochet, and embroidery. She is fond of nature and often employs organic motifs in each garment.
Monée Marie Bengtson holds a Master of Fine Art from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and Bachelor of Art from Northern Illinois University (NIU) with additional education in Ancient Art History from Southern Illinois University (SIU). She also attended
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in both 1998 and 1999. She
received a Graduate Grant from SAIC in both 2000 and 2001, the
North Shore Weavers Guild Scholarship in 1998 and 1999, the Ethel
Skeins Clifford Scholarship from Haystack Mountain School of Crafts
in 1999, and the Elizabeth F. Cheyenne Scholarship from Haystack
Mountain School of Crafts in 1998. She is the Registrar and Preparator at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.
Gretchen Schermerhorn is a printmaker and hand papermaker, and her work often combines the two media. Her work is a study of mapped visual relationships between humans, science, politics and psychology. More specifically, she is interested in depicting the short lived genetic bond that forms between us when we engage socially-be it through virtual communication or open discussion. She communicates visually through diagrams of imagined space involving interaction, entanglement, memory and contemplation.
Ms. Schermerhorn is currently the Artistic Director at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. She received her MFA in Printmaking from Arizona State University in 2004. She has completed artist residencies at Women's Studio Workshop in New York, Columbia College Center for Book and Paper in Chicago, Seacourt Print Workshop in Northern Ireland, and California State University. Her prints, installations and works on paper works have been exhibited in New York, Boston and Washington DC, and her work is in national and international collections. She currently teaches in the printmaking department at the Corcoran College of Art + Design.
“It should not be hard for you to stop sometimes and look into the stains of walls, or ashes of fire, or clouds, or mud or like places, in which... you may find marvelous ideas.” Leonardo da Vinci
We have always been fascinated by the Rorschach patterns and the idea of pareidolia, ink blot ideas have been in our sketchbook for years. The idea of seeing something where there is nothing is fascinating and can be inspiring to the imagination. Certainly everyone can relate to lying in the grass and finding shapes in the clouds.
Our signature work involves storytelling through 3-D collage in miniature, in the form of a brooch. These mini stories are generally conjured up by the two of us, inspired by personal struggles, news stories, nature, science, religion. For this Vault project we decided to ask others to suggest a story, and for their inspiration we focused on the Rorschach idea.
It occurred to us that it may be fun to make our own ink blots so from about 50, we narrowed it down to five. Friends and family were shown on ink blot pattern out of the five and were invited to describe what they saw in the pattern. We had some wild results. From all the interpretations we received, we selected on as inspiration for the interior scenes of each, of the 5, wall sculptures. They are all presented here, unedited, on the walls for you to read. The five original blots were enlarged and laser cut from sheet acrylic, with a central area open as a window for our interpretive story.
This project was a collaboration of many minds and their thoughts about a blot of nothing. . . which brings us back to the word pareidolia, a random stimulus being perceived as significant.
Robin Kranitzky & Kim Overstreet
Richmond native, Laurie Carnohan, is driven by the connection between man and the natural world. "Layers, texture, light and muted tones intertwine to achieve depth and dimension converging interior and exterior worlds to form topographical landscapes." The lithography shows imperfection, decay, impression and loss, evoking emotion, memory and personal narrative.
Sean Donlon is an artist that specializes in glass. He started studying Marine Biology in 2006 and then was a painter and printmaker at the Workhouse Art Center in Lorton Virginia. There he met a flameworking artist whom he apprenticed under for two years. From the first day handling glass, making a clear marble he was hooked and wanted to learn more. Sean has traveled to Lauscha Germany to study glass eye prosthetics, and was recently selected as the recipient of the VMFA Visual Arts Fellowship for 2012. He Currently studies craft and materials with a concentration in glass at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Christopher Jagmin is fascinated by communication and the fine lines of discourse that run between truth and fiction, real and hyperbole. He describes:
"My work explores how we present our "true selves" to others, and how we want to be perceived. Are we interesting enough to stand out from the crowd? If so, and we have branded ourselves well, then maybe we can too, be famous, and perhaps more valuable to the world. If we are understated and quiet, do we not exist any longer? Fame is easily attainable with hyperbole
Jordan Grace Owens turns sketches and snapshots into handmade wonders. "A lot of themes in her work are derived from her affection for early-to-mid-century style art, music, film and design. She's a real sucker for a well-loved special vintage find, and she wants to give that same sense of quirky personality and preciousness to the items and images she makes."
see more at www.jordangrace.com
An installation of new paintings by Chris Milk Hulburt. Chris's bio summarizes him and his work beautifully:
"I paint the little things that I love.
The minutes in between.
for better or worse,
I taught me to paint.
See more of his distinctive creations at www.chrismilkhulburt.com
This is Canadian-based Suzanne Carlsen's first solo exhibition in America. She explains, "Playing on our expectations of what jewelry is, presenting fresh ways of thinking about ornament, value and recognition - my work is void of the typical diamonds, rubies and pearls. I balance hand embroidery and metal to present social symbols in unusual garb That which appears, upon first impression, to be merely a cute miniature, ultimately reveals itself to be an icon of memory, commemorating our surroundings, imitating our everyday life, and questioning our traditional ideas of home and place."
Anthony Tammaro shares, "My inspiration comes from jelly fish and cephalopod like creatures. Their soft bodies have the ability to flex and undulate while they float freely in their undersea environment. The bilateral body symmetry exhibited by these forms has led me to use a balanced odd and even numerical approach to my design decisions." His works redefine wearable, art, and creature by intersecting and transforming all three into couture jewelry.
See more at anthonytammaro.com
A beautiful collection of hand raised cups and spoons by Richmond artist Marion Sak. Hand raising is the process of forming an object, such as a hollow vessel, from a flat sheet of metal by alternately hammering and annealing.
About the Artist:
Marion Sak received her MFA in metal design from East Carolina University in 2007 under the instruction of Robert Ebendorf and Linda Darty. She also holds a BFA in jewelry and metals from the University of Georgia. Marion taught metals in the school of art at East Carolina and received multiple grants, scholarships and awards. She was the first person from Georgia to procure the academic common market scholarship for an MFA in metal design from North Carolina. Marion has also studied at the Penland School of Craft in North Carolina since 2002 and has assisted Kiwon Wang at Penland. She is currently an independent studio metalsmith with plans to reside in North Carolina.
The beauty of the metal itself and my obsession with the hammering process inspire the work i make. as a metalsmith, i explore metal forming techniques where kinetic energy leaves its hammer mark upon the metal. i am free and open as i hammer and i watch the form evolve, responding to the way the metal naturally wants to move and really enjoying the marks made by my hammer. the remnant is intentional and the reflection of light upon this patterning achieves the surface design that i desire in my work. when creating adornment for the body, i am drawn to the neckline and seek to illuminate the face. i create my work by forging silver and other metals, using fluid marks on the surface to emphasize reflected light.
Incredible mixed media works by Oura Sananikone will fill the vault. He has combined color, material, fun and funk in forms from t-shirts to plush toys to paintings. The man behind the tree sweater you may have seen in front of Quirk or around town, his work is sure to intrigue.
Aaron McIntosh explores stereotypes surrounding sexual emotions and identities. As he describes, "Sourcing romance novels, erotic magazines, personals ads and text messages, I extract miscellaneous and ambiguous bits of sexual language and symbolism and piece together drawings, collages and textile objects that subvert the original messages and context. Deconstructing these cultural signifiers opens up gaps in which I can reconstruct my own complicated narrative as a nerdy Appalachian queer guy. Manifested as a multi-layered collage of text, images, patterned cloth, personal clothing and found materials, these saturated works question our larger social constructions of normality and abnormality, pleasure and disturbance, high and low culture, as they pertain to ideas of love, romance, sex and sexuality."
Fascinated by the traumatic, Andrea Keys Connell's work combines the real, the dream and the nightmare into one. Merging the conscious and unconscious she questions the meaning of individualism, family, and collective culture and references the Social Realist Monuments and Hummel Figurines with their idealization of children/childhood.
"By portraying a glimmer of thought, a change in gesture or aim, the line between fantasy and reality is burred even more. By conveying the sense of the conscience in otherwise unconscious figures, I hope to stimulate pathos between the character's situation and the viewer."
An installation of larger than life sculpture that gives a nod to architecture and reconstruction.
Susann Whittier is a professional artist and teacher. Holding a BFA in sculpture from VCU and an MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art, she has shared her knowledge with several different art organizations in Richmond including the Appomattox Regional Governor's School, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Visual Arts Center.
She works with unusual materials to provoke thought, and questions about the ordinary and the relic. She cuts up and rearranges the discarded to ask why? and to remind us of the fleeting and transient moments that are the reality of life.
Jane Harrison's work is inspired by memories of a child love of the linen closet. "My activity there was solitary and intimate, as I designed and re-designed imaginary places. These places related to my connections to everyday life, the past, and to those I loved. It was a creative activity in which I was unconcerned about the usefulness of the space or the meaning of the results; however, in retrospect I realize I was playing with color, shape, placement, harmony. My arrangements always ended with space for me too. I never organized the tiny space from without, but I remained within the composition."
Her works combine different materials and meander through a maze of thought, texture and emotion, beckoning the viewer into their own linen closet.
Enter the reprieve that Aimee Joyeaux’s exquisite birds create. Joyeaux’s fascination with the winged creatures is both “sentimental and symbolic” as the birds alert one to danger and assuage one's fears. As Joyeaux explains:
“Like the canary in the coal mine, birds can be warning lights to environmental danger. Many of my birds have long legs to equip them for rising sea levels. The wrapping of fabric strips used in their construction is a kind of obsessive behavior that soothes my anxiety about things like the oil spills and the melting glaciers. I make flocks of them at a time so they have company. Art making is a way for me to process what I see and read and hear. I try to make beautiful things to assuage the scary things that the 24 hour news cycle won't let me forget”
These drawings are all versions of tattoos that Meg J. Roberts could probably never commit to. She has stories and reasons for choosing each animal (which we will not go into) but basically, they fall into two categories.
1) Those she has actually interacted with in her backyard or around the marshes and rivers of the Chesapeake Bay.
2) Those that she hopes to see some day. For now, she will settle for seeing them in dioramas at the Museum of Natural History.
Thumbnails of a life in color. A collection of pen and ink drawings embellished with colored pencil that reflect moments in the artist's life.
An installation of new drawings and mixed media sculpture.
A suspended installation of soft sculpture by Richmond artist Melody Gulick.
An exhibition of cast glass vegetables from the artist's garden. Materials: Pate de Verre (cast glass) pieces, cilored pencil on wood
Sayka Suzuki is intrigued by the beauty of forgotten curiosities. She breathes new life into decaying and otherwise abandoned objects, adding bright possibilities to the worlds she finds and we all encounter. "Alongside these notions of decay lies my hopefulness - by reincarnating the forms in cast glass, and challenging the way people see the forms, I investigate the possibilities as I rediscover forgotten histories and lives. My work captures my process of remembering and celebrating while simultaneously imagining our capacity to function as philanthropists."
Administrative Director & Assistant Professor in VCU's Department of Art History, Cindy Myron works in metal to create works of wonder. Uniquely twisting metal into both strikingly simple and elaborately ornate designs, she challenges the medium itself, turning sculptures into jewelry and vice versa. Her jewelry is part of Quirk Represents, Quirk's collection of innovative wearable works of art.
This month's Vault project is an installation of new jewelry by Marlene True. Marlene uses sterling silver mixed with found materials such and tin cans and plastic bottles to create completely unique brooches, pendants and earrings.
The Vault Project installation this month is by Matthew Szosz, the VCU Craft & Material Studies Resident.
Matt Szosz is the first emerging VCU Craft & Material Studies Resident, sponsored by the Fountainhead Development. Fellows are selected based on their innovative use of materials and ability to expand the definition of craft in their work.
This installation will run from 7/7-7/24
Nicole Baumann embraces the small things. Her carefully stitched paper creations ask us to remember the intangible, the small, the everyday. A playful mix of imaginative and nature, hr delicate images are carefully constructed compositions. Nicole is inspired by memories and relationships noting, "The recollection of familiar scenes and sentiments allows the imagination to interpolate information that may be missing as a result of passing time, thus causing a past experience to be corrupted by recollection. " A graduate of VCU where she earned both her BFA and MFA in Crafts and Material Studies, Nicole's work is widely exhibited and has earned her a Professional Artist Fellowship from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Self described as "A Kinetic Learner", Vilkas D'Angelo-Horvath has been practicing art since graduating Cum Laude from VCU in 1997. Earning two BFA's in 5 years, one in Painting and one in Sculpture, D'Angelo-Horvath integrates digital and traditional media to create fantastical designs.
Serena Pelissier grew up in a family of artists, but her own appreciation of visual art began when she was in college where she concentrated on foreign language. Pulled toward the studio arts she began drawing then painting. Now she creates compositions in textiles and paper. "The aim is to capture subtle mood, memory, and unabashed nostalgia, through color combinations that surprise, delight, and perhaps reach deep inside us."
In between hope and desperation “my country loves me and some day I'll be president” tells the story of the those who are treated as disposable humans finding strength to hope for more than what is expected of them.
The 2010 Vault Project kicks off with intriguing work by Tyler Payne. Payne's work elicits a sense of emotion and motion. The cross hatchings and frantic lines both invite you in and push you out.
Pam Shelor uses oils, oil pastels and oil sticks and beeswax to create visual relationships between images. Her works are created through a layering process of adding and removing, drawing and erasing, ultimately weaving together in a beautifully textured montage.
Jenny Mendes has exhibited her whimsical sculptures, ceramics, tiles, and jewelry nationally. For the past three years, she has been a resident artist at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. Her distinguished fantastical characters and faces are mysteriously alluring. You may have seen her bowls featured in Quirk's shop in the past; come see what she has installed in the Vault.
An image can evoke sound. A smell can call up a memory. Touch can speak of emotion. Through repetition and variation we understand the rhythm and cadence of making, of giving form to our idea. How we translate and recombine these beats gives us our own meaning and structure: connecting form to form, eye to hand, light to shadow, and form to void.
Just as the cup is both half full and half empty, there is more that one side to any story, more than one answer to a question. I can pick up the cup to drink or I can explore the undulating line and volume.
As I transform the clay into different shapes, I am challenged to express the duality of my material—that it is at the same time hard and soft, rigid and flowing. That it can suggest clay and fabric and metal is a part of the challenge and excitement of creating. The resulting pieces works, constructed of fixed and mutable components draw me through unexpected doorways even as the work itself moves across the wall or is stacked upon a pedestal.
My forms become bricks and windows, fabric scraps and building blocks. They can obscure or reveal. As forms can meander along the wall and my eye can explore space both within and around. These components frame a story and are a story in their own right---a language spoken in three dimensions.