Visual Arts

Contain, Maintain, Sustain

In Collaboration with the Washington Sculptors Group & the Washington Project for the Arts

May 19 - July 17, Curator's Talk Sat. June 25, 3pm
Terrace Gallery

Saturday, June 25, 3 pm  :  Curator's Talk with Ernesto Santalla, AIA, LEED AP, Studio Santalla, Inc.

Welmoed Laanstra,  Public Art Curator, Arlington Cultural Affairs
Sara Reisman:  Director, Percent for Art Program, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
Ernesto Santalla: DC based architect, interior and graphic designer.

Artisphere, Washington Project for the Arts (WPA), and Washington Sculptors Group (WSG) have partnered to present Contain, Maintain, Sustain, an exhibition which was conceived to take stock of the ways in which concerns around sustainability are being articulated and visualized by contemporary artists today.

Curators Welmoed Laanstra, Sara Reisman, and Ernesto Santalla selected a group of 24 international and locally-based artists to present work that activates and complicates the local/global dynamic that has historically framed ideas about reuse and conservation of environmental resources.

Participating artists include Jane Benson (Brooklyn, NY), Michael Booker (College Park, MD), Greg Braun (Hartwood, VA), Carlos Bunga (Barcelona, Spain), Michael Cataldi (Brooklyn, NY), Ronit Eisenbach (Takoma Park, MD), Gregory Euclide (Le Sueur, MN), Tom Greaves (Washington, DC), Rachel Higgins (Brooklyn, NY), Christopher K.  Ho (New York, NY),  Mariah Anne Johnson (Washington, DC), Morgana King (New Orleans, LA), Barbara Liotta (Washington, DC), LoVid (New York, NY), Mary Mattingly (New York, NY), Jens Praet (Florence, Italy), Cordy Ryman (New York, NY), Katrín Sigurdardóttir (New York, NY), Dan Steinhilber (Washington, DC), Tattfoo Tan (Staten Island, NY), Katja Toporski (Takoma Park, MD), Lina Vargas De La Hoz (Silver Spring, MD), Julia von Eichel (Brooklyn, NY), and Ishmael Randall Weeks (Brooklyn, NY and Cusco, Peru).

The exhibition title, Contain, Maintain, Sustain, implicates artwork as the matter of contemporary life, proof of our existence. Like the slogan “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” Contain, Maintain, Sustain suggests a cyclical and circular arc in the ongoing transformation of material and content that is embedded in many of the works in the exhibition. The notion of sustainability—including acts of ecological remediation—is realized through projects by Mary Mattingly, Michael Cataldi, Tattfoo Tan, and Jens Praet. These artists explore how reconsidering once-used objects can lead to innovative design solutions, while other artists—Michael Booker, Dan Steinhilber, Katja Toporski, Cordy Ryman, and Mariah Anne Johnson—look at the ways in which literal reuse and repurposing of everyday objects test the use value of art itself. Projects by Morgana King, Lina Vargas de la Hoz, and Rachel Higgins address containment of material like fuel, textiles, and trash through very differently scaled experimental architectures, questioning how we hold it all together.

Working in sculpture, installation, video, and collage, Ishmael Randall Weeks, Katrín Sigurdardóttir, Carlos Bunga, Jane Benson, LoVid, Tom Greaves, Christopher K. Ho, and Gregory Euclide reflect on a new cultural and ecological landscape which affords, and, at times, requires an exploration of the possibilities for transformation of disused recognizable objects into fantastic terrains. Attempting to sustain a sense of balance and temporality, Barbara Liotta, Ronit Eisenbach, and Greg Braun all work site-specifically within the framework of the Artisphere's architecture to reveal contemporary, real-time examples of art that is at least partially defined by the contours of its superstructure.

Download the Contain, Maintain Sustain brochure

Washington Post review

About the Curators

Welmoed Laanstra is the Public Art Projects Curator, Arlington Cultural Affairs, Arlington County, Virginia. She is based in Takoma Park, MD.  Sara Reisman is the Director of Percent for Art Program, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Sara lives and works in New York, NY and has curated numerous exhibitions both nationally and internationally and written extensively about contemporary art. Ernesto Santalla is an architect, interior and graphic designer, whose firm, Studio Santalla, Inc., is located in Washington, DC

Image: Morgana King :  Bush Dynasty Vessel, circa 1989 - 2008
Ceramic, mixed media, 2008

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