On View: January 8 - February 13, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, January 8, 7-9pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, February 13, 3pm
Please join Civilian Art Projects for the first exhibition of 2016, the gallery's tenth year of operations. Civilian's January show "Mutations" features Pam Rogers, Bonner Sale, and Stephanie Williams.
In three distinct practices including sculpture, painting, works on paper, and site-specific installation, a narrative world unfolds in the gallery that is both visually seductive and conceptually driven. Much like reality, it is a seemingly whole environment fragmented into distinct parts, structures, and visual representations. Layers unfold to reveal hidden meaning where a peaceful trust is made with the unfamiliar, and a new understanding created.
If there is a thread to be found between the artists, it is in their exploration of relationship – relationship to self; to the world; and to the past, present, and future. Central to relationship is our destiny to evolve. To survive we must adapt, and at times this adaptation can feel like a complete mutation. Once comforting scenarios become something altogether different , where what was once certain is no longer absolute. The challenge is not merely to let go, or go with the flow, but to transform and reveal the spirit that holds it all together.
Pam Rogers’ works on paper and installation, according to the artist, is “an exploration into how individuals nurture and develop relationships, societies and ideas and then create carefully crafted identities based in these themes, all in the context of botanic imagery.” Her work for the exhibition “explores the relationship between humanity and the natural world where nature is challenged, contorted, filtered and reborn.” She writes, “In examining the relationship between people, plants, and place, I continually try to weave the strings of art and agriculture and myth and magic, healing and hurting into an inquisitive whole that calls us to look at germination of a sustainable future both individually and collectively.”
Bonner Sale makes vibrantly hued gouache paintings on paper. The series, Troubled Magic, describes a make-believe dystopian world, a lost society of mutated beings. According to the artist, “Through living through moral conflict and disharmony, stories of redemption, transcendence and free will reveal themselves. Typically found in my paintings are hybrid monsters, sorcerer animals, and post humans interacting in a pre-technological environment. This world pays tribute to fantasy films and toys I enjoyed as child, and the adventures I would have within those stories and ideas. The process of painting and creating these pieces transports myself back into those worlds or tropes. To paint new stories is to apply my experiences in life into what I dreamt of in childhood.”
Stephanie Williams creates sculptural installations—from found and made objects inspired by meat, lowbrow 70s sci-fi, and 80s children’s toys—as a gesture of hope and an offering of acceptance. Her site-specific piece made for the exhibition, “Petitionary Prayers for Absent Grace,” engages a maturing concept of mutation from one of defect to an “embodiment, a potential queering against expected notions of self.” According to Williams, “As a collection of seemingly disparate parts, found fabric clippings and tacky remnants, these pieces are able to provide clarity only through their combination. The work tells the story of queer identity through its pieces.”
Pam Rogers has a BA in Art History from Wellesley College, an MFA in Painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Botanical Illustration through program based in Kew Gardens, England. Additionally, she has studied Art History and Anthropology at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Currently she is a resident in the competitive residency program at the Arlington Arts Center in Arlington, Virginia. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally while recent solo shows include the Greater Reston Arts Center in Reston VA, Gintner Botanic Gardens in Richmond VA and Hillyer Art Space in Washington DC. Pam has worked in numerous curatorial positions as a Visual Resource Curator both at Wellesley College and Emory University. She was selected to receive a fellowship with the DCAC Curator/Mentor Program and was a 2015 Mentor with the Strathmore Mentor/Mentee Program. She has received fellowships at multiple artist residency programs including the Ucross Foundation, I-Park, and Hambidge Center for the Arts, Ragdale Art Center and Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Pam currently works as an independent illustrator on various projects for the Anthropology Dept of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.
Bonner Sale has been painting the fantasy narrative collection Troubled Magic since 2009. He received his Bachelors of Fine Arts at Maryland Institute College of Arts in 2005, and he completed his Masters of Fine Arts at American University in 2009. His work has been shown locally at Nudashank Gallery, Hole in Sky Gallery, the Kennedy Center and Delicious Spectacle. His work has been featured in Trop Magazine, Studio Visit and was featured in the Washington Post list of "Top 20 local shows of 2012". He resides with his wife and two cats in Kensington, Md.
Stephanie Williams received her MFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has shown both nationally and internationally including Washington Project for the Arts, Geborgen Kamers, the DC Arts Center, the Arlington Arts Center, Transformer Gallery, and Lawrence University’s Wriston Art Center with reviews in the Huffington Post and the Washington Post. She has received fellowships from both the Vermont Studio Center and the Toby Devan Lewis Foundation. She has recently shown with The Wassaic Project’s summer exhibition, Deep End, in New York, Gwarlingo Press’ national book project and exhibition Mirror Mirrored: A Contemporary Artist Edition of Grimms’ Tales based in New Hampshire, as well as curating for Pebble Drinkers at Gallery Aferro in Newark, NJ. This past summer Williams was a resident artist at Chicago based, ACRE (Artist’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions) located in Steuben, WI. Williams is currently based in Washington, DC.