Mclean based artist, Chee Keong Kung was born and raised in Singapore where the rich diversity of the culture continues to influence the development of his art. His process defined by exploration and experimentation has resulted in an evolving body of work.
Within the Mid-Atlantic region of the US, he has developed a reputation as a painter whose works display a vast sense of light-filled space and dynamism through the use of geometry and mark making. This body of work was just the beginning of his development.
His work has pushed beyond the boundary of the canvas as he moves his paintings off the wall into the three dimensional space. He works in series where heextends an idea through multiple pieces. The Slow Light seriesare mixed media assemblages that utilizespontaneous mark-making on the surface of the wood with metal being added as a mark in 3D space.
Works from the Slow Light series are available through distinctstudios.com on Chee’s DS artist’s page.
Theresa Martin is an artist based in Arlington, Virginia with the ability to create collages with a poignancy that evokes memory as well as mystery.
Her influences include echoes of Jospeh Cornell, Kurt Schwitters,and Lenore Tawney. Using “found” portraits, she creates halos from numbers and symbols and thereby transforms the work into a secular devotional icon.
As a graduate of the Corcoran in the mid-80’s, Theresa has honed her creative skills utilizing a wide range of media. Most recently she has been experimenting with open source AI tools into her work.
The collages in the video are available through distinctstudios.com. You can see the collection of additional available work at her DS Artist’s page.
Remember the word “Pivot”from early 2020? We pivoted to Zoom and online social interactions. Everything changed over night. In March of 2020, I was working with a team to install art exhibits at NOVA, when we were told to leave the building and go home. We left the art on the wall.Just like that.
As I head into a new year with the Distinct Studios project, I am grateful for my family, friends and clients but I am also certain about my word for 2023 – “Agility”.
I learned Agile Development while building interactive media in the early 2000’s.
Theagile practice is this:
Have an idea? Design it on paper and then prototype.
Test the prototype, make changes and then repeat until the concept is fully formed.
The goal is to “Fail Fast” but also efficiently and at a lower cost. The same iterative principle can be applied to creating art and small agile businesses.
“Fail Fast” is an entrepreneurial term.“Learn Fast” is my preferred mantra.
After we went into lockdown in 2020, I was constantly making adjustments. Plans were made and then the pandemic changed those plans. Did you ever have the thought in April of 2020 “We’ll open up again in a few months”? I can’t remember how many times I did.
I was “Learning Fast”.
As we shift away from the pandemic, it appears that we are in a new world.Art will continue to inspire and lift us but the economic environment istougher than it’s been in years.
In the coming year, I will continue my agile practice as I test concepts, revise and build.
Thank you for your support this past year. I look forward to sharing news of upcoming projects and travels in 2023.
My mother, Helen Schrider Higgins earned an MFA from Catholic University in Washington DC in 1955 at the age of 25. She was the first woman to be admitted to the MFA sculpture program at CU. ( She become a student at CU in the late 40’s not long after they admitted women to the school. )
As a child you don’t contextualize your parent.My memories as a child of the late 60’s and 70’s was one of being around art, artists and books. In lieu of dolls, I received pastels and sketchbooks as gifts. This was my norm. My context.
In her later years, she and I would – at least once a year – find ourselves having lunch in thecourtyard cafeof the West Wing at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. While we always talked about art, at these courtyard lunches we starting to go deep into her story and her experiencearound the emergent Washington DC art community of the 1950’s.
Our National Gallery conversations gave me a strong foundation when I had the opportunity last year to delve into the time periodof the 1950’s while collaborating with Catholic University on an exhibit of her art work.
In my research, I did a deep dive into Black Mountain College, the Bauhaus artists, Bernand Leach, Shoji Hamada and other influences.
One of the most interesting insights for me came from a book that I found at the Phillips Collections museum shop in a moment of serendipity.
It was “The Free World,Art and Thought in the Cold War” by Louis Menand, an English Professor at Harvard.
He did extensive research and wrote about culture in the time period that she came of age as an artist.
The insight from Menand was regarding the art critic/art world power broker Clement Greenberg.Yeah – that guy.
I was not aware that Greenberg received plenty of what we call today “pushback” during his heyday.
Greenberg constructed a top/down art world structure. In his peak years, Greenberg championed the abstract expressionists as the pinnacle of art. Later in the 60’s, he was overwhelmed by the popularity of pop art and his power within the art world of his time declined – although his writing maintained a strong hold on academia for decades.
The key point that I learned from “The Free World” was that the term “The Long Front of Culture” that was coined by the British art critic, Lawrence Alloway.
Alloway argued for the arts to be viewed as part of a continuum. There are multiple genealogies of art – not one.
I am simplifying the argument about what constitutes high art but my point is that there are and have always been many different ways to create.
There are so many more artists now than there were in the 1950’s. The art world is much more diverse.
What moves you? What excites you? What do you want to see everyday?
The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War, Louis Menand, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 97803741584158453,
Distinct Studios Artist, Adjoa J. Burrowes is featured in a recent Hyperallergic’s A View from the Easel feature. I am delighted that Adjoa’s studio is in a recent Hyperallergic post. Thank you Hyperallergic!!
Click on the link and scroll or swipe down. Adjoa’s studio is the second feature.