The “Time Piece” series by Joan Dreyer is an ongoing project by the mixed media artist where she hand stitches tree bark collected over time. Each piece uses rings of stitches to create a circular pattern not unlike the rings of a tree. The hand stitched process creates a range of thick and thin rings that blend with the bark and create a kind of skin. Each piece is unique, while sharing similar qualities such as the small scale ( 5” x 5” x 2.5”), a palette of ochres, browns and grey and the silk hand-stitched backing on each of the pieces.
To paint a broad stroke, Joan’s art addresses life’s stages and the challenges that individuals face during the journey of their lives. Her work is subtle yet leaves a profound impact on viewers. The “Time Piece” body of work falls under what Joan has described as her “Mourning Series”.
I’ve felt that mourning was mostly about the loss of a person. My view expanded when I came across an essay by Nicole Davi called “Tree Clocks and Climate Change’ in “The Language of Trees”, a collection of essays, poems and drawings by Irish artist, Katie Holten.
Nicole Davi is a scientist who studies tree rings and travels to the far regions of the planet to measure tree ring samples from very old trees. Tree ring widths vary from year to year. ( In good years, the rings are wider than in tough years.) She describes tree ring records as “natural recorders” of climate – going back thousands of years. The records are one of the keys to understanding climate change in the past and what is possible in the future.
Climate change in our era has been “front of mind” for me this summer. While we’ve had impacts of extreme weather for some time – this year – it has become more and more frequent. In a way, I’m mourning a lost world and trying to figure out how to move forward in a time of uncertainty.
I’ve started thinking about the role of the artist in the era of climate change. How does it look? How does it feel? What do we mean when we talk about sustainability?
Joan’s Time Piece series reminds me of the cycles of life but also of our connection to each other, our past, our losses, our gifts but also our future.
We hope that you will join us this coming Saturday for an insightful conversation into the creative processes of Alonzo Davis and Chee Keong Kung at the Workhouse Center for the Arts in the Vulcan Gallery. There is plenty of parking at Lorton – North and South Parking Lots.
If this is your first time coming out to Workhouse, please check the campus map as well as the visitors information on the website.
Look for the Love Size on the campus central quad.
Alonzo J. Davis’ career as an artist spans four decades. A native of Tuskegee, Alabama, Davis moved with his family to Los Angeles in his early teens. After acquiring an undergraduate degree at Pepperdine College he earned an MFA in Printmaking and Design at Otis Art Institute. Influenced early on by the assemblagists, Davis soon took wing and began to experiment with a variety of mediums, techniques and themes. At the suggestion of artist and former professor, Charles White, Davis began to produce prints and paintings in series.
While he was inspired by travel to Africa, the Caribbean and American Southwest—the colors and patterns of the Pacific Rim cultures also seeped into Davis’ artwork. During the ‘70’s and early ‘80’s, Davis’ involvement in the California mural movement culminated with the 1984 Olympic Murals project. His Eye on ’84 is one of ten murals on the walls of the downtown Los Angeles Harbor Freeway.
Chee Keong Kung
Geometry and gestural mark-making are integral to Kung’s practice that is rooted in his training in art and architecture. Kung grew up in Singapore, where the rich diversity of cultures has indelibly shaped his approach to artmaking. He works with an evolving vocabulary informed by the cultural milieu and observations from natural and man-made environments. Kung is interested in the emotive resonance that grows out of the act of intent seeing and remembering. His process relies on discovery and invention while navigating the spaces between light and shadow, depth and flatness, and motion and stillness.
Kung’s works are in private, corporate, and institutional collections, including The National Museum Art Gallery of Singapore and The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.Born in Singapore, Kung studied art & architecture at the University of Houston and real estate at Cornell University.He lives and works in McLean, VA.
Score explores 20 years of the work of Virginia based mixed media artist, Joan Dreyer. While developing her MFA thesis at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA, Joan began taking tools, techniques and imagery that have been historically considered “women’s work” and transforming them into innovative, contemporary art that is responsive to the tone and tensions of our times. Created by combining fiber techniques with unexpected materials like X-rays, her work is a subtle art that asks questions about life, loss, symbolism and the impact of war instead of providing one size fits all answers . The artist’s work provides a space for the contemplationof life stages that we all encounter. The result is a body of work that allows for meaningful but also multiple interpretations by the viewer.
For more information about exhibits at the Workhouse Arts Center or artwork purchase inquiries, contact Audrey Miller firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Workhouse Arts Center on Instagram at @workhousearts, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WorkhouseArts and Twitter at @Workhouse_Arts. The Workhouse Arts Center is open to the public Wednesdays – Saturdays from 11 am to 6 pm, and Sundays from noon to 5 pm. Free public parking is available. A map of campus can be found online here.
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.
Slow Light IV by Chee Keong Kung
Wood, Metal Acrylic, color pencil, spray paint
14.5″ x 9″ x 1.5″
Chee’s work explores the tension between geometry and the gestural mark.
His work is in private, corporate, and institutional collections, including The National Museum Art Gallery of Singapore and The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Slow Light IV and others are available through Distinct Studios Fine Art.