I am currently painting scenes of groups of people in Meridian Hill/Malcom X park. While researching the history of the park, I came across the phrase “a pleasure park” used to describe it’s intended use. The pursuit of pleasure is a survival instinct that heals and nourishes the soul. The pandemic from 2020 through 2023 disrupted so many lives, including my own. My paintings of Meridian Hill/Malcom X park depict Washingtonians pursuing natural and familiar pleasures including sharing meals, exercising, enjoying fresh air, rest and human connection. The paintings celebrate the joy of once again gathering in public spaces after too much time spent in isolation during the pandemic. “Don’t Tell”, “It’s a Family Affair”, “Take a Break,” and “You Don’t Say” depict scenes of reconnection and joy. They are about fun Sunday afternoons sharing picnic lunches with family and listening and dancing to the beats of the drumming circle in their beloved park.
Workhouse Arts Center Announces New Art Exhibition Opening
Irreplaceable: Paintings by Sally Kauffman
Curated by Mary Welch Higgins
March 25 – June 11, 2023
Second Saturday Exhibition Reception, April 8, 2023, 4 – 6 PM
Lorton, VA – ( March 2023) The Workhouse Arts Center announces the opening of the new exhibition, Irreplaceable: Paintings by Sally Kauffman. The exhibition is on view from March 25 through June 11, 2023, in the Workhouse’s McGuireWoods Gallery (W-16). There is a public exhibition reception Saturday, April 8, 2023, 4 – 6 PM.
Irreplaceable is an exhibit of abstract yet allusory paintings by DC area artist, Sally Kauffman. Kauffman works in series and is known for paintings depicting groups of people engaged in communal activities. In her most recent series, she turns her eye to the plight of endangered and extinct species. Her high contrast color palettes and adventurous brushwork are reminiscent of the abstract expressionistic movement of the 20th Century. Yet her goal to increase awareness of the species represented in her work calls to mind Romanticism, a late 18th century artistic and intellectual movement that promoted the power of the creativity and the arts to raise awareness and thus transform circumstance.
By memorializing the energy, diversity and beauty of birds and butterflies in flight, cats, turtles and fish, she honors their place in our ecosystem while drawing attention to their plight. She recognizes that some viewers may simply enjoy the beauty of the paintings and animals represented. There may be others that do not notice the plastic bags and ropes entangling the turtles that are painted to represent just one of the ways that humankind’s actions have impacted the endangered animals. Finally, others may enjoy the paintings and decide to dive deeper to discover that these extraordinary creatures are threatened or already extinct. Kauffman’s paintings remind us that art has the power to raise awareness and create change.
Goodwin House – Alexandria from March 2 – April 14, 2023
Location: 4800 Fillmore Ave, Alexandria, VA 22311
Parking: Please park in visitors lot. You will need to sign in to enter the building.
On a recent trip to Seoul for a joint exhibition with Sunhee Kim Jung, I was asked what I most admiredabout South Korea.My answer was the connection between architecture and nature.The mountains surrounding Seoul, the trees, palaces, temples, traditional as well as contemporary architecture seemed connected – integrated.
After returning, I see Sunhee’s work exploring nature and our relationship to it in a new way.
Her series named The Island painted during the height of the pandemic is inspired by the Transom windows in her home.(The primary purpose of the transom window is to increase natural light. )
In this series, the viewer peers through the narrow window or “picture frame” to view nature.
Even when we are not in nature, the idea of it can create a sense of peace in the midst of solitude. Sunhee creates a visual poem by using color symbolically to represent different emotions that working together – create a haven for the soul.
I am please to announce that Sunhee’s Island series will be on exhibit at the Goodwin House – Alexandria from March 2 – April 11, 2023.
The Island Series paintings are available through Distinct Studios. Please visit Sunhee’s artist page to view details and to inquire about availability. Thank you for reading!
Window, National Contemporary Museum of Art
National Contemporary Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea. Photo Credit: Mary Welch Higgins