News & Press

08.12.14

CULTURALDC ANNOUNCES 2014-15 MEAD THEATRE LAB PROGRAM SEASON

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PRESS RELEASE
CONTACT: JOHN RICHARDS
202.315.1322 | john@culturaldc.org

CULTURALDC ANNOUNCES
2014-15 MEAD THEATRE LAB PROGRAM SEASON

Washington, DC – CulturalDC is pleased to announce the 2014-15 Mead Theatre Lab Program season. CulturalDC will present five new works for the stage representing some of the city’s most exciting emerging artists. The season kicks-off with Rachel Hynes’ HALF-LIFE followed by Otis Ramsey-Zoe + banished? Productions’ TYGER, Rob Jansen’s THE TRAMP’S NEW WORLD, and work in progress performances of Goldie Deane’s SURRENDER and Annalisa Dias’ CROOKED FIGURE.

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Rachel Hynes (Small)Rachel Hynes: HALF-LIFE
January 29 – February 22, 2015

HALF LIFE is a zombie-themed, devised physical theatre piece for two performers. It is a rarely told story about the shift from girlhood to adulthood that unfolds around age 30. The main character, Regina, is a survivor of a car accident trying to “get back into her life.” Bloody and looking “undead,” no one will let her. Using the zombie metaphor and dark humor, we see a period in a young woman’s life where she is stripped of everything she knows and thrust into a half-state of living and grieving what’s been lost.

 

 

Otis Ramsey-Zoe + banished? Productions: TYGER
April 16 – 26, 2015 

Otis Ramsey-Zoe (Small)

TYGER explores the holes in our lives: the holes that we are born with, those we acquire through living, and the ones created by memory and the transformation of experiences over time. The performance interrogates ritual as a means to remedy those holes and resolve loss while grappling with the plural and evasive nature of truth. Development of the piece began in June 2013, but shifted unexpectedly when collaborators experienced a sudden loss. As creators found themselves negotiating the very issues that were central to TYGER, the project was reworked to encompass this experience.

 

Rob Jansen: THE TRAMP’S NEW WORLDRob Jansen (Small)
May 7 – May 24, 2015

THE TRAMP’S NEW WORLD is a new multidisciplinary theatrical work combining projection, physical comedy, music, cinema, and silent film technique. This one-man show adapts Pulitzer Prize winner James Agee’s lost tragicomic screenplay treatment involving Charlie Chaplin’s “Tramp” character as the lone survivor of a super-atomic blast to the stage for the first time.

 

WORKS IN PROGRESS 

 

Goldie Dean (Small)SURRENDER By Goldie Deane
Sunday, October 5, 2014 @ 7:30pm

SURRENDER is a new hip-hop theatre piece and is a ritual performance of music, dance, and verse, telling the story of  a young woman, and her rites into womanhood. A biographical piece, this show combines, mix-tape performance styles with traditional Yoruba rituals and traditions.  In SURRENDER, we experience how Egbe and Egun, (spirit guides and ancestors) lead the main character, Goldie, to revisit the past, in order to confront issues of identity, love, and spirituality, in a desperate attempt to find peace of mind and purpose.

 

Crooked FigureCROOKED FIGURE By Annalisa Dias
Monday, February 2, 2015 @ 7:30pm 

Using heightened visual storytelling, this production combines physical theatre, mask work, as well as original music and text. A young woman begins her journey as an artist and gets lost along the way. What does it mean to be a creator? Where does inspiration come from? What is an artist’s power? Using mask work and physical theatre, CROOKED FIGURE examines the origin of inspiration and the power behind the creative process.

 

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The Mead Theatre Lab Program offers intensive production assistance for performing artists, writers, directors, producers and independent theatre companies. CulturalDC encourages artists to develop new, risk-taking work, explore the artistic process in innovative ways and collaborate with artists working in a variety of disciplines.  Additionally, artists and curators participate in Flash Forums, a program designed to help develop and incubate upcoming projects. Flash Forums fosters a meaningful dialogue with a community of fellow visual & performing artists, panelists and our staff, and gives participants an opportunity to ask questions, gain feedback and compare notes.

The productions were recommended by an advisory panel of prominent DC-area arts professionals including Michael Bobbitt, Artistic Director, Adventure Theatre-MTC, Michael Kyrioglou, Theatre Services Manager, TheatreWashington; and Peter Miller, Board Member, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Deb Sivigny, Freelance Costume Designer and Artist-in-Residence at Georgetown University.  The advisory panel also provides mentoring and professional development throughout the creation of each production.

ABOUT THE MEAD THEATRE LAB PROGRAM
CulturalDC’s Mead Theatre Lab program is an intensive mentorship program for performing artists and independent theatre companies. The program provides theatre space, technical production support and production mentoring. A panel of noted DC theatre professionals recommends projects and provides guidance to the chosen producers. The result is an eclectic group of innovative, edgy productions and an environment in which emerging performing artists can grow.

The Mead Theatre Lab Program at Flashpoint, a CulturalDC project, is generously sponsored by Jayvee Mead. Additional support is provided by The Dallas Morse Coors Foundation for the Performing Arts, the Max & Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, the Mary & Daniel Loughran Foundation, The Washington Post Company and The Weissberg Foundation.

CulturalDC is generously supported by the Kresge Foundation, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, The Marpat Foundation, The Abramson Family Foundation, The Community Foundation for the National Capitol Region, The National Endowment for the Arts, Jon and NoraLee Sedmak, Washington Gas, Daimler, Microsoft, Edward Lenkin & Roselin Atzwanger, Nordstrom, Inc. and Marvin.

Visit the CulturalDC website at culturaldc.org and follow CulturalDC @DCArtists on social media for updates on these exciting projects!
#WeMakeSpaceForArt

ABOUT FLASHPOINT
Flashpoint, a CulturalDC project, is a multi-disciplinary arts space. Flashpoint includes a contemporary art gallery, the 75-seat Mead Theatre Lab, the Coors Dance Studio and shared office space for arts organizations.

CulturalDC • 916 G St, NW • Washington, DC 20001
General: 202.315.1305 • Press: 202.315.1322 • Fax: 202.315.1303 Email: john@culturaldc.org

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07.16.14

CULTURALDC RECEIVES 2014 NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS (NEA) OUR TOWN GRANT

CulturalDC Header

PRESS RELEASE
CONTACT: JOHN RICHARDS
202.315.1322 | john@culturaldc.org

Arts-based Community Development Investment for Washington, DC
CulturalDC’s Storefronts DC one of 66 National Endowment for the Arts Our Town projects selected nationwide

WASHINGTON, DC – National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu announced plans to award 66 Our Town grants totaling $5.073 million and reaching 38 states in the Our Town program’s fourth year of funding.  CulturalDC is pleased to announce that Washington, DC has been selected to host one of these projects with funding recommended to Northeast DC for a total of $73,000.

This year’s Our Town projects demonstrate again that art is as fundamental to a community’s success as land-use, transportation, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety, helping build stronger communities that are diverse in geography and character. Since Our Town’s inception in 2011 and including these projects, the NEA will have awarded 256 Our Town grants totaling more than $21 million in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The NEA grant will support Storefronts DC, to be implemented as Arts Connect Northeast, a series of art installations and creative pop-up projects to activate vacant spaces and connect adjacent neighborhoods.  As partnerships are a strategic priority for CulturalDC, we are delighted to partner with Atlas Performing Arts Center and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) as well as local business owners, residents, and institutions, such as nearby Gallaudet University, to implement the project.  Local area artists will have the opportunity to create work for public display.  As many as eight vacant or public sites will be activated by artists, to serve the 200,000 residents living in the northeast D.C. neighborhoods of H Street, Benning Road, NoMa, and Union Market.

“Through Our Town funding, arts organizations continue to spark vitality that support neighborhoods and public spaces, enhancing a sense of place for residents and visitors alike,” said Chairman Chu.

“CultualDC is thrilled to be selected among the recipients of the NEA Our Town Grant. We applaud NEA’s for its efforts,” added CulturalDC Executive Director Juanita Hardy. “We know that art has the ability to transform communities, as we have experienced many times over our 16 years of working to “make space for art” in communities throughout the City.”

“The Atlas is pleased to join with Cultural DC to implement Arts Connect Northeast,” shares Atlas Executive Director Douglas Yeuell. “By leveraging Cultural DC’s visual arts experience and our network of dynamic performance artists we’ll reach beyond our doors to engage our neighbors and community with electric performances and arts experiences.”

“The Our Town grant from the NEA will allow us and our partners to showcase the vibrancy of our community through the arts,” said Lionell Thomas, Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

The NEA received 275 applications for Our Town this year. Recommended grant amounts ranged from $25,000 to $200,000.

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Our Town grant support, please visit the NEA web site at www.arts.gov . Project descriptions, grants listed by state and by project type, and resources are available as well.

#NEAOurTown14

ABOUT CULTURALDC 

CulturalDC makes space for art by creating opportunities for artistic innovation, connecting artists, arts organizations, developers and government agencies to facilitate economic and cultural vibrancy in the Washington DC area. Our efforts ensure that there are spaces and resources for artists and arts organizations to live, create, exhibit and perform throughout the Washington area.

CulturalDC is generously supported by the Kresge Foundation, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, The Marpat Foundation, The Abramson Family Foundation, The Community Foundation for the National Capitol Region, The National Endowment for the Arts, Jon and NoraLee Sedmak, Washington Gas, Daimler, Microsoft, Edward Lenkin & Roselin Atzwanger, Nordstrom, Inc. and Marvin.

Follow CulturalDC @DCArtists on social media for updates on this exciting project!

#WeMakeSpaceForArt

CulturalDC • 916 G St, NW • Washington, DC 20001
General: 202.315.1305 • Press: 202.315.1322 • Fax: 202.315.1303
Email: john@culturaldc.org

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1_Adam Hager_Labor Day (996x1280)
07.08.14

Adam Hager’s Between Fact and Fiction Opens at Flashpoint Gallery on August 8

1_Adam Hager_Labor Day (996x1280)

PRESS RELEASE
CONTACT: JOHN RICHARDS
john@culturaldc.org | 202.315.1322

ADAM HAGER: BETWEEN FACT AND FICTION
August 8 – September 6 at Flashpoint Gallery
OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, August 8, 6-8PM

WASHINGTON, DC – Between Fact and Fiction, a solo exhibition of interactive sculpture by DC-based artist Adam Robert Hager, will be on display at Flashpoint Gallery from August 8 – September 6, 2014.  As an object maker, Hager creates inventions about the strangeness of everyday items as they relate to function and non-function.  He develops a relationship with mechanical objects through the process of taking them apart and transforms the history within them to make fictitious, strangely integrated, yet well-crafted combinations.

In Between Fact and Fiction, Hager offers a glimpse into his “mad scientist” approach to art making through a hands-on experience with his inventions.  Among the work in the gallery, viewers are invited to operate music boxes built into a spinal cord, throw a fastball with a drill motor, engage with a giant “cast-man” made from erector sets and body braces, and hand-crank clunky industrial gears that spin a graceful carousel of airplanes overhead.  Hager explains, “My new body of work feels both eerily dangerous as well as enticingly playful.”

By flirting between risky and lighthearted interaction, Hager intensifies the viewers’ impulse to operate objects for their intended purposes. However, by opposing natural functions, he challenges the associations people have with everyday items. While still referencing their origins, familiar objects develop new personalities, and interwoven relationships are established between unrelated items.

ABOUT THE ARTIST Adam Hager is an interdisciplinary artist who works in sculpture, drawing, and installation.  Originally from the Chicago area, he moved to Washington in 2010 following an artist residency at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York.  He received his MFA in 2012 from American University in Washington DC, where he currently lives and works. Hager has exhibited in the Chicago area and throughout the east coast. His work is a part of numerous collections including the District of Columbia’s Commission for the Arts and Humanities Art Bank, and he was recently honored to be one of this year’s Trawick Prize winners.

ABOUT CULTURALDC’S VISUAL ARTS PROGRAM CulturalDC operates Flashpoint and produces public art interventions throughout DC. We nurture talented emerging and mid-career artists by providing opportunities for peer learning and mentorship. At Flashpoint Gallery we showcase bold, new work from artists working in a variety of media including site-specific installations, performance pieces, new media and other experimental forms. As a nonprofit gallery free from the constraints of commercial expectations, Flashpoint provides artists and curators a unique opportunity to take creative risks. An advisory panel of noted artists and arts professionals makes programming recommendations for the gallery and provides mentorship and support to exhibiting artists.

CulturalDC is generously supported by the Kresge Foundation, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, The Marpat Foundation, The Abramson Family Foundation, The Community Foundation for the National Capitol Region, The National Endowment for the Arts, Jon and NoraLee Sedmak, Washington Gas, Daimler, Microsoft, Edward Lenkin & Roselin Atzwanger, Nordstrom, Inc. and Marvin.

ABOUT FLASHPOINT Flashpoint is a multi-disciplinary arts space. Flashpoint includes a contemporary art gallery, the 75-seat Mead Theatre Lab, the Coors Dance Studio and shared office space for arts organizations.

Adam Hager: Between Fact and Fiction
Opening Reception: Friday, August 8, 6-8pm
Exhibition Dates: August 8 – September 6, 2014
Flashpoint Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12-6pm or by appointment
For more information: Call 202.315.1305 or Visit www.culturaldc.org

CulturalDC • 916 G St, NW • Washington, DC 20001
General: 202.315.1305 • Press: 202.315.1322 • Fax: 202.315.1303 • Email: john@culturaldc.org

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Judy Rushin
05.09.14

Artist Q&A: Judy Rushin

Judy Rushin opens her exhibit Between Us: Variance Invariance Project by Judy Rushin & at Flashpoint Gallery on Friday, May 16. Learn more about Judy in our latest artist Q&A!

Judy RushinWho is your favorite living artist? Why?
It’s hard to single out one artist but I immediately think of Michelle Grabner because she addresses a kind of abstraction that has to do with labor, daily life, and process. Her work carries a warm pulse. I also really respect the profoundly poetic work of Francis Alys. But as a painter I am drawn to all the struggle and rigor in Tomma Abts beautiful, small paintings. Sorry, that was three.

Who is your favorite deceased artist? Why?
It may be a toss-up between Agnes Martin and the Brazilian Neo-Concrete artist, Helio Oiticica. Martin’s work was about her awareness of perfection and her acceptance that it was unattainable. I like that idea. I also really relate to and appreciate Oiticica’s performative response to Minimalism. As an artist from a second world country his work was unpretentious in a way that European Modernism couldn’t be, yet he repurposed that language to engage the viewer in very inventive ways. As a woman I get that.

What kind of soundtrack motivates you or inspires your work?
Everyone in my family is a musician except for me, and I like music a lot. That said, the soundtrack I like most for working is the ambient sound of the world filtering into my studio.

How did you begin your work as an artist?
Like most of the students I teach, I liked to draw when I was in high school. It began there and then I discovered Minimal and Conceptual art in college and I was hooked.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Probably an architect. I think I’d also be happy as a veterinarian or a baker. 

What role do you see art fulfilling in the greater community?
Agitator, revealer of the overlooked, challenger and transformative agent.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve found yourself doing for art?
I do small things that other people probably think are weird, but that I think of as perfectly normal. Some of these things are little experiments like sending a painting through the mail unwrapped to give the UPS workers something to scratch their heads about.

What is your favorite piece/project you have worked on?
Variance Invariance gave me permission to let go of control, so it is my most recent favorite. After this project is over I will be giving the sets over to a collaborative project with two other artists – Christi Blizard and Levente Sulyok. Christi has organized an exhibition featuring all three of us individually, called Verbing Painting, and in the conversations about that show we began to talk about collaborations. I think my favorite work is always in front of me.

What work are you most proud of?
I can’t say I feel a sense of pride about my work, but I do feel happy when it is successful.

 

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Judy Rushin
05.01.14

Judy Rushin’s Between Us: Variance Invariance Project by Judy Rushin & Opens at Flashpoint Gallery on May 16

Judy Rushin

PRESS RELEASE
CONTACT: JOHN RICHARDS
john@culturaldc.org | 202.315.1322

BETWEEN US: VARIANCE INVARIANCE PROJECT BY JUDY RUSHIN &
May 16 – June 21, 2014 at FLASHPOINT GALLERY
OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, May 16, 6-8PM

WASHINGTON, DC – Between Us: Variance Invariance Project by Judy Rushin &, an exhibition of modular paintings and their collaborative compositions by Judy Rushin and various participants, will be on view at Flashpoint Gallery from May 16 – June 21, 2014. Judy Rushin is known for her abstract, modular paintings that comment on contemporary mobility. The work on exhibit, Variance Invariance, is a participatory project that uses abstract painting as a pre-fab systems to create active art experiences. A catalog of the exhibition will be available.

The exhibition will include four sets of modular paintings that shipped to various participants over the course of six months; tokens of exchange given to the artist by her collaborators; and documentation of the work in her collaborators’ living rooms, yurts, houseboats, yards and galleries.

“Upon entering the elegantly packaged and carefully designed crate, I began to unpack the considered structures and vibrant forms you had sent my way. While one could see them as surfaces with their own integrity and internal logic, the invitation to explore how they could create something new was enticing.” – Thomas Berding (artist)

ABOUT THE ARTIST
Judy Rushin is an artist and educator who has exhibited nationally and internationally. Her most recent exhibitions include Terrain Projects, Chicago; Threewalls Project Space, Chicago; The Orlando Museum of Art; Alexander Brest Museum, Jacksonville, FL; Soho20 Gallery, NYC; Kiang Projects, Atlanta; Co-Lab Projects, Austin; and N-Space, Austin. She has been featured three times in New American Paintings in addition to the New American Paintings blog, Modern Art Notes and Burnaway Magazine. Rushin is currently collaborating with Small Craft Advisory Press (Tallahassee, FL) to produce an affordable collectors edition of ViV miniatures.

ABOUT CULTURALDC’S VISUAL ARTS PROGRAM
CulturalDC operates Flashpoint and produces public art interventions throughout DC. We nurture talented emerging and mid-career artists by providing opportunities for peer learning and mentorship. At Flashpoint Gallery we showcase bold, new work from artists working in a variety of media including site-specific installations, performance pieces, new media and other experimental forms. As a nonprofit gallery free from the constraints of commerical expectations, Flashpoint provides artists and curators a unique opportunity to take creative risks. An advisory panel of noted artists and arts professionals makes programming recommendations for the gallery and provides mentorship and support to exhibiting artists.

CulturalDC is generously supported by Bank of America Charitable Foundation, The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, Graham Holdings Company, The Kresge Foundation, the MARPAT Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Nordstrom, Prince Charitable Trusts, The Share Fund of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region and many other generous partners. Marvin is CulturalDC’s 2013-14 wine partner.

ABOUT FLASHPOINT
Flashpoint is a multi-disciplinary arts space. Flashpoint includes a contemporary art gallery, the 75-seat Mead Theatre Lab, the Coors Dance Studio and shared office space for arts organizations.

Judy Rushin: Between Us: Variance Invariance Project by Judy Rushin &
Opening Reception: Friday, May 16, 6-8pm
Exhibition Dates: May 16 – June 21, 2014
Flashpoint Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12-6pm or by appointment
For more information: Call 202.315.1305 or visit www.culturaldc.org

CulturalDC • 916 G St, NW • Washington, DC 20001
General: 202.315.1305 • Press: 202.315.1322 • Fax: 202.315.1303
Email: john@culturaldc.org

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headshot_biondo (2)
04.02.14

ARTIST Q&A: EMILY BIONDO

Emily Biondo + Bradford Barr open their exhibit, Touch Me, on April 4 at Flashpoint Gallery. Find more about Emily and her history of crafting in our latest artist Q&A!

headshot_biondo (2)Who is your favorite living artist? Why?
I don’t have one favorite, but some of my current favorites are: Lynda Benglis for her experimentation with material and form; Nina Katchadourian for her imagination; Diana Al- Hadid and Yayoi Kusama for their otherworldly transformation of ordinary material and provocation of awe; Ai Weiwei for his bravery; Glenn Ligon for his spot-on culture selfreflection/brilliance; Tomás Saraceno for immersing viewers in his work and compelling them to interact; Ernesto Neto for using the often discarded sense of smell in his work; and Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller for their inspiring audio interactions. I am constantly amazed by Cardiff’s 40 Part Motet.

Who is your favorite deceased artist? Why?
Eva Hesse and Louise Bourgeoise—Eva Hesse for her intricate use of textiles and text and Louise Bourgeoise for creating such honest, emotionally groundbreaking work.

What kind of soundtrack motivates you or inspires your work?
I always watch movies or TV series instead of music. Recently it’s been Walking Dead, Dexter, True Detective and Breaking Bad (I just got Netflix). Following plot lines make me think about concepts for work more than hearing music.

How did you begin your work as an artist?
Probably when my mother’s family taught me how to craft. Crafting and writing has been an extensive part of my history, which led to my undergrad work, grad work, ultimately shaped my art interests into what they currently are. It wasn’t until grad school that I discovered the vast world of electronics, but since then it has always played a part in my concepts.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
A digital and print designer (which I also am). My retirement plan is to open a bakery.

What role do you see art fulfilling in the greater community?
I want art—particularly mine—to provoke dialogue about societal truths, quirks, and commonalities. Additionally, I want to see work that spans multiple genres (tech and art, architecture and art, art and design, design and politics) to flourish and provide greater understanding within the community for both fields through their combination.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve found yourself doing for your art?
Doing repetitive tasks (crocheting, folding, cutting, soldering) for weeks while fully knowing that they can be done in hours with the use of an already invented machine. Isn’t every art practice considered weird?

What is your favorite piece/project you have worked on?
This project would have to be my favorite. I love collaborating because I always learn so much from my collaborators, and this project has been the largest-scale work I’ve ever constructed. The education I received from this installation has been priceless.

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carmen wong
03.04.14

ARTIST Q&A: CARMEN WONG OF BANISHED? PRODUCTIONS

Mead Theatre Lab alum and Monroe Street Market studio artists of banished? productions have spiced up the Arts Walk at Monroe Street Market with their ARTillery tool library and more. Learn more about one of the artists behind banished? productions, Carmen Wong, in our latest artist Q&A.

Who is your favorite living artist? Why?carmen wong
Janet Cardiff. Her sound installations and walks deliver feeling and narrative depth. No other artist has made me think, “I wish I thought of that first!” as much as she does. Then there are food designers like Bompas & Parr and Marije Vogelzang, whose food design concepts really challenge my ideas for gastro-performance. I’m always psyched when I find out about their latest projects and try to find resonances with what I’m working on.

Who is your favorite deceased artist? Why?
Maya Deren continues to fascinate me in her distinct avant-garde interdisciplinary practices, her fiercely independent spirit and explorations in ethnography and ritual. For purely aesthetic and sentimental reasons, Egon Schiele also makes the cut. Every line in his drawings to me trembles with indescribable loveliness and loneliness.

What kind of soundtrack motivates you or inspires your work?
Classic jazz (mostly with female vocalists) is often played in my head or on iTunes, but recently a lot of contemporary Scandinavian shoe-gazey stuff has burrowed in. When I need energy, 80’s music like ELO, BritPop or Shonen Knife help bring verve. In times when I need to focus on verbal elements (reading/writing scripts or applications), I count on Charles Trenet, Soapkills or the Charlie Brown soundtrack.

How did your work begin as an artist?
I don’t think one decides when/how to begin, they are gripped by a project and they do the work: researching, testing, making things up as they go, seeing what surfaces. In that way, the work is happening at all times, beginning, growing, ending. I have learnt that the important part is to let it all come and trust in some of the coincidences and associations you make, and learn along the way.

Or maybe I should read the question differently and answer with “I started as an intern/volunteer a decade ago at a Berlin dance-theatre company named Dorky Park, then developed a student project where I tested my own version of hybrid theatre and it just kept going from there….”?

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I once aspired to be a pâtissier. My family wanted me to be a lawyer. I guess I would have been very argumentative pâtissier?

What role do you see art fulfilling in the greater community?
Art has the immense power of allowing its viewers a chance, however fleeting, to consider another perspective or way of thinking, and in some (successful) instances, inspiring them to embark on a paradigm shift, small or seismic.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve found yourself doing for art?
Where to start? Starching hundreds of girls’ and baby dresses? Stuffing a chicken leg with ball bearings and roasting it? Picking mulberries off the streets of Anacostia with strangers? Immersing in a tankful of warm milk a performer holding a bowl of warm milk (that you can dip crackers in)? I’m sure weirder things are to come.

What is your favorite piece/project that you have worked on?
As a series Tactile Dinner has been a true joy to work with, and I feel so fortunate that this form has allowed me to bend and shape it to whatever I may be exploring or trying to understand better at the moment. It has also allowed me to travel and experience other cultures in ways I may never have considered.

Which work are you most proud of?
I must say that I’m most proud of the self-evolution and growth that Into the Dollhouse (which premiered at Flashpoint’s Mead Theatre Lab program) has seen. Seeded in my own recollections and experience of growing up, and fused with those of my fellow-collaborators, the piece is now showing its strengths, places in need of development and opportunities for adaptation. I can’t wait to see where else it goes!

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02.25.14

Q&A with Alejandro Pintado

Monroe Street Market studio artist Alejandro Pintado creates drawings, paintings and scale-models for large sculptures and installations. Learn more about him and the long days he spends in the studio in our latest artist Q&A!

ap

Who is your favorite living artist? Why?
This is a tough one, but if I can only choose one it has to be Francis Alÿs.

Who is your favorite deceased artist? Why?
The Spanish Baroque artist Francisco de Zurbaran. When I think of painting I think of him. He is the first master that I studied before being in art school, and the way he uses color and how he made his transparencies are a complete joy.

What kind of soundtrack motivates you or inspires your work?
It depends on the day and the process I am involved in at the time. When I start working, I usually play some classical music. As the day goes on, I move to contemporary and  later to electronic, drum and bass or house.

How did you begin your work as an artist?
I guess it started the day I saw the work  of Hieronymus Bosch at El Prado Museum. I wanted to know where that universe came from and how he made it. From then on, I guess, I went on with trying to answer the same questions.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Probably a chef or an inventor.

What role do you see art fulfilling in the greater community?
More than ever art is changing the way people see the world, not only because it involves ideas that are happening right now but because people are more exposed to it. Art is a platform to expose ideas in a neutral form, if it is not contaminated, it can invite the viewers to reflect on life-changing ideas.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve found yourself doing for your art?
Since my work involves a lot of research, I sometimes spend my days in the studio with no sense of time, not answering calls,  wearing the same clothes and eating little food.

What is your favorite piece/project you have worked on?
A project titled Incision to Romanticism that took around five years to make. It started with the idea of  making a three-dimensional landscape painting. I didn’t know what would come out of it but traditionally I am more accustomed to working in painting and this was a monumental sculptural piece. I spent some years looking for materials and ways to produce it. Finally in 2010 I presented the proposal for El Museo San Carlos in Mexico city and they loved it and agreed to produce it.

What work are you most proud of?
It has to be Path of Knowledge, which is an exhibition I made involving the work of 19th century artist Jose María  Velasco. For several years I had been working on the idea of juxtaposing different languages and forms of art, playing with perception, memory and history. This was a not only an honor for me but a great opportunity to set these ideas in play with actual works of art from the past.

 

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02.19.14

Q&A with Cindy Cheng

Visual Artist Cindy Cheng’s show  The Hero and The Villain opens at Flashpoint Gallery on February 21, 2014 and will feature a series of dynamic drawings, object arrangements and constructions that activate the wall, floor and surrounding space. Find out more about Cindy in our latest artist Q&A!

Who is your favorite living artist? Why?
I love Sarah Sze, Phoebe Washburn and Jessica Stockholder for a lot of reasons both visual, conceptual and in terms of approach – all of which become apparent when you look at my work. But my all time favorite is Andrea Dezso – she has no qualms about pursuing whatever ideas interest her and is totally unselfconscious about her love and connection to craft, folk art, narrative and fantasy. I really admire artists who don’t care about convention and cutting edge fads but just pursue what they love.

Who is your favorite deceased artist. Why?
Louise Bourgeois for so many reasons, but she is a pillar of bad-ass. She worked until the very end of her 98 years – and don’t we all hope to have that kind of fortitude?

What kind of soundtrack motivates you or inspires your work?
I’m somewhat tone-deaf so I don’t listen to music very much, but when I’m in the studio I always play a podcast – Radio Lab, This American Life, New Yorker Fiction, Freakanomics, On the Media and the Moth are all favorites.

How did you begin your work as an artist?
My Drawing I/II teacher in college, Carleen Sheehan, was amazing and inspiring and she really got me going with making work.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
A medieval manuscript conservator or deep-sea marine biologist and explorer.

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02.13.14

FLASHPOINT GALLERY CLOSED TODAY, 02.13.14

Due to the snow storm, Flashpoint Gallery will be CLOSED today, February 13, 2014. Check back here for more updates!