Exhibits, Reviews and Articles

 

Genius or Gobbledygook? “Real Beauty” at Carroll Square Gallery
Louis Jacobson

Art theory is often inscrutable, and it’s doubly so for abstract painting. That’s why the framing of the “Real Beauty” at Carroll Square Gallery needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

“Abstraction is arguably the truest representation of how the world feels, though by definition it obscures how the world actually appears,” reads the exhibit’s wall-posted introduction.

Is this genius or gobbledygook? It’s hard to tell. And most of the works—all of them abstractions, by four different artists—don't offer much help in sorting it out.

Ashlynn Browning’s paintings reference architecture, though with a crumpled, skewed perspective that doesn’t look the least bit structurally sound. Unlike Browning, whose paintings use a muted palette, Deborah Zlotsky uses buoyant shades of fluorescent orange, peach and lemon (above). Her paintings are flat, two-dimensional agglomerations of box shapes (and the occasional form that suggests either a woven basket or a hand grenade).

Amber Robles-Gordon, by contrast, takes three-dimensionality to its extreme, with imposing wall-mounted sculptures made from chicken wire, ribbons, discarded water Beauty 3bottles, and other gewgaws (left). Intentional or not, the works suggest those impromptu memorials that spring up after tragedies.

The clear standout, though—with, alas, only one work in the show–is Mariella Bisson. She contributed the 34” x 74” “Falls Creek Panorama,” a landscape with a somewhat rubbery surface. The impressive thing about “Falls Creek Panorama” is that, from a distance, it genuinely suggests a landscape (a notch less representational than, say, Paul Cezanne used in his late Aix-en-Provence works), yet viewed close up, it’s as abstract as any Ab-Ex canvas.

If you’re looking to reconcile representation and abstraction, as the exhibit appears to want to do, then Bisson’s bravura canvas is about as appropriate a bridge as can be imagined.

Through Aug. 29 at Carroll Square Gallery, 975 F Street, NW, Washington, D.C. (202) 347-7978. Mon-Fri 8-6.

 

WAMU 88.5 : Art Beat

Art Beat With Lauren Landau
May 13, 2014

Click here to play

 
 

Catalyst Projects
716 Monroe Street, NE, St. 13
Washington, DC 20017
catalystartprojects@gmail.com

For Immediate Release:

Catalyst Projects is pleased to announce ~

Sculptors Draw - Julia Bloom and Amber Robles-Gordon
March 6, 2014 through March 29, 2014
Opening reception is Saturday, March 8, 6-9 pm with the artists in attendance.

The creative process for a sculptor can more often than not include drawing. Whether it be the technical planning of a three dimensional work, documenting the creative process or a wish to expand their vision to include other mediums, a sculptors approach to drawing is widely varied and unique.

Julia Bloom (DC) presents large scale charcoal drawings on paper for this exhibition. Bloom's three dimensional works are in a large way drawings themselves. Constructed from sticks and wire, and sometimes covered in paint or rust, her sculptural pieces take on a tenuous, airy quality. In contrast, the drawings, which are meant as portraits of the sculptures, are bold, dense images of the structures they represent.

Amber Robles-Gordon (DC) Known mainly for sculptural wall hung work consisting of densely layered colorful textiles, Robles-Gordon shifts her modus operandi to drawings of floating forms built with dark lines and colorful, playful shapes. Robles-Gordon's drawings for this exhibition were partly inspired by her long fascination with abstract artist Alma Thomas' paintings of vibrant color and geometric shapes. What transpires is an investigation into spatial relationships, positive/negative space, and color distribution.

Amber Robles-Gordon, Prismatic, acrylic marker on watercolor paper

Julia Bloom, Monolith I, charcoal on paper

Media contacts: Gail Vollrath at 336-253-6224 or Zofie Lang 443-310-3076.

Gallery hours are Thursday thru Saturday, noon to 7 pm and by appointment.

Catalyst Projects is located at the Brookland-CUA metro stop on the red line and on the 80 bus route. Street parking is available.

Mission

Catalyst Project's mission is to present the DC arts community to the world beyond the DMV. By presenting arts programming with a focus on exchange, we hope to cross-pollinate with arts communities outside of the DC metro area. It is our goal to make contemporary art accessible through educational programs such as panel discussions, artist workshops, and contemporary art exhibitions.
catalystartprojects.com
Facebook - www.facebook.com/pages/Catalyst-Projects/145025502316089

 

40 amazing black artists to watch in 2014

Emerald City
2013

Amber Robles-Gordon

No, not every deserving artist gets their first taste of attention through one of the art world's largest platforms such as the legendary Art Basel show, or the Frieze Art Fair. In particular, African-American artists and other artists of color are still working towards greater visibility in the highest spheres of the rarified art community. Thus, there can never be too many lists bringing attention to the abundance of talented creators on the cusp of discovery who are ready to emerge.

Here are the fresh faces and more established visionaries still gaining ground that you need to know in 2014. The African diasporan artists compiled in the photo gallery above carry forth the traditions set in motion by visual artists from significant eras such as the Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts Movement, yet speak with new images and forms that lead us into the future.

With their various approaches to creativity, visual communication, and craft, these artists each examine critical issues of the past, present and future that reflect our shared experiences across the intersecting lines of race, class, gender, sexuality and politics. Through their works, the experiences of those of the African diaspora -- and beyond -- are critiqued, celebrated and preserved.

Visibility is essential to supporting the continued success of these artists, and ensuring that black artists -- who are increasingly gaining recognition -- continue to render our images in refined and thoughtful forms from the art world's center stage. Regardless of whether these artists ever appear at Art Basel, or already have, please keep your eyes to the wall (and in some cases the floor, ceiling, and sidewalks), because you will want to follow these folks, who are the latest provocateurs, innovators and dreamers.

These selections are not ranked in any order to acknowledge equally the importance of each artist's style -- with the awareness that there are likely more great visual "voices" out there who deserve recognition. Let us know who else should be included in the comments section below.

*Follow Souleo on Twitter @Souleo <https://twitter.com/Souleo>*

(Editor's note: Living editor of theGrio.com, Alexis Garrett Stodghill, owns a painting by one of the artists featured, Tamara Natalie Madden. This list was independently curated by the article author.)

 

Amber Robles-Gordon impresses at Art Basel December 7, 2013 www.examiner.com/article/amber-robles-gordon-prizm

Amber Robles-Gordon, an accomplished mixed media artist, is a featured participant in this year's Prizm Art Fair (Marquis Miami, 1100 Biscayne Blvd.). Prizm is one of many exhibitions held during Miami Art Basel, one of the most prestigious art festivals in the world. The Prizm Art Fair is a collaborative effort between Mikhaile Solomon, a designer and arts advocate, and Marie Vickles, an independent curator and arts educator. Solomon created Prizm to expand the spectrum of international artists from the African Diaspora and promote the work of artists of color.

Amber Robles-Gordon's work in Prizm is from a project entitled "Heal Thyself", and was motivated by a painful back injury she incurred while in graduate school. While recovering from her injury, she often reflected upon the spiritual, emotional and physical layers that make up every human being. Both pieces represent those layers by using a variety of recyclable materials (glass, fabric, tiles, etc.).

Robles-Gordon is a Howard University alumnus with over fifteen years of exhibiting and art educational experience. She has been commissioned by the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum and WETA Television to teach, give commentary and present about her artwork. She has also served as President, Vice President and exhibitions coordinator of the Black Artists of DC organization.

Closer to home, Robles-Gordon's artwork is currently on display as part of the Against The Bias exhibition at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery (1632 U Street, NW) until December 21, 2013.

 

Inaugural Edition of Prizm Art Fair Launches Featuring Artists Representing the African Diaspora and Emerging Markets at Marquis Miami on December 5-8, 2013

Miami, Fl- A talented collective of established and emerging artists from locales as varied as the Democratic Republic of Congo to Washington D.C. will showcase contemporary art at the inaugural blockbuster Prizm Art Fair to be held December 5-8, 2013 at the Marquis Miami (1100 Biscayne Blvd, downtown Miami). The opening night reception will take place on December 5th from 11pm-2am and is open to the public. Admission is free. Prizm Art Fair is a collaborative effort between, Mikhaile Solomon, designer and arts advocate who is the founder of Prizm Art Fair and Marie Vickles, an independent curator, arts educator, and artist based in South Florida. Salient works presented will highlight the diversity evident in contemporary visual art practices including painting, sculpture and mixed media installations. The goal of Prizm Art Fair during Art Basel week is to showcase a diverse group of artists who reflect the depth of talent in emerging markets adding to the caliber of artists represented in South Florida. Ms. Solomon and Ms. Vickles are two women committed to creating a platform to ensure that Prizm Art Fair provides opportunities for artists of the African Diaspora, emerging markets and those inspired by the Diaspora within one of the biggest art destination events in the country.

Curator and Creative Director of the Fair, Marie Vickles, states that “Prizm Art Fair is presenting a new aesthetic inspired by varied forms of traditional art-making paired with contemporary techniques and technology, which is the essence of creativity meeting spirituality in the purest sense of holistic creation. Artists will present work that will inspire and challenge the notions of what the African Diaspora and emerging art markets are creating in a ‘stream-of-consciousness’ beyond the mainstream. Both the serious collector and new-comer should expect a refreshing experience.”

Prizm Art Fair will feature the works of some of the most talented local and international artists of color and galleries including: Lerone Wilon, Amber Robles-Gordon, Addonis Parker, T. Eliott Mansa, Bayunga Kialeuka, Asser Saint-Val, Jerome Soimaud, Gallery Guichard: National Curator for the Bombay Sapphire Series and Yeelen Gallery. The select artists are actively engaged in perpetuating Miami’s growth as a cultural hub or are truly redefining their world by bringing into focus socio-political and cultural issues pertinent to the people of African descent in our global community.

"We're really excited about the submissions we've received from local, national and international artists. We're looking forward showcasing an exceptional group of exhibiting artists and galleries from the African Diaspora. We are deeply thankful for the support of Marquis Miami, Frank Frazier, Ms. Deborah Shelton Tynes, Minna Dunn and all of our sponsors for their unwavering support and belief in our project”, states Mikhaile Solomon, Founder and Director of Prizm.

About Prizm

PRIZM is the producer of a cutting-edge art fair that is multidisciplinary in scope. Our goal is to expand the spectrum of international artists from the African Diaspora and emerging markets at one of the most prestigious art festivals in the world. PRIZM is the producer of a cutting-edge art fair that is multidisciplinary in scope. As a Miami – based art fair workshops and special events will be organized throughout the year to advance the careers of local and regional artists.

 

Click HERE to download the pdf show information

 
 

by Amanda Erickson on May. 22, 2013 at 6:47 pm

The art of Amber Robles-Gordon is the art of Anacostia, quite literally.

Robles-Gordon cobbles together sculptures and canvas collages from scraps of paper and fabric she finds in the neighborhood’s trash cans and storefront windows. She’s shown her work at the Honfleur Gallery. Right now, she has a striking wire and fabric mesh artwork on view near the Deanwood Metro stop.

But as ARCH Development Corporation continues to expand its constellation of arts destinations in Anacostia—the latest is the Anacostia Arts Center on Good Hope Road SE—Robles-Gordon wonders if her neighborhood will still have room for her.

There’s a tendency to see Anacostia, long on talent and struggle but short on just about everything else, as a blank canvas. With the right kinds of art and advertising, the thinking goes, Anacostia can become a hub for the creative class. But who gets left out?

“The artists here need gallery space, they need exposure,” Robles-Gordon says. “I don’t want [Anacostia] to become a shipping factory, where you’re just shipping people in, giving them something, and shipping them back out. That’s not how you build a community.”

Whether—and how—a community’s art infrastructure should aim to draw new people to the neighborhood or serve the people who already live here (or do a little of both) has animated the debate over Anacostia’s cultural scene for 50 years. As District officials and neighborhood fixtures like ARCH try to use arts institutions to spark economic growth, that same question is popping up again: Whom should these organizations try to reach?

In the 1960s, the Smithsonian struggled to attract Washington’s African American residents to the Mall. So it decided to bring the arts to them instead <http://siarchives.si.edu/history/anacostia-community-museum>. The Smithsonian’s outpost in Anacostia first opened in 1967, and it was run out of a storefront (the abandoned Carver Theater, on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE). A neighborhood-based advisory committee selected which works would show.

The museum hired a photographer to document the neighborhood’s changes; the Carnegie Corporation funded a research center with the express purpose of taking oral histories from residents. The result was something of an anomaly in Washington, at the time and even now—a museum dedicated to promoting east-of-the-river artists and issues. (One 1969 exhibit documented the rodent problem in the streets.) But over time the museum’s mission evolved from chronicling the neighborhood to examining the African-American experience.

The new ARCH projects, too, are designed to attract cultural consumers more than a neighborhood-specific space might. But to make that work, ARCH CEO*Duane Gautier* thinks he needs art that looks beyond Anacostia’s borders. “I want something that’s cutting-edge,” he says. That means recruiting shows on graffiti, tattoos, or whatever else from across the city, country, or world. (Already, ARCH runs an international exchange program, bringing artists-in-residence to stay in Anacostia for a year at a time.) “I don’t only want to show only African-American art,” says Gautier, who believes all kinds of people want to see all kinds of work. “Why do you think African American people only want to see African American art?”

Near Fort Stanton Park,*Juanita Britton* also wields art as a community-development weapon. But though she works directly with ARCH (and supports their mission), her own gallery is focused on creating a beautiful space within the neighborhood that will appeal to Anacostia residents.

Britton’s Anacostia Gallery is a colorful mish-mash of African masks, full-bodied fertility-goddess statues, beaded drums, and east-of-the-river history books—anything that falls under the auspices of the African diaspora. In her backyard, there is the Kwame Nkrumah Garden, named for the 1960s-era Ghanian president who founded the Organization of African Unity. The gallery, nestled on a quiet residential street, is Britton’s former home.

A Detroit native, Britton has lived in Washington since the 1980s; she bought the space in 2003. For the next few years, she painted the house a neon lemon with purple and blue swirls, filled the front porch with paintings, covered the columns in rainbow geometric patterns, and refused to put up curtains. Britton wanted the neighborhood to feel welcome at her monthly dinner parties, she says. It worked. Though D.C. police stats show there have been 38 violent crime incidents within 1,000 feet of her gallery in the past year, no one has tried to steal her art or break in. “People left me alone because they thought I did voodoo magic,” she jokes.

Instead, kids come by after school to twirl one of the 30 hula hoops she keeps in the back yard. About 150 people stop by each month, many to browse, some to buy a piece of art. Britton moved to a nearby place in 2010 and converted her house into an art space. Today, an Anacostia Gallery sign covers the second-floor windows. Two signs flash “OPEN” in bright red. She sees herself as the dean of the neighborhood’s art scene—or this part of it, at least.

In the two hours I’m with her, several locals drop in to chat, buy Mother’s Day cards, or request help promoting an event. (Britton runs a Facebook page and an email list, and has been known to put out robocalls to solicit attendees to her events.) “I am of here and from here,” she says. “I love Anacostia, I want to pull people up here.”

* * *

Eighteen years ago, the Smithsonian Museum was renamed the Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture, reflecting its broader focus. As plans for the Mall’s National Museum of African American History and Culture came together, Anacostia’s museum again got a new name: the Anacostia Community Museum. Now, an outpost that had once served only Anacostia would be dedicated to urban life and what it means to be a community.

Today, alongside some D.C.-focused programming, there is an exhibit called “Reclaiming the Edge: Urban Waterways and Civic Engagement.” The website champions the event as the “inaugural exhibit of the museum’s reinvention,” celebrating its ability to examine the conservation efforts in Pittsburgh, Louisville, Los Angeles, and Beijing.

That’s fine with *Bruce McNeil*, a photographer who’s shot in the communities around the Anacostia River for two decades. He grew up in Anacostia and moved back a decade ago to help his ailing mother. He describes his work as “abstract expressionism,” often blending several images together, tweaking colors, and hiding jokes among the trees and trash. McNeil has shown his work at the Anacostia Community Museum; last year he had a pop-up in ARCH’s LUMEN8 festival. His photos have also been featured at Parish Gallery in Georgetown. His work is about the way the neighborhood and the river interact, but he likes finding an audience outside of Anacostia: “I appreciate the opportunity to have my work seen around.”

The key, explains *Jason Anderson*, an actor and music manager who goes by *Jay Sun*, is balance. When arts organizations come into a neighborhood, he explains, they’re often pulled by the creative culture that’s already there. So arts companies have to offer local people a place at the table, even if other seats are filled by nonlocals.

As a model, he points to the soon-to-open Anacostia Playhouse, where he, among others, will perform this summer: “They’re getting our artistic voice in, while still bringing in other companies and doing more traditional things.”

*Photo by Darrow Montgomery*

www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/artsdesk/general/2013/05/22/anacostias-arts-scene-is-growing-who-should-it-be-for

 

The D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities celebrates the completion of work by local Artist Amber Robles-Gordon at the Deanwood Recreation Center Library

Beyond the Visual Rainbow Please Join Us for An Artist’s Talk Saturday, June 1, 2013 from 1-2pm The Deanwood Recreation Center Library @1350 49th Street, NE, Washington, D.C. With Opening Remarks by Wanda Aikens, Executive Director of the Ward 7 Arts Collaborative, Inc.

Beyond the Visual Rainbow is a large-scale, sculptural, wall hanging. The foundation of the sculpture is made of chicken wire and consists of hundreds of yards of colored and textured fabric and different shaped and sized objects. Residents of the Deanwood Community donated most of the fabric incorporated into the piece. Through the process of creating this sculpture, everyday objects developed historical meaning. The design of the artwork was created to reflect the vibrancy, resiliency, and diversity of the Deanwood community, past and present. The multi-colored fabrics honor Deanwood’s rich history and its resident’s strong engagement and love for their community. Questions? Please contact the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities 202.724.5613; tonya.jordan@dc.gov

 

Hair Apparent

May 30 - July 14, 2013 Opening Reception, Sunday, June 2, 4 - 6 pm (free) Hair-Centric Events, Sunday, June 16, noon - 4 pm (free)

Three works from Hair Apparent, Athenaeum *No Me Without You* (left) Emilia Olsen and Sara Winston, photography;* Composition 337*, (center) Dagmara Weinberg, photography and image manipulation; * ** Sauvage*, (right) Kate Kretz, human hair embroidery on hair

*Hair Apparent* is a multimedia exhibit including sculpture, photography, assemblage, and performance. The show explores artists' relationships with hairreferencing cultural perception, myth, ritual, and memory - and reflections on a private asset as a public statement.

Represented in *Hair Apparent* are Holly Bass - performance Shelly Bell - spoken word poetry Emily Biondo - sculpture installation Stephanie Booth - photography, video, hair embroidery Caryl Burtner - assemblage Kate Kretz - human hair embroidery Emilia Olson - photography, works on paper Betsy Packard - sculpture, assemblage Amber Robles Gordon - sculpture installation Danielle Scruggs - photography Dagmara Weinberg - photography, image manipulation Sara Winston - photography

The opening reception on Sunday, June 2 from 4:00 to 6:00 (free) will feature an opportunity for attendees to participate in Richmond artist Caryl Burtner's work as an interactive installation.

On Sunday, June 16 from noon to 4:00 a variety of Hair-Centric Events (free) will be staged in the gallery. Holly Bass will perform Come Clean, a ritualized performance in which strangers are invited to wash the artist's hair and engage in structured dialogue. By allowing others to wash her hair, the artist evokes the relationship between mother and child, as well as ideas of culture, identity, privacy, pleasure, renewal and surrender. Shelly Bell will perform her spoken word poetry and add a tactile component to the events. And Amber Robles Gordon will invite attendees to participate in her elaborate Hair Shrine.

Athenaeum 201 Prince Street, Alexandria, Va 22314 703.548.0035 / nvfaa.org

We invite you to join us Thursday, Friday and Sunday from 12 to 4 pm, and Saturdays from 1 to 4 pm. The Athenaeum is closed on holidays. Admission is free.

The NVFAA is partially supported by funding from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Alexandria Commission for the Arts.The NVFAA is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request a reasonable accommodation or materials in an alternative format contact us at nvfaa@nvfaa.org or call 703.548.0035.

 
 

Subtle attention-seekers without strings By Michael O'Sullivan Friday, January 4, 2013

Delusions of Grandeur seems about right for the name of an artists’ collective showing in a hole in the wall in Brentwood.

Located on the second floor of the Gateway Arts Center, the 39th Street Gallery is a 450-square-foot box that has been known to put on pretty cool little shows, including a recent micro-retrospective of the great D.C. painter Manon Cleary, who died last year. But the National Gallery of Art it is not.

Still, who knows where the five artists who make up Delusions of Grandeur will be showing 40 years from now? That is sort of the point.

The exhibition, “No Strings Attached,” features a mere two artworks by each of the five artists (with the exception of Wesley Clark, whose contribution is a handsome installation of 50 plywood boxes, scored with a kind of crudely beautiful, graffiti-like calligraphy). The small sampling is enough to get a sense of the individual artists, whose diverse styles -- true to the show’s name -- have little to do with one another.

Among the most arresting pieces are two portraits by Jamea Richmond-Edwards. Virtually unreproducible in photographs, the drawings depict the faces of two black women. The manner in which they’re made -- mostly dark ink, chalk pastel and colored pencil on dark black boards -- render their subjects all but invisible, unless one stands in just the right place, with the gallery lights hitting the surface just so.

It’s an apt metaphor for the theme of visibility that Richmond-Edwards’s works seem to traffic in. The larger show takes on that theme, too. The young artists featured in “No Strings Attached” are African American. The question of race, in the context of the art establishment, seems to percolate just below the show’s surface.

Take Stanley Squirewell’s digital prints. In each, a naked black man can be seen posing, almost hiding, behind works of modernist geometric abstraction. The implication -- that the African American artist has a fraught, and perhaps contentious, engagement with the art canon -- is clear.

That theme is echoed in the work of Shaunte Gates, whose surrealistic collage “Bull’s Eye” features a gun-toting black youth against a dreamlike landscape populated by classical statuary.

Like Clark’s scarified wooden cubes, the work of Amber Robles-Gordon doesn’t seem particularly concerned with race. Her two assemblages of dangling ribbon and brightly colored string suggest an interest in gender over skin color. They’re tied -- albeit loosely -- to the legacy of the Washington Color School, though in a medium often associated with the so-called women’s work of sewing.

The five artists here have few delusions. Their work is clear-eyed, but so is their determination to be taken notice of. http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/exhibits/no-strings-attached,1245339/critic-review.html

 

 

The story behind Delusions of Grandeur By Michael O’Sullivan Friday, January 4, 2013

“You have to be delusional to want to be an artist,” says Amber Robles-Gordon, who, with Shaunte Gates and Jamea Richmond-Edwards, debuted as the art collective Delusions of Grandeur with two back-to-back exhibitions in the summer of 2011. Originally funded by a grant from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the group has expanded to five members with the addition of Wesley Clark and Stanley Squirewell.

As tough as it is for anyone to make it as an artist, Robles-Gordon says it can be tougher for artists of color. It’s also tough, she believes, for artists struggling to balance careers and parenthood. (Several members of the group have young children.)

Having first come together as a kind of art salon, with the goal of fostering dialogue among its members, the collective has now set its sights on somewhat loftier goals. Its name may be tongue-in-cheek, but Robles-Gordon admits that “we do want to be in the history books.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/exhibits/no-strings-attached,1245339/critic-review.html

 
 

Wild Fabric by Mark Jenkins The Washington Post July 15, 2011

Click here to open the pd

Wild Fabric

Amber Robles-Gordon’s show at Pleasant Plains Workshop is called “Wired,” but fabric is the principal ingredient. Working entirely with found objects, the Caribbean-rooted local artist arrays ribbons and scraps on (mostly) wire frameworks. The result is a riot of colors and patterns, evoking the tropics while playing on the contrast between the rigid frames and malleable fabric. In such pieces as “Dynasty,” the tightly clumped tatters suggest both thick vegetation and the rhythms and hues of island life.

Although Robles-Gordon does sometimes bend the found frameworks to achieve the basic contour she wants, a few of the pieces still seem a little haphazard. The most appealing works are the ones built on recognizable shapes, notably “And So It Is.” Here, the colorful remnants hang on a gold-painted bicycle wheel, giving form to the patchwork. The artist has compared this piece to a family crest, but even without the personal connotations, the abundance of tones and textures is pungent.

Jenkins is a freelance writer.

Wired by Amber Robles-Gordon

on view through July 23 at the Pleasant Plains Workshop. 2608 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. pleasantplainsworkshop.blogspot.com.

 

‘Delusions of Grandeur’

One link between the three young, local artists featured in “Delusions of Grandeur: Ascension” is African American identity. Another is fabric. Amber Robles-Gordon (whose work was reviewed by The Post in July) makes abstract hanging assemblages that feature ribbons and scraps. Jamea Richmond-Edwards does idealized portraits that incorporate textiles, sequins and bows. Shaunte Gates includes bits of cloth and other found materials in allegorical paintings that draw on the tradition of biblically themed medieval and Renaissance canvases, but also sometimes suggest the heroic poses of sci-fi and comic-book characters.

The artists chose the exhibition’s title, and in a statement explain that it refers to “the ‘delusions of grandeur’ that each artist possesses in order to continue progressing . . . in their artwork.” The “ascension” part comes from one of Gates’s paintings, which depict muscular men who are both divine and debased, as likely to sprout wings as to wear to a crown of barbed wire. His figures are rendered realistically, as are some of his settings, notably the urban alley shown in “January 6, 1956: Time Traveler.” But other backdrops are wilder, sometimes verging on abstract expressionism. “May 28, 2004: Lost One” shows a man plunging into a loosely rendered whirlpool, as if diving into the picture plane itself.

Richmond-Edwards’s work is more formal. Faces, penciled in shades of gray, combine African American features with the somber bearing of Greco-Roman sculpture. Many of the countenances are identical, giving the work a paper-doll quality. These visages are surrounded by bright colors and patterns, and adorned with a rose-petal print in various colors. If the result seems a little too fashion-schooled, clothing is a part of cultural identity. Playing dress-up is one way that people define, or redefine, themselves.

Jenkins is a freelance writer.

Delusions of Grandeur: Ascension

on view through Sept. 16 at Parish Gallery-Georgetown, 1054 31st St. NW, 202-944-2310, www.parishgallery.com. www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/photos-reach-deep-into-go-gos-pocket/2011/08/31/gIQAAaq6uJ_story_1.html

 

‘Options 2011’ combines minimal and conceptual art By Mark Jenkins, Published: October 13, 2011

 

 

For its 30th annual survey exhibition, “Options 2011,” the Washington Project for the Arts has temporarily claimed a floor of an industrial building near the Convention Center. The space gives the show — curated by Arlington Arts Center Executive Director Stefanie Fedor — room for large, dramatic pieces, as well as the expected painting, photography and video. The work ranges from computer animation and fabric art — including Amber Robles-Gordon’s third gallery showcase of the last six months — to issues of Bittersweet, a new magazine that covers social issues of non-federal D.C.

Many of the 13 artists combine the minimal and the conceptual. John James Anderson combines sculpture made from lumber, nails, screws and carpentry tools, with commentary about hiring immigrant day laborers to work with him. Stewart Watson impales pillows with steel rods to make site-specific, anxiety-ridden “events.” Lisa Dillin’s photographs and sculptures coolly parody corporate environments and mindsets. Heather Boaz renders the commonplace eerie by photographing toy furniture posed on or near body parts such as eyes and knees, as well as less commonly displayed ones.

Among the show’s most engaging work are monumental pieces that mock artistic monumentality. Artemis Herber is showing shell-like forms that look to be made of rusted steel, evoking the sculptural colossuses of Richard Serra and Anthony Caro, along with pillars whose shapes are modeled on fallen trees (although they’re painted a shade of green that’s more redolent of celery than forests). But Herber’s work is made of cardboard; that rusty patina is paint.

Jimmy Miracle also uses inexpensive materials, including plastic carryout food containers. For “Beam,” he stretches filament from wall to floor to simulate a gleaming shaft of light. Like Herber’s “trees,” Miracle’s pieces give everyday stuff a pretense to glory. www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/options-2011-combines-minimal-and-conceptual-art/2011/10/12/gIQA24UPiL_story.html

 

WETA Around Town

Jasper Johns: Variations on a Theme at the Phillips Collection through September 9, 2012. Discussion with Robert Aubry Davis, Amber Robles-Gordon, and Bill Dunlap.

Join the circle of prominent art, theater and film critics who make WETA Around Town your one source for the latest Washington-area reviews and recommendations.

WETA Around Town video segments are broadcast on TV 26 in between programs, nightly prior to the 7:00 pm program, and weeknights prior to Charlie Rose.

You can also subscribe to the WETA Around Town podcast and automatically receive the latest reviews each week. Or watch anytime online by clicking on a video below or visiting our video portal. www.weta.org/tv/local/aroundtown

 
 
 

Beyond the Big Chair New galleries and community spaces pop up east of the river

Washington’s newest arts enclave isn’t tucked away in Georgetown, or even on burgeoning H Street. It’s east of the river, in Anacostia. The area — once known as Nacotchtank, after the first Native American settlers of the region — has a long history of creative expression. Go-go music was born here; graffiti by street artists such as BK Adams (the man behind all those I AM ART wheatpasted posters around the city) dot the walls of buildings. But unlike Shaw, with its recently reopened Howard Theatre, or H Street, anchored by the refurbished Atlas Performing Arts Center, Anacostia has lacked the arts infrastructure to draw visitors.

That is changing. In the past five years or so, a handful of small-but-vibrant galleries have sprung up, complemented by a smattering of new public art pieces and festivals celebrating a homegrown arts scene. LUMEN8Anacostia, a wide-ranging fest that ran over three months this spring, brought dozens of artists, performers and temporary arts spaces together and received encouraging media coverage.

“Anacostia is emerging as a cultural hub,” says Josef Palermo, who works with the Pink Line Project, a group that organizes events promoting local arts across D.C. Palermo moved to Anacostia in 2008. “At the time, there were not a lot of restaurants, really no nightlife to speak of,” he recalls. “Now, a revitalization is taking place.”

That energy comes, in part, from a flurry of investment by groups such as the ARCH Development Corporation. The organization, founded in 1991 to help the area’s homeless, has increasingly put resources into local arts to infuse new life into the neighborhood. It sponsors three closely clustered galleries — Honfleur Gallery, Vivid Solutions and Blank Space SE — along with HIVE, a shared workspace for freelancers. “We want to draw on local and international resources,” says Phil Hutinet, chief operating officer of ARCH. “We want to showcase what will really become the future arts district of the city.”

That means highlighting works by artists such as Amber Robles-Gordon, a sculptor and mixed-media artist. Robles-Gordon has lived in Anacostia for 15 years. “For me, there’s an energy that I get from the area,” she says. When she paints on her porch, children scurry up and ask what she’s doing. Every once in awhile, she scours her neighborhood for old fliers and scrap paper, pieces she recycles into her own work.

Not long ago, Robles-Gordon — who’s shown at several international galleries — had to travel to Northwest or even into Maryland to show her work locally and connect with other artists. With galleries such as Honfleur as an anchor, that’s shifting. “Now, more of us know about each other,” she says. “You have a working-class group of people more like a creative class. It’s about us coming together and finding each other.”

Behind the Scenes at the Anacostia Community Museum Though the Anacostia Community Museum is undergoing renovations until July 29, it is still offering public programs — such as a behind-the-scenes tour. Guides will focus on the 45-year-old museum’s evolving role in the community. Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Place SE; July 13, 10 a.m., free; 202-633-4820. (Anacostia)

Citified: Arts and Creativity East of the Anacostia River The creative history of Anacostia gets spotlighted at this year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival with a full schedule of events. African dancers and drummers, church choirs, hip-hop artists and go-go bands will perform, and storytellers will tell neighborhood tales. Tattoo artists will demonstrate their craft, as will members of a multigenerational quilting guild. National Mall; through July 8, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., free; 202-633-1000, Festival.si.edu. (Smithsonian)

Public Art East of the River Walking Tour Explore the history of Anacostia’s public and street art with Deidra Bell, as she leads a walking tour of neighborhood gems includ-ing Martha Jackson-Jarvis’ river-themed mosaics and Uzikee Nelson’s quirky metal sculptures, left. Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Place, SE; July 10, 10 a.m., free; 202-633-4820. (Anacostia)

Inside Outside The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with more than 5 million Americans in prison. In Washington, the numbers are even more stark: Three out of four young black men will serve time in prison. Artist Gabriela Bulisova, whose work is pictured below, chronicles the experience of the incarcerated through photography. The Gallery at Vivid Solutions, 2208 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE; July 13-Sept. 28, free; 202-365-8392. (Anacostia)

East of the River Exhibit From July 13 through Sept. 8, Honfleur Gallery will host its sixth annual local juried show, a great primer to the neighborhood’s hottest artists — with key pieces that explore the neighborhood’s social, environmental and historical challenges. Honfleur Gallery, 1241 Good Hope Road SE; July 13-Sept. 8, free; 202-365-8392. (Anacostia)

 

"Art Beat' With Sean Rameswaram, Mar. 28

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

With Every Fiber of My Being Amber Robles-Gordon Opening Reception: March 9, 2012 at 7pm Exhibition Dates: March 9 to April 27, 2012

Honfleur Gallery is proud to present a solo exhibit of mixed media artist, Amber Robles-Gordon, opening on March 9th. With Every Fiber of My Being, Robles-Gordon’s will showcase textile assemblages on canvas, found objects and other sculpture forms.

In recent years Amber has shown at Pleasant Plains Workshop, Parish Gallery and Options 2011 Biennial Showcase with Washington Project on the Arts. “I’ve watched Amber’s career grow these last few years and realized in the fall, it was time for a solo exhibit of her work here in Anacostia. We worked together a few years ago on a pop up space and since than have kept her projects on my radar,” said Beth Ferraro, Honfleur’s Creative Director. “This summer will be our Sixth Annual East of the River Exhibit, but Amber’s solo exhibit is a step in the right direction for local talents and Honfleur Gallery.” Robles-Gordon was also selected for a DC Creates Public Art grant for the Deanwood Recreation Center, from DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities in 2010-2011.

The new works included in With Every Fiber of My Being will highlight the intrinsically personal themes Robles-Gordon explores in her art through its incorporation of re-purposed second-hand materials such as clothing and accessories. The artist draws connections between her use of personal found items; the idea that varied elements come together to make one individual in work that is marked by her bold use of color and rhythmic melding of disparate objects.

Robles-Gordon earned a MFA from Howard University in May 2011, and has lived and made art in Southeast DC for the past 13 years.

Honfleur Gallery is a contemporary art space located in Historic Anacostia that focuses on exhibitions from the USA and abroad. It is a project of the ARCH Development Corporation, whose mission is to act as a catalyst for local cultural and economic revitalization. Honfleur Gallery opened in 2007 and is located at 1241 Good Hope Road SE, Washington DC 20020. More details: www.honfleurgallery.com

 

Fibers, Filaments, and Fragments: Amber Robles-Gordon and the Deconstruction of Self By Jessica N. Bell

The power of a fiber rests within the nature of its unitary value. The interconnectivity of fibers creates a whole, an object that comes into existence because of the unification of its parts. Memory, personhood, and identity are conflated with the materiality of our things- our fashions, our gadgets, the products we buy, the things we keep and the detritus we discard. Our sense of “being” can be discovered with a thorough examination of what we leave behind. What we value, things we remember, in the modern world, material culture is the conduit to the self. In the meticulously rendered textile and mixed media sculptures of the exhibition “With Every Fiber of My Being”, artist Amber Robles-Gordon destabilizes the power of the fiber in its familiar context of object-hood, by restructuring the parameters with which the viewers come to understand it; fibers and filaments transform into representations of a deeper sense of one’s personal memory and self-constituted identity.

The intentional fragmentation of an object conveys an act of disjuncture- a ripping apart, a shredding of, a tearing up- of familiarity, of stability, of normality. So, what happens when this disjuncture becomes a repetitive act of labor in self-rendering? Binaries explode. Polarization’s collide. Linear understandings of histories become a painterly, disjointed pointillism. Robles-Gordon destabilizes the specificity of our “stuff”- lace adorned dresses, rackets, worn t-shirts, beaded bracelets, badminton balls, etc.- and threads together a reformed sense of self through abstracted amalgamations of material culture. In Air, Water, and Earth. Layers of Self, Robles-Gordon’s mixed media sculpture reshapes disparate parts and fragments into lines of color that coalesce in a circular form. Principles of abstraction are still at play in this sculptural entanglement. Excised from objects disjoined from their past modalities, filaments function as undulating lines of color across the picture plane. Grid-like wires attempt to contain the rotund mass, creating a vivid, precarious sense of tension and fragility. It is in this moment of contained visual clutter and chaos, in which power is reassigned and the accepted meaning or constitution of object-hood is simultaneously bifurcated into its past and re-situated at the limen- a space of betweenness where agency flourishes and categories collapse.

The condition of the postmodern and millennial artist is also situated at the liminal space of particularity, where sampling and fragmentation meet at the axis of hybridity. Furthermore, contemporary practitioners like Egypt-born, New York-based Ghada Amer, as well as South African artists Nicholas Hlobo and Nandipha Mntambo, have taken to the act of immolating textiles and objects to reconstruct notions of gender, sexuality, and personal identity. Through tedious and laborious acts of puncture, stitching, and re-binding fragments, the artist could possibly regain control of representation and the deconstruction of self vis-à-vis the destruction of object-hood. In short, the artist can reconstitute the self through reassigning the meaning and function of parts of things ripped apart and ruptured.  This new modality and materiality relies upon the vocabulary of fibers and filaments strung and threaded along to chart new spaces of visual memory and selfhood.Jessica N. Bell

http://www.jessicanbell.com/

With Every Fiber of My Being Amber Robles-Gordon MARCH 9 – APRIL 27 2012 Honfleur Gallery 1241 Good Hope Road SE · Washington DC 20020 · 202-365-8392 · arts@archdc.org Hours: Tuesday-Friday 12-5 · Saturdays 11-5 · And by appointment http://www.honfleurgallery.com/

 

With Every Fiber of My Being By Amber Robles-Gordon

Exhibition Concept:

The phrase With Every Fiber of My Being captures the energy I bring to my creative process, my artwork, and how I relate to life.  Fibers, are everywhere in the body, they work in intricately bounded bundles to funnel and connect the life force with information and nutrients that sustain a fully functioning organism1.

I create with every fiber of my being, because I have to and because it brings me joy. Starting at the bundles of axons within my brain, to every hair fiber and through the nerves of my muscles, a network of fibers precisely distributed throughout wants to see, smell, hear, taste, and create, art.  

In this series, I am interested in creating a visual representation of the pieces that make up the mental, physical, spiritual and emotional aspects that make one human. I use personal items: parts of old purses, jeans, jackets, and jewelry. As well as stamps, post cards, and old cd cover artwork. Most of these things will be recognizable at first glance. Although, I hope that some items won’t be, at least at first. My intent is show the process of creating and exploring the layers of one’s self, one fiber at time. Then to notice a bundle, and then to see, and identify the life source that flow within each piece of art. Ultimately to the view the whole body artwork as living, breathing organisms.  

With Every Fiber of my Being refers to my overall beliefs that creating art is a means of promoting healing. Creating textile work is a very precise and time-consuming task: Every tile, piece of paper, cloth, or stitch of thread must be properly placed in order to craft the intended compacted mosaic of information. Hence, there are very few visual resting points with in a portion of these works. This is intentional, because when do the fibers of our being ever rest.

I will present a body of mixed media on canvas and sculptural textile works. The majority of the artwork will be a combination of found objects and other fiber products sewn or adhered to canvas. Additional works will be sculptural mixed media on canvas forms and mixed media on other found objects.

 

 

ARTSLANT'S SPECIAL EDITION

New York Armory Week #2

ARTSLANT INSIDER* - Amber Robles-Gordon

Amber Robles-Gordon, "Lace", 2010, Mixed Media on canvas, 36 x 36.

Amber Robles-Gordon - Amber Robles-Gordon’s preferred medium is collage and assemblage. She focuses on fusing found objects to convey personal memories, inspired by nature, womanhood, and her belief in recycling energy and materials. Robles-Gordon completed her MFA from Howard University in Dec., 2010. Since then, several of her exhibitions have been reviewed in the Washington Post. She has recently been selected to present for the Under the Influence competition as part of the 30 Americans exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Amber has been commissioned by the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum, WETA Television and AlJazeera to teach workshops, give commentary and present about her artwork. She was commissioned by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) to create a mural and granted an apprenticeship to create a public art installation.

 

Features and Reviews

WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

‘Art Beat’ With Sean Rameswaram: wamu.org/programs/art_beat/11/09/01/art_beat_with_sean_rameswaram

 

30 Americans: Under the Influence Thursday, November 17, 2011, 6-9 p.m. Frances and Armand Hammer Auditorium, Corcoran Gallery of Art

Featuring 30 Americans artist John Bankston and presentations by Mazin Abdelhameid, Cedric Baker, Holly Bass, Tom Block, Wesley Clark, Michele Coburn, Lori Crawford, Gary Lockwood/ Freehand Profit, Carrie Nobles, Jamea Richmond-Edward, and Amber Robles-Gordon

Presented by the Corcoran Contemporaries and Washington Project for the Arts

Admission is FREE Pre-registration is encouraged

Join us for an evening celebrating local artists and the artists of 30 Americans! Under the Influence will feature eleven artists giving five-minute presentations about their work and the influence one of the artists in 30 Americans has had on their artistic practice. 30 Americans artist John Bankston selected the eleven artists from an open call and will begin the evening with a short presentation about his own work and influences.

Under the Influence highlights the influence of the artists of 30 Americans on the work of up-and-coming artists and invites the audience to engage with artists and their work in an exciting, innovative way. The presentations will be followed by a reception and viewing of 30 Americans.

above images, clockwise from left: Jamea Richmond-Edwards, I am Here (detail), 2009, Ink, acrylic, graphite and collaged paper on canvas; Kerry James Marshall, Untitled (detail), 2009, Acrylic on PVC; Holly Bass, African Futures: DC, 2010, Photo documentation of live performance, photo by Rosina Photography; Kara Walker, Slavery! Slavery! Presenting a GRAND and LIFELIKE Panoramic... (detail), 1997, Cut paper and adhesive on wall

WPA is supported by its members, Board of Directors, invaluable volunteers, and by generous contributions from numerous individuals and the William C. Paley Foundation, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, Susan & Dixon Butler, Giselle & Benjamin Huberman, Abramson Family Foundation, Carolyn Alper, Akridge, Arent Fox LLP, The Athena Foundation, Bernstein Family Foundation, Liz & Tim Cullen, Caroline Fawcett & Tom O'Donnell, Sandra & James Fitzpatrick, Carol Brown Goldberg & Henry H. Goldberg, Corri Goldman & Michael Spivey, Haleh Design, Hickok Cole Architects, Betsy Karel, Yvette Kraft, Aimee & Robert Lehrman, Stephanie & Keith Lemer/WellNet Healthcare, Marshfield Associates, Carol & David Pensky, Susan Pillsbury, Heather & Tony Podesta, Richard Seaton & Dr. John Berger, Sidley Austin Foundation, Robert Shields Interiors, TTR Sotheby's International Realty, Vivo Design, Alexia & Roderick von Lipsey, The Washington Post Company, and William Wooby.

‘Art Beat’ With Sean Rameswaram: wamu.org/programs/art_beat/11/09/01/art_beat_with_sean_rameswaram

The Washington Post articles: www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/options-2011-combines-minimal-and-conceptual-art/2011/10/12/gIQA24UPiL_story.html

www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/photos-reach-deep-into-go-gos-pocket/2011/08/31/gIQAAaq6uJ_story_1.html

www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/young-black-professionals-the-new-face-of-gentrification/2011/07/26/gIQA6SR7cI_gallery.html

 

Mahwish Chishty, Untitled 1 (detail), 2011, Gouache

Washington Project for the Arts is pleased to announce OPTIONS 2011, Amber Robles-Gordon (Washington, DC)

Exhibition Dates: September 15 - October 29, 2011 Exhibition Location: 629 New York Avenue, NW, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC Opening Reception: Thursday, September 15, 6-8pm Curators Talk: Saturday, October 1, 3pm

Washington Project for the Arts is pleased to announce OPTIONS 2011, the fourteenth installment of WPA's biennial exhibition of emerging and unrepresented artists from DC, Maryland, and Virginia. OPTIONS 2011 will take place from September 15 through October 29, 2011 at 629 New York Avenue, NW, 2nd floor, Washington, DC. Highlighting the breadth and diversity of contemporary art practice in the area, OPTIONS 2011 will include work by fourteen artists selected by curator Stefanie Fedor.

Participating artists include: John James Anderson (Washington, DC), Bittersweet Zine (Washington, DC), Heather Boaz (Baltimore, MD), Amy Chan (Baltimore, MD), Mahwish Chishty (Hyattsville, MD), Lisa Dillin (Baltimore, MD), Adam Dwight (Takoma Park, MD), Twig Harper (Baltimore, MD), Artemis Herber (Owings Mills, MD), Katherine Mann (Washington, DC), Jimmy Miracle (Washington, DC), Amber Robles-Gordon (Washington, DC), Oscar Santillan (Richmond, VA), and Stewart Watson (Baltimore, MD).

 

Young black professionals: The new face of gentrification

Anacostia, a neighborhood once synonymous with crime and violence, now offers yoga studios and chai lattes. Young black professionals are spurring development and gentrification of Ward 8.

Amber Robles-Gordon works in the living room of her Anacostia home. Gordon earned an Master of Fine Arts degree from Howard University.

In addition to making art, Gordon teaches yoga at Anacostia’s Spirit Anacostia Health and Wellness Center. Her commute to work is 10 minutes.

Amber Robles-Gordon displays her work at the Pleasant Plains Workshop, a shared studio space on Georgia Avenue.

Bonnie Jo Mount / The Washington Post

Click here for the full article


Delusions of Grandeur: Ascension

Shaunté Gates, Amber Robles-Gordon and Jamea Richmond-Edwards

Shaunté Gates. In my dreams II. 2011 Amber Robles-Gordon Peacock. 2011 Jamea Richmond-Edwards Revealation. 2011

Parish Gallery Exhibition: August 19- September12, 2011

Reception: August 19, 2011 6-8pm

WASHINGTON, DC- Parish Gallery, in conjunction with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is pleased to present an exhibition by three artists – Shaunté Gates, Jamea Richmond-Edwards and Amber Robles-Gordon, “Delusions of Grandeur: Ascension”. This show will open with a reception from 6:00-8:00 pm on Friday, August 19th, and will run through September 16th, 2011.

This exhibition is the result of an artistic dialog about the “delusions of grandeur” they each possess in order to continue progressing in their careers and most importantly in their artwork. Ascension, the act of rising to an important position or a higher level, is the theme adapted for this current body of work. Each artist presents their individual interpretation of the act of ascending.

Artists Shaunté Gates work combines multiple processes and genres, by taking appropriations and gestures from pop culture and print media which are combined to create elusive narratives. Gate’s works seduce us into an imaginary world of juxtaposition and fantasy, a place when the contradictions of culture and the human psyche are collided. His mixed media paintings capture the beauty in subjects that may appear bleak to the average eye at first glance. Gates ideas are derived from the pain, joy, and the beautiful way everything universally is connected.

Jamea Richmond-Edwards work explores the contradictions of female and cultural identity and with reference to Greek Mythology, African folklore and international fashion. Richmond- Edwards examine how mythologies from ancient times translate into today’s culture and time allegorically. Her figures are empowered by their survivalist adaptation to circumstance. Their sharp features are inspired by both high fashion models and the everyday women in her community.

Amber Robles-Gordon mixed media artworks draw upon her journey through motherhood, genealogy, healing, and being alive today. They represent her technical and scholarly growth as an artist, and are supported by her professional development in the Washington, DC area. Her two- and three-dimensional pieces it within an expansive notion of painting and sculptural form. She uses stretched canvas to support an accumulation of media in low- or sharp-relief. These assemblages require a close look to interpret their individual parts. Collectively, these parts form a visual energy comprised of the previous “lives” of the objects, their former owners, and the artist’s hand.

Parish Gallery primarily, but not exclusively, represents contemporary visual artists of significance from Africa and the African Diaspora. In selecting art and artists, Parish Gallery exercises high ethical, curatorial and market selection standards, catering to the spirit of social preservation and regeneration in collecting the art. Parish Gallery is open Tuesday thru Saturday from noon to 6:00 PM or by appointment.

Parish Gallery 1054 31 Street NW Washington, D.C. 20007

www.parishgallery.com


Wild Fabric: Washington Post Review of Wired exhibition

Amber Robles-Gordon’s show at Pleasant Plains Workshop is called “Wired,” but fabric is the principal ingredient. Working entirely with found objects, the Caribbean-rooted local artist arrays ribbons and scraps on (mostly) wire frameworks. The result is a riot of colors and patterns, evoking the tropics while playing on the contrast between the rigid frames and malleable fabric. In such pieces as “Dynasty,” the tightly clumped tatters suggest both thick vegetation and the rhythms and hues of island life.

Although Robles-Gordon does sometimes bend the found frameworks to achieve the basic contour she wants, a few of the pieces still seem a little haphazard. The most appealing works are the ones built on recognizable shapes, notably “And So It Is.” Here, the colorful remnants hang on a gold-painted bicycle wheel, giving form to the patchwork. The artist has compared this piece to a family crest, but even without the personal connotations, the abundance of tones and textures is pungent.

Jenkins is a freelance writer.

Wired by Amber Robles-Gordon on view through July 23 at the Pleasant Plains Workshop. 2608 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. pleasantplainsworkshop.blogspot.com.


Art For Joy, Love and Life

a community voice project

digital storytelling

In Fall 2010, film and anthropology students from American University’s School of Communication and College of Arts and Sciences, working with the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, assisted community artists in Southeast Washington to create their own original digital stories.

In this class, COMMUNITY DOCUMENTARY: Stories of Transformation, storytellers use photographs, family documents, community archives, and their own voice to create first-person narratives.

Amber Robles-Gordon received some blunt criticism during her graduate studies when she was told she couldn’t seem to separate herself from her artwork. Robles-Gordon became introspective, and identified why she’s so entrenched in her art.

Click the link to watch the video: communityvoiceproject.org/artjoylifelove/

"I really enjoyed the experience. Lena was wonderful, we really clicked. We became friends, exchanging stories and music." - Amber Robles-Gordon


JUNE EXHIBITION: Amber Robles-Gordon, WIRED curated by Kristina Bilonick June 18 - July 16, 2011 Opening Reception: Sat. June 18, 6-9pm

Pleasant Plains Workshop is pleased to present a solo project, Wired, by artist, Amber Robles-Gordon. Robles-Gordon recently received her MFA from Howard University and works in mixed media, textile, photography, and painting.

For this exhibition, Robles-Gordon has transformed found objects with ribbons, gimp, fabric, wire and other materials to create exciting wall works that explore patterns, color and material. The works also speak to her cultural identity which is influenced by Caribbean, Latin-American, and African-American cultures.

Please join us for the opening on June 18th, from 6-9 PM.

Pleasant Plains Workshop 2608 Georgia Avenue NW Washington, DC 20001 pleasantplainsworkshop@gmail.com www.pleasantplainsworkshop.com


Amber Robles-Gordon: The Sweet Glitter Juju of Life

Amber Robles-Gordon‘s work is deeply personal. Her mixed media paintings and sculptures draw upon her journey through motherhood, genealogy, healing, and being alive today. They represent her technical and scholarly growth as an artist, and are inspired by her professional development in the Washington, DC area. A recent graduate of the Howard University MFA Program (2010), Robles-Gordon is a board member of Black Artists of DC (BADC), and takes part in a diverse and multigenerational arts community. She is also an arts advocate who participates in several cross-cultural and cross-town initiatives that characterize Washington, DC‘s history of individual and grassroots organizational support for artists. Robles-Gordon has expressed that this rigorous and nurturing technical and conceptual dialogue has enriched her artistic process and her life; it has affected her approach to materials, techniques, and her vision as an artist. She notes the influence of many artists who have inspired her to see art-making as a profound engagement with oneself and the world.

Her two- and three-dimensional pieces fit within an expansive notion of painting and sculptural form. She uses wood or painted, stretched canvas, or chicken wire to support an accumulation of media in low- or sharp-relief. These assemblages require a close look to interpret their individual parts. Collectively, each object contributes to the palpable energy of the overall piece—hinting at their previous functions and the ?lives? of their former owners—configured by the artist‘s hands.

Robles-Gordon gathers and reshapes the sweet glitter juju of life into her work. Individual moments, personal vignettes, and more universal themes are equally woven into it. She examines spirituality, the phenomena of childbirth and motherhood, and the assignment of value to every little thing. She considers the blessings and burdens of femininity, and what it means to be a woman. She recycles fragments of garments, handbags, and accessories to engage the ways that these vanity objects—often used to define beauty—are also traps. She explores various metaphysical systems as a source of inspiration after an accident gave her the opportunity to test her faith and healing ability. Glitter-coated streams of paint add sparkle and shine to a range of discarded or thrifted objects. She breaks them down and reassembles them into collaged arrangements that are influenced by artists such as Romare Bearden, James Brown, Francine Haskins, Frida Kahlo, Georges Seurat, Frank Smith, and Alma Thomas. Robles-Gordon fuses varied influences into compositions that balance blank space, color, and hyper-materiality. She creates a subtle tension, and the possibility of opposing readings in her placement of assemblaged elements amidst dripping paint—which may represent the lyrical expression of painful experiences. These works belong to the series Milked, and simulate the outstretched wings of birds-in-flight against blue or yellow skies, butterflies, or the seductive curves of women‘s undergarments. Her affinity for lacy details, gloves, doilies, slips, and purses consist of a range of past and present accessories and small objects of home décor. She chooses from things—her own and others‘—to pull apart and reform; to give new life, and to scatter between various works like a sprinkling of fairy dust.

She plays with notions of masculine and feminine energy (as objectified) to address distinctions between the admiration of beauty, and its ethereal source or essence. Found dragonflies, dolls, deconstructed fan parts, remote controls, billiard balls, trophies, curling irons, hood ornaments, handles, and sparkly red children‘s maryjanes refer to male/female dynamics, and popular culture references, like fairy princesses, Oz, and what it may mean to be “?behind the eight ball.”

Robles-Gordon‘s collage sensibilities were influenced by artist-activist Romare Bearden (1901– 1988). Bearden‘s prolific work in collage shaped a visual narrative style that conveyed a palpable sense of 20th-century black life in America. Robles-Gordon states: I identify with Bearden‘s collages because I employ similar techniques and processes of cutting, pasting, reconstructing forms, faces, and concepts from photographs, magazines, and other paper sources to convey a message. I interpret his method and collages as a form of visual journaling. Through making collages, I have established a relationship between texture, symmetry, harmony, and compositional balance.

Inspired by Mexican surrealist, Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), Robles-Gordon considers Kahlo‘s ability to overcome tragedy, illness, and grief as an expression of her strength, and its role as a source for her paintings. As one of the best-known women artists of the early 20th-century, Kahlo used life‘s obstacles as a way to hone and articulate her artistic voice:

Kahlo was a master at rendering her dreams, pain, and innermost thoughts and feelings. I am inspired by her personal connection to her art and its role within her life. Further, her artistic treatment of women and the depiction of her traumatic life have influenced my desire to create works reflective of my experiences as a woman.

In Bearden and Kahlo, Robles-Gordon discovered the arts to be a meaningful ways to convey personal narratives and relevant sociopolitical issues. She admires each artist‘s work as an embodiment of cultural pride, and as a means to stake a position on identity, subjugation, and giving voice to the voiceless. By combining personal elements with timeless and universal themes, Robles-Gordon uses collage, and non-traditional painterly devices to examine contemporary social issues: accumulation and waste, beauty and femininity, motherhood, spirituality, and the nonsensical or unexplainable juxtapositions that characterize daily existence.

In the work of pioneering abstract painter Alma Thomas (1891-1978), Robles-Gordon reflects upon Thomas‘s interpretation of primary color schemes, geometry, and composition. From French artist Georges Seurat‘s (1859-1891), she learned about the process of optical color mixing. Robles-Gordon states:

Thomas left small spaces of white canvas in between her brush strokes, creating the appearance of mosaics or stained glasswork.... [By studying this,] I began to evaluate the value, purpose, and aesthetic aspects of my art.... [Seurat] used white space to enhance the perception of color. He created a technique called ‘pointillism,‘ in which an image is rendered using tiny dots of primary and secondary colors. When the image is viewed from afar, the eye fuses the colors and creates intermediate colors.

She applied these concepts of color and technique to a body of untitled works in the series, Identification of the Matrix Grid. Begun in 2004, these pieces evolved from an artistic inquiry that used grid structures to create multi-colored layered matrices based on squares or rectangles. She cites Thomas and Seurat as sources for her grids: In my early works, I used torn, colored paper to create figurative paper mosaic compositions. Ripping the paper revealed its white fiber pulp, and provided areas of white space between each portion of color. Many of my paper mosaics appear from afar to look like Thomas‘s paintings until you come closer and see the texture of overlapping paper. The manner in which Thomas and Seurat used color and white space has influenced the way I visually perceive color and has informed my placement of color in the majority of these works.

As a member of BADC, Robles-Gordon has positioned her art as a part of an artist community that values African-inspired techniques and philosophies as a tool for exploring personal and artistic awareness. Her series, Cosmic Black, was created for the 2009 BADC exhibition, The Black Exhibit. Like the 20th-century exhibitions devoted to the color black as an expression of the sociopolitical issues associated with blackness, the focus of this show was to reinforce principles such as ?black is beautiful? and the positive attributes of the color.

Within BADC, fiber and textile artist James Brown, and mixed-media artist Francine Haskins have inspired Robles-Gordon‘s professional development. In Brown and Haskins, Robles- Gordon appreciates how each artist has contributed to an expansive understanding of the possibilities of textiles, fiber arts, and found objects in her own work. She also sees the work of artist, professor, and AfriCOBRA member, Frank Smith as an inspiration for developing mixed- media canvases and sculptures that combine sewing and painting. The physicality of Smith‘s work comes from layers of painted, cross-hatched squares, stamps, or other materials featured in kinetic arrangements. The wall-mounted draped textiles in her series, Heal Thyself Series, pay homage to Smith‘s quilted paintings, his use of space and brilliant palettes. Robles-Gordon says of these three artists:

In their own individual styles and techniques, Brown, Haskins, and Smith create two- dimensional figurative and abstracted compositions that appear to have varying planes of visual movement and rhythm that document, explore, and celebrate African and African American history and culture. Through exposure to their works and my relationships with Brown, Haskins, and Smith, they have supported and challenged me to continue my exploration of textiles, cloth, and sewing and have strongly encouraged my desire to go beyond the conventional practice of presenting works in frames.

In Robles-Gordon‘s recent work, familiar elements—straps, curling irons, gloves, shoes, dragonflies, and fans—take on new meanings and forms on her characteristically canvas, chicken wire, or wooden supports. The compositional possibilities are as limitless as her stockpile of materials and their conceptual associations. As the work moves this direction, her structural sensibilities—that once relied on grids and matrices—are being transformed into less regimented, more three-dimensional, and visually-interactive compositions. She states:

Though the matrix is still at the core of most of my compositions, the works are no longer defined by a grid format or flat surface. Taking away the boundaries of traditional framing encouraged me to allow the materials, colors, and energy to hang, flow, and ?leap off? of flat canvas, which ultimately leads to the shift from two-dimensional to three-dimensional works.

These developing concepts are best revealed in the Heal Thyself Series, the Chicken Wire Series, and At the Altar. Heal Thyself consists of wall hangings made from textiles and other media mounted on canvas. The Chicken Wire Series is comprised of mixed media works woven through and sculpted around a chicken wire base. At the Altar is composed of folded and draped canvases that are brightly painted and adorned with an array of found objects from plastic fruit to things associated with childbirth and maternity.

Tosha Grantham is an artist, writer, and independent curator. She is completing a PhD in African Diaspora Art History at the University of Maryland College Park.

Amber Robles-Gordon is a mixed media artist who lives in Washington, DC.

Upcoming Exhibitions

Wired (June 17 – July 17, 2011)

Pleasant Plains Workshop: 2608 Georgia Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009 Opening Reception: June 18, 2011 from 6-9 pm Curator: Kristina Bilonik Tel: (202) 415-1466 Website: www.pleasantplains.com (Solo exhibition)

Delusions of Grandeur (July 8 – August 30, 2011) Mandarin Oriental Hotel/DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Exhibition Space 1330 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20024 Opens: July 8, 2011 Contact: Jamea Richmond-Edwards Tel: (571) 288-1086 (Group exhibition: Shaunte Gates, Jamea Richmond and Amber Robles-Gordon)

Pen Arts presents: Lace works by Amber Robles-Gordon (October 31 - November 5) Keynote speaker for the DC Branch's November meeting The National League of American Pen Women National Headquarters Pen Arts Building 1300 Seventeenth Street N.W. Washington, D.C.  20036-1973 Opening Reception: To be announced phone - 202-785-1997 fax - 202-452-8868 Website: www.americanpenwomen.org (Solo Exhibition)

Amber Robles-Gordon: The Sweet Glitter Juju of Life ©Tosha Grantham, April 2011


A Group Exhibition of Recent Works by BADC and WPA Member Artists opens at Hillyer Art Space in Washington, D.C.

A GROUP EXHIBITION, titled "Process: Reaffirmation," presenting recent works by Black Artists of D.C. (BADC) and Washington Project for the Arts (WPA) member artists opened at Hillyer Art Space on Friday evening, April 1. The exhibition, which is curated by Gina Marie Lewis, focuses on and reaffirms the processes of artists within their studios, honors the personal philosophies, practices, and vocabularies of eight artists and attempts to explore a visual dialogue between their works.

Read the full article: www.swedishscene.com/2011/04/a-group-exhibition-of-recent-w.html


Image by Suzanna Fields, Pretty Polly

Beyond The Pale: Works by Amber Robles-Gordon, Huguette Roe, Suzanna Fields, Gina Denton and Joseph Barbaccia. Emerson Gallery, McLean Project for the Arts January 20 – March 5, 2011

The term Beyond the Pale was originally used to describe a barrier meant to enclose or define territory during military maneuvers beyond which it was not permissible to go. In more general contemporary terms, it has now come to mean an action or thing that is regarded as outside the limits of what is acceptable. The five artists in this exhibition, Amber Robles-Gordon, Huguette Roe, Suzanna Fields, Gina Denton and Joesph Barbaccia, all work fearlessly and with determination outside the barriers usually associated with traditional art making. They create works that are distinct, idiosyncratic expressions of their own individuality, breaking old rules only to write new ones regarding materials used, processes employed, and formal traditions no longer strictly adhered to.

Although the artists were chosen for their individuality, there are also commonalities that emerge when their works are seen together. All are interested in both the idea and process of accumulation, many parts merging to become a whole. All are also collectors in their own way, bringing together imagery, materials, and ideas. And all five bring these components together carefully and primarily by hand, through processes that embrace repetition and the creative, meditative state it can induce.

Amber Robles-Gordon works in a studio full of the accumulations necessary to create her work. Bits of fabric, tile, beads, string, ribbons, and wire are collected and organized, ready to become mixed media wall oriented pieces. Some of her works are structured and geometric, while others are masses of vibrant complexity organized around basic shapes such as an eye, the DNA helix or a rising wingspan. These are works that entice the viewer to look in as well as at, to experience fully a carefully controlled chaos and all the beautiful paradoxes encompassed therein.

Huguette Roe’s photographs depict collections of images of accumulated recycled materials. Photographed from a close-in vantage point, the images become studies of color, pattern and repetition. They are profoundly beautiful in a formal sense, and also silently profound conceptually, as they highlight and represent the beauty in what we refuse and reuse. Roe’s choice of subject matter lies outside the boundary, but she skillfully employs the full strength of her artistic skills to create works that entice visually as they simultaneously raise some of our society’s largest quandaries.

Suzanna Fields uses the traditional material of acrylic paint in distinctly new and non- traditional ways. Working with the paint in both two and three dimensions, she employs just about everything except a brush to build abstract works that celebrate both wonder and unease. Like the other artists in this exhibition, she is comfortable with the fullness of paradox, as she explores and embraces cycles, rejuvenation, oscillation, order and patterns undone. Fields is at her core an experimenter, bringing this to bear fully through both method and materials.

Baltimore artist Gina Denton is also a collector and compiler. Working primarily with textile materials of one sort or another, she builds oddly beautiful and slightly sinister sculptures that refer, by virtue of their shape and colors, to body parts or living beings. At one point stating her artistic goal as “ protecting and personifying the pseudo-animate” Denton has indeed created works that seem to have crossed the border to reside in a world all their own. Using recycled sweaters, felted colored wool, bits of fabric scraps and hair of both the human and animal variety, she has formulated fantastic objects that are at once familiar, friendly and also a bit frightening.

Joseph Barbaccia’s sculptures are both simple and complex. Using as a base clear and meaningful forms- a knot, a gathering of flames, an animated but unidentifiable creature- Barbaccia then covers the shape with a complex skin of shining sequins, a distinctly unorthodox but very effective material choice. The pieces become jewel-like and are digested wholly, through a gestalt-like process, experienced as much as seen. He describes his intention as “paring down visual insight to a more essential level of expression” and the viewer finds that he has done just that. One meets each individual piece in the same way one meets another person-simply as itself.

The works in this exhibition, shown together, do develop a dialogue. They speak in unison fleetingly, but enough to create an undercurrent of harmony that resonates throughout the space. They speak together of unabashed and unconventional beauty, and of interpretive acceptance; an invitation to read the work on your own terms. They speak of the calmness of repetition and the excitement of a different approach: a new material; a new way of working with the familiar; an innovative choice. They speak of accumulating and assimilating. And mostly they speak together of barriers pushed, borders crossed, and new territory explored.

Nancy Sausser Curator

http://www.mpaart.org/events.php


Visions, Voices, Viewpoints and Victories of African American Artists @ Peltz Gallery

Guest curator: Della WellsOpening

Reception: Friday, January 21, 6 to 9:30pm

Artists: David Anderson, Reginald Baylor, Trenton Baylor, Portia Cobb, Willie Cole, Sam Gilliam, Sharon Kerry Harlan, Sonji Hunt, Mutope Johnson, Ras' Ammar 'Nsoroma, Alison Saar, Evelyn Patricia Terry, Kara Walker, Della Wells, Kehinde Wiley and George Williams, Jr., Amber Robles-Gordon.

Paintings, drawings, collage, wall hangings and original prints by more than 25 artists.

PELTZ GALLERY 1119 E. Knapp St. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202 USA 414.223.4278 www.artnet.com/gallery/851/peltz-gallery.html

Saturday, January 22 11am to 4pm - coffee, food and conversation with artists.


MATRICES OF TRANSFORMATION: A Process of Discovery through Collage and Assemblage

The Art of Amber Robles-Gordon

My Thesis Defense Exhibition

Exhibition: Monday November 22, 2010- Wednesday December 1, 2010 Thesis Defense: Monday November 29, 2020 3:00-500 pm

Michael Platt’s Studio 1468 Chapin Street, NW Washington, DC 20009 (Between Adams and Bryant Street.) Viewing by appt. Contact (202) 332-6917 or michealbplatt@verizon.net Amber Robles–Gordon (240) 417-4888 aroblesgordon@yahoo.com


FOCUS GROUP: Four Walls, Four Women Presented by Black Artists of DC (BADC)

Featuring work by Jamea Richmond Edwards, Danielle Scruggs, Kristen Hayes, Amber Robles-Gordon Curated by Zoma Wallace

FOCUS GROUP: Four Walls, Four Women seeks to spark a visual discussion between artworks created by Black women and a verbal dialogue between those who view and purchase them. The topic of discussion is material. What are artists using? What materials do they feel drawn to? How does Black femininity affect or reflect itself in the chosen material(s), if at all? How does femininity affect the delivery and/or reception of the message? 

The voices of the women artists in this exhibition are heard primarily through material form. Embracing both visual and verbal discussion, FOCUS GROUP: Four Walls, Four Women hopes to determine how effectively unique material languages are deciphered/valued/appreciated/acquired by a universal audience and market. 

FOCUS GROUP: Four Walls, Four Women is the second in a series of collaborations between DC Arts Center and Black Artists of DC. The purpose of Black Artists of DC (BADC) is to create a Black artists community to promote, develop and validate the culture, artistic expressions and aspirations of past and present artists of Black-Afrikan ancestry in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

Opening Reception Friday November 19, 7-9pm  District of Columbia Arts Center 2338 18th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 http://www.dcartscenter.org/submit_gallery_future.htm

 


Intersecciones Culturales: Voces de América Latina y el Caribe Cultural Crossroads: Voices of Latin America and the Caribbean Felix Angel - Joan Belmar - Rafael Corzo - Amber Robles-Gordon

September 15 - October 15, 2010 Opening Reception: Saturday, September 18, 5 - 8pm

 

The Brentwood Arts Exchange at the Gateway Arts Center is proud to present, Intersecciones Culturales: Voces de America Latina y el Caribe / Cultural Crossroads: Voices from Latin America and the Caribbean, an exhibition featuring artwork by Felix Angel, Joan Belmar, Amber Robles-Gordon, and Rafael Corzo. Curated by Carmen Toruella-Quander, and assisted by Ricardo Penuela-Pava, Cultural Crossroads is a celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, a time when we honor the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the United States and celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture. Intersecciones Culturales / Cultural Crossroads is compact, with the intent to overload. Rafael Corzo, presenting art in the gallery as well as the craft store, brings an ambitious embodiment of youthful energy and freedom. Amber Robles-Gordon exhibits dazzling wall sculptures evocative of Carnival, steeped in the Afro-Caribbean heritage of objects imbued with symbolism so deeply felt that even when open to intellectual interpretation, their emotional interpretation rings clear. Joan Belmar presents an installation of abstractions rendered with incredible precision and care. Each creates delicate illusions of space that rest on balance between external structure and the fluidity of emotions. And, that's all before mentioning Felix Angel, who lends the exhibition nine works of undeniable power. The most established and longest experienced of this talented group, Angel - better known in the DC region as a curator than as an artist - brings forth refinement, eloquence, and poignance, that are always and only the outcome of years of creation, focus and discipline. As a whole, Intersecciones Culturales / Cultural Crossroads is an expansive, energetic and positive stand against any generalization of "Latin Art". It steps in many directions, danced in embrace with all of life - the expression of which makes art powerful. It is not THE voice from Latin America and the Caribbean. It is four voices, artists varied in age and experience, creating contemporary art informed by cultural heritage from Columbia, Chile, Puerto Rico, and Mexico - places as distant and distinct from one another as from here, yet bound by language and post-colonial legacy, and by their living contribution to the fabric of our lives.

Brentwood Arts Exchange - exchanging ideas through art. A facility of the Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission. Hours: Monday through Friday: 10am - 8pm Saturday: 10am - 6pm Closed Sunday @ Gateway Arts Center 3901 Rhode Island Avenue Brentwood, MD 20722 301-277-2863/ tty. 301-446-6802 www.pgparks.com/Things_To_Do/Arts/Brentwood-Arts-Exchange-at-Gateway-Arts-Center.htm


Amber Robles-Gordon Milked, 2010, 30x30 on canvas

Jamea Richmond-Edwards Unforsaken, 2010, 18x24 on canvas

Jamea Richmond-Edwards and Amber Robles Gordon: Pretty Things, Little Treasures and Hidden Meanings

Friday September 3- Friday September 17, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Gallery at AYN Studio in the Penn Quarter neighborhood, will present an exhibition of collage and assemblage creations by artists Jamea Richmond-Edwards and Amber Robles-Gordon entitled, “Pretty Things, Little Treasures and Hidden Meanings”. The exhibition will open on Friday September 3, 2010 with a public reception from 6:30-8:30 pm. The exhibition will remain on view by appointment until Friday September 17, 2010.

“Pretty Things, Little Treasures and Hidden Meanings” is inspired by the themes in their work that convey the feminine mystique. Both women focus on their personal stories and the roles of women in society. The “Pretty Things” refers to the physical beauty and the sentiment that women attribute to the things they collect and adorn themselves with. “Little Treasures” are the intricate details that create the narratives. The “Hidden Meanings” are the various images and concepts that encompass the feminine mystique, yet reproduce social norms that confine.

This exhibition is the product of an artistic partnership and dialogue about emerging women artists. The dialogue began about how to navigate through the art world and challenge the notion of the individual and isolated artist. The two artists met while working on their MFA’s at Howard University and through their affiliation with Black Artists of DC. They discovered commonalities in their work and decided to partner and exhibit works focusing on womanhood.

Detroit native Jamea Richmond-Edwards studied painting and drawing at Jackson State University.

She primarily paints women and is influenced by childhood memories and the complex lives of the women in her life. She has developed her own unique style of mixed media portraiture using paper, graphite, and ink.

Amber Robles-Gordon is an artist, student, and native of Puerto Rico. She is currently finishing her Masters in Fine Arts at Howard University. Her medium is collage and assemblage. She focuses on fusing found objects to convey her own personal memories, inspired by nature, womanhood, and her belief in recycle energy.

Artist work can be viewed at www.jamearichmondedwards.com, www.amberroblesgordon.com

Interview Contact and to make appt: Amber Robles Gordon Telephone: 240-417-4888

Contact: The Gallery at AYN Studio 923 F St. NW Suite#201, Washington, D.C. 202-271-9475 http://www.aynstudio.com/ gediyon@AynStudio.com


 

African American Art Alive in the District: Partnerships, exhibitions help the Black Artists of D.C.

In a city with a changing art scene, 10-year-old organization Black Artists of D.C. fosters a community of support and inspiration.

Amber Robles-Gordon is an African American artist who teaches yoga and pilates, organizes art workshops, and writes an art blog.

“[My work is] colorful, intuitive, and abstract,” Robles-Gordon said of her art, which includes three-dimensional pieces, collages and paper mosaics.

Robles-Gordon’s work was recently featured in an exhibition at the D.C. Arts Center called “Black” that focused on artists’ personal perceptions of blackness. Her work personifies a growing black art movement in the District that is often overlooked.

A Supportive Art Family

Since 2004, Robles-Gordon, 32, has been active in Black Artists of D.C., a growing art organization with about 400 members.

“I just jumped in, and at that time there was a wonderful group, but there wasn’t a whole lot of structure,” she said of the organization, which elected her president in 2009.

Robles-Gordon has been a leader in the group since she joined, curating exhibits and publicizing the organization. She cites Black Artists of D.C. as a major support system.

“My family’s not here,” she said of relatives in her native Puerto Rico, “so I was searching not only for artists; I was also searching for family, and it was like I inherited an artistic family.”

The group, which partners with other organizations and has strong ties to Howard University, provides inspiration to Robles-Gordon and other members.

“Beyond what they gave me in terms of love and support, I also learned so much,” she said.

Read more and view interviews with artists Amber Robles-Gordon and Michael Platt, Janell Blackmon,art history professor at Howard University and Norman Parish owner of the Parish Gallery in Georgetown... http://onlinejournalismworkshop.com/artists/story.html

 

!!!!!!!!!!!Exhibitions !!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Reclaiming Those Negative Images: Mixed Media Reflections Exhibit at The Corner Store Gallery

Amber Robles-Gordon's "Cosmic Black 2" is one of the works on display at the Corner Store Gallery"

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Reclaiming Those Negative Images Feb. 16, 2010 By Kristin Coyner Roll Call Staff

Oftentimes, there’s more talent under our noses than we realize. That’s certainly true when it comes to “Mixed Media Reflections,” a new gallery at the Corner Store, a multiuse arts space at 900 South Carolina Ave. SE.

Alec Simpson and Tray Patterson, both Washington artists, are acting co-curators for the gallery. Simpson, who often deals in abstract art, is one of 12 Washington-area African-American artists whose works are on display.

The idea for the show started rather simply, over a meal between Patterson and Simpson.

“We just got together over lunch one day and decided to put on a show last fall,” Simpson said.

In light of Simpson’s own success last year with a one-man show at the Corner Store — Simpson sold all his small works in “Flashback/Fast Forward” — it followed that the planners focused on small works. “In view of what people were saying about the economy, we just thought that maybe we’d stick with that concept,” Simpson said.

All works at the gallery are on sale for $240 to $1,000.

“We didn’t have any idea how many artists there would be in it, how many pieces there were going to be, how big they were going to be, but we did know that we didn’t want them to be priced out of the market,” Simpson said. With the theme of Black History Month, the mixed media motif pulls everything together.

Stepping into the front room of the Corner Store, where the works are on display, is a treat. The front space is warm and beautiful, with colored walls and exposed brick. The artists’ works are accentuated by the lack of a modern white-walled space.

As for the works, some pieces use found objects, others use silk, some are on ceramic and still others are on paper. One artist, Alonzo Davis, even uses bamboo poles and fabrics.

The show is a mixture of materials and artistic styles, but the works manage to tie to the theme of Black History Month in a compelling way. All the artists in some way touch on the African diaspora, from clear visual images of brutality to parodies of mockery of black personhood to abstract works that offer the chance to create new meaning.

Works by Aziza Gibson Hunter, “Prayers to Haiti,” were a late addition to the show. Gibson Hunter composed a series that incorporates elements of African cloth and other found objects, including Haitian money, to offer homage to the small island nation devastated by an earthquake a month ago. Gibson Hunter intends to donate all proceeds to Doctors Without Borders.

One wall in particular seems to deal most directly with ancestral issues and imagery, which are most readily visualized through Anne Bouie’s “Ancestry 5,” “Ancestry 6” and “Ancestry 8.” Bouie incorporates Aunt Jemima and Uncle Tom figures but creates new meaning with the images.

And that, to Simpson, underscores a driving theme of the entire show. “It’s a matter of transformation, transforming it into something different and new,” he said. “It’s about seeing new things in what wasn’t necessarily good.”

Patterson added: “It’s also reclaiming it. Reclaiming a negative stereotype that was out there to turn it.”

The breadth of artistic techniques that individual artists have perfected is another striking aspect of the show. For example, artist Juliette Madison uses mixed media clay pieces by transferring images onto clay using ink that she created.

Madison’s “Lord Why” displays the technique with a veritable gut punch. The work shows the archival photograph of a lynched woman who, along with her son, was accused of theft. The significance of the story is made clear with the phrase “Lord why is my seed in the wind?” emblazoned on top of the image.

“African-American artists don’t feel backed into a corner,” Simpson said. “They create and let the chips fall where they may. There’s an authenticity to what you see.”

The exhibit, which opened Feb. 5, will run until the 28th. The Corner Store doubles as an art space and home to Kris Swanson, a sculptor who for the past eight years has welcomed any variety of art events into her home, including author readings, CD release parties and theatrical performances.

Because the space functions as a home, the Corner Store isn’t open for regular hours. However, Swanson makes appointments at webmaster@cornerstorearts.org or 202-544-5807.

The Corner Store Gallery 900 South Carolina Avenue, SE Washington, DC 20003 (202) 544-5807

www.cornerstorearts.org

Metro: Within 2 blocks of the Eastern Market Station Orange and Blue Lines



Colorblind/Colorsight

Exhibition Dates: November 9 – December 5, 2009 Opening Reception: Tuesday November 10, 2009 8-9pm

Washington, DC American University is pleased to present Colorblind/Colorsight, curated by A.U. MFA candidate Rachel Sitkin and featuring the work of area MFA candidates Yumi Hogan, Hedieh J. Ilchi, Amber Robles-Gordon, Mekbib Gerbertsadik, Beverly Paul, Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle and recent MFA graduate Matthew Owen Wead.

Colorblind/Colorsight looks at the diverse practices of these seven emerging artists who deal with issues of gender, race and ethnicity. In conjunction with the American University 2009 Fall Colloquium series, Beyond the Binary: Race-ing Art, this exhibition examines what it means to identify as an “ethnic” artist in a “post-racial” America.

Please join us for a panel discussion with Howardina Pindell, Sanford Biggers, Jiha Moon, Galo Moncayo and Isabel Manalo followed by a reception for Colorblind/Colorsight on Tuesday, November 10, 2009.

Panel Discussion: 6-8pm in the Abramson Recital Hall Gallery Reception: 8-9pm in the Rotunda Gallery free American University Katzen Art Center 4400 Massachusetts Ave. Washington, DC 20016

For more information contact: Rachel Sitkin rachelsitkin@gmail.com


Windows into DC

Aroblesgordon @ Artomatic 2009

www.artomatic.org

Featuring the C-Wire Piece on 2nd floor

Opening Reception: May Friday 29, 2009

Time: 8:00 pm - 2:00 am Exhibit: Friday May 29 -June

Open: Wed.-Thurs., Noon-10 pm Sun. Noon-10 pm Fri.-Sat. Noon-1 am

Location: 55 M ST SE Washington, D.C. How: Take the Metro! Navy Yard, Green Line West Entrance


 

To View Additional Artwork/Videos

www.myspace.com/aroblesgordon www.youtube.com/user/aroblesgordon www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/yourgallery/artist_profile//10521.html

Memberships

Black Artists of DC blackartistsofdc.org/ badcblog.blogspot.com/

Washington Projects for the Arts artfile.wpadc.org/view_artist.php?aid=1424

Art Registries

Maryland State Art Council Registry www.msac.org/registry/

 

 

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