One of my favorite parts about working with The Studio Visit is the opportunity to get to know artists and learn more about their practice on a more personal, intimate level. I like to spend a little time before we begin a story to have a few one on one visits as well reading as much background information as possible. Amber and I had this opportunity before we met at her studio on a warm overcast day to film a story about her life, work and process.
Amber Robles-Gordon is a multimedia visual artist with a joyful, positive, happy vibe. Her strikingly colorful work is a powerful fusion of ethnicity, identity, gender and cultural and social interests. Her childhood also informs her work which was filled with a wide range of challenges and the loving, nurturing support of her mother.
“…an Earth alive in my consciousness as a living crystal being whose etheric geometric skeleton could be mapped in its patterns of energy flows…in ocean currents, the winds, river systems, and distributions of precious minerals. It seemed to me that ancient humans had known this sacred, hidden body of Earth and had settled on it in ways that took advantage of very visceral powers of place.”
The Divine Feminine in Geometric Consciousness (2010)
Hagen’s quote suggests that one can map the Earth not just through national borders, but through the power of the natural environment and the sacred energy that flows through those spaces. To her geometry is not simply a tool for measuring distances or volumes of space, but a way to consider invisible sacred energies helping keep the Earth functioning as it should. Each aspect of the environment works together creating a harmonious system. Hagen’s quote also hints at the legacy of geometric symbols moving beyond practical units, into sacred objects representing notions of infiniteness, and the unity of male and female. Moreover, depictions of spheres, circles, triangles, and their three-dimensional counterparts have used in rituals by numerous cultures spanning the world from ancient times into the present day…
The first exhibition, Transitional Objects, runs through July 16, features local artists, (RSVP for the April 28 opening reception here), and is curated by Amy Hughes Braden (also one of the featured artists) and Sarah Buie. We went earlier this week for a special sneak peek, and also to find out from the curators a bit more about the first lululemon Loft exhibition, and how fitness and art can be intertwined.
BmoreArt: Before settling in Washington, DC, you lived all over the world. Can you talk about how your family and upbringing has impacted your life as an artist?
My family is from the Caribbean – primarily from St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Antigua, West Indies. I was born in Puerto Rico, raised in Arlington, Virginia, and have lived in Washington, DC for the last 20 years.
The show celebrates the 40th anniversary of Ntozake Shange’s award-winning for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf, the landmarkpoem and play featuring women of color, represented by various hues, reciting monologues that touch on race, gender, sexuality, and love.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, group portraits and that R.E.M song. Lottery tickets, gentrification and a fast-food sign. These are among the artifacts and phenomena that define Rockville and D.C., respectively, in exhibitions that seek to reveal something of those places’ characters. The titles are telling. VisArts’s “(Come Back to) Rockville!” is a pep-squad cheer; Honfleur Gallery’s “How We Lost D.C.” is a blues lament.
March is Women’s History Month. Throughout the month we be profiled D.C. based women you should know. Amy Morse, the founder of Ideas Club, headed the project. Today she profiles Amber Robles-Gordon.
Amber is a D.C.-based changemaker who turns big ideas into visual art. Her work, which ranges from 50-foot banners draped on D.C. buildings, to installation art and mixed media assemblages, addresses global consumerism, gender imbalance and other major social cultural themes. Through the symbolic use of materials and their interactions, she exploratory meditations on her work read like spiritual healing practice. Her vantage point is unique, academically grounded (MFA in painting from Howard University), and incredibly beautiful. For those who enjoy interacting with creative nonfiction cultural critiques, she is a gem in D.C. of social commentary, drawing from an intuitive connection to herself and her spiritual practice.
A talented group of creatives from the DC area are showing their work in the Prizm Art Fair at Art Basel Miami. Prizm is a curated exhibition founded in 2013 by Mikhaile Solomon, a Miami-based designer, arts advocate and producer. According to Solomon, the mission of Prizm is to promote artists of color and “expand the spectrum of international artists from the African Diaspora and emerging markets at one of the most prestigious art festivals in the world.”
The Prizm Art Fair, located at the Miami Center For Architecture And Design (100 NE 1st Avenue), is one of many events held during Art Basel week - an international showcase for contemporary art featuring over 300 distinguished galleries and attracting an estimated 80,000 visitors.
Two years ago, Virgin Islands Property and Yacht magazine interviewed famous local artist Joseph Hodge, unveiling his artistic finesse and wealth of experience to our readers. It is of little surprise that his bloodline has conceived more talented individuals in cousin Amber Robles-Gordon, a mixed media sculptor and installation artist, who has recently discovered several of her relatives, including Joseph Hodge via our technological accessibility to the globe.