Public Reception: Thursday, June 9 • 6 – 8 pm • Gallery Talk at 7 pm
Target Gallery, the contemporary exhibition space for the Torpedo Factory Art Center, encourages people to touch, feel, dine upon, and even lick the artwork in Please Touch.
Sixteen national and international artists, including four people from Virginia, were juried into this group show. This all-media exhibition features 20 works with which audiences should engage.
“I chose work that specifically challenged the traditional expectation of experiencing art,” said Cynthia Connolly, Arlington County’s special projects curator and juror for the exhibition. “In this case, one must touch the artwork in order to completely understand, appreciate and experience the intention of the artist.”
For example, Colleen Ludwig’s Pod Field is a series of wooden forms affixed with long pod stalks. The audience is invited to brush against the pods as they walk through the installation, triggering the bamboo chimes. The more people in the space, the more it fills the industrial surroundings of the Torpedo Factory with sound, reminiscent of insects in nature.
Jeni Hansen Gard’s Project Share is two ceramic dish sets and a social art project. One set stays in Target Gallery for display, the other is for visitors to borrow and use for a meal with a stranger. There is no fee for this project, participants are merely asked to snap a few photos and write a blog entry. (See the blog from a similar project in Columbus, Ohio.) The dishes are a vehicle to engage in conversation over the intimate act of sharing food.
Fumi Amano, of Richmond, Virginia, created one of the most intimate works in the show with Look at Me. An immigrant from Japan, Amano’s work is a reflection of her sense of isolation and the challenges of connecting with others through a language barrier. In her work, visitors sit on opposite sides of a frosted pane of glass, unable to see each other. The person on the frosted side then licks the pane, revealing a face. This intense and visceral act mimics Amano’s own desire to break through barriers and communicate with others.
“We are told not to touch fine art, and definitely never to lick it,” said Kaitlyn Ward, Target Gallery director. “I want the gallery experience to be completely interactive, and for the visitor to feel like he or she is breaking the rules.”
The participating artists are:
- Fumi Amano – Richmond, VA
- Marcelyn Bennett Carpenter – Bloomfield Hills, MI
- Brielle DuFlon – Charlottesville, VA
- Sherman Finch – Cypress, TX
- Magdalene Gluszek – Show Low, AZ
- Jennifer Hansen – West Olive, MI
- Dana Lynn Harper – Columbus, OH
- Tim Harper – Midlothian, VA
- Katie Hudnall – Indianapolis, IN
- Young Suk Lee – South Bend, IN
- Colleen Ludwig – Detroit, MI
- Charles Benjamin Rosecrans – Sandy Hook, CT
- Kurt Treeby – Buffalo, NY
- Art Vidrine – Alexandria, VA
- Dukno Yoon – Manhattan, KS
About the Juror
Cynthia Connolly is a photographer, curator, letterpress printer and artist who lives in Arlington, Virginia. She graduated from both the Corcoran College of Art and Design, and Auburn University’s Rural Studio, worked for Dischord Records and booked an avant-garde performance venue, d.c. space. In 1988, she published Banned in DC: Photos and Anecdotes from the DC Punk Underground (79-86) through her independent press Sun Dog Propaganda. Internationally shown and a prolific artist, her photographic work, postcards, and books were exhibited in Beautiful Losers in the United States and Europe from 2004-2009 establishing herself as a pioneer in DIY culture. Reviewed internationally, her photography is in many private collections, as well as the J. Paul Getty Museum, Smithsonian Museum of American History and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. She was the visual arts curator of Artisphere and continues as Arlington County’s special projects curator.