Featuring abstract paintings by eleven Virginia and Washington, DC-based artists, Constructs 5 will be on view at Mary Baldwin University’s Hunt Gallery from October 6–31, 2008. This is the fifth of seven installments by the Constructs group, which includes the following artists: Sally Bowring, Don Crow, Reni Gower, Ron Johnson, and Javier Tapia of Richmond; Steve Cushner and Dan Treado of Washington, DC; Chris Gregson and Steve Griffin of Fredericksburg; Ray Kass of Christiansburg; and, Paul Ryan of Staunton. The first exhibition took place in 2005 at Plant Zero, an alternative non-profit art space in Richmond, and the sixth and seventh shows are scheduled at George Mason University for 2009 and Washington and Lee University for 2010. The second, third, and fourth venues were the University of Mary Washington, Rawls Art Museum, and Longwood Center for the Visual Arts. Each exhibition contains different work and numbers of work by the artists, and sometimes there has been a slight rotation of participants. A strong commitment to abstract painting’s ongoing relevance in the 21st century and its capacity to convey meaning binds the artists and their work. However, approaches to process, the development of formal structures, and intentions vary widely among the eleven painters.
A handsome and useful catalog, funded by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Department of Painting and Printmaking at VCU, accompanies this and the subsequent exhibitions. It contains three supporting essays, biographical information about each of the artists, artist’s statements, and color images of a work by each artist. In the lead essay by art historian and critic Howard Risatti, “Acts of Disclosure: Art and the Creative Imagination,” Risatti states: “For the artists in Constructs – the artistic act of making is always something negotiated through the senses in dialogue with reason and the creative imagination. Through this dialogue works of art come into being – as a kind of creative disclosure in which truth is allowed to happen, allowed to come forth into consciousness, so that the work of art reveals otherwise undisclosed aspects of the world.”
A reception for the Constructs artists will be held on Monday, October 6, from 4:30–6 p.m. in Hunt Gallery, which is located in Hunt Hall on the Mary Baldwin University campus. The public is invited to attend. Hunt Gallery is dedicated to the exhibition of contemporary work in all media by regionally and nationally recognized artists. The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the College’s academic year. Hunt Gallery’s schedule for the 2008-09 academic year can be found online at http://www.marybaldwin.edu/arts/huntgallery.php .