Enjoy this Virtual Tour of one of our best art shows yet!
“The First Annual Elizabeth Sanford Memorial Art Show”, held on April 18th, 2009, was a triumph for The Soundry! Since opening in December 2008, we have featured works by independent local artists in 3 art shows, “The Chase”, “Art Garage Show”, and now “The Elizabeth Sanford Memorial Show”. The current show is comprised of works created from recycled, refurbished, and reconstituted material in honor of Earth Day and to raise awareness about issues involving recycling and re-using.
20 artists from Northern Virginia contributed exceptional work to this art show, stating as a collective that nothing is “trash”. Artworks featured in the show were created using found objects and recycled material, and include painted works, sculpture, and installation. In our coffee shop are two pieces by Matt Patton, titled “Live for Today” and “Live for Tomorrow”.
These acrylic painting on plywood give a clear indication of some of the themes of the work that the viewer will see as they proceed through the gallery.
LisaMarie Adams is an artist whose talent reaches into nearly every medium. Her collages on display in the show are made from old greeting cards, creating cohesively themed, visually stimulating pieces.
Erin Quigley also contributed some outstanding collages, taking her own spin on Andy Warhol’s famous pop-art soup cans. Her Campbell’s Soup series are collages made entirely from Campbell’s Soup labels.
Andrew Sanderson has two pieces in the show, which can be viewed when you enter the hallway that leads to the main gallery. “Shot in the Dark” and “Reflective Past” are two large pieces on canvas that incorporate used bullets and pieces of broken mirror. A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of these pieces will go to support The Hemi Foundation, an organization founded to help individuals and families who have experienced a hemispherectomy, a very complicated brain surgery.
Anne Pastorcovich contributed a display of jewelry created from found hardware, like washers, bolts, and wire. She also created a collage on canvas in homage to the W&OD Bike Trail that runs directly in front of The Soundry, which is a recycled thing itself, having previously existed as a railway line.
Karl Kalbaugh took the challenge to create art from recycled material to a new level. Karl makes and designs beautiful wooden and plastic didgeridoos (an Australian aboriginal instrument) and instructs in the instrument at The Soundry. He often makes his didgeridoos from wood that he finds, but for this show, he hurdled himself outside of his artistic box and constructed a fully functional didgeridoo entirely from aluminum cans!
Talented portrait artist Elizabeth Reid stretched her creativity and resourcefulness to accommodate the perimeters of the show. She disassembled toner cartridges from the printers in her office and found vibrant fuchsia and blue powdered pigment that she used to create a stunning portrait. Elizabeth said of the show,
“I was excited to work with and explore materials I had never used before. I feel like this show gave me the opportunity to push the boundaries of my portraiture and explore how a different medium can drastically alter the message of my work.”
Erika Stone creates unique mixed media pieces that incorporate elements of collage, painting, and assemblage. Her strong sense of composition carries the messages of her pieces to the viewer.
Donna Kalvels usually works in refurbishing furnature, creating lovely folk art desks, tables, chairs, and shelves. In The Elizabeth Sanford Show, Donna contributed frames she made from packing styrofoam, showing how we can all be more conscience of the functionality of objects and substances we usually discard.
Brian Joseph Legan contributed a large painting on canvas titled “The Quetzalcoatl Resolution”. Legan draws many of his influences from ancient cultures of Central America, and executed this piece on canvas recycled from burlap. Brian also executed a large mural in the gallery as part of the “Piece Tree” installation. He worked tirelessly on the mural for over 20 hours, rendering a desert landscape with a deep receding horizon. The image, an egg-shaped bolder balanced on three smaller rocks isolated in a barren desert landscape with massive billowing clouds filling a blue sky, comes from a recurring dream. It was fascinating to be present as Brian sketched, worked, and re-worked the image, pausing to tap into the image presented to his unconscious in a dream, then attempting to bring it to the physical world. His creativity truly propelled the work that was going on around him as others bustled to install the “Piece Tree” at the same time.
The work presented in the Gallery was strong and exciting apex to The Elizabeth Sanford Show. Photographer and mixed media artist Amy Bruce really stepped out of her artistic comfort zone and pushed herself to create something emotional, engaging, and inspiring. She used old paper boxed to create “suitcases” that contained extremely personal expressions of “baggage”, mostly centered on themes of self-image and self-discovery. Amy and I talked at length about the cathartic experience she had while trying to truly express her true emotions through a new creative avenue. Her piece “Excess Baggage”, five small boxes containing words, images, and mixed media renderings, were powerfully communicative and unavoidably intriguing, as they were meant to be taken off the walls, felt, manipulated, and explored. The positive response to these pieces was really marvelous.
Joe Cunningham, a guest artist in the show, displayed works made from recycled windows and doors. Kyle Schantz, an artist living in New York, painted beautiful images of a butterfly and flowers on recycled plywood. Successful Soundry artist Erika Stone, displayed a life-size imbelished mannaquin as well as 3 pieces from her “recycled” series. James Green had a number of large pieces in the show, all made from recycled wood combined with fabrics or canvas to communicate his raw, undeluted style. Jeff Ostendorf created a model windmill out of recycled water bottles, giving an interesting visual contrast between themes of green power sources and petroleum products.
Also featured in the Gallery was a special exhibit titled “Trash Talk”. What began as an experiment, became a major highlight and contributing strength to the message of the show, clearly illustrating what can be done when creativity and ingenuity is applied to themes of re-using and recycling. We gave five Soundry artists each a bag of “trash”, literally things that we took from alley-ways, dumpsters, and trash cans, and told them to “turn the trash into art”. All of the objects were randomly collected and randomly distributed and each artist had the same amount of time to complete their piece. What returned was an incredibly diverse and impressive collection of pieces. No one who views these pieces now would know that they were once “trash”!
The culmination of The Elizabeth Sanford Memorial Art Show was The Soundry’s first major installation, “Piece Tree”. Here as an excerpt from what Soundry Curator and installation project manager Melissa Branin wrote about her installation:
“The “tree” is constructed entirely out of recyclable trash. Plastic bottles that hold everything from motor oil to drinking water, tin cans, glass bottles, and cardboard; if its in the recycle bin, its in the tree. Twenty-nine people contributed over 220 hours and countless strokes of brilliance to accomplish this collaboration. It has grown, developed, and matured like any living thing—lots of mistakes and lots of guesses. Support from all involved was incredible, more than I could have ever expected or asked for.
This would not have happened without the collaboration of a true believer, a visionary and kindred, Johnny Dukovich. His contribution was paramount. Other partners whose talent and artistry were indispensable: Brian Joseph Legan, Brian Kendall, Courtney Vaneduver, Jeff Duka, and Arlene Liard. Thank you (a million times) to my crew, dear friends who committed so many hours to bring this installation into fruition: Rosemary Ivosevich, Elizabeth Reed, Dan Stewart, Mike Merrell, Lindy Balls, Michelle Hemeon, Nancy Antonelli, Sandy Malone, Laura Sheridan, Jessica Neilsen, Scott Waterberry, Dave Adams, Reed Asay, Keely Shiraki, Anna Huckfeldt, Karen Miller, Dustin Hinston, Michelle Chon, and Beth Chon. The most important of thank yous–to Jennifer Crawford and Thor Berglie; for their unfeigned, constant, Herculean support of art and artists, and for giving me the ground to spread my roots and the freedom to stretch my limbs.”
Melissa Branin, installation constructed from recycled material