Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Post-Periphery Power Plays

July 10, 2006

The 21st century has ushered in new social structures that call for a re-envisioning of activist models. This is the premise behind the online exhibition, Extrapolations, curated by Humberto Ramirez and hosted by Ramirez's curatorial statement very eloquently lays out the postmodern constructs and real conditions that prompted 20th century protesters to base their actions on a model that pitted peripheries against centers. His argument is that alternative forms of behavior and mobility were made possible within the 'fringes' of society. After political and economic decentralization, and the now constantly-shifting nature of power, those wishing to challenge authority might do well to relinquish their embrace of marginality. This new approach is embodied in Extrapolation's eight internet-based projects, by artists Eteam, Deva Eveland, Peiyun Lee, Lana Lin, Jason Nelson, Arzu Ozkal Telhan, The Yes Men & Patrick Lichty, and Jody Zellen. Many of their works deal with the kind of multiplicity of interpretations afforded by abandonment of either/or, inside/outside perspectives. You might want to watch them multiple times.

Angela Moreno

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Radical Peace

Well ... It does feel very peaceful when you crawl inside Greg Kelley's newest piece - The Root Room - which is a well constructed pod with soft sides and floor on the inside, perfectly dark, and all but sound-proof - save the occasional murmurings from the folks at the recent Closing reception and a slight purr from the fan that is cleverly fixed somewhere in the apex of the pod.

This piece is one of five featured in Greg's most recent show, Radical Peace at ArtSpace Gallery, where Greg and his wife, Suzyn Dee Hutton Kelley, exhibited their most recent work as an "artist couple."

Greg Kelley - born of his own pod
photo by Jay Paul

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Starr Foster Dance Project: Artist Insight

Starr Foster is the leader and creative force behind the Starr Foster Dance Project, a contemporary dance company based in Richmond, Virginia. She creates all the choreography for her company’s productions. Starr is also a parent, a spouse, a professor of dance at VCU and serves on the board of 1708 Gallery. I met with Starr over coffee the other day to ask about her upcoming projects.

This summer she and the 9 amazing women who make up the Starr Foster Dance Project are rehearsing for three performances at the Grace Street Theater that will premier October 5, 6 and 7th, 2006. There will be performances of two new dances, “Drowning” and “Clutch”, and a re-setting of the SFDP’s critically admired “Alice”. Based on the book Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, the 55 minute dance is the SFDP’s most well-known and popular work, comprising 12 dances and 16 dancers. Starr commissioned One Ring Zero to compose and record the music for “Alice” and the costumes were designed by Karl Green.

In 6 dreamlike vignettes, the dancers will explore metaphors relating to the overwhelming emotional burden of death. Marc Langelier of Rattlemouth will compose and perform the music on a Native American flute for the performances.

Starr choreographed “Clutch” to three compositions of the Brooklyn based string quartet Ethel. The performance starts as a duet and becomes a quartet of dancers. She described “Clutch” as being a “tense and disputatious but not quite violent” exposition of the way humans tend to hold onto things too hard and what happens when they do.

These new projects and the revival of “Alice” have led Starr to an awareness of the growth and maturity that her choreography and artistic vision have undergone in the past 6 months. I asked Starr if she would be dancing in the performances and she replied that she is stepping back from performing in her productions this year so that she concentrate on the process of creating the entire dance from the vantage point of a choreographer. She continues to dance every day (except for Saturdays) when she is teaching at VCU.

Of special interest to those involved with 1708, the Starr Foster Dance Project will be performing for Wearable Art:Über in 2007.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Anne Savedge

Veiled 2
by Anne Savedge

Anne Savedge, an artist board member at 1708 Gallery, will have work in 2 shows this summer and if you are traveling to NYC or Lynchburg, VA you should check out her shows.
"COOL",at the Riverviews Artspace in Lynchburg, features work by Anne Savedge, Cameron Ayers and Sharon Shapiro. The show runs from July 2 until August 13, 2006. Click the link below for more information and times.

Anne's work is also included in "Wish You Were Here", a group exhibition of postcard sized artworks at the A.I.R. Gallery in New York City.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Jill Downen: Artist Insight

Jill Downen's artwork is featured in Overflow, at 1708 Gallery, running from July 7th until August19th, 2006 and she is the first artist to be interviewed in the new series of Artist Insights planned for the blog. You can see more of her work at

Installation view of Jill Downen's sculptures in Overflow...

Q. Jill, what do you see as the boundaries of your art practice? Is there a way it begins and ends in your life?
A. The boundaries of my art practice exist within the conceptual framework that I choose to investigate. The symbiotic relationship between the human body and architecture is the foundation of that framework. However, the boundaries are flexible and permeamble, allowing for the natural evolution of ideas. I rarely think in terms of begining and ending.
A continuum exists in my practice which takes turns, reveals cycles, and continually moves along with my curiosity and questions.

Q. What is your biggest challenge personally as it pertains to making your work?
A. Installation art is physically demanding. Keeping up with my workouts is essential to stay in shape for the challenges it presents.

Q. What has been your most overwhelmingly aesthetic visual experience?
A. When I saw "Sans II" by Eva Hesse for the first time, I got weak in the knees
and almost fell down. I call this an artgasm.

Eva Hesse, Sans II, 1968, 38 x 86 x 6", fiberglass and polyester resin

Q. Who most inspires you?
A. Construction workers, philosophy, and knowing that things exist that can only be articulated in visual and physical form.

Q. Why do you make art? For whom do you make it?
A. When a person finds her life's purpose and begins to live it out daily, it has potential to create harmony, energy, and what Luce Irigaray calls "breath". (see her book "Key Writings") When this happens, I believe that the people who are connected to that purpose are enabled to meet, relate, and communicate. My hope is that my practice of making art, which is part of my breath, will allow me to meet the people for which it is intended.

Come and Participate in Black Factory Performance

Martin Bromirski at anaba has been spreading the word about The Black Factory's national tour and its first visit to Richmond at the ArtSpace/Plant Zero/Artworks complex. The performance/happening will be from 1-5pm today, Thursday, July 13th, 2006.

The brainchild of artist William Pope, The Black Factory is an interactive performance art installation on wheels, the goal being a playfully intense discussion of difference and democracy.

According to Pope, "The Black Factory does not make blackness, it makes the opportunity - the chance to imagine the future we'd like instead of the one imposed on us. The factory is a conversation piece on wheels, It's a chance for folks to open up their hearts and minds, laugh and talk freely, maybe even disagree about what brings us together as well as what divides us."
You can visit The Black Factory website:
You can also visit anaba, at

Everyone is invited to bring an object that symbolizes any sort of blackness to you to the event for the Black Factory to photograph, transform and perhaps center a skit around.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Travis Fullerton had a really good idea about having artist insight interviews on the blog. He sent me the link to a DC blog that features very honest and interesting interviews by artists with other artists. All you artists out there should check it out and submit some probing questions. Anyway, I loved the idea and promptly sent Jill Downen and Charles Gick some interview questions. I will post them as soon as I get them back (it'll be a while for Charles, as the lucky man is in Rome, Italy, but it will be well worth the wait...).
While you are waiting, visit this link:

Western Exposure

Working closely with Francis Thompson and Anne Cook from Capital One, gallery board members Chuck Scalin and Alyssa Salomon and gallery staff members Maria Dubon and Aimee Koch organized the premier 1708 Gallery exhibition at Capital One Headquarters.
The show, titled 1708 Travels West for the Summer, will run from July until September.

The artist board members and gallery staff in the show are: Jennifer Van Winkle*, Tommy White*, Robert Walz, Jane Ware, Sara Thompson, Rob Tarbell, Gordon Stettinius*, Mary Scurlock*, Chuck Scalin*, Anne Savedge*, Diego Sanchez*, Alyssa Salomon*, Amie Oliver, Cindy Neuschwander*, Jeff Majer*, Aimee Koch, Travis Fullerton*, Pam Fox*, Bill Fisher*, Maria Dubon, Daniel Calder* and Gloria Blades*. Many of the artists in the show also have work in the Capital One permanent collection (their names are *'d). The artists will be featured in a brochure, generously provided by Capital One.

Warm thanks go to Francis Thompson and Anne Cook of Capital One for being enthusiastic supporters of the arts and of 1708 Gallery. Oh, and stay tuned for the date and time of a guided tour of the Capital One art collection for artists and board members - you do NOT want to miss seeing this stellar collection!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Overflow exhibit opens tonight!

Jill Downen's architectural intervention and Charles Gick's projection and Water Witching in the foreground.

Fiona Ross adds another beautiful angle to Jill Downen's gorgeous installation...
Thursday's preview really floored us all...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Overflow Glamour Shots

Even more
(can you tell we are just a tad excited about this?) installation views of the Overflow show that opens to the public tomorrow night.

Jill and Miles are installing Uneasy Opposition. Charles, Alida, Miles, Maria and Robert Walz are installing Water Witching.

More images from the Jill Downen/ Charles Gick installation

A show of hands

Jill with her work "Architectural Cellulite"

The fashionable Maria Dubon and Alida Barden prepare for work. Charles delivered about 3/4 ton of Indiana mud to the gallery for his installation

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The cutting edge of the cutting edge...

Jill Downen and Charles Gick are in the process of installing their shows opening this Friday night.

The New Exhibition Season ...

2006-2007 Exhibition Season

FALL 2006

September 1 – September 29, 2006
Symbiosis: Sue Papa & Paula Owen
Painting & Ceramic Sculpture

October 6 – November 8, 2006

Drawings: Eleanor Rufty – Large Drawings
Bent: Craig Wedderspoon – Large Sculpture

November 11, 2006 Wearable Art 9: Uber

November 17 – December 16, 2006

Silent Night: Small Works Invitational 2006


January 12 – February 24, 2007
Ledelle Moe & Greg Streak
Large Sculpture & Video Installation
Curated by Heather McGuire

March 2 - 31, 2007 Annual Art Auction

April 6 – 28, 2007

Gordon Stettinius - Recent Photographs from the Road
Gareth Jones - Culturally and Geographically Transitional Drawings & Sculpture

May 4 – 26, 2007

Ted Coffey & Rebekah Wostrel - Audio and Media Interactive Installation
Joseph Lupo - Etchings and Drawings of Commodity Receipts

June 1 – July 28, 2007

Works by National, Regional, and Local Artists
Curated by N. Elizabeth Schlatter & Erling Sjovold

CONTACT: Aimee Koch, Gallery Administrator,
details subject to change

P.O. Box 12520

319 West Broad Street Richmond, VA 23241
P. 804.643.1708

F. 804.643.7839
GALLERY HOURS T-F 11-5 Sat 1-5

2006-2007 Season -- Exhibition Descriptions

Symbiosis: Sue Papa and Paula Owen
Painting and Ceramic Sculpture
OPENING: Friday, September 1, from 7-10pm

Artists Paula Owen and Sue Papa please, provoke, confuse and challenge the viewer’s visceral connection to their work. Owen paints to leave the analytical and the rationale behind. Her alluring, multi-panel pieces comment on the multiple realties of our time, corresponding with an incongruity that details a tumultuous world. Papa’s ceramic sculptures are also both enticing and unnerving. An initial beauty provokes the viewer into a world of obscure meaning, blurring the lines between the familiar and the unknown.

Sue Papa, Wink (left)
Paula Owen, Petaled Relic (right)

Drawings: Eleanor Rufty - Large Drawings
Bent: Greg Wedderspoon- Large Sculpture OPENING: Friday, October 6, from 7-10pm

Eleanor Rufty’s large-scale drawings are based on fictional figurative imagery set in an elusive interior space, a motif consistent in Rufty’s work since 1980. Drawing from memory, Rufty explores the nature of visual memory; it is gradual, amorphous and fallible. Rufty’s charcoal drawings emphasize the linear element. Lines are made directly and repeatedly, establishing a mood derived through erasure.

The sculpture of Craig Wedderspoon is a cycle of asking and discovering solutions to a problem. Wedderspoon’s sculpture is activated with the dialogue of visual problem solving. His work represents a visual philosophy, constantly issuing aesthetic challenges toward interpretation, perspective, and approach.

Craig Wedderspoon, Shimmy (left)

Eleanor Rufty, Untitled No. 93 (right)

Silent Night: Small Works Invitational 2006
Chairs: Travis Fullerton, Diego Sanchez, Mary Scurlock, and Rob Tarbell
OPENING: First Friday reception, December 1, from 7-10pm
GALA RECEPTION: Saturday, December 16th, from 7-10pm

Silent Night is a new take on 1708 Gallery’s popular Small Works Benefit.
The exhibit will feature petite work by some of the region’s top artists.
The exhibition culminates in a grand silent auction gala which will
determine who takes home some of the most cutting-edge artwork in
the region.

JANUARY 12 - FEBRUARY 24, 2007
Ledelle Moe & Greg Streak: Large Sculpture & Video Installation
Curated by Heather McGuire
OPENING: Friday, January 12 from 7-10pm

This exhibition will feature exciting new work by Ledelle Moe and Greg Streak.

South African sculptor Ledelle Moe explores her identity through reinterpretation of past experiences via memory and imagination. Her colossal sculptures invoke the tensions between the powerful and the powerless, and permanence and impermanence. Her violent treatment of surface and use of rough materials creates a monumental vulnerability rich in its contradictions and emotional complexity.

Greg Streak’s work is also closely tied to the South African culture and a constant questioning and dissection of identity. His video projections reach between abstraction and representation. Meticulously planned and carefully meditated, his works are ambiguous and evocative engagements with philosophy highlighted by a dash of irony and subversion.

Ledelle Moe, Collapse

MARCH 2 - 31, 2007
Annual Art Auction
Chairs: Anna von Gehr and Rob Tarbell
OPENING: Friday, March 2, from 7-10pm
AUCTION: March 31, 2006

This annual benefit features some of the finest work by the region’s top
artists. In addition to raising funds for the gallery, the auction provides a
venue for Richmond’s collectors to connect with contemporary art and
support regional artists.

APRIL 6 - 28, 2007
Gordon Stettinius - Recent Photographs from the Road
Gareth Jones - Culturally and Geographically Transitional Drawings & Sculpture
OPENING: Friday, April 6, from 7-10pm

Gordon Stettinius’ work represents selections from his Miss Americana portfolio. His fascination with kitsch and roadside culture evokes the underlying concerns of family, friends and mortality, lightened with a dose of dark humor.

Gareth Jones explores aspects of faith, knowledge and reason. Unframed works on paper respond to the space, serving as primary evidence of his process. Assembled together the work becomes drawings on the gallery walls. Combined with cast forms and framed images the individual pieces form an installation. Gareth will move to Richmond specifically for this project and his work will grow out of his time experiencing local culture.

Gordon Stettinius, Battle of Gaines Mill (left)

Gareth Jones, Ourselves When We Are Real (right)

MAY 4 - 26, 2007
Ted Coffey & Rebekah Wostrel - Audio and Media Interactive Installation
Joseph Lupo - Etchings and Drawings of Commodity Receipts
OPENING: Friday, May 4, from 7-10pm

Ted Coffey and Rebekah Wostrel collaborate to create paper porcelain and sound sculptures. Their interactive work fascinates viewers as they translate light and movement into a responsive sound environment.

Joseph Lupo’s work explores the intersection of documentation, communication, and reproduction. His clever hand-made receipts are a thought-provoking catalogue of buying habits. He claims “On one level, my reproductions of receipts can be described as a metaphor for deconstructionist theories of a stable language and a stable self. At the same time, I think receipts can make a socially significant statement about consumer society.” The show, whether directly or indirectly, asks the viewers to participate, reflect and question. Undoubtedly, one is asked to revisit what exactly art is and can be.

Ted Coffey & Rebekah Wostrel, Ping (left)

Joseph Lupo, 11-24-01 (right)

JUNE 1 - JULY 28, 2007
Curated by N. Elizabeth Schlatter & Eric Sjovold
OPENING: Friday, June 1, from 7-10pm

The artworks in PLANE TEXT slip between text and plane to create new hybrids in two and three dimensions. Resisting reductive identifications, the works are not easily classified. They explore the tension between planes while considering the role of text as a form and form as text. The works self-consciously reference history, culture, memory and art itself, hinting at questions of globalism and multiculturalism. The curators’ selections were based on the work’s effect on the viewer visually, intellectually and emotionally. After two years of curatorial research, the concepts uniting the artists have emerged and continue to provoke new discussions.

Artists: Kell Alexander Black (Clarkesville, TN), Philip Brou (Columbus, OH), Hsin-Hsi Chen (Rockville, MD), Brighamn Dimick (Edwardsville, IL), Aylene Fallah (Arlington, VA), Suzanna Fields (Richmond, VA), Ron Johnson (Richmond, VA), Chris Lesnewski (New Jersey City, NJ), Martha MacLeish (Bloomington, IN), Ben Prangerr (Roanoke, VA), Ann Rentschler (Baltimore, MD), and Claire Watkins (New York, NY)

Plane Text: Suzanna Fields, Shaggy


Ted Coffey currently teaches in the music department at the University of Virginia. He has been distinguished with the Josephine de Karman Fellowship, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Affiliate award, the Naumberf Fellowship and other awards. He also serves on the Board of the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States and the International Computer Music Conference Music Adjudication Board.

Gareth Jones holds an MFA from the University of Knoxville, TN and a BA in Fine Art from the University of Fundee, Scotland UK. His most recent project brought him to Japan where his residency earned him several solo exhibitions in the country. He also works as a part-time teacher and lecturer of the English Language.

Joseph Lupo is a West Virginia based artist and Assistant Professor of Art at West Virginia University. He studied printmaking at the University of Georgia where he earned an BFA and Bradley University where he earned a MFA. He has recently relocated to West Virginia from Chicago and has already been widely exhibited and published in the region.

Ledelle was born in Durban, South Africa. There she received her art training from Technikon Natal where she graduated in 1993. She later moved to the United States and received an MFA in sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. She has had exhibitions in Durban, Petoria, Stockholm, New York, Washington and Baltimore. She has also taught at the Corcoran College of Art in Washington DC, Virginia Commonwealth University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland and the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Paula Owen received a MFA in Painting and Printmaking from VCU and a MS in Art Education from Minnesota State University. Owen is an active art professional, having served as Executive Director of Richmond’s Hand Workshop (now Visual Arts Center) for 11 years. She currently lives in San Antonio, Texas and serves as President and CEO of the Southwest School of Art and Craft. Owen most recently exhibited her work at Joan Grona Gallery in San Antonio, Texas and at the McLean Project for the Arts in McLean, Virginia.

Sue Papa holds a BA in Art History from Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio. Papa’s work is exhibited nationally. Her most recent exhibitions include “Protology” at McLean Project for the Arts in McLean, Virginia. Her work has been featured in numerous ceramics publications including “Surface Decoration for Low Fire Ceramics” by Lynn Peters, and “Ceramics Monthly Magazine”.

Eleanor Rufty recently received the Theresa Pollack Prize for Excellence in the Arts. She earned a BFA from Richmond Professional Institute (now VCU) and was awarded a Fine Arts Medal. Rufty’s extensive national and international exhibition record includes shows at Instuto Cultural Peruano Norteamerico in Lima, Peru and D.T.W Gallery in New York. In 1995, the Richmond Women’s Caucus for Art named Eleanor Rufty Virginia Artist of the Year.

An artist Board Member since 2000, Gordon Stettinius has played an integral role in 1708 Gallery. He served as President in 2004-2005 and Chair of Public Relations in 2005-2006, his dedication and enthusiasm are remarkable. His accomplishments as an artist are equally impressive with exhibitions across the nation. He has twice been the recipient of the Golden Light Award Print Competition. His work has also been featured in several publications including several cover art pieces. He is currently teaching at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Greg Streak is an artist, writer, and curator living in Durban, South Africa. He received his MFA from the Art School at the Durban Institute of Technology and attended the prestigious Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten (art academy) in the Netherlands between 1997-1998. He is the founder of PULSE, an artist run initiative that networks artists in developing countries with the Rijksakademie in Holland. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally and written for numerous publications.

Craig Wedderspoon received a MFA in sculpture from VCU and a BFA from Florida International University. He has twice been the recipient of a Research Advisory Committee Grant from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Wedderspoon’s work has been exhibited internationally, including exhibits in China and Turkey. His extensive national exhibition record includes recent shows at the Cultural Arts Center in Upper Arlington, Ohio and the Wright Art Center at Delta State University in Mississippi.

Rebekah Wostrel holds a MFA in Ceramics from Pennsylvania State College and a BA in Anthropology from Smith College. She has taught several ceramics classes at Germanna Community College, St Joseph’s University, Harvard University, Princeton University, The University of Pennsylvania and the University of California at Berkeley. She was selected for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Individual Fellowship and has also been the recipient of several research grants and residencies including a Fulbright Fellowship for travel to Indonesia in 1998.


A former 1708 Board Member, McGuire holds a PHD in Art History from Virginia Commonwealth University. She serves as a Trustee for the University of Virginia Class of 1989 where she earned a BA in English. Her professional experience includes both legal and artistic channels. She is also an established sculptor in her own artistic pursuits.

N. Elizabeth Schlatter serves as the Deputy Director and Curator of Exhibitions at the University of Richmond Museums. Her impressive resume of curatorial experience includes work at the Smithsonian Institution, the Washington Project for the Arts/Corcoran, and the Glen Allen Cultural Arts Center. She is widely published and has authored and presented articles and papers across the nation.

Holding a MFA from the School of Art Institute of Chicago and BA from the University of California at Berkeley, Sjovold offers his unique perspective as an artist, educator and curator. He is currently an Associate Professor in Painting and Drawing at the University of Richmond. His work has earned him several residences, research grants, and exhibitions including honors from the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation, the National Center for the Humanities Jessie Ball duPont Summer Seminar Fellowship, and the Georgia Council for the Arts.

1708 Gallery is a non-profit exhibition and peformance space committed to expanding the understanding, development and appreciation of contemporary art.

For more information contact:
Aimee Koch, Gallery Administrator