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Arts Focus: County and Local University Showcase Arlington Artists in Open-Call Exhibit

This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Arlington artists Emma Cregan and Johab Silva were selected to be showcased in the Arlington Open Call 2019 Exhibition, opening Friday, September 6 (reception: 6-8 p.m.) through Saturday, November 2 at Cody Gallery at Marymount University, 1000 North Glebe Road, 2nd Floor, Arlington, Virginia, 22201

The all Arlington juried exhibition continues as a tradition that Arlington Cultural Affairs Division started over 20 years ago.  In collaboration with Marymount’s Cody Gallery, Arlington Arts invited artists who live, work or have a studio in Arlington to apply.

Each of the two selected artists will each receive a $500 honorarium. This exhibition was juried by: Meaghan Kent, Director of Cody Gallery, Marymount University; Cynthia Connolly, Special Projects Curator, Arlington, Virginia and Dawne Langford, independent curator, artist and filmmaker from the Washington, D.C. area.

The work of Cregan and Silva intersect at various points visually and conceptually. Emma Cregan’s stop motion videos “Escaping Blade,” “Escaping Soil” and “Escaping Surface” are experimentations of long shutter speeds. The images are captured fragments re-interpreted with the use of light, allowing our perception of the environment and reality to become abstracted.

Johab Silva’s paintings on panel are inspired from his travels to the Amazon rainforest and the impact of human presence and the environment. The artist will also create a site specific installation in the University stairwell with lightweight plastic materials. Together, the work of these artists allow us to slow down and re-interpret the environment around us.

Emma Cregan’s work explores the space between the digital and intangible. Cregan studied animation at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Kinetic Imaging program, where she created several short films using puppets and other stop-motion techniques. Her animations focused on family history led to an internship at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

While working at the Smithsonian, she created short videos and wrote articles about the importance of culture and how traditional knowledge remains relevant in the 21st century. Her interest in cultural heritage led to an internship with The Maa Trust, a non-profit in the Maasai Mara working to establish harmony between community development and environmental conservation. Cregan created short video pieces showcasing their efforts to economically empower Maasai women.

Her experiences with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and The Maa Trust inspired her to create art focused on intangibility. She is drawn to animation because it is an exaggeration and distortion of reality. The visuals created are simultaneously familiar and alien, opening the audience’s mind to see the world from a different perspective. Through the distortion of the world created by animation, we can better understand unique perceptions of reality.

Johab Silva is a native Brazilian who has lived and worked in Washington, D.C. since 2008. He holds a Masters’ Degree in Art Education from Corcoran College of Art and Design. Silva’s ongoing research explores themes of appropriation, materiality, space and environmental issues.

His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Transformer Gallery, Miami Art Palace and the Santo Andre Museum of Art. His work has been published in The Washington Post, Art in America and Sculpture Magazine.

Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development, which delivers public activities and programs as Arlington Arts. Our mission is to create, support and promote the arts, connecting artists and community to reflect the diversity of Arlington.

We do this by: providing material support to artists and arts organizations in the form of grants, facilities and theater technology; integrating award-winning public art into our built environment; and presenting high quality performing, literary, visual and new media programs across the County.

Cody Gallery is a contemporary art space created as a platform to support the arts and strengthen the arts community at Marymount University and the greater Washington DC area. Exhibitions present work by local, regional and international artists in order to provide groundbreaking and thought-provoking work for the community to experience.

Events, including artist talks and lectures, are available for students at Marymount University and the general public at large.

For more info on the exhibit, visit www.marymount.edu/codygallery, or www.arlingtonarts.org.

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