2010 International VSA Festival: Exhibitions at the Kennedy Center June 6–20, 10 a.m.–10 p.m., FREE
The Kennedy Center is the site of visual arts exhibitions, both inside and outside the building. From a glass installation in the Center's front reflecting pool to photography, sculpture, painting, and multimedia art in the halls and gallery spaces, the Center will transform into a dynamic art space featuring some of the world's leading artists.
Dale Chihuly: Red Reeds Immediately recognizable and breathtaking in color and form, the artworks of world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly have a formidable place in contemporary art history. He is a creative leader whose practice includes small tabletop glass sculptures and large-scale installations presented in architectural and natural environments. Chihuly's complex, multi-part sculptures and installations are composed of organic, dynamic forms inspired by the flora, fauna, and his love of the sea and landscape of the Pacific Northwest. For the festival, Chihuly incorporates a dramatic composition of Red Reedswithin the Kennedy Center's front reflecting pool. Generous support provided by JoAnn McGrath Kennedy Center Entrance Plaza What is Disability? In fall 2009, VSA invited people from around the world to paint, draw, or collage the meanings, impressions, and images they associate with the word disability. What is Disability?is a dramatic display of the more than 1,200 postcards VSA received. The concept of disability is explored from various perspectives--cultural, geographic, personal--resulting in an array of individual expression. A collaborative art project that includes participants from around the globe, this installation introduces us to the spirit of the 2010 International VSA Festival: to bring together people with and without disabilities in a multicultural celebration that supports access to the arts and education for all. Visitors can utilize the nearby computer kiosk to view the postcards up close and in detail. Kennedy Center Hall of States Judith Scott Judith Scott is considered a preeminent "outsider" artist whose fiber works are in some of the most prestigious art collections in the world. As a woman with Down syndrome, who was deaf and did not speak, these sculptures were Scott's most-complex means of communication with the world around her. Scott's works are dense, multilayered, body-like sculptures made out of found materials and yarn. Institutionalized for 35 years with little or no creative freedom, Scott found her artistic voice when her sister moved her to California in 1987. Introduced to art materials at Oakland's Creative Growth Art Center, Scott had a natural aptitude for the tactility of fiber. Over the next 18 years, she created a colorful, prolific body of work. Her story testifies to the resiliency of the creative spirit and the communicative power of art. Kennedy Center Hall of States Mark di Suvero Internationally renowned sculptor Mark di Suvero was born in Shanghai, China, in 1933 to Italian expatriate parents. He immigrated to the United States in 1941, where he became one of the most important American artists to emerge from the Abstract Expressionist era. In 1960, he became paralyzed while working on a construction job. Already an artist, he continued to work while in a wheelchair welding with an asbestos apron on his lap. A pioneer in the use of steel, di Suvero creates architectural-scale sculptures, many with moving elements that invite viewer participation. An artist with work in more than 100 museums worldwide, di Suvero is also a lifelong activist for peace, social justice, and committed to helping fellow artists. He established the Athena Foundation in 1977 to assist artists, and the Socrates Sculpture Park in 1986 in Queens, New York. Di Suvero received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Contemporary Sculpture from the International Sculpture Center in 2000 and the Heinz Award for Arts and Humanities in 2005. Kennedy Center Hall of Nations Hirokazu Fukawa: Adrift in the Sea of Tranquility Japanese native Hirokazu Fukawa explores the complex relationship between our public and private selves. His installations are multi-faceted, multi-sensory experiences that utilize sound, light, built apparatus, motion pictures, and tactile elements to convey a journey into a person's internal mind. Fukawa's artistic journey shifted dramatically after his son was diagnosed with autism, and this revelation informs this presentation of Adrift in the Sea of Tranquility--a multi-part installation that explores the experience of autism through metaphors. Fukawa has a master of fine arts degree in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design and is an associate professor of sculpture at the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford, CT. Kennedy Center Terrace Gallery Sight Unseen Sight Unseen, the first major exhibition of work by the world's most accomplished photographers with visual impairments, makes the surprising proposal that these photographers possess the clearest vision in society. Featured works are by Ralph Baker; Evgen Bavcar; Henry Butler; Pete Eckert; Bruce Hall; Annie Hesse; Rosita McKenzie; Gerardo Nigenda; Michael Richard; Seeing with Photography Collective, NYC; Kurt Weston; and Alice Wingwall. Sight Unseen is an exhibition on a rich subject full of paradox and revelation, which invites viewers to think deeply about photography, vision, and our ways of seeing.
SIGHT UNSEEN: International Photography by Blind Artists has been curated by Douglas McCulloh and originated by UCR/California Museum of Photography, an affiliate institution of ARTSblock, the University of California, Riverside, and toured by Curatorial Assistance, Pasadena, California. Kennedy Center Nations Gallery Liz Crow: Resistance VSA is proud to present the American debut of award-winning filmmaker Liz Crow's Resistance: Which Way The Future?An activist for disability rights and a former fellow with the National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts, Crow creates engaging, sometimes controversial films that highlight stories and advocacy of the disabled community both in history and today. Resistance is a film-based installation on the Nazi program Aktion T-4 in which persons with physical and mental disabilities were targeted for extermination. The installation incorporates film, projected light, banners, portraits, and echoing sounds, with an opportunity for visitors to contribute their own story and portrait to be added to future installations. Over a decade in the making, Resistance is an evolving monument on a horror of modern history while also a catalyst for continued social change. Kennedy Center Nations Gallery Revealing Culture II A continuation of the groundbreaking exhibition taking place at the Smithsonian Institution's International Gallery, Revealing Culture II consists of work by international contemporary artists with disabilities. Presenting more than 25 paintings and sculptures and representing 13 countries, Revealing Culture II is a dynamic presentation of the creative spirit from around globe. Artists include Gabe Anderson (Canada), Ines Andouche (Belgium), Sarah Mohamed Atef (Egypt), Christophe Baudouin (France), Serge Delaunay (Belgium), Erling Fredriksson (Sweden), Kelvin Free (Canada), Sergio Giraldo Giraldo (Colombia), Walter Herzberg (Mexico), Joseph Jobst (Austria), Rokhaya Kamara (Senegal), Mohamed Mahmoud Mohamed (Egypt), Ko Nam (Hong Kong), Luis Passalacqua (Puerto Rico), Mohammed Qarshoum (Saudi Arabia), Muthukrishnan Ramalingam (India), and George Widener (USA). Kennedy Center North and South Atrium Foyers (June 6–12)
Yinka Shonibare, MBE: Odile and Odette 2004 Turner Prize–nominated artist Yinka Shonibare, MBE explores cultural identity, race, and authenticity through his highly performative sculptures, paintings, photographs, and films. British-born Nigerian artist Shonibare is best known for works that address issues of colonialism and contemporary African identity through the use of vibrant visual symbols. Shonibare creates colorful tableaux of historically dressed, headless mannequins and immaculately choreographed dances that employ humor and frivolity, which overlay deeper narratives relating to post-colonial stereotypes, politics, and disability--a subtle reference to the artist's own impaired mobility, a result of a rare spinal infection at age 19 that left him paralyzed on one side. A prolific artist who has exhibited internationally, Shonibare creates works that command attention by being both rich with artistic pleasure and sharply revealing contemporary racial relations. Kennedy Center Hall of Nations Will Pergl: Trivialities of Deportment Trained in both painting and sculpture, artist Will Pergl unites a sensitivity and control of craft with unique designs to create sculptures and installations that whirl within a viewer's imagination. Pergl's brightly painted structures seem animated in form and his installations invite viewers to walk among and within the creative space. The presentation of Trivialities of Deportmentcombines rigid, colorful lines with flowing amorphous forms that encourage viewers to look above and beyond themselves--a notion taken personally by the artist after an accident that severely reduced functionality in one of his hands. Pergl's unique artistic vision has been recognized in solo and group exhibitions across the nation, and he currently is an associate professor at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. He holds a master of fine arts from Cornell University. Kennedy Center States Gallery