Path Of Pyramids – Outdoor Sculpture Walk

On exhibit March 20 – May 31, 2021

All the way from Wheaton!  An outdoor exhibit of 13 human-sized pyramids designed by Montgomery County Artists. Come take a walk along the “Path of Pyramids.”

What started as a mascot for the annual Wheaton Arts Parade grew into a juried art exhibit.  Each of the large pyramid sculptures was created by a local artist and they all speak to Wheaton’s diverse cultures. One is a mosaic that was made with 3 families as a tribute to their Salvadoran heritage. Another features images from the artist’s Peruvian culture. A third is made of mandalas inspired by the artist’s native Costa Rica. One Montgomery Green collaborated with one local artist to create a pyramid using non-recyclable #6 plastics.

The pyramids are regular tetrahedrons made up of four equilateral triangles.  The heart of Wheaton also is a triangle created by the intersection of three state highways and the annual Wheaton Arts Parade marches around the triangle, bringing together Wheaton’s citizens, cultures, and commerce with art.

I Am More Than My Hair

I Am More Than My Hair began with Alyscia Cunningham’s eponymous book and film in which she advances the dialogue around the beauty standard of female baldness and captures the stories of girls and women who have lost their hair due to medical conditions or by choice. “If you look towards the media to define what’s beautiful, baldness is not a look that is considered attractive,” says Ms. Cunningham. She notes that from the time girls are young, they are pressured into set beauty standards, with a high value placed on hair.  Through this project, Ms. Cunningham hopes to change the way people view beauty, female hair loss, and baldness.

“Every woman, young and old, needs to know that she is naturally beautiful. Stop allowing society to dictate our beauty.”

The exhibit further breaks barriers of accessibility through its use of lithophanes, raised reliefs that interact with light, to create a unique experience.  The issue of accessibility became of paramount importance to Ms. Cunningham after attending a meeting of the National Federation of the Blind last year. “It was shocking to learn about the lack of accessibility in the arts and how blind and low vision audiences aren’t considered.  I left the meeting feeling inspired enough to make it mandatory that any venue, gallery, or museum that requests my work, must agree that it will be made accessible for audiences with low vision and hearing.” Audio descriptions will also accompany the works.

About The Artist
Based in Silver Spring, Maryland, Alyscia Cunningham is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, filmmaker, and photographer who contributes to National Geographic, Discovery Channel, America Online, and the Smithsonian Institution. Her work focuses on changing the dialogue around beauty standards for women through documentary film and unaltered photography. After the success of her first book, Feminine Transitions: A Photography Celebration of Natural Beauty, she continued to inspire social change with her new book and documentary film, I Am More Than My Hair.

Anthony Gaskins, The Hat Man

On exhibit March 19 – May 28, 2021

A collection of handcrafted hats by artist and milliner Anthony Gaskins.  Mr. Gaskins is the creator of Hugs and Hats, an idea he developed after losing his parents, sister, and mentor to cancer.  Through Hugs and Hats, he counsels cancer patients and runs hat-making workshops. “Words can’t describe how it feels to give someone fighting cancer a hat,” he explained. “To put them in something that totally transforms their mindset and how they feel about the sickness that they have and that they are fighting.” Mr. Gaskins sees his life’s mission as helping those fighting cancer.  His hats showcase one way cancer patients can recapture confidence after experiencing the hair loss that often accompanies chemotherapy.

About the Artist
Anthony Gaskins is a milliner by trade. He designs, creates, buys, and sells hats. For decades he has run his own business, serving a broad and diverse clientele. He teaches – formally and informally – about the history and culture surrounding hats.

Quilts and the Stories They Tell

Quilt made by artist Lauren Kingsland

On exhibit January 7 – March 14, 2021

Take a close look at a quilt and you can almost hear the words of the maker, the fabric, and the purpose of this utilitarian work of art. But while every quilt has a backstory, the story quilt starts with a message.  A story quilt may include words, photos, non-traditional fabrics, and embellishments along with more standard quilting techniques and materials.

This exhibit brings together the stories of a variety of individuals – master quilt artist Lauren Kingsland, her apprentice Grammy award-winning Cathy Fink, and members of the Uhuru Quilters Guild.  While the expertise of the quilters varies, each artist has the ability to tell a story in fabric in a unique and nuanced way, through choices of color, texture, design, and embellishment.

Ms. Kingsland shares a series of personal story journal page quilts marking significant moments in her life as well as one of her newest works, “Why I Vote.”  Among Ms. Fink’s quilts is one about a song she wrote honoring a friend who died in the AIDS epidemic, an ironic project to complete during another pandemic. And among the varied quilts on exhibit by the Uhuru Quilters are those that respond to current events through the long lens of history.  Some of the artists have exhibited nationally, like one by Angela Lanier, whose work was recently juried into We Are The Story at the Textile Center in Minneapolis, MN.

YouTube Links:

Artina 2020: LIGHT: A Sculptural Solar Dance

Two sculptures from ARTINA 2020

On Exhibit August 5 – November 29, 2020

This outdoor juried sculpture garden curated by Gaby Mizes featured works by members of the Washington Sculptors Group installed throughout the rustic museum grounds.

As climate change concerns continue to rise, we need to increase the uptake of renewable energy to help reduce the use of polluting fossil fuels. In this exhibit, LIGHT: A Sculptural Solar Dance, artists used renewable energy sculptures to represent a need for better environmental responsibility. Work in this exhibition re-imagines solar energy as an art form. It adopts sunlight as the medium, the subject matter, or the energy source of the art. Artists explored how light, sun, sound, and energy intersect, capturing the importance of sustainability by using solar energy in existing or site-specific outdoor sculptures: art made from sunlight—the energy source for life on Earth. These sculptural displays celebrate the energy of the sun’s warming rays.

In thinking through the dance between art and light, Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson’s and American artist James Turrell’s thoughts may come to mind:

“I am obsessed with light. How light forms a space. How a space forms light. As a child I grew up in Iceland where there is no sunlight in the winter. It simply stays dark all day. Light became something that pulled people together. Light became a way of connecting to other people. Light is social. Light is life.”
—Olafur Eliasson

“Light is not so much something that reveals, as it is itself the revelation.”
—James Turrell

About the Juror and Curator

María Gabriela (“Gaby”) Mizes is originally from Argentina. She graduated from the Instituto Argentina de MuseologÍa in Buenos Aires and Columbia University in New York and has worked around the world for many museums and art institutions. These include the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires; the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York as Assistant Curator of the traveling exhibition Latin American Artists of the Twentieth Century; and the American Federation of Arts, where she handled traveling exhibitions in the United States and abroad.

In Washington, DC, Gaby founded Latin American ERA, a private consultancy company providing expertise in exhibitions and art collections management for national and international projects, and has worked for the Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and several private art collections. She is currently the Director of Registration at Glenstone Museum in Potomac, Maryland, where she has been coordinating exhibition installations, managing the outgoing loans program, planning and designing art storage facilities, and caring for the collection for thirteen years.

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