On Friday, March 4th, the Downtown Mall’s Second Street Gallery welcomed UVa students and Charlottesville community members alike to celebrate the openings of installations created by three talented artists: Chrissy Baucom, Heather Harvey, and Kortney Niewierski.
In her Vestiges and Relics exhibit, Boucom used her skills as a painter to explore organic matter with pleasing colors creating images of heads of sheep, pieces of bone, and similar studies. She also included smaller drawings with mixed media in her display, creating versatile perspectives on the same subjects as well as embracing the addition of new subject matter. Baucom focuses on time and evolution, and studies the connection between life and death in her work.
“I am interested in this altered state of things,” Baucom wrote in her artist statement on her website. “It is my goal to realize my own personal connection with these lifeforms and how they relate to my memories and experiences with the natural world.”
Harvey also has an interest in studying the natural world, and works to address earth’s connection with humanity through material objects. In her installation, Periodicities in Chaotic Forcing, Harvey created art from discarded trash and objects that she found on walks on the street. She uses the familiar yet often overlooked aspects of modern life to create stories and make connections, with these material sources acting as a bridge between the unknown while also emphasizing fragility and beauty.
“Through minimal means and everyday materials the familiar is made strange again,” Harvey wrote on her website.
In Niewierski’s display, Pretty on the Inside, there is a similar focus on the organic and the body, explored through the creation of three-dimensional artwork. Her use of soft fabrics and materials familiarizes the audience with an almost childlike air, reminding viewers of childhood toys, but when juxtaposed with the more adult subject matter and deeper meanings of the works, a discomfort is provided that is intriguing and beautiful.
On her website, Niewierski wrote of her artwork supporting a “not-quite-this, not-quite-that theme,” and that through her work she attempts to “blur the lines between playful, appealing and humorous, and naughty and off-putting.”
The work of the three artists will be on display through March 26, 2016, and can be viewed during any of the gallery’s open hours: Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11am to 6pm.