Curation & Exhibition Design
The following features selections from many exhibitions that were curated and designed by Dan Van Tassell while serving as Curator of the McGlothlin Center for the Arts at Emory & Henry College in Emory, VA.
Nationally renowned artist Jennifer Angus creates intricate and impressive floor-to-ceiling patterns from grasshoppers, cicadas, moths, beetles and other exotic insects. She explores the importance of insects to the natural world and the ethics of utilizing them in works of art. Her week long installation included cross-disciplinary and hands on learning for students who helped with the exhibition in the MCA Gallery.
In Stranger Visions, artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg collected hairs, chewed up gum, and cigarette butts from the streets, public bathrooms and waiting rooms of New York City. She extracted DNA from them and analyzed it to computationally generate 3d printed life size full color portraits representing what those individuals might look like, based on genomic research. Working with the traces strangers unwittingly left behind, the project was meant to call attention to the developing technology of forensic DNA phenotyping, the potential for a culture of biological surveillance, and the impulse towards genetic determinism.
Micah Bloom is a North Dakota based artist who creates paintings, drawings photographs, films, and site specific installations. Beginning as a Kickstarter project, “Codex” is a poetic, visual journey that explores the relationship between humans, nature and the printed book. Set in Minot, North Dakota after the 2011 Souris River flood, the receding flood waters left behind a startling assortment of debris – books that had been strewn through the landscape, hanging from trees, embedded in the mud. Codex is a visual meditation on the books, and on the process of rescuing them and honoring what they represent.
Joe Page is a site specific installation, ceramics, and mixed media artist. The installation “Flow Chart” derives from early video games, pinball machines, and mass transit maps. Through this installation Page displays a complex and exciting visual language of colors, shapes, and ideas that explore compelling questions of logic and design. “The work is modular, kit-based, like a set of Legos in that it can be assembled in an infinite number of ways from a finite number of parts.”
“Portraits After Calvary” Tiger Reed, November 2017
Printmaker, drawing, and mixed media artist Tiger Reed explores the notion of masculinity as the current conceptual foundation of his studio practice. He actively investigates male identity as embodied by prominent figures and tropes in popular culture in order to address personal questions surrounding his developing transgender identity. Through this investigation, he constructs bodies of work that address the emotional landscape of his personal transition from female to male. In conjunction with his own narrative, he examines categorical expectations of masculinity in regard to how all identity is perceived, formed, and comprehended.
Inspired by the presence of ideas like dark matter, echos, and forces we sense are affecting us but can’t quite name, O’Briant makes use of processes like scanning, 3D modeling and printing to consider space and the realness of things, searching for and printing familiar objects. Her work also explores the material and process of ceramics, creating vessels through coiling and pinching; the forms she creates seek to give volume and mass to her thoughts.
These objects are used as elements within an installation. Many of them disappear into the matching colored wall behind them, leaving some seemingly floating in space. At just the right angle, the piece is split, existing in both shadow and ephemeral realms.
Theresa Pfarr’s paintings are derived from images of women in fashion advertising. Her process starts with collages, in which she later develops into completed paintings. The resulting distorted images express feelings of anxiety and discord through texture and paint. She discusses how her art can deconstruct images of ideal femininity.
“Portraits, Landscapes and Still Lifes: A Distinguished Collaboration Provided by James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin” May, 2016
This exhibition featured artworks by some of the most preeminent artists of the 19th, 20th and early 21st centuries. The works span a breadth of time during which an evolution of thought, ideas and approaches to making art in the western world changed dramatically. Important artists ranging from the movements of Impressionism, Realism, Modernism, and Post Modernism and included William Merritt Chase, Thomas Eakins, John Sloan, George Luks and Milton Avery.
©Dan Van Tassell 2019–All rights reserved.