About Pressed Together
Pressed Together is Shockoe Artspace’s first submission show and brings together makers from diverse backgrounds of all types to revel in the impact of different artists, different works and different styles as they are pressed together into a single space. Artists from across the country ranging from designers and painters to photographers and sculptors submitted work and eight artists were chosen not only for the quality and consistency of their work, but also for the way each artist contributed to the larger group.
Works were chosen by juror Chino Amobi. Amobi is well-known locally and internationally for his artwork. He combines art, painting, design, music, and film with a rich assemblage of styles and voices. Amobi is a co-founder of the independent record label NON Worldwide and creative director of EROICA. In 2016 he released the EP Airport Music For Black Folk and in 2017 released his debut album Paradiso to critical acclaim. He received his MFA in Visual Communication as well as a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from VCUarts. He has performed internationally including the New Museum New York, MOCA Los Angeles, Seoul Korea, Russia, France, to name a few.
Born and raised in Richmond, VA, Dana Frostick studied at VCU in the 1980s majoring in sculpture, but painting and drawing have always been her primary forms of expression. Her work has won awards in juried shows and at venues in Richmond and around the United States and she has exhibited her paintings in over two dozen solo or joint exhibits. She is a long time, active member of Artspace, a non-profit gallery for contemporary arts in Richmond, VA, founded in 1988. Frostick is an avid bicyclist and spends most of her free time doting on her cats.
I want to embrace my human mark in my artwork – its perfect imperfection. I avoid the use of digital technology. The raw and immediate line I get from hand drawing and painting is a more attuned expression of the patterns and ideas that make up our human history. I find technological devices are too predictable and perfect, filtering out too much information and randomness. Software doesn’t allow for the appearance of chance as it uses predetermined responses to logarithmic equations. My process of creation involves coaxing order out of chaos and represents the battle between fate and chance.
Riley Goodman inquires familial mythologies, folktales, and the greater history of America in effort to understand what endures, and subsequently how this endurance impacts his own presence in the canon. Goodman juxtaposes archival imagery from his personal collections with the visual interpretation of researched, often folk-based, storytelling. When these elements combine, the resulting narrative work creates an ever-occurring amalgamation of time. By establishing this crafted world, Goodman forces the viewer to question the tenants of authenticity, leaving the idea of ‘historical truth’ in an undisclosed middle ground. Goodman is a 2018 graduate of VCUarts.
Goodman’s Patapsco series serves as a response to the catastrophic flooding of his hometown of Ellicott City, Maryland. Floodline (2019), pairs a disaster relief symbol with fabric recovered in the aftermath of the 2018 flood. A flood line mirrors those on building interiors when waters recede. Instead Of Fragrance, There Will Be Stench (2019) pairs recovered fabric with a familial heirloom print. The print, a personification of the river itself, is shrouded by debris of the environmental disaster. The works analyze symbology, overlooked commonplace objects, and a history hiding in plain site which has embedded itself into the river valley.
Rachel Jeffers was born in New Orleans, LA and grew up in rural Tennessee. She holds an MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art’s Mount Royal School of Art and a BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, OH. Her work has been featured in New American Paintings and has been exhibited in TN, OH, MD, DC, and VA. She lives in the Richmond, VA area with her husband and 2 children.
I have approached these paintings as a sort of visual diary that addresses my anxieties in a fraught environmental and political climate. I’m interested in the messages we absorb and receive about who and how we are expected to be, and the way these ideas interact or conflict with the reality of our lives. There is a tension between our small, daily choices and the level of control we feel over the devastation surrounding us.
Curtis Newkirk Jr. was born in 1989 in Woodbridge, Va. In 2019, he received his BFA in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Integrated Communication and Design from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Curtis has previously shown work in exhibitions at The Maria V. Howard Arts Center in Rocky Mount, NC, and at Shockoe Artspace in Richmond, VA, amongst several other galleries. Curtis currently resides in Richmond, VA with his wife, Carolyn, and two children, Henley and Briden.
This body of work was inspired by society’s forced standards, labels, and restraints that are placed on people, especially on African Americans. My intent was to use my voice to point towards a kind of joy and freedom that we all long for, the kind that breaks societies chains and creates helpful and life-giving dialogue. Through improvisation and abstract brush work, juxtaposed with hard lines and refined figures & structures, I am attempting to communicate the contrast between my chaotic thought-process and the realizations of truths that are taking place.
Having wanted to be an artist since childhood, Aamina has been taking photos, forming her artistic style and following other artists progression continuously. She currently attends Virginia Commonwealth University, School of the Arts, in pursuit of a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography with a minor in Art History. As a multimedia artist, she makes work which incorporates her other interests, in Graphic Design, Coding and Bookmaking- currently 3d printing as well. She sells prints and other items featuring her work on Society6 along with sharing her creative compositions on Instagram.
As a detail oriented photographer, I’m drawn to collect the different situations I feel are sculpted by happenings I haven’t seen and repetitive shapes in different places. I often pair images based on the colors and shapes in frame, recontextualizing the situations I found into a presentation different from how you would see it out in the world. A big inspiration for me is Pop Art, and the ways artists continue to elevate and reframe ordinary objects. I’m also inspired by how graphic designers and digital artists adapt their mediums and ways of working to what they want to communicate.
Kassiane Patselas is an interdisciplinary painter and craftsperson based in Richmond, VA. Her work is heavily influenced by growing up in rural North Carolina, where she went on to attend the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts. After graduating, she received her BFA in painting and printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University. Since then, she has received a community service Fellowship at the Penland School of Crafts and continued to pursue a creative journey that bridges fine art, craft traditions, and travel. Most recently she has completed a residency at Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT.
Through layering in paper cutting my work is examining space as both physical and emotional. The dialogue of figures and marks is an exploration of proxemics- the space and boundaries that are dynamic between physical bodies. Colors and shapes reference microbiological forms as a way to examine the relativity of relationships. Figures are references to bodies and play in a world where binaries, boundaries, and concepts of the self and the other interact in vacant planes. These ideas are conflated in my work with personal narratives as I explore my own heritage and biological history and participate in self-created ritual. By generating paper and cutting it I am enacting the growth cycle- by preserving it in glass I am an archivist- unobjective, emotional and sentimental.
Elaine Rogers lives and works in Richmond, VA. She earned her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in Painting and Printmaking and her MFA from University of Wisconsin-Madison in Painting. A Virginia Museum fellowship recipient and emeritus member of 1708 Gallery, Elaine creates abstract paintings using cold wax and oil paint that contemplate color, structure, and metaphor in the process of painting. Her paintings reflect the natural world and personal and current events. She has had one-person shows in Richmond, Charlottesville, and Norfolk, Virginia. Rogers has taught studio classes at VCU, Collegiate Schools, VMFA Studio School, and the University of Richmond. She has been a member of artspace gallery in Richmond for many years. Her work is in Capital One, FCCR/Pinnacle Rehabilitation Center, and the Robins Foundation corporate collections as well as numerous private collections.
My subjects are a joining of the people and places I know well with current events shaping daily life. Some paintings are abstract portraits of family members, capturing a unique period of transition in each. Others have responded to the political climate in the United States since the last election. Landscape is a container for my mark-making process. I often explore nature and weather events in my work. I am interested in approaching each painting in a thematic way with no preconceived method in mind. I begin with color and mark and a sense of a theme. I use both brushes and latex gloves to apply the paint. I allow the paintings to have different styles, based on what they are exploring. The paintings are on wood panel and are medium and small sizes.
Marisa Stratton is a figurative painter and illustrator whose work explores memory, technology, and space. She is most interested in using traditional media (primarily oil paint) to capture form, color, and atmosphere in a way that is engaging and expressive. She loves creating a dialogue between art historical modes of painting and contemporary narratives in both her large multi-figure works and her small-scale works.
On multiple social media sites, there are features that allow for messages or posts to self-destruct in a short period of time (24 hours or less). The nature of these posts is often ephemeral, spontaneous, and uncurated, creating a more candid and nuanced way of digitally connecting with others. For this series of small-scale oil paintings, I want to challenge the “temporary” nature of this feature and emphasize social media’s true permanence. I tried to preserve these fleeting moments in a process normally associated with slow, deliberate rendering as a way to converse with contemporary and traditional modes of documentation.