GREATER RESTON ARTS CENTER
For immediate release: June 3, 2010 Contact:Joanne Bauer
Three sculptures arrive June 8 - 10 in Reston Town Square Park
Works are part of the juried exhibition, gaps,
on view at Greater Reston Arts Center
June 24 – July 31, 2010
gaps Opening Reception: Saturday, June 26, 5– 7pm
Juror’s Salon: Wednesday, July 7, 6 –7:30pm
Panel Discussion: “The Gallery Outside:Acquisition or Exhibition”
Tuesday, July 20, 7:30pm
Reston, VA: Earthquake,The Way to Be, and Monument to the Sunand Stars, three vibrantly colored wood sculptures, will be situated in plantingbeds along the Market Street side of Reston Town Square Park during the week ofJune 7, 2010. The three works by Maryland sculptor, Mike Shaffer, appear as part of gaps,a juried exhibition, featuring twenty-two other artists whose work will beinstalled inside Greater Reston Arts Center adjacent to the park at 12001Market Street. All sculpture was selected by Vesela Sretenovic, Curator ofModern and Contemporary Art at The Phillips Collection.
The installation of Mike Shaffer’s sculpture in Reston Town Square Parkis made possible through the cooperation of Reston Town Center Association. gapsis the first temporary outdoor sculpture exhibition in the park and the firstcollaborative project between Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE), Initiativefor Public Art – Reston (IPAR), and Washington Sculptors Group (WSG). Previouslyin 2008 – 2009 IPAR supported SleepingTree, a multi-part project at GRACE and Dogwood Elementary School. Duringthe spring of 2010, WSG collaborated with GRACE to present POP-UP@SOMA, a temporary sculpture exhibition in the empty SouthMarket building on Explorer Street in Reston.
Mike Shaffer has exhibited his work throughout the mid-Atlantic regionin both indoor and outdoor settings. His sculpture, Lighthouse/Whitehouse, is currently on view in the Foggy BottomOutdoor Sculpture Exhibit in Washington, D.C. between 24th and 26thstreets NW and H and K streets. Washington Post art critic, Blake Gopnik, singledout Shaffer’s work as, “The best piece on view, by the widest of margins…” andcontinued by saying “It’s good because, when you come across it on the lawn ofa nice old Washington home, you can’t tell right away that it is art.”
Gopnik’s rational for good art might also apply to Shaffer’s threesculptures included in gaps. The Way to Be, a simple, green tower, was included in POP-UP@SOMA. Sophisticatedyet playful, the stacked wooden structure is reminiscent of both Buddhisttemples and play equipment. Shaffer believes that his childhood passion forbuilding architectural structures with colorful blocks and Lincoln Logsinfluenced his current projects. “I like their openness and theway the bright crisscrossing beams and boards are able to define the space inwhich the whole work resides without completely separating it from itssurroundings.”
Another brightly coloredsculpture, Earthquake, also usesstacked timbers but these sturdy beams form a jumbled, haphazard pile. The worklooks as though it might have once stood tall but was knocked over like a child’sblock tower.
Shaffer’s third work, Monument tothe Sun and Stars, unlike his other two, does not reference toys or play. Thework developed during an exhibition in Gettysburg where the sculptor reflectedon how we use monuments to honor figures from a specific time and place inhistory. Working from the opposite direction, Shaffer constructed his twelve-footspire to honor the cosmos – a system that is timeless and universal.
To learn more about Mike Shaffer, visit his website at http://mikeshaffer.net/ and join him as hediscusses his work with juror, Vesela Sretenovic and other exhibition artists on Wednesday, July 7, from 6:00 -7:30pmat GRACE.
For an in-depth conversation about temporary vs. permanent public art,please join Dale Lanzone, President of Public Art International Marlborough,and a panel of public arts professionals on Tuesday, July 20, at 7:30pm atGRACE.
An exhibition catalog featuring all works in gaps will be available at GRACE.
To learn more about theco-sponsoring organizations, visit their websites:
Greater Reston Arts Center www.restonarts.org
Initiative for Public Art– Reston www.publicartreston.org
Washington Sculptors Group www.washingtonsculptors.org
The Wayto Be, 2010, 9.5’ x 5.5’ x 5.5,’ acrylic, reclaimed wood
Earthquake, 2010,6.5’ x 8’ x 5.5,’ acrylic, reclaimed wood
Monumentto the Sun and Stars, 2009, 12’ x 2.5’ x 2.5,’ acrylic, reclaimed wood