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 Sun and Stars, three vibrantly colored wood sculptures, will be situated in planting beds along the Market Street side of Reston Town Square Park during the week of June 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 be installed inside Greater Reston Arts Center adjacent to the park at 12001 Market Street. All sculpture was selected by Vesela Sretenovic, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Phillips Collection.
The installation of Mike Shaffer’s sculpture in Reston Town Square Park is made possible through the cooperation of Reston Town Center Association. gaps is the first temporary outdoor sculpture exhibition in the park and the first collaborative project between Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE), Initiative for Public Art – Reston (IPAR), and Washington Sculptors Group (WSG). Previously in 2008 – 2009 IPAR supported Sleeping Tree, a multi-part project at GRACE and Dogwood Elementary School. During the spring of 2010, WSG collaborated with GRACE to present POP-UP@SOMA, a temporary sculpture exhibition in the empty South Market building on Explorer Street in Reston.
Mike Shaffer has exhibited his work throughout the mid-Atlantic region in both indoor and outdoor settings. His sculpture, Lighthouse/Whitehouse, is currently on view in the Foggy Bottom Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit in Washington, D.C. between 24th and 26th streets NW and H and K streets. Washington Post art critic, Blake Gopnik, singled out Shaffer’s work as, “The best piece on view, by the widest of margins…” and continued by saying “It’s good because, when you come across it on the lawn of a 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 three sculptures included in gaps. The Way to Be, a simple, green tower, was included in POP-UP@SOMA. Sophisticated yet playful, the stacked wooden structure is reminiscent of both Buddhist temples and play equipment. Shaffer believes that his childhood passion for building architectural structures with colorful blocks and Lincoln Logs influenced his current projects. “I like their openness and the way the bright crisscrossing beams and boards are able to define the space in which the whole work resides without completely separating it from its surroundings.”
Another brightly colored sculpture, Earthquake, also uses stacked timbers but these sturdy beams form a jumbled, haphazard pile. The work looks as though it might have once stood tall but was knocked over like a child’s block tower.
Shaffer’s third work, Monument to the Sun and Stars, unlike his other two, does not reference toys or play. The work developed during an exhibition in Gettysburg where the sculptor reflected on how we use monuments to honor figures from a specific time and place in history. Working from the opposite direction, Shaffer constructed his twelve-foot spire 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 he discusses his work with juror, Vesela Sretenovic and other exhibition artists on Wednesday, July 7, from 6:00 -7:30pm at 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 at GRACE.
An exhibition catalog featuring all works in gaps will be available at GRACE.
To learn more about the co-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 Way to 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
Monument to the Sun and Stars, 2009, 12’ x 2.5’ x 2.5,’ acrylic, reclaimed wood