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Posted in acrylic paintings, afrofuturism, black history month, Caton Merchant Family Gallery, mixed media, Visual Arts, on 7 January 2020, by , 0 Comments

Emerging Maryland Artist to Present Mixed Media Exhibit “It’s Complicated” at Center for the Arts

Exhibit Dates: February 7-March 27, 2020

Meet the Artist Reception: Saturday, February 8, 6-8 pm
(Hosted by the Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.)

The Center for the Arts is pleased to present “It’s Complicated”, featuring emerging Baltimore artist Dr. Yemonja Smalls.

It’s ComplicatedAn Investigation into the Complexities of Relationships
When used to define the relationship, the uttered words, “it’s complicated” suggest hidden or unexplained snags, trickiness or entanglement that blur the beauty of the bond. In her first east coast solo show, Yemonja selects and assembles mixed media to convey the complexities that color relationships. In this investigative show, she explores both a metaphorical and literal process of breaking, tearing, hiding, layering and cementing to yield insight into what creates and maintains unions.

Through deconstructed and re-assembled materials, Yemonja presents multifaceted layers of said connections with precision. The chemistry of colors combined are held together, and even in fracture, everything remains whole.  She presents reflections of life/death, self-love, soul-ties, and work-life balance, to name a few, for viewer dialogue.

About the Artist:

Dr. Yemonja Smalls is an artist with very little formal artistic training.  Originally from Hershey, PA, but a recent Chicago, IL to Baltimore, MD transplant, she works in the Maryland Department of Health’s Developmental Disabilities Administration.

Yemonja completed her pre-doctoral internship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Kennedy Krieger Institute, and received her doctorate from Louisiana State University in clinical psychology. She is expanding her clinical skills with a master’s degree in Art Therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has interned at sites supporting adults with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, as well as African American teenage girls who experienced life trauma, and family caregivers who may be subject to secondary trauma, compassion fatigue and burnout.

Yemonja’s creations in various mediums have been exhibited in the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, on the set of the famous Fox Hit TV show “Empire”, Harold Washington Library, South Side Community Art Center, Gallery Guichard, Howard University, Hill Center Galleries, the Sojourner Family Peace Center among others, and reside in various private collections across the nation.


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Posted in Caton Merchant Family Gallery, mixed media, Photography, Poetry, Student Artwork, Visual Arts, on 6 January 2020, by , 0 Comments

Congratulations to all of our winners & participants! Our sponsor, Lockheed Martin, will host an informal viewing at their facility on February 13, between 3-5 pm. RSVP is REQUIRED, so please do not miss out! Contact Lynn Fields at lynn.fields@lmco.com to register or 703-367-4546

Visual Art:

1st Place: Yohanna Taddesse, Still-Life, Pastel, Woodbridge

2nd Place: Carolyn Vaseghi, What Brings Us Together, Oil, Homeschool

3rd Place: Kyra Morris, Faded Into Distortion, Prismacolor & Graphite, Woodbridge

Honorable Mention:
Felicity Gonzalez Rivera, In His Eyes, Colored pencil, Colgan

Hope Dearborn, Munchen, Germany, Digital Photography, Patriot

"Hi, my name is Hope Dearborn and I am an Eleventh grader at Patriot HS. Most of my time is devoted to school, volleyball, crossfit, and recently dive, but art has always been something that I use to wind down. Whether it be music, drawing, or painting, art has been a consistent outlet for me. When I took photography one last year I fell in love with the instant connection the medium allowed me to make with the world around me. When I got the chance to go to Israel and Munich, Germany, I was excited of course to explore overseas, but also to document every part of the trip. This photograph is a bird’s eye of Munich, taken from the top of a tower that some friends and I climbed for a euro."

Keilani Wetternach, Sunset Oasis, Acrylic, Osbourn Park

Art & Technology:

1st Place: David Jones, Binary Focus, Digital Art, Colgan

Click here to read about David's art process!


1st Place: Lily Parker, “Creatures of the Night”, Colgan

2nd Place: Olivia Misero, "Water Falling", Colgan

3rd Place: Sam Faulk, "I'm Not a Poet", Osbourn 

Honorable Mention:

Lynn Vassar, “Passing By”, Colgan

Caitlin McGeehan, “A Poet’s Purpose’, Forest Park

Josseline Calderon Rivera, “A Poet’s Purpose”, Osbourn

Wearable Art:

1st Place: Isabella Goglia, Colgan, Materials: Plastic trash bags, math paper, Computer cords, tape, glue, and paint

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Posted in Caton Merchant Family Gallery, Photography, Poetry, Visual Arts, on 3 January 2020, by , 0 Comments

Local Published Poet to Display Art & Poetry at Center for the Arts in “Camera Eyes: On Poetry” Exhibit

Exhibit Dates: January 15-February 5, 2020
Meet the Poet Reception: January 18, 6-9 pm (Poetry Recitation: 6:45 pm)
(Snow Date: January 25, 6-9 pm)

The Center for the Arts is pleased to present “Camera Eyes: On Poetry”, featuring local published poet and photographer, JoAnn Lord Koff.

In Going Home, JoAnn Lord Koff, Digital Photography

Camera Eyes: On Poetry cultivates a visceral connection between JoAnn’s original, timeless photographic images and the heartfelt vision within her accompanying poems. In trying to mix two mediums, visual images and printed words, JoAnn connects what is a “truism”, using pictures as words and vice versa. Photography is an instantaneous art form, which can rarely be duplicated. A poem on the other hand, often ferments before its fragile birth and requires time to mature in rewriting. Each relies on instinct and wants its audience to feel its meaning or expression nonetheless. The exhibit consists of approximately 30 pieces of poetry and photography based on JoAnn’s book "Sand, Pebbles, Fossils, and Rocks”, a 2019 nominee for the Library of Virginia Literary Award for Poetry. It will run concurrently with the Regional Poetry Out Loud competition at the Center for the Arts held on January 23, 1-4 pm.

About JoAnn Lord Koff:
JoAnn Lord Koff is a resident of Northern Virginia. Her philosophy of life is deeply rooted in her multi-cultural heritage. As a young child, she lived in Charny, France, and moved around within the United States while her father was in military. She attended Lynchburg College where she majored in English, Writing and Secondary Education. Her love of history, her passion for the arts and her taste of originality is clearly depicted in her book, the first from Sappho Publishing, Sand, Pebbles, Fossils, and Rocks. This book is a culmination of decades of poetry that she has written and photographs she has taken all around the world.

“I Have Camera Eyes” (excerpt) by JoAnn Lord Koff:
“We shape what we see,
The mystery is in the image,
What we perceive, but a clue,
What I am, but a part.”

The Center for the Arts is located at 9419 Battle Street in historic Manassas. The Center for the Arts is open daily from 10 AM – 5 PM Mon – Fri; 1 pm – 5 pm Saturday.

Center for the Arts, Jordan Exum: 703-330-2787 - jexum@center-for-the-arts.org
9419 Battle St, Manassas, VA 20110
center-for-the-arts.org / instagram: @cfamanassas

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