Civilian Art Projects is pleased to present three new exhibitions, including photographs by Cynthia Connolly, a video projection by Pamela Hadley, and, in the project space, new works on canvas and paper by Baltimore artist Cara Ober.
The exhibitions will open to the public on Friday, May 11, 2012 and will be on view through Saturday, June 16. Public exhibition hours are Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 1 to 6 p.m. Opening Reception for the artists: Friday, May 11 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Civilian Art Projects.
The twelve photographs comprising the series Letters on Top of Buildings have been a work in progress since the artist was a child. She remembers riding in the backseat of her mother’s car and feeling like “a flying bird” on the elevated freeways of the L.A. She enjoyed the solitude and focus of sitting in the back seat looking at the neon letters of old art deco buildings in Hollywood and downtown L.A. She recollects “Jesus Saves,” “Hotel Roosevelt,” and the “Fontenoy,” buildings and signs no longer available to her.
Cynthia Connolly was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Washington, DC where she attended the Corcoran School of Art receiving her BFA in Graphic Design in 1985. In 2003 she received a certificate from Auburn University’s design/build architecture program The Rural Studio where she extensively photographed the land and its people. Internationally exhibited and a prolific artist, she is known for works in the international touring Beautiful Losers exhibit, the book Banned in DC, her post cards, and curatorial work at DC Space, the Ellipse Arts Center, and Artisphere in Arlington, VA. Her photography is in many publications and private collections as well as the Smithsonian Museum of American History and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. This is Cynthia’s first exhibition with Civilian Art Projects. Accompanying the photographs will be “photographic grab-bags” of cards of each building that Connolly has letter pressed as a souvenir for patrons of the work.
Civilian Art Projects presents Pop Deco, new works on canvas and paper by Baltimore artist, Cara Ober. In her second solo exhibition at the gallery, Ober continues to experiment with visual mash-ups, creating decorative images from vintage wallpaper, textiles, ancient artifacts, and home decor. In her newest body of work, the artist focuses exclusively on the patterns she has collected for many years in order to investigate their power. Rendered in a simple palette of black, white, and metallic paint, these ornamental embellishments are divorced from their original context and take on an iconic, totemic presence.
Cara Ober earned an MFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2005 and a BA in fine arts in 1996 from the American University. She is commercially represented by Civilian Art Projects in Washington, DC. She has participated in numerous international art fairs in the past few years, including Scope, Miami, Aqua, Miami, and Scope, NY. Cara was awarded a Best of Baltimore MVP Award from Baltimore Magazine in 2009 and second prize in the 2007 Bethesda Painting Awards. She is a 2006 MD Individual Artist Grant recipient for painting and received a Warhol Grant for Emerging Curators in 2006. Cara writes art reviews for The Urbanite Magazine, ARTnews and publishes her own local art blog, BmoreArt.
In addition to Letters On Top of Buildings and Pop Deco, Civilian presents a project by Pamela Hadley in the middle gallery space. Hadley’s large-scale video projection on paper will be on view in the middle gallery. Hadley’s work is influenced by a combination of imagery and process, concept and materials. While general themes include intimacy, alienation, emptiness, loss, strength and identity, specific narratives are intentionally obscured. Working in digital media, video, and photo intaglio, Hadley will receive her BFA from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in 2011. After graduation she will continue to live and work in DC, traveling frequently as part of her practice. She is currently completing a year-long series of images for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in Washington, DC.
Civilian Art Projects is a gallery in Washington, DC representing emerging and established artists. Civilian supports artists working in a broad range of media including painting, photography, sculpture, works on paper, and other emerging forms. Founded by a curator and arts leader and supported by a growing network of collectors, artists, and patrons, Civilian brokers the connection between the public audience and the artist’s private practice through a challenging exhibition series, public talks, off site exhibitions, workshops, art fairs, and other unique events and opportunities. Civilian is located in the Mt. Vernon/Shaw neighborhood of Washington, D.C.