Gallery 102: 2018 Year in Review

Hyphen American poster
Image courtesy of Sheida Soleimani.
January 01, 2019

Dear Gallery 102 Supporters,


It has been another exciting year for us! 2018 has seen some of our strongest exhibitions yet, bringing in new artists and curators from across the globe whose work we are privileged to have hosted. We want to highlight and remember the key people who made this year possible!


During the Spring semester we hosted our most visited exhibition yet Hyphen American. Curated by DC-based Tsedaye Makonnen and Rex Delafkaran, the exhibition challenged and unsettled the liminal space of hybrid cultural identity within the American lexicon. Featuring over 20 artists and 7 performances, the exhibition was an attempt to create paths through barriers. The catalogue for the exhibition, designed by Corcoran alumna Julie Hansen, is available online here.


During the month of March, senior Studio Arts Major Layla Saad curated As The World Watches, a poignant response to the humanitarian crisis affecting communities in Myanmar, particularly the Rohingya. Featuring work by a range of artists, including Corcoran faculty and students Chan Chao, David Page, and Jaelin Lim, the exhibition approached the crisis through both a historical and contemporary lens.


In addition to thematic group shows, the Spring semester also featured curricular exhibitions by some of Corcoran’s most promising students. Brittni Collins and Laylaa Randera both presented their MFA Thesis shows, while the BA Fine Arts exhibition entitled IN CONCLUSION showcased the work of our four graduating fine art seniors.


2018 saw the second iteration of our Summer Solo Series, a three-month series of exhibitions that featured dynamic regional artists. During the month of June, Stephanie Mercedes presented her exhibition The Ring of Freedom. A memorial to the 49 lives lost during the Pulse Club Shooting in Orlando, the exhibition sought to transform weapons of violence into musical installations — assault rifles melted into liberty bells and shell casings utilized as chimes. Matt Eich, our second solo artist and adjunct faculty in photography, exhibited a series of photographs from his Invisible Yolk series entitled Sin & Salvation in Baptist Town. A sober look at the social, political, and economic inequality imbedded in American culture, the exhibition preempted the publishing of the series in book form, which you can view and purchase here. Our third and last solo exhibition featured the work of Delaware-based artist Alim Smith. Entitled Icons & Legends for the Culture, the series of paintings included works from Smith’s In Living Color and Meme series.


We began our Fall exhibition schedule incredibly strong, debuting Water/ماء : Trespassing Liquid Highways. Curated by LA-based Ikram Lakhdhar, the exhibition underscored the geographical pull of the Caribbean and the Mediterranean seas as spaces of contested movements, as liquid highways, and as sites of violence. Including artists from Tunisia, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Dominican Republic, and the Virgin Islands, Water sought to challenge the western gaze.


EXTRA, curated by current MA Art History student Maddy Henkin, brought together a stellar group of artists to discuss the decorative in contemporary art. Whether through embellishments, rhinestones, crochet, or craft, the artists challenged the value placed on the decorative and explored the notion that “more is more.” Including work by Caroline Wells Chandler, Sanford Biggers, Joan Snitzer, and others, the exhibition brought a bit of flare and excitement to the space.


Finishing off this semester, we hosted the MFA Thesis Show of Nicole “Ozzy” Osborne, which brought with it a complete transformation of the space. Currently on view is FACULTY, a small taste of what Corcoran Faculty are up to outside of the classroom and in their studio.


We are so excited to gear up for the Spring 2019 semester. Look out for more information on our exhibition schedule coming out in the new year.


I'd like to take this time to thank some people for their contributions to the success of Gallery 102 this year. To all of the guest curators and collaborators, both I and the committee are so thankful for your insight and vision. To all of the artists who have exhibited with us this year, we are so proud to have been able to show your work and share it with the public. To the Student Exhibitions Committee, you all are truly amazing; none of this could have been possible without your imagination. Thank you to the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design and to GW. Lastly, thank you to all of our supporters.


Have a safe and happy holidays!
Warmest regards,
Andy Johnson, Gallery Director


Gallery 102
Smith Hall of Art
The Corcoran School of the Arts & Design
801 22nd St NW
Washington DC 20052

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