60 artists enter two exhibitions at Rawls

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 20, 2008

COURTLAND—An opening of two exhibitions at Rawls Museum Arts drew approximately 60 participants to the show.

In the Main Gallery, the works of various artists were featured—the results of the 2008 National Juried Exhibition jurored by Nancy Sausser, exhibitions director at McLean Project for the Arts.

“This year’s juried exhibition features many local artists, as well as some artists from Northern Virginia and some from as far away as Lousiana and Arizona,” said RMA Director Leigh Anne Chambers.

“We are pleased to be featuring this exhibition in June, the month of our 50th anniversary.”

Winners of the juried show were:

– Best In Show—James Warwick Jones

– Second Place—Lisa McCarty

– Third Place—Hooshang Khorasani

– Doris Conover Memorial Award—Sandy Lupton

– Robert Riddick Award—RJ Clark

– Jean Camp Watercolor Award—Jorge Naranjo

Other artists’ pieces were also selected for the show.

The Francis Gallery highlights Reconstructing Chaos— the works of Tracy Featherstone of Hamilton, Ohio, who was entitled to a solo show as a result of winning Best In Show at the 2007 National Juried Exhibition.

Inspired by a recent trip to Ghana, West Africa, the assistant professor and foundations coordinator at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, has exhibited nationally and internationally.

Featherstone has been working on a series of artwork for four to five years, and while the sculptures can stand on their own, they are also work together, “like a living environment.”

Taking the trip to Ghana with the architecture department at the university coincided with the purchase of Featherstone’s first home.

“I dumped off the furniture (into the new house) and went to Ghana,” she said. “It was a big contrast with my house-buying experience, because they fabricate their own home (living really hand-to-mouth.).

“When I got back, I realized in Western culture, we tend to fool ourselves by surrounding ourselves with cars, houses, etc.

“But we’re just as fragile in our environment. We have little control of our circumstances, too.”

Featherstone said her pieces present and expose ideas of fragility or metaphors of similarity.

“Structures become metaphors for personal relationships within the household or community,” she said.

Featherstone’s first time in Virginia was when she arrived to set up her works at the museum just prior to this show. She shipped her works to Rawls Museum Arts during last year’s show.

“This exhibition has been well received also,” said Chambers.

Both shows will be on exhibit through July 11.