Faculty Spotlight

Professor Frenn Fulbright recipient

Professor Chawky Frenn Fulbright scholarship recipient

by Natasha Boddie/2017

Congratulations! Professor Chawky Frenn has received a Fulbright award to India. He is the second full-time faculty member in the School of Art to receive the award. The first being Professor Maria Karametou in 2009-10 for her projects “A Visual Investigation of Embroidery and Textile Designs in the Search for Creative Expression” at her host institution in Turkey.

According to the Fulbright website and its mission, the program “aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government.” Since inception in 1946, over 370,000 recipients have been awarded a Fulbright.

On average, George Mason University has 3-4 recipients per year according to Rita Rowand, Fulbright Campus Liaison and recipient. The Office of Global Strategy is hoping to increase the number of recipients. In doing so, “we provide support and training for those faculty and students interested in applying for a Fulbright grant,” says Rowand. Dr. Anne Schiller, who is also a Fulbright Campus Liaison and recipient adds, “we were delighted that Professor Frenn attended one of those workshops, and that it was a step on his path to success in winning this prestigious award. We are very proud of the recognition that Professor Frenn and all of our Fulbrighters bring to Mason.”

Professor Frenn will be traveling to India beginning of August and will spend fall 2017 semester interacting with fine arts students, faculty and community from Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi. He sees his art as a bridge between cultures, religions and societies.

Why India? Frenn replies: “Art and Life are intertwined, perpetually informing and affecting one another. My art, filled with symbolism and metaphors, is a visual reflection on diversity in oneness and unity in multiplicity, a belief at the heart of Hinduism and Buddhism. Searching for deeper understanding, I found meaningful symbols expressed in the art and architecture of India, in the mysticism and ideas of Eastern philosophy, and in the people. Gandhi confirms: A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.”

Frenn will share with students a wealth of art techniques and concepts through collaborative initiatives with Indian colleagues. His lectures will cover how engaged artistic practice can serve as a catalyst for change in the broader social, cultural and political contexts. Art humanize as it raise awareness. Its resonance will be amplified by interactions with community and public. Through his research on how various beliefs affect the art of India, he will continue to explore the Life-Death-Rebirth cycle, a concept that enrich his own practice. During his residency he hopes to visit the Khajuraho temple in North India, the Great Living Chola Temples in South India and Varanasi, the Sacred City to further enhance his own creative research through visual documentation of people, scenes of daily life and archeological sites.

The Fulbright Award will allow Professor Frenn to further enhance his international engagements through his research, practice and teaching. He will explore venues for academic exchange of students, artists, and teachers and partner to co-teach courses with Jamia Islamia University. 

“Art for Life’s Sake” is Frenn’s way to reflect inner and outer words, to question, to communicate and to inspire. Teaching is privileges, a mean to stimulate minds and hearts, advance discernment, bring new perspectives on art, life, self, and world. With his passion for teaching Professor Frenn will help students with their artistic and professional development and inspire artists to be active citizens using their creative voice to address issues affecting their society.


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Professor Karametou from Greece to Connecticut

The latest exhibitions from Professor Karametou. 

“The Right to Be Human” Exhibition,

National Center of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece.

January 18 – February 28, 2017 // Opening: January 19

Curators: H. Savopoulos and T. Vrachopoulos

The museum will add Professor Karametou’s work to its permanent collection after this exhibition closes.

Artist Statement: “I did an experiment. For fifty-five days I read the papers every morning when I was drinking my tea. And for fifty-five days there was not a single time that the news did not report an atrocious violation of human rights. In spite of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights issued by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948, and in spite of our diverse world that has increasingly become globalized, we seem to still be back where we started.”

Curators Statement (excerpt): “The exhibition rebuts, re-examines and rejects inequities, and exemplifies the goals of humanism and social justice”

Maria Karametou, “For All,” mixed media on teabags, 43″ x 13″

“Speaking Volumes”

Fort Collins Museum, Ft. Collins, Colorado

January 20 – March 19, 2017

Curator: Katie Knight, the Holter Museum, Helena, Montana


After the most recent exhibitions in Georgia and North Carolina, the “Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate” Project continues the national tour with a show at the Fort Collins Museum. This show includes artists who were invited to transform the “Creativity Movement’s” white supremacist propaganda books obtained by the Montana Human Rights Network into works of art.

“…Systemic oppression broadly impacts members of many groups based on their race, religion, gender, sexual identity, country of origin, disabilities, economic class, and age. By responding creatively to hate, injustice and violence, the artists in Speaking Volumes provoke thinking and conversations that encourage empathy for others and respect for social justice. The exhibition is visually powerful, thought-provoking, sometimes humorous, always challenging, and ultimately deeply moving…”      

Jeanne Shoaff, Gallery director http://www.fcgov.com/news/index.php?id=6650

Maria Karametou “A New Page,” mixed media 21″ x 28″ x 4″

“Selfie” – an exhibition of self portraits

The Schelfhaudt Gallery, University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, Connecticut

February 10 – April 8, 2017

Opening Reception: February 10, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Curators: Peter Konsterlie and D. Dominick Lombardi

“Me as a Girl” mixed media book object 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ x 1 1/2″

Looking ahead for more from Professor Karametou with her upcoming exhibitions: 

“Homeward Bound”

Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, Virginia

March 3 – July 16, 2017

Opening Reception: March 3, 6:30 pm

Curator: B. Sumrall, Chief Curator, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA


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A Studio Visit with Art/Design Duo Plakookee

A Studio Visit with Art/Design Duo Plakookee: Rachel Dubuque and Justin Plakas

By Amy Boone-McCreesh

Rachel Dubuque and I met very briefly, last month, at an event at Open Works in Baltimore, where we had a mutual friend. In our quick conversation we realized that the night before we had both been at the Transformer auction in Washington DC. When I went home that day, I looked up her work out of curiosity, and was intrigued by the results.

Rachel is an Assistant Professor at George Mason University and has been in the DC area for about two years with her husband and art partner Justin Plakas. Before Maryland they lived in Georgia and New Mexico. Together they are the Art/Design duo Plakookee and share a studio. Rachel and Justin chatted with me for almost three hours during our visit about family influence, artists that exist between DC and Baltimore, cults, and the nuances of teaching college students. We also managed to discuss the standard ten questions about their studio practices both alone and together.

Rachel Debuque: “Cacti Smash” at Georgia Museum of Art

Rachel Debuque and Justin Plakas Studio Visit in Mount Rainier, MD. This conversations was taken from an interview on December 19, 2016.

Where did you grow up?

Rachel: I grew up in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. It’s in Bucks County and a suburb of Philadelphia. It’s a predominately white, working class area near Bethlehem and Allentown. I grew up living with my grandparents in the woods, which I think has been an important part of my development as an artist. My grandfather is a super eccentric human being and he built his entire house and was always making additions or tearing things down.

My grandfather has an amazing quote about his stance on his own creativity when I told him that he was kind of an artist. He said he did some art in 3rd or 4th grade but some kids made fun of me so he stopped doing art but kept beating kids up. They still live in the same house. I’ve watched him tear things down and rebuild them and make a bunch of really strange decisions when it comes to their house.

What is the driving force behind your work?

The ambiguity of objects, the multi-existence of things. The idea that there were grey areas to everything was a revelation to me. I had been taught that things were black and white. Many people seem to latch on to the themes of gender in my work. The performers I use are often reflections of parts of myself and so far they have all been female. Objects are important and design strategies play a role in my work. I think my cultural mash up at home has really applied to my interests as an adult. My dad is Filapino and my mom is Czech but she grew up in Iran. Justin and I realized we are interested in a lot of the same things and working together just started to happen, without us officially deciding. At this time Justin arrived at the studio and joined us for the rest of the interview.

What is your biggest struggle in the studio?

Rachel: I have a real particular unsure spot that I reach with everything I make. I start questioning all the decisions I’m making. I wonder if I am just wasting my time. When Justin and I are working together it’s nice when our insecure moments don’t align, so one person can talk the other off the ledge. I think we both really care about what we are making but we want to leave room to experiment and fail. Justin and I have really different ways of working. I need a dedicated chunk of time where he can work for one or two hours at a time.

Justin: I really had to train myself to do that, that whole process can be exhausting. I think I learned that when I was finishing grad school, I was applying for jobs. I realized if I was doing 15 or 20 minute chunks of concentrated time I was actually making better work. I have really tried to set myself up to be able to work anywhere. Big breakthroughs often happen outside of the studio and then get synthesized later. I feel like thinking about Plakookee as a commercial entity has also helped me deal with work flow. I think of things as action items. So when I sit down on my free time, outside of the administrative tasks, I can really appreciate the time to work.

Rachel: A lot of the things we were taught in school don’t necessarily apply anymore, things are so rapidly changing. Now that we are working together, we really have to figure out the best way to use our time. It’s not easy to collaborate in life and in the studio. We never really planned on this happening. We are trying to tweak how to work best together.

Justin: We are probably better at dividing the workload in the studio than we are at home. Thinking about Plakokee as being more design driven has allowed me to wash away that remainder of my MFA and it’s freeing, I feel like I can make whatever I want outside of the fine art context. Through our collaboration I think we have both abandoned a certain amount of self-censoring. It’s hard to be a professor and not be so self-critical when we are constantly criticizing others as part of our job.

Rachel: There are such interesting things that happen, he makes decisions that I would never make, which brings us to results we would never come to individually. Sometimes I ask him what he thinks of something and if I don’t get the answer I was looking for, it can really shake me. Justin is very verbal; he tells me everything he’s doing. I have an entire silent inner monologue, and I don’t know what I’ve said to him vs. what I have kept inside.

Put the following terms in order of importance to your studio practice: Form, Concept, Process.

Rachel: I think it totally depends on what I’m making. Sometimes I am really engaged in the process and the concept comes later and sometimes I am really interested in the concept. I think this changes constantly for me, they are all in flux in what I am thinking about and what is important. Sometimes if I am too focused on the concept, it stifles me. Justin has called me out on that before, he helps me to enjoy the process of making art because I tend to get into that turmoil spot.

Justin: I don’t always put concept first. It’s taken until now to be honest about that because I think this view can be looked down upon. A certain type of free, instinctual experimentation is always how I get the best results. I just want to see what happens when I make certain decisions. Sometimes that really blows up on me but I feel like it’s how I learn and what drives me to keep making work.

Was there ever a time when you felt like you couldn’t keep making work? If so, what helped you to keep going?

Rachel: There have been times when I have felt blocked. I think artists are prone to depression and sometimes I just wonder what’s the point of all this. But when I feel good and healthy, I realize it’s all I want to do. That became clear after undergraduate school. I moved to Taiwan and I was teaching English. I was making art but I was really limited, I didn’t have a community and didn’t speak the language. My energy was drained and I realized I wanted to teach what I love. It solidified that for me. I came back and I built a mock gallery space in my basement in Pittsburgh and took photos of my work and that’s how I got into graduate school. I was so serious about it; I think being divorced from making work really propelled me forward.

Justin: I go through phases where I feel like I am not very productive but then Rachel reminds me that I am always making things- whether that is with my phone or drawing or whatever. The small things that I keep to myself are just as important as the stuff I show in public. That has helped me feel consistently productive.

Do you have any routines, rituals, or coping mechanisms that you use regularly in your studio practice?

Justin: The main thing I do to keep my creativity going is to allow myself to jump off into different directions. I don’t feel bound to materials, concept, etc. Having an art making tool in my pocket (iPhone) has been a big deal. Another artist said to me once – this art life is a marathon not a sprint. I think about that a lot – it helps me stay grounded.

Rachel: I do Yoga. I watch tv at certain parts in my process. I look forward to some of the mindless work because I have it on in the background. The stupider the better, I can’t actually have on anything engaging because I can’t actually pay attention to it while I am working. Greys Anatomy, Awkward, Teen shows are great for this, Mindy Project, Fresh off the Boat. When, I was working on the show Glisten, http://racheldebuque.com/glisten I watched Transparent and One Mississippi. The shows completely related to the concepts of feminity, sexuality gender fluidity in my work.

Rachel’s piece “Glisten: Performance and Installation” at the Cue Art Foundation in NYC, featuring a muscular, female athlete in an “exercise room,” performing a workout regime.

Do you have any hobbies or interest outside of your studio practice that help keep you sane?

Rachel: Yoga, I’m a yoga studio assistant. I run a lot, I like to do races sometimes. Movies, cooking. I feel like it’s all the same though, it’s all a continued part of my practice.

Justin: I watch sports and I read. My practice can be reading a book. If you can’t get shit done in the studio and you are just pushing paint around it doesn’t do any good, so if I am pumped on something, I should just do it to help my overall practice. This year I read a lot of religious books, Scientology, Mormons, Cults. I am interested in how religious movements evolve. I am always looking at Design books too.

If you had to describe your life to someone out of the Arts, how would you do that?

Justin: I feel like artists are always doing that, like with our own families. Some of my family came to an open studio we had last week and I think they were finally able to make sense of what we do. I think one of the most important things to do as an artist is to surround yourself with people who are not artists.

Rachel: yes, and I think gauging the reactions of people who are not artists on your own work is important. To make art just for other artists is boring. I also really pay attention to what children do with my work. If they are engaged, then an adult can engage as well. I tell people I design spaces and make movies. Usually when I say “installation” people ask what that is. I say that it’s like interior design with no rules.

My mom came to my graduate school thesis show and she told everyone that I won the thesis show. She thought I was the winner of the show, that it was something you could win. I think people have trouble embracing that they are creative. Christmas time and decorating always makes me think about that, the decisions people make visually are so interesting. It’s this time when creativity is allowed. When I was a kid and my family moved into a new home, no one made any design or decoration decisions and I would go out to yard sales and get decorations.

They were what I thought decorations for a house should be. I remember I got this little house with a bunny on it and it said “Beware of Dust Bunnies” and I remember thinking, this is what should go in a home. I nailed it really high up in the kitchen. My mom didn’t care; she was totally open to me decorating our house.

Do you think the internet is helping or hurting us as artists and people?

Justin: I wouldn’t have become and artist without the internet. I grew up in a blue collar family, neither of my parents went to college. I wasn’t connected to this world. Instagram is great but it is already becoming more like other social media. It is weird now when you see the internet manifestation of an event or a group of people gathered and then compare it the version you witnessed in person. There’s a façade of a certain type of social connection happening. I think it’s important to stay critical and consider what you are seeing.

Rachel: Certainly communication and connections are problematic because of the internet. It’s an experiment. We don’t really know what all of this will be like in 20 years.

Is there anything you would like to promote? Upcoming exhibitions, projects, passions?

Both: We are working on a book based on our Community Forklift project. It is sort of a process book. I just got a Mathy junior faculty award (Rachel), it’s a sabbatical to work on a project. With the time during the sabbatical, we are making a short film; we are going to film a part of it in New Mexico. I am envisioning it as a series of environments. We have our idea board, and David Lynch said if you have 70 index cards of scenes or ideas you have enough for a film. Justin has been doing a lot of 3D environments, photography and video. This is morphing into a new body of work and might be a part of the New Mexico project.

It’s exciting, we have plans but we are open to other things happening. I think a lot of projects will take use elsewhere, in places we don’t expect. We have been gravitating to things outside of the gallery. I feel like some of my personal work and performances have been more rooted in the traditional gallery route (Rachel) but I think that work that we do individually continues to inform Plakookee.

Top Image: Rachel Debuque “Lemon Drop Turtle Juice”


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Beyond Secretary featuring Assistant Professor Debuque

Opening Thursday, October 20th from 6-8pm (on view through December 4th)
Mark Borghi Fine Art at 52 East 76th Street between Park & Madison.

Beyond Secretary is less a title than a declaration and direction. Women have come a long way from being relegated solely to roles where their primary function was to serve the man (i.e. the doting secretary, obedient wife). Today more women attend college than men and technological advances have given rise to professions reliant on traditionally female attributes of open communication and nurturing skills over typically masculine traits of brawn and bravado. Despite this, a woman earns 77 cents to every dollar a man makes and misogyny is still painfully evident in all sectors.

Despite decades of incremental progress, there is still the need to stand up against the ingrained assumption that a woman’s value is intrinsic to their sexual attractiveness and servitude to men. The subjugation of a women, however, has led to conditioning where, generally, a woman’s path towards advancement and respect is to “act like a man,” thus denying the inherent strengths of womanhood.

As a response, there has been renewed interest in ‘The Divine Feminine,’ (i.e Goddess worship) in certain philosophical and spiritual circles. Illuminating this movement can help ignite a collective awakening toward greater gender equality by paying homage to the power intrinsic of the feminine that is so often suppressed. With this hope in mind, Beyond Secretary presents artwork that touches upon the archetypes of the divine feminine: Goddess, Queen, Priestess, Warrioress, Lover, Wise Woman, exhibiting varied expressions of feminine power – to love, nurture, protect, channel, engage and advise.

Featured Artists:
Rachel Debuque
Elaine de Kooning
Rebecca Goyette
Hyon Gyon
Grace Johnson
Mercedes Matter
Livia Mourao
Sarah Sole
Tammy Smith
Betty Tompkins
Mie Yim


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MAP’s 35th Anniversary Exhibition featuring Associate Professor Karametou

We are excited to announce the highlighted artists of MAP’s 35th Anniversary Exhibition! These influential artists have made their mark on MAP throughout our history.

Hasan Elahi, John Ruppert, Beki Basch, Carol Brown Golderg, Mina Cheon, Bonnie Crawford-Katula, Linda DePalma, Oletha DeVane, Liz Donadio, Laure Drogoul, Peggy Fox, Carol Frost, Helen Glazer, Mia Halton, Dana Holgerson, Maria Karametou, Glen Kessler, Jonathan Latiano, Karen Lemmert, Mike McConnell, Mary Ann Mears, Raoul Middleman, Mary Beth Muscara, Nancy O’D Wilson, Janet Olney, David Page, Michael Platt, Joyce Scott and Joe Shannon.

This exhibition will showcase works ranging from painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, installation and more. We look forward to seeing you there!
MAP’s 35th Anniversary Exhibition

Soft Opening: Oct 6 @ 6pm
Open House: October 16 @ 3pm
Donor Reception: October 16 @ 5pm
Exhibition Dates: Oct 6 – Oct 27

As part of a birthday celebration, MAP will host a building-wide Open Houseon October 16, featuring music, performances & more in the 14k Cabaret! Stay tuned for the schedule of events!

To attend the donor reception, please consider giving to MAP’s 35th Anniversary Fundraising Campaign:
35k for THIRTY FIVE!


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Series No. ____ featuring Professor Christopher Kardambikis

Series No. ____

Gallery 102
801 22nd Street NW
Washington, DC 20052

Exhibition Dates: September 19 – October 1
WASHINGTON, DC – Gallery 102 is pleased to present Series No. __ , an exhibition that explores the world of zine culture and the interaction between word and image. The self-publishing of zines allows artists and writers to think without limitations and, most importantly, without the influence of an editor or spectator. The zines collected in this exhibit all share this quality to some extent, and are made more relatable and personal because of it.

The show also features over seventy zines from the private collection of Christopher Kardambikis, long-time maker of zines, prints, and current faculty at George Mason University. These works come from all over the country and highlight the many forms and styles of zine culture in the past decade.

Gallery 102 is a student-run exhibition space located at the George Washington University whose mission is to support students and faculty with curatorial and exhibition opportunities. For additional information please contact gallery102@gwu.edu

Exhibiting Artists:
Anne B.
Paul Dunbar and Savannah Gignac
Jared Freschman
G.E. Gallas
Christopher Kardambikis
Dirk Keaton and Torie Partridge
Tara Kosowski
Charlotte Malerich, John Hollister Conroy, and Greg Gill
Sad Girl Shoppe (Janet George & Kamille Jackson)
Sclera Studios
M. Spadafore
Gilbert White
Selections from The Zine Library Collection of Christopher Kardambikis


Department of Fine Arts and Art History
Columbian College of Arts & Sciences
The George Washington University
Smith Hall of Art
801 22nd Street, NW
Room 101
Washington, DC 20052
Phone: 202-994-6085


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Professor Cooley selected to participate in St. Louis Science Center’s “GROW” Exhibition

About the Artist

Mark Cooley’s work explores the intersections of art, activism and the interdependence of social and biological systems. Mark is currently a professor and director of New Media at George Mason University where he teaches new media and eco-art and serves as director of The Green Studio, an on-campus permaculture garden and eco-art studio. Mark lives and works with his family on a ¼ acre micro-farm in the far-flung suburbs of Washington DC, where they practice permaculture, medicinal herbalism, non-institutional education and the art of everyday life.

About the Artwork








Title: Dust to Dust: For Ozymandias

Artist: Mark Cooley

This project was fabricated in St. Louis by Scott Wunder from locally salvaged woods.

Organic materials – comprised of yard trimmings, food scraps, paper products and wood waste – account for about two-thirds of the entire solid waste stream in the United States. Rather than being allowed to decompose as they would in the environment – returning their nutrients to the soil – once in a landfill, organic materials are buried in “dry tombs” where they are sealed away from the environment, decompose anaerobically and become an environmental liability. With the help of earthworms working symbiotically with bacteria and fungi, this structure digests discarded organic materials from the St. Louis Science Center turning them into rich compost intended to fertilize the SLSC grounds and living exhibits. This conversion of potential waste into living soil is the completion of a work of art.

Nature is the most gifted sculptor, and though artists have long tried to capture and freeze the beautiful images it provides, nature’s art is one of processes, transformations, and continuous flux. This project was designed to provide a framework for nurturing and viewing one of nature’s most beautiful, fundamental and inspiring works, the transformation of death and decay into life renewed through the medium of living soil. The artist observes and aids in this process by doing what artists have always done, transferring raw materials with little perceived value into precious works, and in the process, making visible that which is often unseen or ignored. This work follows that age-old formula, but with goals and materials appropriate to our age – an age in which we have the opportunity and imperative to redefine our relationship to the world by working with nature rather than against it.

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The Feminist Legacy in Radical Plastic

Radical Plastic
Curated by Rachel Reese
July 16 – August 20, 2016
Opening Reception, Saturday, July 16, 6-8 PM


Becca Albee, Carolyn Carr, Catherine Czacki, Rachel Debuque, Carson Fisk-Vittori, Michelle Grabner, Mia Goyette, Ria Roberts, and Carolyn Salas


WellMan launch: Wednesday, July 27, 7pm
Methods 3 issue launch: Wednesday, August 10, 7pm

CUE Art Foundation is pleased to announce Radical Plastic, a group exhibition featuring artists who employ formal visual languages to address more human contexts including the problematics of bodies and gender-based constructs. Radical Plastic is an opportunity to mediate on the idea of in-between-ness, and what it means to be in the middle of something as each artist proves adept at navigating fluid and liminal areas.

Becca Albee’s work navigates between prescriptions of color as relating to the body, gender, and space, and looking at color theory as a lens to confuse those constructs. On view is Albee’s Radical Feminist Therapy series, which looks at Bonnie Burstow’s Radical Feminist Therapy: Working in the Context of Violence (published in 1992) as point of departure.

Carolyn Carr’s A Photographer’s Studio and the Problems of Posing, takes its title from a William Mortensen book and utilizes a store-bought drop cloth painted with red clay sourced from the Antebellum Trail as conceptual and literal backdrop for her photography studio room installation.

Catherine Czacki’s sculptural work, BB, is an anti-bed bug mattress cover re-imagined as a slumping, hanging sculpture—prompting connotations to porousness, desire, possession, the still life and the establishing of physical boundaries between self and other.

Rachel Debuque creates large scale, candy colored sets that both challenge and reflect pop cultural tedium. Within her sets, constructed objects act as molded simulacra, which offer an opportunity to give them new meaning. Glisten, a new work commissioned by CUE, is a performance installation that features a muscular, female athlete in an “exercise room,” who is performing a workout regime.

Carson Fisk-Vittori constructs environments integrating images, artifacts and flora to analyze the complex interactions between humans, the dynamic landscape and its ecosystems. Her current body of work, Disturbance Ecology, brings together an ecosystem of hypothetical weather machines, landscaping scenarios, and animal repellants.

Mia Goyette’s work explores a potential future by creating a “hybrid landscape” from the detritus of human consumption. Wall-mounted sculptures dramatize and exaggerate waste streams created by simple domestic systems such as decorative window box flowers and their contained water run-off trays.

Michelle Grabner is driven by a consistent negotiation with the forms that qualify “domesticity” through her “home base.” On view are a selection of her gingham inkjet prints, works that reinforce her long-form practice of copying and translating gingham patterns uniting the body (hand) with the mind (commentary) in an almost coach-and-player like fashion.

Ria Roberts is a graphic designer and organizer. Occupying the store-front like gallery of the CUE space, Roberts presents a bookshelf titled Design Within Reach, made from discarded materials from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (where she is employed) and featuring newly released issues of Oikos and Methods alongside Bittersweet, a commissioned natural scent by Tatiana Godoy Betancur, jewelry by Sarah Shikama, swimwear by Mia Lindquist, and ceramics by Lauren Francescone.

Carolyn Salas’ abstract sculptures are no doubt formal, but also suggestively human-scaled. Salas considers the physical installation of her works carefully, so they almost imply and build anthropomorphic conversations. Her most recent body of work utilizes the mold-making and casting process to create a sculptural installation on a large platform.


Cue Art Foundation

137 West 25th Street, Ground Floor
New York, NY 10001

Summer hours:
Monday – Friday, 10 AM – 5 PM
July 18 – September 8 (open Saturday, August 20)


Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here DC 2016

Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here DC 2016 is a book arts and cultural festival planned for January through March 2016, throughout the Washington, D.C. area. Exhibits, programs, and events will commemorate the 2007 bombing of Baghdad’s historic bookselling street, and celebrate the free exchange of ideas and knowledge, to stand in solidarity with the people of Iraq, who have endured so much; and with people at home and abroad who are unable to make their voices heard.

AMSSHDC20162Professor Helen Frederick, DC Project Coordinator and Project Associate, Nikki Brugnoli Whipkey, have an integral role in organizing this major international multidisciplinary festival. Their vigorous efforts in planning the festival will run from January to March 2016.

Professor Frederick describes her experiences as project coordinator and professor at School of Art, “As an artist, organizer, and professor at George Mason University’s School of Art (SOA) I value the collaborative academic and professional community focused on advancing creativity through traditional and new media applied to varying social contexts. The SOA is founded on the premise that art both reflects and inspires a creative society, improving the human condition while describing the world, both as it is and could be. We focus on the role of artists in that conversation. We encourage students to see art both as individual expression and public interaction. We celebrate historical reference, current relevance, experimentation – emphasizing innovative ways of thinking that enhance the impact of art on the future of society.HELEN

I personally am immersed in this project to support freedom of expression through the arts, to help share and foster dialogue and positive ideas about the Middle East, and everywhere where the free exchange of ideas is threatened rather than embodied as a human right.

Washington DC’s population has always been engaged within changing public cultural spaces in which individual work and activities are mapped, performed, exhibited and collectively created; and discussed within social, behavioral and ecological aspects of their living communities. This project calls upon memory and experience in various activities that will facilitate many interpretations and multiple cultural meanings. It will focus on connecting the participants through that which they know to that which they do not know. It will forge links with others across generations and locally, nationally and internationally, erase biases, and support voices that cannot be heard.”

Further information is available at www.amsshdc2016.org.

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“Wanderer: The Travel Journals”

McLean Project for the Arts features a solo exhibition from George Mason University’s Professor Maria Karametou. The exhibition, “Wanderer: The Travel Journals” is part of a mixed media of works which are based on the visual observations collected while wandering in different parts of the world. Karametou has saved these visual glimpses as a way of synthesizing and interpreting her experiences, encasing them in small plastic sleeves, like an archival photographic display. Hung together with artist made books and other works, they present an open-ended story with both personal and universal impact.

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maria karametou

Professor Endress collaborates with Flagler College students

St. Augustine – A collaborative, interdisciplinary project between Visiting Artist Edgar Endress and Flagler College students takes the Spanish colonial past of St. Augustine as a departure point and considers the multi-medium art form Baroque as a manifestation of the colonial system, as part of a forthcoming exhibition at the Crisp-Ellert Art Museum titled “Finding Baroque (terre florida).”CEAM_Endress copy

The exhibition will open with an artist walkthrough on Friday, Oct. 2 at 4 p.m., followed by a reception from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. during the town’s Art Walk.

Baroque denotes a term used for painting, sculpture and architecture created during the 17th century throughout European Catholic countries, primarily Italy, France and Spain. Partially an effect of the Counter-Reformation, Baroque artists made works that were didactic and dogmatic in depicting biblical narratives, and utilized repeated iconography that promoted the virtues of the Catholic faith. These visually impactful works were intended to appeal to an illiterate but faithful population.

During the spring of 2015 in a “Baroque” course, Endress and a group of Flagler students engaged in the process of discovering the art form in St. Augustine. The works included in the exhibition, including sculpture, drawing, painting and print, are a part of the continuum of what began earlier this year.

Throughout colonial Spain, Baroque was used as a method to indoctrinate the indigenous populations in the teachings of the Catholic Church. However, its visual and verbal forms were dynamic and porous, and often incorporated the cultural perspectives and iconographies of the indigenous and African laborers and artisans who built and decorated Catholic structures. According to Michael J. Horswell in his essay, “Baroque and Neo-Baroque Literary Tradition,” Baroque was at once an “imperial imposition” as well as an “expression of resistance” that permeated American culture at all levels. Endress examines this idea through the lens of the “Finding Baroque” project.

“Baroque is embedded in the cultural discourse of the Americas in various forms and aspects, expressed in daily rituals, and is part of the institutional discourse from religion and vernacular experiences,” he said. “Baroque began as a Western discourse that over time became a hybrid (mestizo baroque) that was able to expand the colonial and post-colonial discourse to include its own critique. In that context Baroque, as a marker of the encounter between civilizations in the Americas, defines an institutional Western moment in colonized spaces. Our goal is to use Baroque as a platform to explore contemporary resistance to exclusionary practices.”

Collaboration plays a central role in much of Endress’ practice. The artist frequently works with vernacular artists and artisans who may not produce work to be shown in museums and galleries.

“I use this practice to question certain imposed ideas of taste, fine art, and western culture, in a way that excludes certain forms of art as impure,” he said.

Making the distinction between high art, and art whose value is placed purely within an “anthropological or ethnographic” framework, is a mechanism that amplifies this idea of “otherness,” an idea that dictates much of the discourse surrounding his work. Accordingly, whether objects to be displayed, or interventions in the public sphere, Endress’ work is often the synthesis of ideas, discussions or actual handiwork from a variety of individuals.

The students involved with “Finding Baroque” played, and continue to play, a central role in the research into and ongoing debate about the Baroque in St. Augustine, and the debris of anti-colonialist representation to be found here. Students, including Yasmeen Abou El Seoud, Brittany Bertazon, Adrian Gonzalez, Laura Henning, Brenda McClary, Dulce Ros and Lara Sibson, questioned the notion of “pardo,” which is an idea that informs many of the works in the exhibition. Pardo was a term they found in Spanish historical records to define certain racial groups of mixed heritage. This term was used in the “casta” (or race) system to distinguish between “groups of privileged and under privileged,” which further engendered a system of inclusion and exclusion.

Their interrogation of historical records throughout St. Augustine was critical to “thinking through the project in a way that was inclusive,” according to Endress.

“In a state where tourism sometimes dictates historical emphasis, displacing historical elements is significant for calling attention to the experiences of various subaltern peoples,” he said.

One way that Endress and the group attempt this is to re-contextualize the historical narrative by re-appropriating the grammar of the mestizo baroque. In a new sculpture and triptych painting, each made by Baroque artists in Mexico and Peru, respectively, La Virgen de la Leche is re-envisioned as an indigenous woman, an iconography that better reflects the “reality of Spanish Colonialization and the subjugation of the Timucuans.”

Endress and his collaborators hope to create a critical platform in order to rethink the way society “creates structures that exclude, or take advantage of, when it is advantageous, the other.” Their research, through the works included in Finding Baroque, considers the empowerment of otherness, and ultimately proposes a new narrative of inclusion, revision and resistance.

In conjunction with the exhibition the museum will host an artist talk by Barcelona, Spain based-artist Domenec on Monday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. Taking the conceptual processes of reflection as a starting point, the artist has built up a sculptural and photographic body of work that includes installations and interventions in public spaces, which takes the architectural project as one of the most productive and complex imaginary constructions of the modern tradition. During his visit to St. Augustine, Domenec and Endress will conduct a workshop together at the Crisp-Ellert Art Museum that will consider the idea of “Utopia” as a form of colonialism by engaging in the areas where their bodies of work coalesce: material culture, alternative architecture, social practice and public art. Domenec has taken part in several site specific and international public art projects in locations such as Ireland, Mexico, Belgium, France, Italy, USA, Brazil, Argentina, Finland, Slovenia, Israel and Palestine. He is a co-editor of the art magazine Roulotte.

Edgar Endress is an Associate Professor at George Mason University, teaching new media and public art. Born in Chile, he has exhibited extensively throughout the Americas, most recently at Museum of Contemporary art (MACBA), Barcelona Spain and the Nichols Gallery at Pitzer College, Claremont, CA. In 2007, in association with Provisions Library, an arts and social change research and development center at George Mason University, he initiated the Floating Lab Collective, a team of interdisciplinary artists who deploy innovative art projects in collaboration with urban communities. His work focuses on syncretism in the Andes, displacement in the Caribbean, and mobile art making practices. He received his MFA in Video Art from Syracuse University. He has received numerous grants and fellowships, including those from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Creative Capital Fund.

“Finding Baroque” and its related programs are generously supported through a grant from The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. The exhibition is also a partner program of “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History,” which has been made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.


Professor Endress is also featured in 4th Ghetto Biennale 2015: Kreyol, Vodou and the Lakou. Through an international open call, artists were invited to explore what potentials these radical tools – Kreyol, Vodou and the Lakou-have to offer to the contemporary world. The Ghetto Biennale welcomed projects that incorporated language, space, performance, and symbolism and considered global territorial struggles; forms of linguistic refusal and friction; and esoteric forms of obstruction and intransigence. For more information on the exhibition please visit ww.ghettobiennale.org.

Other projects Professor Endress include WKV Stuttgart: THE BEAST_IS_THE SOVEREIGN. The exhibition explores constructions of the political sovereign in Western traditions of thought. Further information can be found at http:www.wkv-stuttgart.de/en/program/2015/exhibitions/the-beast-and-is-the-sovereign.

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Pinned, Stitched, and Glitzed: Challenging Gender Stereotypes

The Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery proudly presents the exhibition Pinned, Stitched, and Glitzed: Challenging Gender Stereotypes September 9 through November 13, 2015 Opening Reception Wednesday, September 30. 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Unlike sexuality that comes from within the individual, gender role is formed through parental, peer, school and social influences. Many of our early views of life come from the first teachers we encounter. Often our first taste of socially held beliefs such as girls look pretty and are passive, while boys do and are active, are provided to us at this early age. It is important for children to develop strong egos in their socialization phase that can withstand peer and social pressure and to continue in creating healthy relationships.

With this exhibition largely comprised of delicately appliqued, sewn, pinned and woven works, we are challenging traditionally assigned sex roles and preconceived notions about what are and are not female or male work practices. Consequently, we hope to dispel traditional gender assignations to the work of these artists working with methods traditionally considered as “women’s work” because they are delicately and painstakingly produced.

Eozen Agopian for example sews her artworks, a task usually attributed to women, yet she seeks to cross the border of art and objecthood by alluding to painting in her fabric works. Renee Magnanti’s patterns serve her as leitmotifs in producing works that are interlaced, crisscrossed, or interwoven like fiber art. She combines ethnic patterns in her effort to help us see the common bond between peoples of different geographic backgrounds. The making of Nicholas Moore’s highly embellished canvasses was greatly impacted through his rearing by parents in the fashion industry. Moore’s mixed media works are encrusted and worked with glittery materials that because of their fragile nature may wrongly be considered feminine in gender stereotyping. Ran Hwang’s work has also been influenced by fashion for it consists of thousands of pinned buttons formulating her subjects that range from Buddhist temples, to spiders and plum blossoms. Hwang partakes of the theory of opposites as in the yin and yang of her native Korean country and because of her background in Buddhist philosophy reflects upon the ephemerality of life. Maria Karametou creates intricate, exquisite and dainty pieces that in their fragility signal what would be popularly taken as feminine embroidery. Karametou’s work is multifaceted, however, and juxtaposes the delicate nature of what might be found in a female’s dowry in Ancient Greece against the cold, metallic, métier with her title’s references to war or conflict.

These five artists were used as examples to break with past models of gender classification embracing the individual aesthetic and unique working method of each show participant. At its core the exhibition questions the idea of ‘women’s work’ by suggesting that it is a social construct perhaps in the service of making the male feel more powerful. It should also take us one step further into de-constructing the traditional stereotypes that in the past have excluded trans-sexuals, and gays.

In conjunction with this exhibition, the celebrated and renowned modern dance icon Sincha Hong (b. 1943-) will be in the United States and present a performance with which to celebrate the opening of this show. Hong lived and worked in the United States from the late 1960s until 1990, founding the Laughing Stone Dance Company in New York City in 1981. She returned to live in South Korea in 1990 collaborating with the gayageum (twelve-string Plucked Zither) player Hwang Byungki. She is considered the first avant-garde dancer in Korea working in a minimalist manner in her bold and minimal short and evening long productions that have been lauded by prestigious magazines and press in Korea and abroad including reviews by the New York Times.

Curated by: Thalia Vrachopoulos

For more information please contact:

The Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery

John Jay College

860 11th Avenue

New York, NY 10019



About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit www.jjay.cuny.edu.


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Reckoning Space

Reckoning Space

Nikki Brugnoli Whipkey


SHU Arts Gallery

September 10-October 8, 2015

Seton Hill University

Greensburg, PA 15601


Gala reception: Sept. 24, 5:30 PM

contact: brode@setonhill.edu


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Southern Constellations Fellowship

George Mason University School of Art Professor Rachel Debuque is participating in a month long residency at Elsewhere in North Carolina as part of their Southern Constellations Fellowship. Rachel is currently an Assistant Professor and Foundations Coordinator with School of Art. She received her MFA degree at The University of Georgia and her BFA from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She has studied internationally, including the University of Zagreb, Croatia and Poland.  She has exhibited in places such as New York, Croatia, Taiwan and Philadelphia. Debuque was recently awarded to attend the internationally recognized Bemis Center for Contemporary Art’s residency program.

Debuque’s research includes installation, sculpture, video and performance. She de-familiarizes space and objects using common decorating design strategies such as pattern, paint, and the arrangement of objects. Her work purposefully plays with two and three-dimensional realms, creating a push/pull in perceptions. Vibrant colors to create directional line patterns that suggest dimensional space and flatten objects with matte paints.

Southern Constellations curatorial project is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. The program embeds six fellowship artists into Elsewhere’s artist residency for the production of site-specific projects and participation in dialog on the conditions of experimental art production.  Throughout the season Southern Constellations Fellows participate in process talks, exhibitions, member events, public studios, and first Friday events that connect audiences directly with artists.

Rachel Debuque

On site: August 5 – 26, 2015

Artist Talk: August 6, 8:30PM

Opening and Reception: August 22, 8PM

For more on Professor Debuque’s work visit her website.

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Professor Maria Karametou is participating in the international collaborative project “Vegoritis” (June – July 2015).  The project takes place by Lake Vegoritis in West Macedonia, northern Greece.  The lake is located near the border with a newly formed nation that was part of Yugoslavia, which was first founded in 1991 adopting the same name (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).

Inspired by the unique topography of the region, its oral traditions, by mass global migrations, the formation of new nations, and current events in Europe that challenge cultural identity and sense of place, this multidisciplinary project involves a number of activities that include installation, performance and video.

“Vegoritis” is supported in part by the School of Fine Arts of the University of Western Macedonia, the Mayor of Amyntaios, the community of Ag. Panteleimon, and several other local cultural organizations.  Activities are presented in conjunction with the 3rd International Festival of Natural Sciences.  Karametou will create on site work that involves installation and performance in collaboration with the project’s director, artist E. Kesisoglou.


Professor Karametou’s other present exhibitions and activities include:

The C. Grimaldis Gallery; Group show, Baltimore, MD (June – August 2015)

Speaking Volumes,” Waterloo Center for the Arts, Iowa (June – September 2015)

This project originated at the Holter Museum, Helena, Montana, and has subsequently been on U.S. national tour.  The Waterloo Center is the project’s 15th venue to date.


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Helen Frederick takes up residency at Chautauqua Art Institute

Helen Frederick, Professor in Printmaking and Graduate Studies is featured in an exhibition and will be in residence/teaching at the Chautauqua Art Institute, NY this July:

Politics in Art: From Warhol and Rauschenberg to the Present Day
June 28 – August 24, 2015

In conjunction with Chautauqua’s theme week on ‘Art and Politics’ VACI Artistic Director Don Kimes has curated this exhibition of art that addresses political issues. It presents an historical as well as critical perspective and, as often happens in Chautauqua’s morning lecture series, it will present ideas which challenge the status quo on topics ranging from racism to war, from the environment to gender issues, and more.
Included in the exhibition are works by Robert Attanasio, Bill Dunlap, Helen Frederick, Carol Jacobson, Nora Ligorno, Jerry Meyer, Craig Norton, Phyllis Plattner, Robert Rauschenberg, Marsha Reese, Andy Warhol.


Frederick is also featured in:

May 8 – July 5, 2015
Russell Hill Rogers Galleries
Southwest School of Art, San Antonio, TX

As the Southwest School of Art celebrates 50 years as a site for artistic creation and arts education, we invited international artists who have been part of our community, whether faculty, students, studio artists, exhibiting or special guest artists, to show themselves. the result is amazing new self portraits, in all medias, that showcase the SSA’s reach in contemporary art.

Latest research from Professor Endress

EdgarGMU School of Art faculty member Edgar Endress has been working on several national and international projects while on study leave Spring of 2015. Professor Endress has forwarded us highlights of projects and publications listed on his blog: http://eendress.com/blog/




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Don Russell, New University Curator

The School of Art welcomes Don Russell as our new University Curator and Gallery Director.  Some of his goals are to bring a larger vision to the University Curator position, create alliances with other departments, and bring in visiting artists. He is actively engaged in the University’s Master Facility Plan to activate public art on campus, and is working with other schools and departments who are open to collaboration.  Don will continue his role as the Director of Provisions Library.

Don Russell has been a leader in the integration of contemporary arts and society since 1976. His work focuses on nurturing and amplifying artists who expand both the contents and contexts for art. He has organized over one hundred exhibitions as well as public art commissions, residencies, conferences and research projects. His work spans all contemporary art media with particular emphasis on photography, artists’ publications, public art and new media. He is interested in investigating the transformative potential of art in community development and democratic discourse in today’s global environment. He is President of Art Resources International, he previously Directed Washington Project for the Arts and was curator at Visual Studies Workshop.