Tuesday, January 24, 2017
WAS Gallery opening at Westwood Center II in Bethesda
Their first show will be appropriately called "WAS opens," and will feature works by the gallery's three current artists-in-residence, Jenna North, Fabiola Alvarez Yurcisin and Joumana Moukarim. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, February 4, from 6:30-9:00 PM at the gallery, and the exhibit will run through March 10. Regular hours at the gallery will be Wednesday – Saturday, 12:30 – 5:30 PM, or by appointment.
The diverse artists' works have themes that resonate with current issues both national and local. North sometimes works as her alter ego, Wendy Well, a "fracking-obsessed Post-Apocalyptic Interior Decorator." Maryland is in the midst of debate over whether to allow fracking in our state, and North says the election of Donald Trump has made the apocalypse seem closer. In response, "Wendy wants to prepare us by offering a tasteful glimpse into domestic bliss in space," in one work featuring an outer-space-themed room.
Alvarez addresses the environmental and human impact of the technology we leave behind, incorporating VHS tapes and typewriter ribbons into panels, cages and nets. As an artist who splits her time between Bethesda and Mexico City, she is also keenly attuned to the symbolism of borders and boundaries.
And at a time when Bethesda residents are expressing anger against our elected officials for failing to provide sufficient public space and parkland in the developments they approve, Moukarim is a new resident and new mom who is finding solace in the spaces that do exist around town. The native of Lebanon photographs these spaces, prints them out, and then creates layered paintings juxtaposing the private and public spaces in her life.