A Magazine for the George Mason University Community

DC Art Show Features Mason Alums

By Mason Spirit contributor on January 21, 2010

Call + Response features the work of several Mason alumni.

Call + Response, a gallery show pairing local artists and writers, opens this weekend at the Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington, DC.

The show features many Mason MFA alums, including Joe Hall, MFA ’08; Danika Stegeman, MFA ’09; Eleanor Graves, MFA ’06; Mike Scalise, MFA ’08; Wade Fletcher, BA English ’04, MFA ’08; and Casey Wiley, MFA ’09. Bryan Rojsuontikul, BFA Art and Visual Technology ’07, is one of the featured artists, as well.

The Hamiltonian Gallery was founded by Paul So, an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study. The gallery is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping emerging artists by providing professional development opportunities.

An opening reception will be held this Saturday, January 23, 2010, from 7 to 9 p.m. The exhibit will until February 13, 2010.

A bit about the exhibit:

Call + Response’s participants have given a new twist to the term “call and response” (a succession of two distinct phrases played by different musicians in which the second phrase comments on or responds to the first). For each pairing, the writer has provided the call and the visual artist has created the response. The result is paired works that resonate with each other, building a bridge between two distinct but fertile communities.

The writers each wrote several short pieces, which were then distributed to the artists. One at a time, each artist selected a piece to respond to without knowing the identity of its author, until every author was paired with an artist. At the gallery, each artwork will be displayed together with the written piece to which it responds.

One pairing matches poet Eleanor Graves with artist Lam Vuong. Graves has been teaching poetry, literature, and composition since coming to the DC area in 2003. She received an MFA in poetry from George Mason University and is a recipient of the Mary Rinehart Award in Poetry, with poems appearing in Phoebe, Practice, and Hayden’s Ferry Review. Vuong was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi, to Vietnamese refugees. His photography, watercolors, and installations deal with the nuances of loneliness and confusion in dating and Asian American culture. He started his MFA at CalArts last fall and is responding to Graves’ new poem “Gorgeous Evasions” with a photographic work.

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