February 2024 Exhibits

We are excited to present two juried exhibits this February, Manic Ceramic and the February All Media Show, along with four featured artists, Wendy van Boxtel, Naila Lyles, Gwendolyn Narkinsky, and Mark Price.

These exhibits explore themes such as depth perception, optical illusions, understanding ugly sentiments, empathy, apocalyptic and magical thinking.

 Emerging by Wendy van Boxtel

Boxtel loves playing with depth perception, using continuous patterns and lines alongside sculptural components that seem to emerge right out of the wall and evoke different emotions in different people. Combining painted optical illusions with sculptural elements, her art goes beyond traditional installations, physically and visually extending the boundaries of art. So be prepared to question what you see with your own eyes when engaging with Wendy van Boxtel’s art.

As a child in the Netherlands, besides drawing, she was fascinated by how the brain has “its own mind” and can be tricked, or better, seduced by the art of illusions. Looking for a fresh start and making some dreams come true, she took the difficult decision to leave family and friends behind and start the new millennium in the US. With a BA degree in Activity Counseling, she explored various aspects of art and worked as an art facilitator with children who have special needs, designed juvenile lighting, and worked as a graphic artist for several years.

With roots in two different countries, two different cultures, often makes Wendy feel like Alice in Wonderland. There is freedom, longing, and a constant search for balance between two worlds. This feeds the blazing fire of her creativity. The layers in her work often surprise her. Humor is the key to unlocking the emotions which hide in the shadows of the illusion of her art; empathy, compassion, and being yourself.

“Luctor et emergo is what we say in The Netherlands when we talk about the constant battle with the sea, meaning I struggle and emerge. Sometimes I wonder if that is a theme in my art but at other times, like Alice, I think, it’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

Today, Wendy lives in Richmond, VA, with her family of seven. She says, “…once they (her art) are out in this world, out in the open, I start to see what they mean to me. But then, someone else looks at them and a new meaning is born. Something, I think, is wonderful and inspires me to continue this artistic journey that brings me closer to unknown horizons and beyond.”

Illicit Tears by Naila Lyles

Illicit Tears (2024) explores societies’ ugly sentiments that are misjudged or never understood. Naila Lyles explains that understanding is not the same as being empathetic. It’s okay not to know, it’s okay to agree to disagree. And with generations becoming more progressive and unique, we now have a chance to start having conversations on how trauma has affected our lives and emotional thinking.

Naila Lyles offers her story to jumpstart these conversations. She acknowledges and records the ugly sentiment by speaking to herself in front of the camera about anything and everything that hurts her. She cries, screams, and even laughs and captures still shots to create a collection of her hurt. She uses these as references for graphite and acrylic art.

Naila says, “My name is Naila like the Lion King, and I am a black creator who believes in the power of art and vulnerability. I ask, as you look through my work and stand in front of each piece, to envision yourself in the portrait, be vulnerable and talk to a stranger. Empathy is universal, not competitive. Thank you for being vulnerable with me.”

In the Time to Come by Mark Price

This exhibit is a collection of images that delves into the psychology of apocalyptic and magical thinking. The artist has been working on these images for the past ten years, featuring landscapes with futuristic cities and humans integrated into the environment. The addition of captions enhances the relatedness of the images and invites the viewer to explore the story behind them. While the narrative may seem nonsensical in good surrealistic tradition, the literal captions add a layer of depth to the artwork. Join us in discovering the thematic relations between these captivating images and the artist’s use of captions to enhance their meaning.

Medley: Humanity and Nature by Gwendolyn Narkinsky

This exhibition will immerse viewers in a celebration of the artist’s unique approach to oil painting. Through a variety of techniques ranging from impasto paintings to delicate thin glazes, Gwendolyn Narkinsky aims to transport the audience into her world where reality and emotion seamlessly merge. The central theme revolves around the artist’s commitment to distilling the interplay of humanity and nature onto the canvas, freezing ephemeral moments in time, and preserving the magical qualities often overlooked in the ordinary natural world.

February All Media Show

This exhibit is a focal point of all Art Works’ openings.  The show is open to all artists and all mediums. There was no theme this month. The juror was Chris Semtner, painter, writer and curator.

1st Place: Sherrie Miller Remembering The Dead, Acrylic on Wood Panel, 16×13 $725

2nd Place: Richard Harding Coral … or Mushroom?, Polyester Thread on Polypropylene Chording, 34×12, $475

3rd Place: Bruce W Murff Mannequins, Digital Photography on Canvas, 20×24, $275

Honorable Mention: Charles Sthreshley Song of Kagmara, Concrete, Hardware, 36 x 8 x 6, $298

Manic Ceramic

The NCECA Conference is coming to Richmond in March 2024. We reserved Gallery 201 for local ceramic artists and potters to display their clay creations. This extended show will be on display from February 23 through April 20, 2024. Ceramic artists, sculptors who work in clay, and mixed media artists who use clay in their creations were invited to submit entries in this juried show. Lee Hazelgrove, master ceramic artist and potter is the juror for the exhibit.

1st Place: Lisa Battle Rebirth, Stoneware (wood fired), 20 x 10 x 5, $500

2nd Place: Paul DiPasquale Not My Type, Stoneware, resin, raku, linen, 31.5x 25.5 x 4.5, $1650

3rd Place: Nancy Sowder Lotus Bowl,  Stoneware Underglaze/Glaze,  4.75 x 12 x 12, $350

Honorable Mention: Kay Franz Large Textured Vessel, Ceramic, 10 x 12 x 12, $465