“In Season” runs through January 7 at Project 4, 1353 U Street NW. Participating artists are Margaret Boozer, Beau Chamberlain, Christine Gray, Lisa Kellner, Tricia Keightley, Thomas Müller, Ellington Robinson, Foon Sham, Jill Townsley and Paul Villinski.
Last Saturday night, Project 4 opened it doors for its end-of-year exhibit, “In Season.” The show features 22 works by 10 artists featured at the gallery earlier this year.
Casual visitors, friends of the artists and gallery, and potential buyers mingled together at the opening with artists Foon Sham and Ellington Robinson along with the gallery’s owner and director.
The gallery’s two floors house a wide array of artistic styles, from precisely crafted wooden vessels to acrylic paintings to butterflies fashioned from aluminum can. For most of the artists featured in the show, the medium contributes as much – or more – to a work’s meanings as the subject matter does.
The works on the main floor exemplify this approach. Margaret Boozer’s “White Detritus,” an arrangement comprised of circular pieces of found material (porcelain, stoneware, and magnets) draws the viewer in as the repeated circular form allows the varying textures and subtle complexities of the material to play of one another. Similarly, Foon Sham exploits the tension between nature and manmade objects. One works of his contains fragments of rocks and a phonebook set against a background of a linear pencil-drawn pattern.
Upstairs, the works are more figurative but no less evocative. In Jill Townsley’s haunting series of photographs “Fulford in Fog,” the obscured landscape background becomes a brooding and startlingly captivating subject.
Other pieces hold a more whimsical appeal. Four child-like watercolor images on sheets of deckle-edge paper are strung up and hung by metallic binder clips in “Giraffe, Flower, Majestic, Flower” by Thomas Müller. Christine Gray most fully realizes both the whimsy and melancholy nostalgia that pervades many works in the show. In her watercolor “Daisy Drain,” daisies droop in a surrealistic melt against a framework “God’s Eyes,” the Popsicle stick and yarn contraptions viewers will recognize from elementary school craft projects.
Whether you want to reconnect with your childhood or to buy a piece for yourself or as a gift, you can stop by Project 4 before January 7 to see “In Season.”