“Pattern Transformation: new work by Sondra N. Arkin” opens at Long View Gallery this Thursday, August 23 with a reception from 6:30 to 8 pm. The solo exhibition features Arkin’s encaustic paintings, which have been taken to the next level with the use of shellac and walnut ink. Arkin, who is a founding member of Mid City Artists and currently a Dupont Circle resident, wanted to explore sets of patterns and see how they would transform each other as she worked through the creation of the art. “Happily or sadly (I can’t decide which), the permutations are practically infinite. It might be overwhelming to some people; but to me, the variety and the similarities continue to draw me into the artwork,” she said.
On the other hand, viewers are likely to relate to Arkin’s paintings which are open for interpretation. “My life in an urban area is fluid with my personal philosophy that there is always more than one way of doing anything; and as a community, we agree on a common direction. My recent art is made so that the viewer can arrange it in any configuration without direction from the artist. For me, that acknowledges that there are multiple viewpoints – and in art, as in life, that is fundamental to harmony.”
Arkin is not only a painter, but also a curator who experiments with printmaking, sculpture and assemblage. She previously aspired to be a poet with degrees in both Writing and Literature, and later used her education to run the creative department of a marketing agency. Arkin played multiple instruments during her college years and continues to enjoy a variety of performing arts including theater, dance and poetry, making the Borderstan area an ideal place to live. “I can’t believe how lucky I am to live and work in Dupont. It has developed into a really lively urban area,” she said. “I love that we have so many theaters and places to hear music in this part of town. Seriously, I do think this is the center of the universe.”
Arkin is fortunate to create art full time, but admits that it can be a challenge. “Producing work full time means taking on the second job of managing yourself and your career. There is an awful lot of administrative work that goes along with the production and a lot of marketing to be done to get into exhibitions and to make sales. To do it full time, you have to be out there all the time participating in everything that you can.”
In addition to exhibiting at Long View Gallery, Arkin’s work has also been on display locally at the Nevin Kelly Gallery when it was previously located on Irving Street NW, ART17 at the Coldwell Banker Office on 17th Street NW, as well as Vastu on 14th Street NW. She will also be exhibiting in a group show at Studio G on Westminster Street NW starting September 14. For more information about Arkin and her work, visit her website.