From Cecile Oreste at danceDC
Two DC-based architects were given the same challenge: Create a space that illustrates the significant relationship between art, architecture and design. After only five weeks of preparation, architects Ernesto Santalla and David Jameson installed two unique architectural design vignettes at Long View Gallery for its current exhibition, “Informed Design.” The architects also chose artists to work with and then incorporated their pieces into the vignettes.
“Each approached the challenge in a different manner,” said Gallery Director Drew Porterfield. “Santalla interpreted it as an opportunity to design for our gallery space while Jameson saw it as a chance to create a gallery within a gallery.”
Upon entering the exhibition, visitors experience “Integration Interaction” from Ernesto Santalla of Studio Santalla in Georgetown. It’s hard not to be impressed by the size of the space which is accentuated by Santalla’s installations–a sleek silver bench and accompanying shelf, and a checker-patterned carpet with a long gray band.
Santalla strategically chose artists to create work that would utilize the full potential of the space. Ralph Turturro’s 30-foot acrylic and mixed media piece spans almost the full length of the vignette, while Barbara Josephs Liotta’s 20-foot interactive installation comprised of Italian marble stones and white tie cords emphasizes the height of the gallery’s ceiling.
According to Porterfield, “Santalla let the gallery dictate his design.” He utilized not only his architectural and interior design skills, but also his artistic talents to create a vignette especially for the space.
The work of David Jameson of David Jameson Architect Inc. resides further back in the gallery. His “Stalling Detritus” features a steel structure with sapele wood cabinets and stucco walls that house the work of his artistic partners. The installation of the artwork within the structure makes it clear that one cannot live without the other. “To Jameson, there is no separation between art and design,” said Porterfield.
Ceramic plates by Steven Cushner hang on the textured stucco walls. James Huckenpahler’s pigment prints on vinyl stick to the floor and sapele wood cabinets. Artwork from Mary Early and Jackie Hoysted are also part of the structure.
In addition, Porterfield chose work from Long View Gallery’s corporate art consulting roster to supplement the exhibition. These artists include Joan Konkel, whose low relief paintings with metallic detail complement the bench and shelf installations of Santalla’s vignette, and Steve Griffin, whose surprisingly smooth finished textured paintings work well with the natural lines formed by the gallery’s brick walls. Pieces from Patricia Burns, Victoria Cowles, Susan Finsen, Anne Marchand and Wanda Wainsten are also featured in the exhibition.
“Informed Design” runs through Saturday, August 1. Long View Gallery is at 1234 9th Street NW, just south of N Street.