Friday, August 17, 2007

One Word Project at Washington DC's Arts Club

The One Word Project, curated by JT Kirkland, opens at the Arts Club of Washington in the District of Columbia on August 28th. The genesis of the project was a call by Kirkland in 2004 from his blog, Thinking About Art.

The Arts Club of Washington summarizes the project:
" The One Word Project is a deliberate enactment of the 'conversation' between artist and viewer. Interested in seeking new ways to capture pure creative response, curator J.T. Kirkland distilled the traditional artist interview to its most basic element: a single word. After digesting the work of a self-selecting group of artists, Kirkland prompted each with a word of his choosing, to which each artist was asked to respond in approximately100–500 words. The resulting statements—which vary in length, approach, and relevance to the original word—offer a written correlative that informs and enhances the viewer's appreciation of the artist's work."

JT Kirkland's site Thinking About Art and his curatorial work in the Washington DC area have opened up the visual arts in exciting ways.
JT smartly paired artists with words of his choosing for the project. My word was responsibility. I wrote the following, which was posted on Thinking About Art on November 17, 2004:

Gregg Chadwick: Responsibility

When J.T. Kirkland asked me to write on “responsibility” the first words that came to mind were duty, engagement and trust. As a contemporary painter my first obligation is to the work. My art demands an engagement with the physicality of canvas and paint as well as the duty to really see the world. My current paintings are filtered through my experience of September 11th, 2001. I was visiting my father in Thailand and had spent the morning following the saffron robed monks on their small morning pilgrimages. I hopped a flight for Bangkok and while waiting for a connecting flight to San Francisco I watched in horror as the planes hit the World Trade Center. On my return to the U.S. later that week I began to paint Buddhist monks, privately at first - as a form of meditation. Only later did I grasp the dharmic sense of responsibility inherit in this new body of work. I needed to paint these paintings. And I found that the audience I had developed over the years felt the need to see them also. They have given me their trust that I will create paintings that speak of our times but also provide clues to a future path away from the darkness.

Gregg Chadwick
48"x36" oil on linen 2004
Collection: National Museum of the Marine Corps

My painting, Arlington, will be in the exhibition at the Arts Club of Washington.

Notes on Arlington

The painting, Arlington, was inspired by the funeral of Chanawongse Kemaphoom 22, of Waterford, Connecticut. Chanawongse Kemaphoom was a United States Marine who was killed in action during operations on the outskirts of An Nasiriyah, Iraq on March 23, 2003. Chanawongse was assigned to 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Chanawongse Kemaphoom was a Thai-American Buddhist, so his funeral at Arlington National Cemetery included saffron robed Buddhist monks as well as US Marines in their dress blues.
The painting began as an image of a US Marine in Iraq silhouetted against a gunpowdered sky at dusk. That painting was subsequently worked into and eventually over-painted with the present image when the reports and images in the New York Times of Chanawongse Kemaphoom’s funeral brought back childhood memories of watching “taps” played at dusk during the Evening Parade at the Marine Corps Barracks in Washington DC.
- Gregg Chadwick

The One Word Project runs from August 28th through September 29th, 2007.
There will be an opening reception for the artists and public at the Arts Club of Washington on Friday, September 7th from 6:30 until 9:00 PM. I will be flying out from California and will be attending the opening. Hope to see you there.

The Arts Club is located at 2017 I Street NW, Washington DC
Their contact number is 202 331 7282

The exhibition features work by James W. Bailey (VA), Rachael Baldanza (NY), Joseph Barbaccia (VA), Gregg Chadwick (CA), J. Coleman (DC), Anna Conti (CA), Warren Craghead III (VA), Rosetta DeBerardinis (MD), Greg Ferrand (DC), D. Keith Furon (CA), Matt Hollis (DC), Candace Keegan (MD), Angela Kleis (DC), Tara Krause (CA), Andrew Krieger (DC), Prescott Moore Lassman (DC), James Leonard (NY), Nathan Manuel (DC), Jennifer McMackon (Ontario, Canada), Jennifer Miller (DC), A.B. Miner (DC), Charles Neenan (VA), Peter Reginato (NY), Jose Ruiz (NY), Wayne Schoenfeld (CA), Kathleen Shafer (DC), Alexandra Silverthorne (DC), Marsha Stein (MD), Trish Tillman (NY), Kelly Towles (DC), Bryan Whitson (DC), and Jamie Wimberly (DC).

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