BlackRock features political and social art of local artists

blackrockOne of the artworks presented at BlackRock. PHOTO BY REECE LINDENMAYER  

GERMANTOWN — The BlackRock Center for the Arts opened their first day of the year with an art exhibit featuring the work of three local artists.

In the Kay Gallery, the work of Linda Colsh and Julia Dzikiewicz is on display. Colsh’s work, entitled “Seeing the Unseen” focuses on elderly subjects, whom she believes are marginalized in society.

Colsh depicts her subjects through prints, which are put onto fabrics in a repeating pattern. Her subjects are cloaked in winter clothing as they walk on a background of layered grays, browns, and, whites, giving a subdued feeling.

On one of her textiles, a barely noticeable pattern of Cyrillic and Italian are seen on the bottom edge, giving an international attitude in her presentation of the elderly. Colsh depicts aging members of society from around the world “as they pass unnoticed.”

Colsh’s repeating figures, who stand in line or hunch determinedly towards the destinations, “reflect both the vulnerability and strength of those living on the edge of society.”

On the opposite wall, Dzikiewicz’s work, “Protest to Power” presents an odd collection of figures and symbolisms on each of her works, which appear like a mosaic of vibrant colors.

Dzikiewicz’s work explores the stories of women who changed history through protest, which includes suffragists from the early 20th century to modern women advocating for human rights. Her paintings “focus on the past and how it relates to the present” using encaustic, a mixture of pigment and beeswax manipulated with a blowtorch to achieve glass-like surfaces.

Dzikiewicz’s work is somewhat reminiscent of Frida Kahlo, an abstract painter who also used strange scenes and subjects to symbolize alternate meanings. The paintings feature odd scenes like a woman on stage with various items being thrown in the air and a woman showering outdoors holding a bucket of limbs as she is scolded by an elderly figure.

Upstairs in the Terrace Gallery, Michael Fischerkeller’s collection, “Our State of the Union” is displayed in acrylic spray paint. His art depicts subjects in a Renaissance style accompanied by modern political themes like drones, automatic weapons, and distinctly political scenery like the White House or a bank vault.

The use of acrylic spray paint gives off the “rebellious undertone characteristic of street art.” Combined with subjects appropriated form historical art, Fischerkeller’s paintings give a sense of the contemporary viewed through a historical lens.

His art, which depicts scenes that “highlight the complex and significant social, political, and economic issues facing our nation” does so through a combination of style and medium that retains a rebellious undertone while depicting current issues in a serious manner.

The works of Colsh, Dzikiewicz, and Fischerkeller are on display through Saturday, February 4, which ends with an “Artist Talk and Gallery Tour” from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., free of charge.



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