Although his early still-life and landscape oil paintings were quite realistic, Tom Cardarella began to develop a more abstract style while studying figure drawing. His painting techniques and the tendency toward abstraction came together in his distinctive style of oil and acrylic figure paintings. Done in group sessions with live models, these figurative works have elements of the human form but also contain the playful experiments in shapes and colors that distinguish his work of that period.
More recently he has been working on much larger works, including an 8′ x 12′ foot installation at Artomatic and four large panels that covered an unused storefront space during the Better Block Day in Mount Rainier, Maryland. He has also designed websites, worked with computer graphics, and volunteered his time with a number of arts-related organizations.
Tom was born in Washington, D.C., lived in Arlington, Virginia, for many years, and currently lives in Mount Rainier, Maryland.
Mary Gawlik creates ceramic art tiles and tile panels. She focuses on producing unique works and limited editions. Because clay just screams to be manipulated, she is mostly interested in creating relief surfaces in her designs and exploring beyond traditional tile shapes and functions. She is a resident artist at the Greenbelt Community Center (in Maryland), where she also teaches tile making, surface decoration, and glazing techniques.
Russ is a mixed media fiber artist who creates art cloth, art quilts, and wearable art. He works out of his home studio and his studio at the Greenbelt Community Center, where he is an Artist in Residence.
Dafna Steinberg is a native of Washington, DC. A graduate of Hampshire College, the International Center of Photography, and Goldsmiths, University of London, she has exhibited in and curated challenging thematic shows in both in the United States and overseas. Though her background is in photography, she also works in mixed media, video and collage. Her collages are inspired from dreams, the media and how I see the world. They are puzzles that come together organically from bits and pieces of magazine cut outs, vintage postcards and photographs of people I have never met.
Liliane Blom is a classically trained painter and award winning photographer whose distinct style mixes her love of both media into a new one. She calls her fusion of painting and photography digital painting. Her pieces printed on canvas or watercolor paper are later enhanced with oils/pastels and often with gold or silver leaf. Based in Rockville Maryland of French/Norwegian extraction she is a frequent exhibitor in the Washington region. A poet at heart, she often incorporates words into her work.
“The technique I use mostly these days, I call Digital Painting, it is based on my longstanding desire to merge painting and photography –15 years ago I was printing black and white images on canvas. I coated the canvas with silver emulsion, and later tinted and colored them by hand. It was a laborious and inexact process – but I loved the feeling of the canvas and felt frustrated with the smoothness of the photographic paper. Today I process my images digitally and have them printed on canvas or watercolor paper through the giclée process. Although it is still not a perfect process, one which requires several rounds of proofing and color corrections, it is very close to my dream of merging painting and photography into a single art.
I spend a great deal of time working on individual images, creating numerous layers, erasing, shifting and changing colors; I often end up with several versions of a single image. After they are printed, I finish the pieces with oils, acrylics, pastels, or loose pigments. I also enjoy further embellishing them with Silver, Gold, or Copper Leaf.”
Liliane Blom is also an installation artist. Her installation art is environmental in scope and attempts to bring the vastness and beauty of the outdoors indoors through multi sensory experiences. The purpose of her installations is to remind the onlooker in a way that is neither preachy nor overbearing, but experiential and meditative, of the world we share and are the stewards of. It is also meant to stir in the viewer’s soul, a longing for these places and a desire to commune with nature.
My thrifty Quaker parents taught me the value of repairing and recycling, thus creating my life-long love of rescuing abandoned items. Using deconstruction and reconstruction, my sculptural pieces give new life to society’s detritus. I was raised near woods and streams, surrounded by animal life; the natural world was my favorite source of artistic inspiration then, as it is now.
As my sculptural work has evolved, stories from my former involvement in legal and political issues have emerged–particularly those about women—competing with those from nature. I try to integrate these sometimes sad stories into my work, cloaking them with nature’s protection and dignity. This can create some seemingly unlikely juxtapositions, which—I believe—stimulate viewers in new and interesting directions. However, my experiences and age have taught me that a diversionary sense of humor is always necessary in life and in art.
I have been teaching myself to be an artist all my life, and now work mostly in sculptural found object assemblages—media that serve me well in making my ideas visible. As a late career artist, I have led many previous lives, and have earned the confidence to express myself freely in my work. I have always believed in doing everything to excess, and it shows: my work never bores. Art students like to hang around it, and little kids love it for its humorous/serious sensibility.
Sean lived and worked in DC for many years. He has moved to Chicago – but still is in DC in our hearts.
Sean Hennessey is a Sculptor, Painter, blogger, propmaker and installation artist. A graduate of Berea College, Sean worked in professional theatre for 10 years prior to establishing Scenic Artisans, a decorative paint and sculpture business, all the while creating and exhibiting paintings, sculptures and installations.
His current work uses a combination of glass,
concrete, found objects, and steel to create works based on mythologies, philosophy, personal experiences, and whimsy.
Sean creates pieces that have the feel of archaeological finds, as if messages from today have been uncovered in some not too distant future. The earthiness of the concrete in his pieces suggests age and patina, slightly covering and obscuring his glass reliefs. He equates the glass with ethereality and the concrete as a corporeal coating. His work touches on issues of overcoming in everyday life–judging yourself and being judged by others, finding and maintaining inspiration, and dealing with dreams and hopes that may conflict with our reality.
You can preview Sean’s work at Artomatic.
Alexandra Zealand is an installation sculptor. Originally trained in theatre design, she received an MFA in Sculpture from Pratt Institute. Since moving to Northern Virginia in 2006, her work has been seen at the Target Gallery, Evolve Urban Arts Project in DC, Honfleur, ArtSpace Herndon, the artdc gallery and Artomatic. Her installation “Flock” was named Best of Artomatic 2009 by Art Seen Blog, and her January 2010 exhibit at the Delaplaine was reviewed by the Frederick News-Post. She was invited to install a coffee filter piece at the preview party for the new Arlington County Artisphere in Oct. 2009, and a film strip piece at the closing awards for the 4th annual Alexandria VA Film Festival in Sept. 2010. Fascinated by mummies, volcanoes, continental drift and zombies, she spends her days at the Arlington Public Library.
Can preview Alex’s work on the 11th floor at Artomatic.
Primarily a photographer, Steve Strawn captures the perspective of a shell-shocked eyewitness to futuristic battle scenes, as robots destroy cities, terrorize dolls and smash innocent plastic civilians. The staged scenes, which contain the imaginary narratives we enact as children, transform play into reality when photographed. The proximity of this work to contemporary scenes of war is frightening, yet beautifully gruesome in its use of lighting, framing, and form. Not unlike still frames from an action film, the works become stunning documents of the way in which we learn to battle at such an early age – against our siblings, our friends or our enemies.