The Catholic University of America

About Time

March 15 – April 14
Mon – Sat, 11am - 5pm
Opening reception: Thursday, March 15, 6 - 8pm
Gallery Closed April 5 - 9 for the Easter Holiday
Each of the artists in About Time has sparked a process of change. That process then unfolds over time. JJ McCracken’s clay is infused with bread to encourage the growth of mold; Jennifer Coster’s antfarms are laced with glitter; Dan Gioia engineers self-referencing machines; and E.H. Sorrels-Adewale collages digital imagery. Each beginning manipulation leads to change that is carried out by the materials themselves.  
J.J. McCracken’s Consulting Artifacts (Mold Series) is a living sculpture, creating cycles of growth and decay to explore the passage of time.  J.J’s work consists of unfired clay vessels, modeled on ancient forms, and contained in bell jars. Bread is embedded within the clay and eventually grows mold over the surface of the form. Over time, the mold will make the original shape unrecognizable.
The handmade ant farms of Jennifer Coster’s Cityscapes are time-based experiments within 2D frames. Their changes over time, according to the artist, “show processes and cycles we are losing the patience to see”. In this series, Jennifer places different colored sand and glitter on the bottom of the live ant habitats. Over time, the ants transport the sand and glitter throughout the frame, creating a multi-colored ant cityscape that becomes diagrammatic of the ants circulation.
Dan Gioia creates motorized steel sculptures that humorously explore our identification and frustration with the mechanical world. His Cleaning Machine is a sculpture whose only function is to clean itself. Similarly, the Crawling Machine’s sole purpose is to crawl, dragging itself across the floor, until the length of its electrical cord stops it. It’s trapped within limitations, mirroring our own human limitations.
E.H. Sorrells-Adewale’s Thou Art is a video collage that focuses on the journey of thought, influenced by the “pace of dreams”. The idea of a layered video was a natural extension of Sorrells-Adewale’s ongoing collage work and engagement with a variety of materials. With this digital collage, he couples a modern view of Plato’s allegory of the cave alongside childhood advice given to him by his mother. Her advice, to “always draw freehand”, has been essential to his process of “finding one’s own light”. 
Jennifer Coster
Artwork as experimentation is what most fascinates Baltimore-based artist, Jennifer Coster. In her series, Cityscape, Coster places different colored sand and glitter within ant habitats. Over time the ants transport the sand and glitter throughout the habitats, creating multi-colored hills that appear to be brightly-colored landscapes. Coster has previously experimented with altering the growth of apples and following the night-time flight patterns of bugs with a strobe light. She sees her work as an allegory of human society: “We are living in an experiment without even realizing it. I want people to be aware of the question, instead of looking for the answer.”
Jennifer Coster received a B.A. in History at the University of Southern California, and is currently a candidate for the MFA degree from the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art, in Baltimore. Selected exhibitions include First Year Show, Pinkard Gallery, and Little Decisions Big Outcome at Gallery 500, both in Baltimore, and Insectology at Goucher College, Towson, MD. Residencies have included Ox-Bow Summer Artist Residency, Saugatuck MI, Grandview Residency, Hollandale, WI, and a Printmaking Fellowship at Pyramid Atlantic, Silver Spring, MD.
Dan Gioia
Dan Gioia’s kinetic steel sculptures perform as self-referential machines. The sole purpose of Cleaning Machine is to continually clean itself. Crawling Machine was built to pull itself across the floor. Through his work Gioia explores our symbiotic relationship with machines, and the humor and futility of many of our own human activities. In a previous work, Breathing Machine, the artist explored machinery that mimics the animal function of breathing. Another earlier piece, Chopping Machine, is built in such a way that its inevitable self-mutilation and ultimate destruction are apparent from the outset.
Gioia received a BFA in sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore in 2011. His work has been exhibited in the PULSE Contemporary Art Fair, Miami, FL, and in Connor Contemporary Gallery’s Academy exhibit. He received the PULSE Presents Award in 2011, and the Interdisciplinary Sculpture Departmental Award and the MICA Achievement Award, in 2010. He currently lives in New York.
JJ McCracken
With a series of vessels, modeled after ancient artifacts from around the world, JJ McCracken makes her unfired clay works into studies of time, decay, and stewardship. With the addition of Wonderbread to the clay, the vessels become hosts to mold, the growth of which ebbs and flows over time. Through this process, McCracken links the “certain fragility that living creatures have”, with the passage of time. “I want to capture a feeling of being at once infinitely large and infinitely small. This reference to size may be about physical or social size, but can also include my position in time.”
McCracken’s medium is performative installation. She holds the MFA degree in Studio Arts from the George Washington University, and is currently Artist-in-Residence at Red Dirt Studio in Mt. Rainier, MD. Her performance pieces, focused on global food and water issues, have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions around the country, most recently in Washington, D.C. at the (e)merge Art Fair. Earth to Table, an exploration of the role of processed and farmed foods in the lives of urban children, is an ongoing collaborative project with Hope Farm at Stenton Family Homeless Shelter in Philadelphia.
We invite you to contribute to the Earth to Table project here:
E.H. Sorrells-Adewale
E.H. Sorrells-Adewale’s piece, Thou Art, is a video mural suggesting a journey, “…hence the ‘to be continued’ designation”. Thou Art is an overlaying series of images, amorphous forms, colors, and words, reflecting the interconnectedness of antiquity and modernity. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, and the Delphic aphorism, “Know Thyself”, as well as the artist’s mother’s admonition to “always draw freehand”, are all inspirations for this piece. Sorrells-Adewale’s work has long embraced mixed media and installation. His digital work is an extension of that thinking.
A recipient of a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award inVisual Arts in 2000, Sorrells-Adewale has also completed Public Art Commissions for the Joseph P. Addabbo Federal Building, Jamaica, N.Y.; NASA, Washington, DC; Arundel Mills, Hanover, MD and Garrison Middle School, Baltimore, MD. Residencies have included The Vermont Studio School, Johnson, VT; The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Sweet Briar, VA; The Howard County Arts Council, Ellicott City, MD; Pyramid Atlantic, Riverdale, MD and the Brandywine Workshop Center for the Visual Arts, Philadelphia, PA. Over the years, Sorrells-Adewale has traveled to West Africa, Brazil, China, and to Italy where he co-presented workshops at the Academies of Fine Arts in Genoa and Palermo. In February of 1999, Towson University honored him with The 1999 Distinguished Black Marylanders Award in the Arts.
(March 15-April 14) About Time
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