MCA Gallery Presents Three Exhibitions During Fall

by Billy Chandler

The works of artists Lori Vrba, Gretchen Batcheller, and Nicole Santiago and John Lee will be featured in three separate exhibitions this fall at the McGlothlin Center Art Gallery.

Vrba, whose exhibitions will run from Aug. 10 to Sept. 9, presents assemblage work that feels like an organic extension and progression of her photography. Combining photography and vintage objects (light and time), Vrba tells the story of who she is as a woman and an artist.

“Each unique piece speaks to what I consider to be a sacred truth or worthy of rumination. Their one-of-a-kindness renders them precious to me. I think of them individually as an objectified journal entry.”

Vrba will discuss her art during an Artalk that begins at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 14 in the Kennedy-Reedy Theatre of the McGlothlin Center for the Arts.

Santiago and Lee, whose exhibition runs from Sept. 18 to Oct. 14, are art faculty members at William and Mary College, and painters with two approaches based on close observations of their respective worlds.

Santiago explores complex narratives inspired by observations of her family life. In her paintings, fullness leads to emptiness, parties are not always parties, families are not always pristine, and domestic life is not necessarily ideal.

Lee’s paintings are based on direct observations in his studio. He simplifies his subjects into planes of color revealing an interest “in expressing both a sense of hefty weightiness and a sense of diffuse fragility.” His approach is “analytical and intuitive, an open search for what feels right.”

The artists will present an Artalk at Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the Kennedy-Reedy Theatre.

Batcheller, who exhibits at Emory & Henry from Oct. 23 to Nov. 22, combines airbrush, acrylic and oil painting media to create paintings that bridge figurative realism and abstraction. Her work can be ebullient, cathartic and aggressive and at other times unsettlingly still.

There is a palpable potency to her work that is deeply connected to her own personal narrative as a military dependent and the space and sensations that currently surround her. Her work reflects a deep exploration of color, pattern and rhythm that echo throughout the compositions of her paintings.

Batcheller will lead an Artalk on Oct. 23 beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Kennedy-Reedy Theatre.

All exhibitions and artalks are free and open to the public.


McGlothlin Center for the Arts

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