NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) – The Walton Arts Center has announced that it is hosting a new visual arts exhibit, “Currents,” featuring works by Dylan DeWitt and Kasey Ramirez, at Joy Pratt Markham Gallery from August 12 through September 25.
The exhibition, which includes a large-scale interactive installation as well as prints and drawings, is presented in partnership with the University of Arkansas School of Art and curated by Gerry Snyder, Executive Director and Distinguished Professor of art at the University of Arkansas. According to a press release, Ramirez’s work “explores the tension between stability and impermanence by placing architectural structures in consuming environments.”
“Recently, I’ve returned to the immediacy of drawing to explore that sense of devastation and impending atmosphere,” Ramirez said. “Using charcoal, soot, ink and other organic residues, the drawings reference their subjects: oppressive air, water or destructive fire. I seek to create a sense of time and restlessness through repeated gestures of accumulation and withdrawal.
Ramirez’s prints and drawings have been exhibited at the Five Points Center Art Gallery in Torrington, Connecticut, the International Print Center in New York; The Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland, Ohio; 21st century museum. in Bentonville among many others. She is the recipient of an Artists 360 Fellowship from the Mid America Art Alliance, to support climate change research and risk mitigation efforts.
Ramirez has participated in artist residencies at the Elizabeth Murray Artist Residency in Granville, New York, the Vermont Studio Center, as well as the Guanlan Printmaking Base in Shenzhen, China. Ramirez holds an MFA from Indiana University and a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. She has taught at Eastern Illinois University, the University of Arkansas School of Art, and currently at Hartford Art School, where she is currently an assistant professor and head of printmaking.
DeWitt describes his work as “an investigation into the unusual, the everyday, and the puzzling territories in between.” The exhibition will feature his work titled “Reflexion”, which generates an optical illusion that allows a pair of viewers to simultaneously perceive and perceive themselves in the same image.
DeWitt’s “Reflexion” installation was inspired in part by the work of neuroscientist VS Ramachandran, whose mirror therapy has helped treat amputee patients who experience pain in limbs that are no longer attached to their body.
“I see ‘Reflexion’ as being related to the Ramachandran box, providing an analogous form of therapeutic illusion – this time on a social level rather than an individual neurological level,” DeWitt said. “Instead of reconnecting the subject to a missing limb, this box connects the subject to an entirely different body. “Reflexion” seeks to define empathetic interaction as a fundamental unit of the social fabric. He hopes the work inspires the question, “When I look at you, do I see another version of myself?”
DeWitt holds an MFA from Yale University and a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been published in New American Paintings, Floorr Magazine and Art Maze Mag. He has been artist-in-residence at the Jentel Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, Yale/Norfolk, and the Hambidge Center. DeWitt has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, University of Arkansas School of Art, and Hartford Art School.
The public is invited to a free opening reception with the artists from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, August 12 at the Walton Arts Center. The free exhibit can be seen Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until September 25. The Joy Pratt Markham Gallery also opens 60 minutes before performances and during intermission.