For the third consecutive year, the Torpedo Factory Art Center announced the names of the incoming Post-Graduate Residents. Fumi Amano, Nakeya Brown, Jay Hendrick, and Samantha Sethi were juried into the program by Kayn Miller, director of exhibitions at the Arlington Art Center.
Starting in January 2017, these four emerging artists will each occupy Studio 12, located in the center of the Torpedo Factory’s first floor, for a quarter of the year. Therein, they can create and sell work, interact with the public, and network with other artists, gallerists, and collectors.
“We are inviting some of the region’s most promising emerging artists into our high-visibility space and providing them with practical resources and professional development opportunities,” said Leslie Mounaime, director of Target Gallery. “This gives them a chance to define their practices and establish a network outside of an academic context. My hope is that we continue to have a dynamic exchange of perspectives, techniques, and ideas throughout 2017.”
Launched in 2015, this three-month residency is a competitive program that provides meaningful support to recent graduates who have recently completed master’s of fine arts degrees. It is unique program in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area for addressing the critical post-graduate juncture in an emerging artist’s career.
Meet the 2017 Post-Graduate Residents
January – March
George Mason University
Jay Hendrick questions the value of value in his work. He creates paintings, then analyzes their importance, worth, and merit by exposing his work to different methods, such as digitization, duplication, and performance. His visual vocabulary is based on grids, a stable and reliable form, and color to assess the form’s value. His sundry palette draws from high and low culture, bringing together pop-music pink with cave-born ochers.
During his residency, Hendrick hopes to emulate the processes of other contemporary artists in the greater Washington, D.C. region in an effort to understand why other painters do what they do. He will interview each participating artist and document the project on his blog and organize a round-table discussion about painting.
Based in Fairfax, Virginia, Jay Hendrick has shown work in the U.S., England, and Japan and his work was featured in New American Painting. In 2015, Hendrick received his master’s of fine art from George Mason University. He completed his undergraduate degree with Abilene Christian University in Texas with degrees in applied studies and a bachelor’s of fine art. He teaches at Northern Virginia Community College in Woodbridge, Virginia.
April – June
Samantha Sethi see our world as a landscape that is both inhabited and studied by humankind, altered even as it is observed. It’s both the location and the material of our pursuit of meaning. She blends the physical with the digital in her work. In using natural materials like ice, tar, and sediment, and processes like melting and erosion, she creates works that are both action and images. She records the work in video and also draws or traces it to represent it through time.
During her residency, Sethi plans to pursue the further potential of this work through drawing, digital works, and physical installation.
Sethi is currently based in Washington, D.C. She completed her master’s of fine art at American University in May 2016. She is currently teaching art as an adjunct at AU and will teach at George Washington University in Spring 2017. Sethi completed her bachelor’s of fine art at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Her work has shown in New York, Washington, and Berlin and has appeared in publications including The Washington Post, Time Out New York, and Studio Visit magazine. Sethi was awarded a Mellon grant in 2015 as well as the Elizabeth Van Swinderen Award in 2016.
July – September
George Washington University
Nakeya Brown’s photography touches on the racialized and commodified bodies of black women and highlights the cultural relevance of their lived experiences. Her practice centers on black beauty. She uses hair as a tool to identify facets of womanhood. Likewise, she turns her attention to specialty haircare products to entwine the materiality into identity formation.
While a resident, she will continue exploring the symbolism of womanhood through installation, portraiture, and still life photography.
Born in Santa Maria, California, Nakeya Brown received her bachelor’s in visual arts and journalism from Rutgers University in New Jersey. Her photography has been exhibited at the McKenna Museum of African American Art, Woman Made Gallery, Vivid Solutions Gallery, and Welancora Gallery. Brown’s work has been featured in publications such as New York magazine, Saint Heron, Dazed & Confused, The FADER, and NYLON, and has been published by international publications, Hysteria and Elephant. She is currently pursuing her master’s of fine art in photography at The George Washington University and will be graduating in Spring 2017.
October – December
Virginia Commonwealth University
A native of Aichi, Japan, Fumi Amano seeks to do new and creative things with glass and demonstrate new possibilities within the medium. Amano entered graduate school to expand her expertise with glass as a medium, but her work shifted more into the conceptual space as she began using her art as a primary means to express her emotions, given English is her second language. Her work is inspired by her strong desire for intimacy as well as a deep sense of loneliness. She is obsessed with communicating with others and creates work that elicits visceral, gut emotions in her audience. Recent visitors to Target Gallery will remember Amano’s work Look at Me, in the group exhibition Please Touch in June 2016. Viewers were invited to lick the frosted glass pane to reveal themselves to a person on the opposite side.
During her residency, Amano hopes to collaborate with local artists to integrate into her glass house project, in which she hosts performances in a house she creates from reclaimed window frames. Through her work, she also hopes to address some of the gender and racial stereotypes that she’s encountered as a Japanese woman in America.
Amano completed her undergraduate studies in art education at the University of Education in Aichi before refining studies of her medium at Toyama Institute of Glass Art in Toyama, Japan, and at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington. Amano has won several awards including best student work at Niijima Glass Art Festival in Tokyo and also at Pilchuck Glass School. Her work was selected at the International Exhibition of Glass in Kanazawa, Japan; the Contemporary Glass Triennial in Toyama, Japan; and the Itami Craft Triennial in Osaka, Japan. She has shown her work in group and solo exhibitions in both the U.S. and Japan. She is presently enrolled in the master’s of fine arts program at Virginia Commonwealth University to study glass art and will be graduating in spring 2017.
About the Torpedo Factory Art Center
Founded in 1974 in an old munitions plant, the Torpedo Factory Art Center is home to the nation’s largest number of publicly accessible working artist studios under one roof. In an effort to sustain the arts in Alexandria, the Torpedo Factory is now part of the City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts. Just south of Washington, D.C., the Torpedo Factory Art Center overlooks the Potomac River in the Old Town section of Alexandria, Va. Each year, more than a half million national and international visitors meet and interact with more than 160 resident artists in 82 studios and seven galleries. The Torpedo Factory Art Center is also home to The Art League Gallery and School, the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, and the Alexandria EatsPlace food incubator. For more information, visittorpedofactory.org or follow the Torpedo Factory Art Center on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest via @torpedofactory.