This year the Touchstone Gallery artist members circles includes four Touchstone Foundation for the Arts-sponsored Fellowship members, two of whom will solo in June 2017. The four are Lionel Daniels, Susi Cora, Jo Ann Block, and Carol Moore. Each is working in a different medium and each is working towards a unique goal. Their work can be seen in each monthly Touchstone exhibit.
Printmaker Carol Moore allows her fascination with the natural world to guide her inspiration, whether it is a tiny plant specimen or an animal that catches her attention. Her current works seeks to elaborate on the origins of the plant and animals as well as the plates used in the printmaking process. As the plate takes a greater role, the divide between the matrix and the printed image is blurred and the evidence of plate characteristics cannot be ignored.
Over in the Meadow: Carol Moore
Susi Cora, while working in an entirely different medium, share’s Carol’s observation and attention to the natural world. Susi’s art practice is currently focused upon abstract ceramic sculpture and she utilize slabs, tablets and totems to communicate stillness and metamorphosis. Surfaces are reminiscent of nature’s processes of accretion and erosion and the textures and patterns are taken from imagery of geologic formations, shorelines modeled by the wind and tides, and lichen-covered fountains.
The sculptures are hand built using pressed slab and coiling methods. Surface treatments are highly textural, composed of manipulated layers of clay and slip. A variety of oxides and stains are utilized combined with limited applications of matte and crackle glazes. The work is fired using both conventional and pit firing methods. This way of working aligns with the natural processes of the earth and parallels eons of human experience.
Plate: Susi Cora
While Susi manipulates clay with her hands, Lionel Daniels only paints with his hands. For him, the brush is the middle man that must be eliminated. A true finger painter, Lionel creates figurative photo expressionist paintings that depict Black Life and the day to day struggles and triumphs of African Americans that still exist today. The purpose of this work is for his audience to honor the ancestor, recognize the message, and spark an internal dialogue within them. Lionel is also exploring the political arena in his current works.
Jo Ann Block is a multimedia artist constructing her works from physical items at hand, large pieced together drawings, and digital collage fragments joined on the computer. Jo Ann presents autobiographical collages, piecing together her trajectory from growing up queer and her struggle toward emancipation from social stigma. The collages are an amalgam of historical and personal imagery using a range of materials and methods to cut and paste a complex identity.
Touchstone Foundation for the Arts (TFA) is proud to sponsor these four gifted artists. TFA, a nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, was created by the artists of Touchstone Gallery to increase their engagement with the community around them and to accept donations to make that possible. Their inaugural project was the creation of the TFA Fellowship for Emerging Artists. The fellowship is open to Washington area artists and is designed to help emerging artists to develop professionally through a two-year membership in the Touchstone Gallery, mentoring by established artists, participation in gallery group shows, and a culminating solo show at the end of the two-year fellowship period.