Karen-Lemmert (Courtesy Photo)

The newest exhibition in Target Gallery, the contemporary exhibition space for the Torpedo Factory Art Center, focuses on artificial light. In a dark gallery, viewers’ full attention turns toward incandescent artwork. Illuminate is on view now through Sunday, Sep. 2, 2018.

“Light has always played an integral role in the creation and display of art. As materials evolve and new media are explored, we can show light itself has become an art form,” said Leslie Mounaime, Target Gallery director. “In Illuminate, we are creating an immersive experience to demonstrate how light can be utilized and manipulated as a tool for conceptual artistic metaphor.”

Due to the nature of the exhibition, only 11 artists were selected to participate, 8 of whom are from the region.

The participating artists are:

Juror Emily Smith, executive director of 1708 Gallery in Richmond, Virginia, organized InLight Richmond, a free public exhibition of light-based art and performance for the past 10 years.

“Across all of the works was serious consideration of light’s capacity for metaphor—a concept that has informed art-making for centuries—and one that rewards continued exploration,” said Smith.

She noted the artists she selected for Illuminate show great diversity and creativity in how they implement artificial light in their artworks. Emma Shapiro and Lucas Martinez’s Human Cartographies suggests an early, primitive engagement of light and shadow. Contrast it against Karen Lemmert’s Dual Translational Progression or Michael West’s Floater, which both portend a futuristic, sci-fi world. These artists’ contributions represent compelling investigations of the relationship between light and art.

Vivid works like Art Vidrine’s Fur-e-logik were balanced with more subtle ones like Joanna Stillwell’s I Like a Slumpy Object, a mixed-media piece foregrounded in an exhibition for which all ambient light is extinguished. Participatory, interactive works like Andreas Schenkel’s Hedgehog Dilemma and Sarah Clough’s The Integrity of Disbelief also contribute to a multi-sensory experience.

Illuminate runs through Sunday, September 2, 2018. Target Gallery is open daily from 10 – 6 pm and until 9 pm on Thursdays. Learn more at torpedofactory.org/target.

About the Juror

Emily Smith is the Executive Director of 1708 Gallery, a nonprofit arts organization based in Richmond, Virginia. Prior to coming to 1708 Gallery, Emily was the Curatorial Fellow in Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts where she worked from 2007 until 2010. Projects at VMFA include the exhibitions: The Ludwig and Rosy Fischer Collection of German Expressionist Art; Matisse, Picasso, and Modern Art in Paris; and Labor and Leisure: Works by African American Artists in the VMFA Permanent Collections. Prior to VMFA, she was Director of Exhibitions at Piedmont Arts in Martinsville, Virginia (2004-2007) and the Assistant Director at Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, Virginia (2003-2004). Smith was an adjunct faculty member in art history at Patrick Henry Community College, Martinsville, VA and was a critic for a Charlottesville, Virginia weekly paper. Smith received a master’s in Art History from the University of Virginia in 2002.

About Target Gallery

Target Gallery is the contemporary exhibition space for the Torpedo Factory Art Center. The gallery promotes high standards of art by continuously exploring new ideas through a variety of visual media in a rotating schedule of national and international exhibitions. The gallery is open daily from 10 – 6 pm and until 9 pm on Thursdays. More information is available via torpedofactory.org/target or follow Target Gallery on TwitterFacebookInstagram and Pinterest via @targetgallery.

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 temporarily part of the City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts, a division of the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities. 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 Café and Market. For more information, visit torpedofactory.org or follow the Art Center on TwitterFacebookInstagram and Pinterest via @torpedofactory.