NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Walton Arts Center announced that it is hosting a new visual arts exhibition, “Currents,” featuring works by Dylan DeWitt and Kasey Ramirez, in the Joy Pratt Markham Gallery from August 12 through September 25.
The exhibition, featuring 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 have returned to the immediacy of drawing to explore this sense of devastation and looming atmosphere,” Ramirez said. “By using charcoal, soot, ink and other organic residue, the drawings reference their subjects—oppressive air, water, or destructive fire. I seek to create a sense of time and turmoil through repeated gestures of accumulation and removal.”
Ramirez’s prints and drawings have been exhibited at Five Points Center Art Gallery in Torrington, Conn., the International Print Center New York; The Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland, Ohio; 21C Museum in Bentonville among many others. She is a recipient of an Artists 360 Grant from the Mid America Art Alliance, to support research on climate change and hazard mitigation efforts.
Ramirez has participated in artist residencies at Elizabeth Murray Artist Residency in Granville, New York, Vermont Studio Center, as well as Guanlan Printmaking Base in Shenzhen, China. Ramirez holds a Master of Fine Arts from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design. She has taught at Eastern Illinois University, the University of Arkansas School of Art, and presently at Hartford Art School, where she currently serves as assistant professor and head of printmaking.
DeWitt describes his work as “investigating 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 themselves and one another in the same image.
DeWitt’s “Reflexion” installation was inspired in part by the work of neuroscientist V. S. Ramachandran, whose mirror-box therapy has helped treat amputee patients who feel pain in limbs no longer attached to their bodies.
“I see ‘Reflexion’ as related to Ramachandran’s box, providing an analogous form of therapeutic illusion—this time at a social level rather than an individually neurological one,” DeWitt said. “Instead of reconnecting the subject with a missing limb, this box connects the subject to a whole other body. ‘Reflexion’ seeks to frame empathic interaction as a fundamental unit of social fabric.” He hopes the work inspires the question, “When I look at you, do I see another version of myself?”
DeWitt holds a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design. His work has appeared in New American Paintings, Floorr Magazine and Art Maze Mag. He has been a resident artist at the Jentel Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, Yale/Norfolk, and the Hambidge Center. DeWitt has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, the 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 Walton Arts Center. The free exhibition can be viewed Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. through September 25. The Joy Pratt Markham Gallery also opens 60 minutes prior to performances and during intermission.