News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: August 27, 2002 (02-49)
Contact: Dave Willingham, 240-567-7970; Pager: 301-930-0972
               Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

Montgomery College’s “New Symbols” Art Show Breaks New Ground
“Really Engaging” Show Opens September 3

             The Art Gallery at Montgomery College’ Rockville Campus will spotlight “new directions in painting involving symbols or icons,” in a juried painting exhibition that opens September 3.  Organizer Ken Jassie says the show is national in scope and includes  the work of artists from Kansas, New Mexico, and Washington State, among other locations.  

            Jassie and fellow organizer Sumita Kim of the College’s art faculty gathered about 300 paintings for the show.  From those, Curator Jim Mahoney, a contributing editor for Art In America magazine, selected 32 works to be displayed.

            “We have a lot of unconventional symbols, some with a hint of new age and the occult,” says Jassie, “and there is a great deal of personal and imaginative symbolism as well.”  Adds Kim, “This show promises to be really engaging.  It’s something art lovers will regard as must-see.”

            Though the subject matter isn’t limited, the media for the show are; Jassie and Kim agreed that the works had to be created in oils, acrylics, or mixed media.   

Washington, D.C. artist Joe McKenna says he entered an abstract oil that is “just intended to lead the eye around; it has no particular meaning, but viewers are free to take away their own meaning if they want.”  McKenna says the piece, “Brown Check,” is in keeping with his memory of the late Leon Berkowitz, under whom he studied at the Corcoran Gallery, who told students, “If you do any thinking, I’m throwing you out.” 

Elizabeth Whitely, another Washington artist, describes her acrylic on canvas entry, “Floating Icon X,” as a “colorful abstraction to be used for meditation.”  Whitely says the piece is based on mathematical studies of symmetry.

The “New Symbols” exhibition opens with a reception for the public from 6 to 8  p.m. on September 3 at Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus Art Gallery, second floor, Paul Peck Art Building.  The campus is located at 51 Mannakee Street.  For more information, please call 240-567-5115. 

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