Monday, October 28, 2013

October Denbo Fellow: Torukpa Agbegha

"Doodles" is not a word that Torukpa Agbegha shies away from. While doodles might bring to mind schoolbook marginalia and comics for some, Torukpa transforms the idea of doodling in her artwork. For Torukpa  doodling reflects a sense of humanity--any person can relate to the freedom of line drawing and coloring. Pyramid Atlantic is proud to host Torukpa Agbegha as our first Denbo fellow for the month of October.

Torukpa is a resident of Silver Spring, but she was born in Cleveland, OH and studied at University of North Carolina. Her works ranges from drawing to collage to textile design. Torukpa often focuses on the transformational quality of different materials--she enjoys incorporating recycled materials into her work. Taking inspiration from artists like El Anatsui and Judy Pfaff, she has worked with weaving together materials and using them as a canvas. Torupka works with the idea of taking "unprofessional" materials and repurposing them into art.

One of Torukpa's ongoing projects has involved doing drawings on the DC Metro-- not literally on the Metro, because that's rude, but in a very beautiful sketchbook. Her drawings are influenced by the environment, people, and sounds of the Metro. Torukpa often listens to music while she draws, which gives her work a very rhythmic feel. She's interested in translating movement and rhythm into visual patterns and ornamentation. Her work displays a beautiful sense of spontaneity and emotion.

While at Pyramid, Torukpa hopes to create larger works from her drawings and collages. She's excited to experiment with screen printing and etching in order to build up layers and incorporate her doodles and patterns into a large-scale work. Additionally, she has been working in the papermaking studio. While playing with materials, Torukpa looks forward to letting process run its course. We're excited to see the results!

For more information on Torukpa's work, she will be giving an artist's talk at Pyramid on October 30, from 6 - 7 PM.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Visiting Artist Sean Harris

Sean Harris is fascinated by many things. Among them are: Welsh folklore, topography, mythology, wild boars, Goya's black paintings, songlines, pantomimes, and, most recently, Pyramid Atlantic Art Center. Lucky for him--and even luckier for us--Sean is working in the studio for the next five weeks.

Sean is the recipient of the Creative Wales Ambassabor Award--an honor which he described by stating, "I feel like I should be sweeping around in a cloak." Sean does not, however, wear a cloak. A cloak would be extremely impractical for the beautiful work Sean does in collagraphy. Based in Wales, Sean has created his own unique hybrid of printmaking and animation. Using fragments of collagraph prints, Sean constructs stop-animation style films which incorporate the landscape and history of Wales.

The titles that Sean has been given over the years range from "animator" to "printmaker" to "archeologist." Sean feels that he inhabits a more liminal space as an artist--constantly drawing from these different studies and titles, but never necessarily being just a "printmaker" or "animator." One of the reasons Sean is so fascinated with Pyramid is the mixture of different processes and media. He likes the idea of different art forms brushing up against each other in the studio.

In the same way that Sean combines different media of art, he combines ideas spanning over different disciplines and places. In particular, Sean has always been drawn to the Mabinogion, a collection of Welsch tales that draw on Celtic mythology. Of the many figures in Welsh mythology, the wild boar appears most frequently in Sean's own work. For Sean, the mythology of Wales is closely linked with the physical landscape through the idea of "songlines"--that is, using traditional song lyrics to map out a landscape. Sean's work explores the relationships between mythological figures, the spaces they inhabit, and their impact on national identity.

Sean last came to the US to study Native American reservations in North Dakota. With a lack of wild boar, he became fascinated with herds of bison and buffalo. While at Pyramid, he hopes to further examine the ties between cultures, creatures, and myths. We're excited to see what he's working on!

Check out Sean's work and films at

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Revved up at Restrike/Repurpose

A creative crowd gathered for screen printing coasters designed by Chelsea Blackman (right). The 2 day symposium featured demonstrations, open portfolios, and cold beer.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Intern-views (Get it? It's punny.)

Fall is here at Pyramid Atlantic-- that means the air's getting colder, the leaves are turning different colors, the inexplicable pirates at the tavern down the street are getting out their seasonal brews, and, most importantly, new interns are here.

Let's find out who they are:

Lindsay Lynch

Lindsay is from Chevy Chase, MD and she's really having a blast interviewing herself for this blog post. Lindsay went to Georgetown Day School in DC, where she did a lot of art and very little math or science. She is a recent graduate of Kenyon College in Ohio, with a double major in English and Studio Art. Lindsay's art focuses a lot on absurdism, image appropriation, and literary theory. Back in Gambier, OH, she did a large-scale installation that explored images in printmaking as visual language. She often works in linocut reduction prints, but also dabbles in painting and drawing.

Her spirit animal is an otter.

David Felts

David's hometown is Joppatowne, MD, a place I just learned about from Wikipedia-- Joppatowne has a fascinating Civil War history. However, David did not fight in the Civil War. He is a recent graduate from Millersville University, outside of Lancaster, PA. Although he was previously a philosophy major at Cecil Community College, David received his BFA in painting and printmaking from Millersville. His work is influenced by multiple disciplines--from philosophy to art history. He recently did a solo show of work inspired by Renaissance paintings. In addition to interning at Pyramid, he also works as a carpenter.

His spirit animal is a tortoise.

Cosima Storz

Cosima is coming to Pyramid Atlantic from Alexandria, VA. She attended Bishop Ireton High School, where she wore a uniform. In high school, Cosima worked in the costume department, designing and constructing costumes for plays. She studied Studio Art and Product Innovation at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she did not wear a uniform. She did occasionally don a business suit, though, when she worked with business and engineering students on product innovation. Cosima mostly works in printmaking and painting. Outside of her work at Pyramid, she builds art frames.

She told me her spirit animal is either a narwhal or a velociraptor.

Ashton Maltie

Ashton comes all the way from Clarksville, TN, a place whose namesake is the Clark of famous explorers Lewis & Clark. Ashton did not discover large portions of America, though. Ashton currently attends Austin Peay University in TN, where he is studying Computer Science and Studio Art. He's excited to spend a semester in the DC/MD area, interning at Pyramid and taking classes. Ashton loves sketching and doodling both in his free time and in his not-so-free time. He enjoys creating characters and constructing narratives in his sketches.

His spirit animal is a goat/dog/honey badger, which is a fun thing to imagine.

Tania McCamy

Tania was born in Atlanta, GA but currently studies at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN--another place that Wikipedia tells me has an interest Civil War history. Tania is currently finishing up her degree in Fine Arts at ETSU. She works a lot in photography and film making, but she's most interested in pursuing work in community art. Tania is a great director in the literal and figurative sense--she once directed a 6 minute film, and she hopes to someday work running a nonprofit art organization.

Tania isn't sure what her spirit animal is, but she thinks it might be a muskrat.