CHESTERTOWN, MD—Kohl Gallery at Washington College will begin the academic year with a one-person show featuring Washington, D.C.-based sculptor and installation artist Nara Park. Opening on September 8 with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m., and running through October 23, the exhibition “Nara Park: Believe” will include a vast installation titled I Was Here (2015), a large-scale sculpture, Believe (2013), and several new wall-based objects. Park will return to campus to give a talk in the gallery on September 19 at 6 p.m.
Park is a graduate of the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she received the Henry Walters Traveling Fellowship and the Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award by the International Sculpture Center. Park’s work has been on exhibit at Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, Grounds for Sculpture, American University Museum, and Baltimore/Washington International Airport. Her work has been featured in Sculpture magazine, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Artnet News and NY Arts Magazine. Park is currently a fellow at Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Using custom-designed plastic packaging boxes or wallpaper printed with stone patterns, Park creates works that evoke ruins or sacred spaces. By at once conjuring the natural and announcing their distinction from it, her chosen materials facilitate a meditation on the relation between the organic and the synthetic. The worlds she then builds appear distinctly contemporary: what we will leave behind is the manufactured; what we hold sacred is surface. Rather than stop at that point, however, Park invites us to reflect on what it might mean. She writes, “Most of my sculptures are hollow inside in order to emphasize that there is a void under the surface … Opposing states coexist: hollowness inside bulkiness, physical lightness inside visual heaviness, and immanence within emptiness. They are only surfaces, yet they may be more than that.” The artist likens the growing predilection for manufactured perfection and permanence to the human desire for immortality.
Kohl Gallery is located on the first floor of the Gibson Center for the Arts at Washington College. It is open Monday through Wednesday, 1 to 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please email: [email protected].