3 Strategies for Surprise

3 Strategies for Surprise

Event Type: exhibitions

Oct 11 – Nov 29 Gallery hours: Tue-Sat, 11am-7pm


Overview 3 Strategies for Surprise

 The Creative Alliance is proud to announce 3 Strategies for Surprise, an exhibition of new artwork by well-known, locally-based artists Lyle Kissack, Gerald Ross, and Renee van der Stelt.  The work of these three artists spans a wide spectrum of contemporary art practice, yet each favors a process and an outcome that in many ways relies on the element of “surprise.”  The nature of the drawn line and its capacity to express ideas is a vital component to the work of each artist.  Seen together, the works offer unique possibilities for activating and resolving blank surfaces with a surprise for the viewer, whether it is on the wall, page, or gallery floor.

Lyle Kissack’s paintings are poignantly infused with color and light. Essential to his process, drawing is coupled with the layering of appropriated and found images, building towards a surprising narrative.  In this installation, Kissack overwhelms the viewer with a flow of visuals through the stacking of his prodigious output.  He offers the viewer a choice in the construction of narrative.

Gerald Ross relies on a scant and absurdist awareness of history, Americanism, and Modernist painting to initiate his small, ‘quasi-narrative’ works. The surprise for Ross comes from looking at subjects from the corner of his eye and taking a chance on a process that is foreign... or at least lights a way to an unexpected path.

Renee van der Stelt creates luminous drawings for the wall – grids that are painstakingly precise, but also drawings that rely on the randomness found in nature. The sterile data based on the human condition, creates an irony paired with the precarious situations that arise within any given day.  Light, shadow, and the line of van der Stelt’s hand lead to the surprise moments of failure and alteration.

The exhibition itself will be punctuated by a series of alternative drawing workshops hosted by van der Stelt that use drawings created by viewer-participants to explore how movement throughout the gallery creates drawings.  A performance of these viewer-produced movements will take place on Saturday, November 22nd from 3:30 – 5:30pm.  Kissack, Ross, and van der Stelt will also host an informal gallery talk on Saturday, November 15th at 5:00pm to provide direct insight into their individual and collective methods of surprise.

Opening Reception:Saturday, October 11th, 6 – 8pm

Renee van der Stelt Drawing Workshops:       
Session 1:  Draw the Page / Draw the Floor – Thursday, Oct. 23rd, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Session 2:  Re-Framing Drawing – Thursday, Nov. 6th, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Session 3:  Verb & Sound Drawings Thursday, Nov. 20th, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Final performance of all drawing workshops:  Sat, Nov.22nd, 3:30 – 5:30pm 

Gallery Talk: Saturday, November 15th at 5pm


LYLE KISSACK has been active in Baltimore since 1987.  He has produced countless paintings, innumerable drawings, a cluster of tiles, and a few dozen murals in the intervening years.  His creative output also includes having played in bands ranging from Candy Machine to Boister.  His most recent body of work, “Ipso Factory,” is included in 3 Strategies for Surprise.  He teaches drawing at UMBC and lives with his family in north Baltimore.

GERALD ROSS was born in Laramie, Wyoming in 1965. He received a degree in Painting from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1989, where he was also a Yale scholar.  In the 1990s he collaborated on six public mural projects, receiving numerous awards. Ross continues to pursue his studio art and shows regularly in the region.  He has served as a juror for the Trawick Prize and the National Sculpture Residency Prize at Evergreen House.  As Director of the Exhibitions Department at MICA, Gerald manages a diverse, energetic and vital program - installing over 100 exhibitions per year, campus-wide.  Since 2003, he has curated exhibitions, established public programming and has worked with the community to bring a large variety of local, national, and international groups and artists to MICA.

RENEE VAN DER STELT received an MA in art history and MFA in Drawing and Printmaking in 1990 and 1993 from the University of Iowa.  Van der Stelt’s drawings and installations have been exhibited at venues through the U.S. and abroad.  Solo exhibitions include Recordings at Hamiltonian Gallery, Washington D.C., Sphere Chart & Site Drawings at GalleryOne in Ellensburg, WA, Veiled Geography: Impermanent Drawings at the University of Vermont, Projections: Line on Land at the Target Gallery in Alexandria, VA, and Global/Local at the Roswell Museum of Art, NM.  She was resident artist at the MacDowell Colony, Roswell Artist in Residence program, Philadelphia Art Hotel, and Kaus Australis. Selected grant credits include the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Baltimore Office for the Promotion of the Arts, Maryland State Arts Council, and the TKF Foundation.  She has worked as museum educator, registrar, curator, and instructor of drawing at various institutions including the Walker Art Center, El Museo del Barrio, and the University of Maryland Baltimore County.  She is currently faculty mentor for the Low Residency MFA in Studio Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore MD.

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