PATRICK HARKIN

PATRICK HARKIN

Growing up in suburban Florida, I am well acquainted with the seasonal need to try and hurricane-proof everything in my native state. Cycles of building, destruction, and rebuilding related to the natural elements, especially water and wind, are spotlighted in my work. Memories of my upbringing living in flood zones and my relationship to rising sea levels resonates with me and informs my practice to this day. Many of the materials I work with are collected in the preparation and aftermath of hurricanes I have lived through, as well as in the wake of my own consumer habits. Use of consumer detritus, building materials, and allusions to natural disasters serve as powerful metaphors and entry points that open the work to the complex systems I strive to address.

My work addresses the ties between images, materiality, and consumerism in order to explore the human condition under image mediated culture. I examine the way in which we can read images and objects as material, spatial, and ideological models of the world. My working method involves creating objects and scenarios specifically to be photographed, as well as sculptural and video work to be presented in dialogue with traditional photographs. My aim is to reconsider sculptural and photographic tradition through material inquiry and installation in order to script my unique sense of visual reality.


Patrick Harkin utilizes installation, video, sound, and photography in his artistic practice.  His theatrically staged work investigates themes of commodity criticism and concepts of ideology in modern consumer culture.  He addresses the ties between images, materiality and consumerism in order to explore the human condition under image mediated culture. 

Patrick currently teaches photography at Virginia Commonwealth University. He received his BFA from the University of Florida in 2015 and his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2017.  Recent exhibitions of his work have taken place at Virginia’s Museum of Contemporary Art (Virginia Beach), VALET (Richmond), Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (Tampa) and Gallery Protocol (Gainesville). 

ELLEN (JING) XU

ELLEN (JING) XU

I like thinking that my work instigates performance; it encourages viewers to perform in a multivalent emotional collaboration with it. I create immersive, site specific installations in all media—painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, furniture, murals, video, et al—that create dreamlike, fictional spaces that disrupt reality and present more questions than they answer. While I turn to art as a means of resolving my own identity—allowing my very private inner thoughts and questions to become public—I hope that the humble, honest manner of sharing the work serves viewers by opening up similar opportunities for reverie. I believe that if something exists in the mind, it exists in the world, the trouble seems to only come when we try to reify it. Apparently I like making trouble.


Ellen (Jing) Xu was born (1987) and raised in Inner Mongolia, China. She received a dual degree from Xiamen University, China; her MFA from the University of Washington in Seattle; and has also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in Madison, ME. Her work has been exhibited at the ROY G BIV Gallery in Columbus, OH; the Seattle Art Museum, Soil Gallery, Interstitial Gallery, and Jacob Lawrence Gallery in Seattle; the Blue Door Art Center in Yonkers, NY; 435 Broome in SoHo, NYC; the Kaufman Arts District in Queens, NYC; Sculptureworks Ferguson in St. Louis, MO; the Helmuth Project in San Diego, CA; and others. Ellen has had residencies at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT; Paul Artspace in St. Louis, MO; and the Wassaic Artist Residency in Wassaic, NY. She was also a Media Arts Fellow at BRIC in Brooklyn, NY.

ANTONIO MCAFEE

ANTONIO MCAFEE

Operating with photography, video, and collage, Antonio McAfee’s work addresses the complexity of representation. Through appropriating and manipulating historical portraits, he engages in prescribed views of individuals and rework images to provide an alternate - more layered image and concept of the people depicted. His photographs oscillate between formal considerations and imaginary potential of the photographed sitter.

In his portraits, he dries glue on inkjet prints to enact a transfer process that partially removes ink from the surface, yet leaves ink on the dried glue peel to duplicate the individual. As a result, the portrait of the print is faded and fragmented with partial physical features remaining. The glue peel offspring are reused in collages to create fantastical interpretations of the bodies.

Throughout all McAfee’s work, the primary concern is to depict visual and physical transformation, in which the superficial read of others are abstracted to render it unstable. This is an attempt to encourage a layered and tangled relationship with whom and what is visually offered. One way he addresses prescribed assumptions is to use historical narratives and portraits. Through using appropriated sources, there is a basis for understanding particular ideas and stories that are passed down and sustained.

The source of the artist’s portraits is The Exhibition of American Negroes organized by W.E.B. Du Bois and Thomas Calloway for the 1900 Paris International Exposition. The exhibition was a photographic, economic, and legislative survey of middle-class blacks in Georgia.


Antonio McAfee is a photographer raised and based in Baltimore, MD. He received his BFA in Fine Art Photography from the Corcoran College of Art and Design. Shortly after, he earned his MFA in Photography from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2011, he received a Post-Graduate Diploma in Art in Arts and Culture Management from the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa). His fascination with history, portraiture, and what makes photographs drives his activities.

McAfee has been featured in BmoreArt Magazine, The Washington Post, Washington City Paper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Mission on Tenth published by California Institute of Integrated Studies, and catalogues published by the University of Pennsylvania and Corcoran College of Art and Design. He participated in residencies at Can Serrat (Spain) and Vermont Studio Center. Antonio was awarded Civil Society Institute Fellowship, Faculty Research and Development Grant from the Corcoran College of Art and Design, Fulbright IIE Grant to Johannesburg, South Africa, Howard Silvertstein Photography Beijing, China Aboard Program, and Dedalus MFA Painting and Sculpture Fellowship. His work has been exhibited at the University of Maryland, College Park Stamp Gallery, George Washington University Gallery 102, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Civilian Art Projects, Flashpoint, Michael Steinberg Gallery, and Terrault Contemporary. Currently, Antonio is an instructor at Montgomery College.

HEATHER THERESA CLARK

HEATHER THERESA CLARK

Heather Theresa Clark builds systems that critique our current world predicament. Her work plays on what she calls cultural neurosis: the human tendency to over-consume, over-build, over-groom, in lieu of direct physical exertion to ensure survival. She views this as a misdirected attempt to satisfy basic primal urges for shelter, food, and clothing in a society where actions are grossly amplified because one gallon of gasoline equals five hundred hours of human work output.

Heather’s perspective has evolved from her background in green building, urban planning, and ecology, and most recently from her life in exurbia, where she has lived and worked for the past six years. She is embedded in a landscape that feeds on cultural neurosis. Meadows, forests, and farms transitioning to tract homes and cul de sacs have become her muse. As an inhabitant of exurbia, Heather is both complicit and trapped in the consumption economy and its byproducts. Here, the uncanny valley, which is usually discussed in relation to artificial intelligence, appears to Heather in the industrially designed and generated vernacular; she works with her hands in defiance.

Heather’s work and life has led her to believe that greater satisfaction can be achieved through physical proximity to meeting one’s basic needs – building with one’s hands, using one’s body, growing one’s own food. She yearns to reinvent how we live, using art, architecture and public interventions to catalyze built environments that power themselves, cleanse themselves, transform waste, provide wildlife habitat, produce food, and deeply satisfy inhabitants.


Heather Theresa Clark utilizes art, architecture, and public interventions to catalyze built environments that power themselves, cleanse themselves, transform waste, provide wildlife habitat, produce food, and enhance the lives of people. Through her art, she demonstrates how present reality is not a given and can be crafted to make life more fulfilling. Heather approaches art making as a planner, green developer, and ecologist.  She holds a Master of Science in Real Estate Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning, and a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University, summa cum laude, in Environmental Science and Community Planning, a self-designed major.  As founder of Biome Studio, she has transformed a burned building shell into an open-air theater with a living sculpture; co-created the Busycle, a 15 person-pedal powered bus; overseen the largest deep energy retrofit in the U.S.; converted historic mills into green low-income housing; and installed over one megawatt of solar pv on 2,300 low-income apartments. Heather is also an activist.  Heather is the founder of the Play-In for Climate Action, a family-oriented climate change protest held annually at the US Capitol by Moms Clean Air Force, a special project of the Environmental Defense Fund. Heather is the 2016 recipient of the Virginia Commission for the Arts Sculpture Fellowship Award and the 2017 Artist-in-Residence at the Woods Hole Research Center, the leading global climate change think tank.

HELINA METAFERIA

HELINA METAFERIA

I am interested in using art as an excuse to have meaningful conversations about time, space, and belonging. My art touches on a diasporic longing for a physical and psychic “home,” in a time of increased voluntary and involuntary mass migration of black bodies, particularly for issues pertaining to immigration and gentrification. Through an interdisciplinary practice that is grounded in an exploration of the performative body, I employ performance, video, installation, sculpture, and mark-making to address the complexities of transnational and global identity in our post-modern, post-colonial society. 

In my work, I explore the visual language of maps, lines, text, movement, and circular forms — all tools to help the body navigate the world. Drawing inspiration from the written or spoken word, I develop characters that are perform live. These performance personas activate art objects in ways that are parallel to traditional African art practices, where wearable sculpture intersects with theater and storytelling.

My work is largely inspired by my relocation journey as an artist seeking affordable live/work space, having lived in six major cities, all of which are undergoing massive gentrification. The work is also influenced by my inherited migration story as an American person born to Ethiopian parents. In our current social/political climate, where black lives are continuing to fight to matter in the eyes of dominant culture, my art seeks to consider a reconciliation with the dream for a romanticized


Helina Metaferia is an interdisciplinary artist, working in the areas of performance, video, installation, photography, sculpture, and mark making. Helina completed her Masters of Fine Arts at Tufts University’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 2015, where she was the Graduate Student Commencement Speaker and selected as one of the “top MFA students to watch” by the Boston Globe . She has exhibited in solo and group shows at venues such as the Museum of African Diaspora (San Francisco, CA), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA), Galeria Labirynt (Lublin, Poland), Grace Exhibition Space (Brooklyn, NY), and Defibrillator Gallery (Chicago, IL). Her artist residencies include Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Ox-Bow, Yaddo, and a full fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center. Helina was a 2015-2017 AICAD Teaching Fellow at the San Francisco Art Institute in the Graduate and New Genre departments, and is currently a 2017-2019 Hamiltonian Artists Fellow at Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington, DC.

MAGALI HÉBERT-HUOT

MAGALI HÉBERT-HUOT

catalyst for fluidity

Occupying a purgatorial space, my visual and material practice is a direct manifestation of a halfway subjectivity. This ambivalent and contradictory state relates to an attachment to an historical culture while not being presently in contact and living in a constant melange of languages. With kitschy depictions of solemn matters, the work explores structures, beliefs and artifacts with regards to the mutative effects of time, dislocation, and translation. My practice is born from the place where language (one/both/in-between) fails completely. The representations I create are situated amid language, cliché and idiosyncrasy, believability and disillusionment, sincerity and irreverence.

Furthermore, wax acts as a catalyst for fluidity, neither solid or liquid, structurally sound but weak. Visually, the wax pieces in saturated hue are used to mock the less-is-more Miesian aesthetic that opens the door for cheaper building material, like OSB or stucco. During the process of casting objects in wax, one material substitutes another, simulating an object by a more laborious process that which made the original. The time spent with the work, the repetition, and the commitment is not only useless but proves once again that the structure is flawed.


Originally from Québec City, Magali Hébert-Huot is currently residing in Baltimore MD. After Studying at Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy, she completed her BFA at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2012 and received her MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art – Rinehart School of Sculpture in 2015. She has a rigorous studio practice, investigating and synthesizing her interests in sculpture, printmaking, architecture and history. She has exhibited work in ‘Fresh Paint / New Construction’ at Art Mûr Gallery in Montreal, and has recently shown at (e)merge Art Fair in DC, Open Space and Space Camp in Baltimore, as well as various exhibitions in Philadelphia and Québec City. She is the 2015 recipient of the International Sculpture Center Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award.

RIVES WILEY

RIVES WILEY

figures are trapped in an image

I envision scenes as a blend of the real, surreal, and virtual overlaid with an inner commentary and bound up by contemporary social conventions. In every sense, the figures are trapped in an image. They are confined to the scene in appearance, thought, behavior. My work attempts to expose the restraints, repetitions, acquiescence to social norms, acceptance of convention, and dissolution of original expression.

Although my paintings, actors, and sets are painted by hand, they are intimately informed by a digital aesthetic and often attempt to hide evidence of the painter’s touch. This juxtaposition, or tension between the hand imitating the digital through familiar settings, strikes a chord within the viewer that persuades them to reexamine how they fit into their own realities.

Please find below an excerpt from a literal facet of my work:

We sit at my kitchen table. A fluorescent lens flare hangs as a chandelier between me, Josh, and Josh. I laugh, but only hear my jokes. We consume the blonde soup and drink champagne out of jars. Flies made of pearls buzz in my ear. Josh and Josh hold the 34 double A bowls tighter as they slurp the blonde hair. I pretend they are funny. Really, really funny. When they are finished they leave. I lock the door, sit on my massage rug and watch skin on a screen. The flesh hues and oriental tattoos grow back into my skin.


Rives Wiley, born in 1990, is a painter and video maker working in Washington DC.  She received her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2013. She recently attended Vermont Studio Center, was featured in Maake Magazine, and became a Hamiltonian fellow.  Her work has been exhibited in group shows in DC and Rhode Island, and she will have her first solo show at the Hillyer Art Space in October 2016.

PAOLO MORALES

PAOLO MORALES

dislocation in urban and domestic settings

My documentary-style photographic practice is a product of observing and collaborating with people who appear isolated yet seek out connection to others. Fueled by a preoccupation with physical touch as a sign of intimacy, affection, and support, my work suggests feelings of emotional dislocation in urban and domestic settings.

The title “These Days I Feel Like a Snail Without a Shell,” is based on an exchange between Hajime, the protagonist of Haruki Murakami’s novel “South of the Border, West of the Sun,” and Izumi, one of Hajime’s love interests. The title implies emotional instability and refers to my role an unnamed and unrevealed character in the work. It is also in the present tense (“these days”) and refers to an “I,” which I interpret to refer to myself (the photographer) as a character. The character is vulnerable and is in search of a place or feeling of safety. This photographer-as-character, then, moves through the world without a shell while remaining in search of one. 

My aim is to draw the viewer into a sustained longing for connection within individual photographs and the people who occupy them. I am in pursuit of pictures where people appear emotionally isolated despite physical proximity. For some inexplicable reason, the people in my pictures still have a desire to reach out and connect to others.


Paolo Morales is a photographer. Exhibitions include the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography, Kings Highway Library, Pingyao International Photography Festival, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, and ClampArt, among others. Residencies include Blue Mountain Center and Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. He received a BFA from The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University and an MFA in Photography from Rhode Island School of Design. He teaches at The Potomac School. 

RACHEL GUARDIOLA

RACHEL GUARDIOLA