Works by Javier Tapia, ART 180 + local artists on display at Piedmont Arts



An exhibit of large-scale abstract paintings and an installation aimed at reforming the juvenile justice system will be on display March 17 – April 28, 2018 at Piedmont Arts.

Acuarelas en Gran Formato, which translates to ‘large format watercolors,’ is a study in abstraction and color by Richmond, Virginia-based artist Javier Tapia. Tapia's work features brightly hued geometric forms that tower over the viewer. His work is formed through a process of critique, elimination and destruction. By constantly reinventing the surface of his work until it reaches abstraction, Tapia allows himself to explore subjects from the deeply personal to the mundane, while deliberately avoiding the literal and the narrative. 




“My attempt is not to tell a story or a make a point, but to arrive at an energized and surprising surface through which color, space and layers interact,” said Tapia. “Certain marks come at certain times—some released without deliberation and others made with focused intention. In these paintings, my attempt has been to stay with a subject until I have exhausted what I know, sometimes finding new questions that drive the next work.”

Tapia is an associate professor of painting and drawing at Virginia Commonwealth University. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Texas at Austin, where he graduated with honors. He has been awarded several grants and scholarships and has participated in numerous international and national exhibitions. Tapia’s work is part of the collections of the National Museum of Peru, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans and the Museum Pedro de Osma in Lima, Peru.


ART 180: Imagining a World Where No Youth are Locked Up features work by incarcerated youth from the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center’s Post-Dispositional Program. Each summer, ART 180 invites a group of incarcerated youth to participate in an art-based camp at its teen center. There they work with artists across Richmond to produce a series of media campaigns and mobile exhibitions that visualize their ideas for transforming the juvenile justice system. By working with incarcerated youth to become creative and civic leaders in their communities, ART 180 supports advocacy work to directly affect laws and public policy that affect the school to prison pipeline. 

PhotoVoice features photographs by students participating in CHILL MHC. The exhibit shines a light on a hard issue facing our community–how the everyday landscape of Martinsville-Henry County impacts our youth. As part of the project, students were asked to take two photos: one of something in their community that helps them make positive decisions and one of something that makes positive decisions difficult. Their photographs are poignant examples of the perceptive and powerful voices of our youth.


Work by Donna Koger will be on display in the Box Mezzanine Gallery. Koger is executive vice president/secretary for her family’s business, Koger Air Corporation of Martinsville. She has been painting for 10 years and has studied calligraphy and painting with Carol Moates in Greensboro, North Carolina and painting at The Studio School in Roanoke, Virginia under Tracy Budd, Robin Poteet and Vera Dickerson. Her painting My Santa Fe Bud won Best in Show at Expressions 2017 at Piedmont Arts. Her work can be found in the collection of Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital.

Second Chances, featuring work by trustees from the Martinsville City Jail, will be on display in the Lynwood Artists Gallery. Martinsville’s trustees are an integral part of Piedmont Arts’ exhibition preparations. They regularly repair and paint the gallery walls before each exhibit installation. The support they provide to the museum is not often seen by the public but it is invaluable to the Piedmont Arts staff. The museum is honored to showcase the work of these talented individuals.

Piedmont Arts will host a Members-Only Reception in honor of these exhibits on Friday, March 16 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the museum. Piedmont Arts members, prospective members, artists and guests are invited to attend. This reception is sponsored by Susan and Charles Aaron, Bonnie and John Favero, Linda and Ross Gale, Jo and Don Grayson, Lindsay and Aaron Rawls and Lynwood Artists. Please RSVP attendance to 276.632.3221 or online here.


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