Author: WPA

ELIZABETH DORBAD | THE ARCADE

popblossom is pleased to present THE ARCADE, selected works from the series, ITINERANT ARCHITECTURES, by Elizabeth Dorbad. Please join us for the Opening, Friday, April 6, 6:30-8:30pm at WPA Studio + Gallery, located in The Monticello Arcade in Downtown Norfolk, VA.

In the ongoing series, Itinerant Architectures, Elizabeth Dorbad ponders the impermanence and mutability of architecture while engaging the notion of architectural time. Using abandoned architecture as subject matter and material, Dorbad produces works across a range of media including, photography, drawing and video as well as sculpture created out of the rubble of discarded mobile home trailers.

Dorbad considers architecture a transient sculptural system and recreates the structural identities of buildings through what she calls, architectural intervention, “the direct actions of cutting, superimposing or adorning,” the resulting sculpture or installation is then captured in a photograph.

Based in San Francisco, Elizabeth Dorbad’s work has been exhibited internationally in museums and galleries. Her global project, ITINERANT ARCHITECTURES, with iterations in Memphis, Baltimore, San Francisco, Oakland, Berlin, Kassel, New York, and Los Angeles, continues with the latest iteration, THE ARCADE, in Norfolk.

MING YING HONG | CONDITIONS OF UNCERTAINTY

MING YING HONG | CONDITIONS OF UNCERTAINTY
presented by popblossom
208 East Plume St, Norfolk, VA 23510
Showing: Feb 2—March 16, 2018
Opening: Friday, Feb 2, 6:30—8:30pm

Ming Ying Hong’s beautifully rendered charcoal and graphite drawings explore the limits of our knowledge and experience by questioning the way we define and categorize states of being. Her bodily forms—masculine and feminine, dead and alive, aggressive and delicate—her explosions—teetering on the razor-thin edge of dissolution and whole—are common themes throughout her work. According to Hong, by “combining these seemingly contradictory elements, opposites which once defined each other overlap, ultimately dismantling the system in which one definition is privileged over another.” Through this integration of forces, Hong encourages us to examine the in-between spaces of these binaries or areas of uncertainty. As a result, a more complex spectrum of experience emerges.

Ming Ying Hong is an interdisciplinary artist based in Norfolk, VA. She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and in 2015, received her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. She has exhibited in galleries and institutions throughout the United States, including the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and Ice Box Gallery in Philadelphia. Her work has been featured in numerous publications, most recently in MANIFEST Gallery’s International Drawing Annual 11. Currently, Hong teaches in the Art Department at Old Dominion University.

Altruistic Design

WPA is proud to announce that Jeremy S. Maloney has founded Altruistic Design in Virginia Beach. In keeping with his mission, Jeremy has built Altruistic Design on a platform of socially responsible architecture. If you’ve worked with Jeremy before, you know that he loves all parts of the design process from finding the perfect project fit, to programming, design, detailing, and contract administration. We will miss seeing Jeremy in our office every day, but are happy that we will continue to collaborate on our existing projects. We know that by expanding the choice in great design firms in this area, we can build a better connection between the NEON District, the Vibe District, and the region as a whole. Please send Jeremy your congratulations!

BOYER + VITALE | FADED BY THE SUN

BOYER + VITALE | FADED BY THE SUN
Presented by popblossom
208 E Plume St, Norfolk, VA 23510
Showing: Nov 17—Dec 31, 2017
Opening: 6:30—8:30pm, Friday, Nov 17

Like the physical universe in which we live—immeasurable, mysterious, unfathomable—so too the personal universe each of us inhabits and like the physical realm, we have an innate longing to understand it. In their two-man exhibition, FADED BY THE SUN, Hampton Boyer and John Vitale explore the personal universe, contemplating the intimate relationship between consciousness and reality as well as pondering one’s own existence and the largeness of it.

As a source of inspiration and a vehicle for filtering ideas, Boyer and Vitale turned to National Geographic Magazine.  Illustrational in style, Boyer’s compositions hint at imagery found in the magazine, albeit with a bit of humor and a pop-culture twist. His vibrantly hued paintings float on bright yellow walls, evoking the warmth and light of the sun as well as giving nod to the yellow border of the magazine’s iconic cover. For Vitale, the magazine itself becomes medium as well as representation of the ineffable nature of existence as each work’s layered composition emerges from the pages of a single issue of a bound magazine. Vitale notes that there is an element of time in the numbered pages, “individuals dissolving into environments while seeming to play with the ideas of experience and attachment” all the while moving forward in a state of wonderment.

Hampton Boyer is a Hampton Roads based artist whose works have been exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions. A self-taught artist, Boyer’s artistic endeavors manifest in illustrational style graphics, vibrant paintings and youthful murals. In 2014, Boyer cofounded 670 Gallery in Hampton, VA where he served as creative director. In addition to his gallery experience, Boyer has instructed graphic design courses at Hampton University as well as working with the Contemporary Arts Network. Since closing 670 Gallery, Boyer’s focus has been his artistic practice as well as honing his curatorial skills with Thank You Gallery in Norfolk, VA.

John Vitale is a Minneapolis, MN based visual artist. His work has been exhibited in New York, Miami, Chicago, Brooklyn, Portland, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Romania, and Scotland. A graduate of Parson’s School of Design, Vitale has worked as a published and exhibited photographer, a three dimensional designer directing creative projects for Louis Vuitton, Tommy Hilfiger, and Stella McCartney as well as received funding from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council to publish zines. After briefly curating pop-up events for VA MOCA, Vitale founded the Nobile & Amundsen Gallery in Norfolk, VA which closed in 2015. He is a practicing Vipassana meditator and works as an EMT on an ambulance.

NEON Community Open Space

The following is a list of features being contemplated, as shown in the renderings:

Paved pathways connecting the surrounding sidewalks and streets to the existing paved concrete pad to remain in place. 

Landscaping within the areas of soil on site: grass or stable groundcover, trees, and shaping of the land (rain gardens, swales, berms, etc.).

Planters: both stationary and mobile. The purpose of these are to extend the greenspace from the south edge deeper onto the site, and to help designate the boundaries of the various activity spaces.

Stage Platform:  this is shown with multiple tiers, serving multiple uses including: 1) A platform for performances; 2) amphitheater for watching activity within the Park; 3) a resilient element for play/recreation (can handle wear and tear from skateboarding and other high intensity activities).

Shade Structure: over the stage platform. This will make the platform usable rain or shine. There is a potential for the shade structure to incorporate rigging for lighting, projection screen, speakers, or other performance-related equipment.

Shipping Containers: the two 20’ containers currently at the PLOT can be re-used and modified for new purposes (vending, storage, etc.). A new 40’ container can be added to span above the 20’ containers to provide a surface for graphics and to make a shaded space below. The walls of the containers become surfaces for vertical gardens and graphics (like a neon ‘NEON’ sign!).

Benches: these would be made of solid concrete with reinforced edges for durability. They would accommodate a range of activities including seating, market stalls, and skateboarding.

Playground Area: to include play equipment on an appropriate play surface. The play equipment could be in the form of public art, similar to “Upper Blush”, the sculpture by Matthew Geller that was recently installed on site.

Basketball Area:  a resilient hoop, backboard, and pole, with striping painted on the ground. Depending on the location, a fence element might be necessary to help prevent balls from leaving the site and becoming a hazard.

Lighting: the light poles from PLOT I could be re-used and new lighting could be implemented as needed. It will be beneficial to have power at the Stage Platform and also at the Containers.

Painting and Scoring: the concrete surface presents a good opportunity painting or scoring to help emphasize the diagonal paths and/or the division of the site into activity areas. The scoring may help with drainage – to provide a path for water to migrate toward the landscaped areas. During the charrette it was discussed that some game surfaces would be nice on the paving: chess, hopscotch, bocce, etc.

Public Art: the west wall of the adjacent building is a perfect place for a large commissioned mural. Also, places within the park can be dedicated for additional sculptures. Artworks that promote participation, interaction, and play should be favored.

Miscellaneous Park Equipment:  Tables and chairs, play equipment, signage, water source for irrigation, etc.

 

Please stay tuned here and to the Downtown Norfolk Council’s website for news, upcoming milestones, and ways to get involved in the NEON District as it continues to evolve.

Congratulations, Yuzhu Zheng

We are pleased to share the news that Yuzhu Zheng, Up studio, who does much of our architectural photography, has her own show opening Nov. 8, 6:30-8 p.m., at the Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library in Virginia Beach.

The exhibition, featuring both architectural work and landscape images, will hang throughout the month of November. Yuzhu is an architect as well as a photographer. She has photographed many projects for Work Program Architects, Including award winning projects. We congratulate her accomplishment!

 

For more information: Up Studio

UPDATE: NEON Community Open Space Charrette

 

WPA led a well-attended public design charrette to determine the future use of the Cofer Lot in the NEON District at the Hurrah Players’ Copeland Center on September 19th.

The Cofer Lot, at the location of a demolished former auto dealership, is poised to be designated as much-needed open space in the District positioned in a perfect spot on West Olney Road midway between the offerings on Granby Street and the Chrysler Museum.

Some charrette participants suggested a public art space with opportunities for sculpture and performance art. Others desired a tranquil green oasis welcome to all, perhaps with a playground for small children. Voices for the skateboarding community advocated for a safe and welcoming place for sport. The challenge is to accommodate multiple uses in a small footprint, and participants seemed open to discussion and compromise.

TONIGHT: The results of the Charrette and next steps for the site will be presented at this month’s NEON District Committee Meeting, at the Push Comedy Theater in the NEON at 5:30 pm. 763 Granby Street, Norfolk.

City of Norfolk Receives Two Excellence in Economic Development Awards

The City of Norfolk’s Economic Development Department was honored at an awards ceremony at the International Economic Development Council Annual Conference held September 17th  – 20th  in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Norfolk received The Silver Excellence in Economic Development Award for 824 Military Highway, a project in the category of Real Estate Redevelopment & Reuse as well as a Bronze Excellence in Economic Development Award for its Norfolk Works Waterside Week Hiring Event campaign, a project in the category of Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Single Event of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

“We are grateful that the City of Norfolk has been recognized, once again, for impressive achievements in economic development,” said Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander. “While we remain committed to serving as a destination for innovative businesses, we will continue to be creative in our approach understanding that the most important returns for our residents are good jobs, reliable tax revenues, and sustainable growth,” says Kenneth Cooper Alexander, Mayor, City of Norfolk.

“On behalf of the IEDC board of directors and Excellence in Economic Development Awards Advisory Committee, congratulations to the City of Norfolk. Not only did they work to provide a necessary service to their community; but also, their participation in the awards program sheds light on their stellar projects which other communities can now use as a benchmark.”  – Michael Langley, FM, CEO of GREATER MSP, Minneapolis–St. Paul, MN, and 2017 IEDC Board Chair

The “824 Military” award winning project recognized a City-owned, 209K SF former JCPenny department store on a 15-acre site which was adapted for reuse into a state of the art office building. The City purchased the store for $2.5 million and invested another $15 million in upgrades to control a portion of the 122 acre mall site, influence its long-term revitalization as a stakeholder and demonstrate Norfolk’s commitment to renewal of the entire corridor.  In addition to being a redevelopment success, the 824 Military property is a financial success – approximately 75% leased and approximately 850 new jobs to the city.

Photography by: Yuzhu Zheng of UP Studio

Norfolk’s launch of Norfolk Works won for its Waterside Week Hiring Event. In 2017, Norfolk created 6,000 job opportunities from projects underway in the city.  The Norfolk City Council wanted to make the jobs available to residents in the city and the Economic Development Department opened Norfolk Works, a job resource center for job seekers, employers and a workforce development network. The Waterside District (Entertainment Consulting International) was the first client. Waterside District identified their hiring needs and process requirements prior to the event. During the event, Waterside District provided on-site recruiters and a manager able to make on-the-spot hires.

Development Department staff, including Norfolk Works, developed the event and pitched the idea to the client. Department staff recruited partner organizations; coordinated outreach efforts; and managed all logistics during the event. 

Partners helped promote the event and provided staff assistance during it. They include: AARP; Norfolk Department of Social Services; Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority; Opportunity Inc. (Workforce Development Board); Virginia Department for the Blind and Visually Impaired; Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services; and Second Chances reentry program.

Waterside District was positively affected in that it hired over 230 people, many of whom had one or more barriers to employment and were provided training.

“The awards process is a thorough, non-biased and multi-layered process. These are extraordinary accomplishments for all winners, and an overall great effort by all participants. We look forward to next year’s awards competition,” Langley said.

208 E. Plume Street  Monticello Arcade, Suite 2 Norfolk, VA 23510 Studio: (757) 227-5310
© 2020 WPA Website in care of Array Digital
208 E. Plume Street
Monticello Arcade, Suite 2
Norfolk, VA 23510
(757) 227-5310
© 2020 WPA
Website in care of Array Digital