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.
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.
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.
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.
Last Friday was an incredible day for WPA and our NSU family. We met so many wonderful alumni who came to celebrate the ribbon cutting for the new G.W.C. Brown Memorial Hall. We were lucky to meet the daughter and granddaughter of Dr. Brown who came to dedicate the new 154,000 Classroom and Performing Arts Building. Thank you to Norfolk State University. Our whole team was honored to work for you and with you on this project.
NORFOLK, Va. – (May 2017) – Downtown Norfolk Council is pleased to announce that Vibrant Spaces, an incentive program developed to stimulate street-level business, is partnering with the City of Norfolk to open Selden Market. Located in the Selden Arcade that sits between Main and Plume Streets in Downtown, Selden Market will serve as a storefront incubator for new businesses.
Selden Arcade is the historic connector between Slover Library and Hilton Norfolk The Main. Selden Market will be transformed into a vibrant space with multiple small-business tenants, mentors and kiosks for pop-up businesses. The program will stimulate street-level activity with low rents and short-term leases to help businesses shape their model, learn from each other and build community in a low-risk environment.
“This market concept is a culmination of all of the lessons we’ve learned from the successful Vibrant Spaces program,” said Drew Ungvarsky, chairman and CEO and executive creative director of Grow. “Vibrant Spaces matched new businesses with existing spaces in Downtown and provided grants and reduced rents. Additionally, grants were awarded to existing businesses that brought unique concepts to create street-level vibrancy. The goals for Selden Market are regular activation, a unique atmosphere and continual transformation.”
“One thing we discovered was the need for smaller spaces that allow businesses to get started and then grow,” added Mary Miller, president and CEO of Downtown Norfolk Council. “We anticipate this will stimulate businesses across the city and provide a learning and sharing environment. Plus, the synergy of the location adjacent to Slover Library and The Main is a huge benefit. The market is an interim use for two to three years, and we are working with Work Program Architects on a moveable design approach.”
The Slover Library Maker Studio, an initiative of the Slover Library Foundation, will be added to the library’s first floor in the Arcade for patrons to experiment with all kinds of new technologies and tools to create and invent. It will include a sound recording studio, laser cutter and sewing machines.
The Selden Market concept is progressive but not uncharted. Downtown Norfolk Council has incorporated the best practices in retail incubation, markets, food halls and hybrid spaces across the country.
Downtown Norfolk Council and the Vibrant Spaces committee will accept applications for potential tenants. Applications are available online at www.seldenmarket.com.
Tenant selections will be made for those that communicate the following qualities:
Exciting and unique street-level businesses
Inclusive of retail, experience, food, service and especially hybrids and non-traditional business models
Exemplifies the original program criteria: incredible design, regular activation, exceptional offerings
Selden Market will be operated by the Downtown Norfolk Council, and the call for entry is available now through July 13. In addition to incubator storefronts, DNC will offer a few mentor spaces to help with tenant education and traffic generation. Kiosk rentals will allow businesses to test concepts by the day or week. Construction will begin on connectors to The Main and Slover Library this summer, and a fall launch is anticipated.
Vibrant Spaces started in 2015. The first phase attracted 86 applicants for six spaces in seven weeks. Three businesses opened in Downtown: Prince Ink at 433 Granby, Lamia’s Crepes at 401 Granby Street and Muddy Paws Downtown at 400 Granby Street. Eight additional grants were awarded to existing businesses including Brick Anchor Brew-House, Work | Release, Leone’s and Hurrah Players. Additional vacancies have been filled through connections with Vibrant Spaces including Pinot’s Palette (Ghent); Town Center Cold Pressed (Ghent); Jollity & Co. (Ghent; Pacers (35th Street); Bearded Bird Brewing (NEON); Corks & Caps (Downtown); Bonchon (Downtown) and The Rustic Tart (Downtown).
Downtown Norfolk Council (DNC) is a private, not-for-profit membership organization comprised of businesses and individuals working toward a dynamic, attractive and prosperous Downtown. DNC also manages the Downtown Norfolk Improvement District, a 48-block special services district with enhanced services that keep Downtown friendly, safe and spotless. Connect with Downtown Norfolk on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or visit DowntownNorfolk.org.
DECONSTRUCTING THE WHEEL Selected Works by Kurt Godwin
Presented by the Godwin Family Produced by popblossom
The Godwin Family is pleased to present, DECONSTRUCTING THE WHEEL, an introduction to the late painter, Kurt Douglas Godwin, one of DC’s most accomplished artists over the last 30 years—Opening April 21 and showing through May 25, 2017. An Opening Reception is scheduled for Friday, April 21st, 6:30-8:30pm in Work Program Architects Gallery located in The Monticello Arcade, at 208 East Plume Street, in Downtown Norfolk.
How can any artist avoid physics when their tools will always consist of Time, Space, and Light? It is important to get a grip on some of the speculations on these essential elements. It has been interesting and liberating to get to a place to work that is beyond oneself—to abandon autobiography—to provoke new ways of thinking or seeing about universal quandaries that have been pondered by the great thinkers of the ages – to update the myths of ancient times and offer another analogy or parable in the continuing investigations of this universe we find ourselves in. —Kurt Godwin
DECONSTRUCTING THE WHEEL features the paintings of the late conceptual artist, Kurt Godwin. Permeating the selected works is a rich visual language. Juxtaposing emblems in alchemy with imagery from the natural world, Godwin addresses philosophical perplexities while endeavoring to understand the universe in which we live.
Showing: Feb 20 – March 31, 2017 Artist Reception: Friday, March 24
popblossom and Work Program Architects are pleased to present SOUND STRUCTURE, selected works by Andrea Donnelly, showing Feb 20 – March 31 with an artist reception, Friday, March 24, 6:30 – 8:30 PM, at WPA Gallery in The Monticello Arcade, 208 E Plume Street, Norfolk, VA 23510.
Visual artist Andrea Donnelly weaves exquisite cloths. The intricate and time-consuming processes she uses to transform thread to cloth are the conceptual backbone of her work. She touches every inch of thread in the woven-painting-object-artifacts she creates, imbedding imagery and forming figures locked within textile structure. Donnelly paints woven cloth, only to take it apart then weaves it again. Through unraveling and rebuilding this visual language, she excavates deeper meanings in the collaboration of tool, material, and intention.
In addition to weaving, Donnelly has recently begun working in collage and drawing on paper. Reflecting the patterning and sensibilities of textiles, Donnelly’s drawings are informed by her experience as a weaver in both process and mind state.