Presented by the Rutter Family Art Foundation, Work | Release holds its inaugural show in the center of the NEON District. AGLOW is a neon exhibition showcasing twelve local, national and international artists working with sculptural neon.
The exhibition will undoubtedly project the new energy of Norfolk. Opening night will coincide with Downtown Norfolk Council’s First Friday for the season. The whole neighborhood will be abuzz, AGLOW at the center, an exhibition pulsing at the heart of the art district.
AGLOW will open to the public at 8pm on Friday, April 3rd at Work | Release, the newly renovated Texaco Building, located at 759 Granby Street. The exhibition runs through May 2nd and will be open Thursday through Saturday evenings.
The exhibiting artworks were selected from a global call-out for artist submissions. Each work uses primarily non-language based neon to explore themes of light, narrative, and form. Without defaulting to the written word, a common trope with this medium, AGLOW illuminates the sculptural and conceptual side of neon. The jury consisted of Brother Rutter, Work | Release founder, contemporary art collector and dedicated supporter of the arts, Jesse Scaccia, editor of AltDaily, chair of the NEON’s Public Art Committee and a member of Norfolk’s Public Art Commission and Suzanne Peck, contemporary artist, writer, educator and curator.
Erik Peterson’s “Seep”
“We are excited to bring our passion for the arts to our new home in the NEON District,” said Brother Rutter. “AGLOW is certain to be a turning point for the neighborhood and a monumental opening for Work | Release. The Rutter Family Art Foundation is pleased to be a part of the new energy of Norfolk.”
The exhibition features works from a diverse range of talent, from emerging to established artists, established through emerging. Included in the lineup is Ben Wright, Education Director of UrbanGlass in Brooklyn, exploring notions of myth, humor and sensuality with his mixed media work “On the Outside Looking In”. Sarah Blood, professor at Alfred University, conflates memory and nostalgia in “Contusing Without”. California-based contemporary artist, Hiromi Takizawa, creates subtle rainbow magic in “From California with Love” with her combination of impossibly thin blown glass and neon. Prize-winning work, “Treehouse”, by the local Norfolk arts group, Woodrow Collective, will illuminate the space above our heads. Clay McGlamory, professor of print media at Old Dominion University, creates a new site-specific work from disassembled parts of his past efforts. The artworks range in scale and emotional temperature, yet are united by a commitment to excellence in medium, method and intent.
AGLOW is spearheaded by curator Suzanne Peck, a New York-based artist, writer and educator. Suzanne lived in Norfolk for the autumn 2014, teaching 3D Design at Old Dominion University, making artwork at the Chrysler Museum’s Glass Studio and curating pop-up exhibitions at Glass Wheel Gallery and Range Gallery. She loves Norfolk and is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue engaging in local art dialogue.
Work | Release is an arts venue, exhibition and event space on the first floor of the newly renovated Texaco Building. The space will foster access to innovative, experimental and emotionally engaging contemporary art that provides a special type of renewable energy to the community. Work | Release hopes to engage a wide audience by bringing high- caliber work from around the world into a more socially engaging setting.
This neon exhibition coincides with the recent branding of the arts district as the NEON District (New Energy of Norfolk). The updated name was decided upon by active stakeholders within the district through a process lead by Sway Creative Labs. In October 2015 the new NEON Festival is scheduled within the district and will illuminate the district with public art and performances. More information on the NEON District can be found at www.neonnfk.com.
“Neon is inherently playful. AGLOW presents neon outside its native habitat (the land of signage),” said Peck. “The exhibiting artists are pushing the medium in contemporary, challenging and exciting directions.”
AGLOW’s April 3rd opening will take place from 8pm – 2am with a private viewing earlier in the evening. Food and beverages will be available from Work | Release’s restaurant and bar. Dance amongst the neon lights all night with music by DJ Steven Faith from DC and Norfolk’s DJ LRDMRCY. The opening night celebration is free and all ages are welcome. For more on Work | Release, click here.