The Shape of Things to Come features new works by noted Montgomery County based artists: Gretchen Schermerhorn, Shelley Picot, Vidya Vijayasekharan, and Amare Selfu.
These four artists have innovated and transformed the traditional materials and techniques of sculpture to produce forward leaning artworks. Their art responds to contemporary issues dealing with politics, environment, and attitudes.
Shelley Picot’s sculptures and drawings interpret the concerns of adulthood using the language of childhood. Born in Alexandria, Virginia, she received her bachelor’s in studio art from Mount Holyoke College. She has since shown her work locally and nationally, received a Maryland State Arts Council individual artist award, and attended a grant-supported residency at the Vermont Studio Center. She lives and works in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Gretchen Schermerhorn is currently the Artistic Director at Pyramid Atlantic, an art center dedicated to the contemporary creation of hand printmaking, papermaking, and the art of the book, in Hyattsville, Maryland. She received her MFA in Printmaking from Arizona State University, and since then, has completed artist residencies at Women’s Studio Workshop in New York, Columbia College Center for Book and Paper in Chicago, Seacourt Print Workshop in Northern Ireland, California State University. She is excited about her upcoming residency at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Her prints, installations, and works on paper works have been exhibited in New York, Boston, and Washington DC and her work was purchased by the Montgomery County Public Trust, Anne Arundel Community College’s collection, and the Janet Turner Print Collection. She has received individual artist awards from both the Maryland State Arts Council and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.
Amare Selfu has exhibited his work nationally and internationally. After graduating in 2004 from Addis Ababa University School of Fine Arts and Design (SFAD) with SFAD’s highest honor (known as the “Gold Medal”), he began teaching at SFAD and became a lecturer, teaching Painting and Drawing. In 2010, he was appointed Chair of the Painting Department and Curator of SFAD’s Art Gallery. He also co-founded Point Fine Arts and Design Studio P.L.C. During this time, as general manager he oversaw and worked on several high-profile design and fine art projects, including a large scale mosaic work located at the main building entrance of the National Museum of Ethiopia. In March 2012, he moved to Maryland to pursue an MFA in Studio Art at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and graduated in August 2015. He currently teaches undergraduate courses at MICA and Montgomery College.
Vidya Vijayasekharan is an artist, art historian and educator, who has been teaching at Montgomery College since 1994, prior to which she worked at museums including the Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian Institution. She started taking ceramic classes as an adult and it is the realization of watching clay transform into ceramics that has propelled her interest in the medium. The form and design of Vidya’s ceramics are inspired by Asian techniques and aesthetic, yet they address concepts that are universal. Vidya has been a resident of Montgomery County for over 25 years and is a spirited advocate for arts in education.