Move over Van Gogh, enter the Hillyer Art Space

Beyond the milling crowd in front of the Phillips Collection holding Van Gogh’s Repetitions lies Hillyer Art Space. Tucked at the end of a back alley on embassy row, the Hillyer is a gorgeous gallery that is bright and spacious and definitely worth a visit.

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This month, Hillyer Art Space is embracing FotoWeek by featuring three phenomenal local photographers. The gallery has been thoughtfully curated to display the incredible range found in the art of photography, the three artists showing are Chandi Kelley, D.B. Stovall, and Pamela H. Viola. Upon entering the gallery you are hit with Stovall’s intensely saturated Americana landscapes in A Slower Way of Seeing: Photographs of the American Vernacular, the viewer is then transferred to an airy, spacious room featuring Kelley’s Unnatural Histories that contrast Stovall’s bold, colorful images. The member-curated space presents Having a Ball, Viola’s playful, refreshing take on photography, borrowing ideas from Japanese prints and Islamic geometric patterns.

Stovall’s A Slower Way of Seeing: Photographs of the American Vernacular contains prints that jump off the wall and were curated by the artist to show a good range of size. The colors are extremely deep and saturated, presenting this intense, iconic American landscape. The high gloss photographs show rural Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia in a bright light that we are unaccustomed to seeing.

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In Unnatural Histories, photographer Chandi Kelley uses gold leaf to highlight the intricate details in simple natural objects. The objects’ bright, crisp colors are highlighted by the gold and carry a new sense of luminosity. Aureate, Gilded Rose, and Pebble (as meteor) are three standout pieces that are captivating and display Kelley’s sense of restraint in her gold application. In these works, Kelley creates a delicate balance between rustic and sumptuous goods. Unnatural Histories is an exploration of nature that is beautiful, striking, and thought provoking. Careful placement of a few gold overlays inspires the viewer to open their eyes to the hidden treasures that create our environment.

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Pamela H. Viola’s creation Having a Ball was shot entirely on an iPhone and composited on an iPad. I have no idea how she achieved this but is is quite a remarkable feat. Viola also printed on wax paper, which softened her colors and created a reflective quality in her images. The prints our very complex but still contain the light, playful essence that Viola aimed for.

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