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Effective January 1: Masks are Optional in VisArts’ Classrooms and Studios

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Common Ground Gallery

Ben Piwowar’s artistic practice is a hybrid of drawing, object manipulation, and site-responsive construction.  He works primarily with salvaged materials that are marked or shaped by prior use – contractors’ trash, detritus found on walks, leavings of other people’s projects. These components are lightly modified in the studio and then introduced to the exhibition space, where relationships between fragments develop on-site through intuitive arrangement and re-orientation. The objects that populate his installations function like displaced characters or invasive organisms learning to survive in new territory; in negotiating both their individual presences and a cumulative identity, they labor to establish a kind of microclimate within the gallery. Both meditative and playful, the work is a wry salute to the human capacity to make use and make do: the will to adapt to uncertain conditions and the resourcefulness to manage with what is on hand.

About the artist: Ben Piwowar is a painter and installation artist whose works use abstraction to reflect on fragility, adaptation, and regeneration. He holds degrees in literature and painting from the University of Maryland as well as an M.F.A. in studio art from the University of Connecticut. A two-time semifinalist for the Janet and Walter Sondheim Prize, Piwowar lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland.

Opening Reception: January 15, 7 – 9:00 PM

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