McDaniel College's Department of Art and Art History presents “The Hunter and the Hunted: Made to Measure,” a solo show by McDaniel faculty member Chloe Irla, August 30 through September 28 in The Rice Gallery in Peterson Hall. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, August 30 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., with an artist talk at 6:00 p.m.
“I maintain an interdisciplinary studio practice grounded in both traditional and alternative approaches to painting,” Irla says. “The media I employ are diverse and materiality is specifically chosen to best support the concept of a given project. The series of work included in this exhibition is rooted in a years-long investigation of the color blaze orange called ‘Blaze Breakers.’ I was introduced to this color while residing in rural Maine, where residents of the small town that I lived in were advised to wear blaze orange vests when spending time outdoors during the hunting seasons. Through my continued research and development over the years, ‘Blaze Breakers’ has sub-divided into other series of work.”
“The work in this exhibition is part of ‘The Hunter and the Hunted’ chapter within ‘Blaze Breakers.’ This chapter began with an exploration of the semiotics of hunting textiles, particularly camouflage patterns. The somewhat moronic juxtaposition of invisibility (camouflage) and visibility (blaze orange) within hunting textiles is fascinating to me: the hunter must wear blaze orange to communicate their presence to other hunters (I’m not a bear), yet also wear camouflage as a cloaking device to blend in with their surrounding landscape. ‘The hunter’ and ‘the hunted’ in these works can be interpreted metaphorically to communicate general themes such as in/visibility, dis/appearance, and honesty: camouflage is an illusion, a visible lie, so is blaze orange truthful?”
Irla states that “’The Hunter and The Hunted: Made to Measure’ presents a lexicon of essential elements and principles that establish the foundation of the series. The elements and principles of ‘The Hunter and The Hunted’ are light, warmth, surface, measurement, visibility, organization, transformation, honesty, history, and time. Most of the projects included in this show were created specifically for the Rice Gallery and are grounded in both institutional and personal memories: I was a McDaniel College student from 2005–2007 and am now a full-time faculty member. The space that is now the Rice Gallery served as the College’s library from 1909–1961, and for the duration of this exhibition, serves as a library for this body of work. I felt it important to present the building blocks of ‘The Hunter and The Hunted’ series in an academic setting instilled with its own foundational elements: the seven liberal arts.
A range of technical and visual influences is included within these projects such as architecture, fashion design, and units of measurement. Quilts and sewing are media that I have been interested in since I showed a hand-sewn quilt composed of biohazard bags in this gallery as a student in 2007. In addition to traditional media, newer technologies are used which is testament to the continued dissolution of boundaries and progression of media within art. The versatile, utilitarian materials employed in these works are rich with purposes and possibilities outside of the realm of art. Most of these materials were manufactured for use in a domestic setting or outdoors, a juxtaposition of indoors vs. outdoors that I find intriguing. Any text included in a work is referential to the gallery, such as ‘Lies Above’ which refers to the stain glass ceiling in this space, a replica of the original ceiling that was moved to the Hoover Library board room in the 1990s. My goal with this exhibition is to present viewers with a variety of methods and materials that communicate the essentials of ‘The Hunter and The Hunted’ while also acknowledging the history of the ‘Rice Gallery’ space.”
Chloe Irla, a 2007 alumna of McDaniel, is now an assistant professor of art and art history at her alma mater, teaching digital art and design courses. Irla, of Baltimore, maintains an interdisciplinary studio practice grounded in both traditional and alternative approaches to painting. In addition to her bachelor's degree from McDaniel, she has a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Mount Royal School of Art at Maryland Institute College of Art.
The Rice Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. For more information on Irla, visit http://chloe-irla.com/home.html. For information and to confirm gallery hours, please call 410-857-2595.
Thursday, August 30 at 5:30pm to 7:30pm
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