Those Spaces Between Us Target Gallery | April 10 - May 23, 2021

Juror's Statement

Those Spaces Between Us aims to examine real, mental, and metaphorical spaces we inhabit. When asked to curate this exhibition, my immediate thoughts were directed to our current COVID-19 moment we have all been living through as a collective human society.

Each one of us has been navigating this uncertain time and terrain differently. Whether sheltering in place in solitude or with our families for nearly a whole year, consciousness of physical space and suspended motion seem to be a part of everyday life. The spheres that once separated our lives collapsed and now overlap. Family/work/studio all exist on the same plane, and the balance is harder now than it has ever been to manage.

Artists are finding so many meaningful and complex ways of documenting their experiences. It was my intention to think about these connections and this exhibition in these terms. My hope has been to give a temporary form to this monumental and devastating year of human loss, social and political transformation.

In many ways, the selection of works for this exhibition has been about an acknowledgement of longing, of close examination of spaces the artist frequently inhabits, and of ritual. The exhibition features how we remember and how we navigate within our human connectivity.

The title for this exhibition called me toward quiet or contemplative work, towards the unknown and mysterious. Those spaces, or pauses, between us are sacred, timeless and fleeting, all at once.

As an artist contemplating challenging moments and places in my own work, I feel a deep and profound connection to Those Spaces Between Us. There were 168 applicants to this exhibition and I was able to select 25 works. It was an honor to review so many incredible works by extraordinary artists from across the country with global perspectives. Thank you to all the artists; you inspire.

- Nikki Brugnoli

About the Juror

Nikki Brugnoli, artist, educator, and curator, received her BFA from Seton Hill University and her MFA from The Ohio State University. Brugnoli serves on the faculty at Flint Hill School in Oakton, VA. She teaches Studio Art in the Upper School and runs the Art School/College recruiting program. Previously, she served on the faculty at George Mason University and was the Assistant Graduate Programs Coordinator and Graduate Advisor in the School of Art. In addition, she helped coordinate Visual Voices, Visiting Artist Program. Nikki was the Exhibitions Coordinator for the Art Lab at the Lorton Workhouse, Lorton, VA and currently serves on the Hillyer IA&A Advisory Council, Washington D.C. Nikki has also taught at The Ohio State University, the Northern Virginia Community Colleges, and The Renaissance School in Charlottesville, VA. In January 2020, Brugnoli had a two-person installation/exhibition with Josh Whipkey at Riverviews Art Space in Lynchburg, VA. They are explored concepts surrounding Field Guides in their shared life on a farm in rural VA. In addition, Brugnoli has been included in several group exhibitions in 2020 in Washington D.C. and virtually, and in May 2020, Brugnoli was featured on The Teaching Artist Podcast, Los Angeles, CA.

Shannon Finnell (Brooklyn, NY),Touching Photographically: Panna in Cluj, 2020. Archival print. $600.

"In the summer of 2020, I asked friends around the world to send me photographs of them looking out of their windows. In an attempt to connect to this community of people I hold dear, I created photographs interacting with these images. This image includes my friend Panna who lives in Cluj, Romania.”

-- Shannon Finnell

Susanna Starr (New York, NY), Chiffon Noir, 2019. Rubbing of handmade pastel on paper and then cutout. $1600.

“Chiffon Noir is a rubbing of a delicate scarf. It captures the ephemeral space between memories and the object in motion. It is a floating and ghostly image absent of its wearer, implying a passage from life to death."

-- Susanna Starr

Johab Silva (Reston, VA), Synchronism #4, 2021. Video 9:38 minutes. NFS.

“This work is the result of a collaboration with artists Hanna Bevens (USA), Havin Al-Sindy (Germany/Iraq), and Nils Hommel (Germany) and it explores ideas of synchronism through their lenses and through visual language. Its aim is to open dialog about connectivity through direct and indirect synchronism activity/practice. The questions in play are: How are we connected? Through what things we are and are not connected? What ideas of synchronism have to do with the 21st century art practice?”

-- Johab Silva

Malina Busch (London, UK), Gold Drag, 2020. Acrylic on paper, twine. $1,000.

“In Gold Drag I am exploring interdependent but fluctuating relationships. This piece is the result of an improvisational process where there is a call and response between myself, the materials that I have chosen, and the spaces in which these moments exist. Through a negotiation of the physical boundaries and limits of my body and my materials, I aim to explore what Merleau-Ponty refers to as the overlap between 'the seeing and the seen, the touching and the touched.' This is a space and time which might be glimpsed but can never be fully grasped. With each piece, I work until a point of balance is reached between myself, the form, and the space in which these exist.”

-- Malina Busch

Bonnie Carrow (Tampa, FL), Untitled (Where Two Things Meet), 2019. Red brick. $1,000.

“My body of work involving red bricks acts as a form of protest against the distinction from inside and outside and a way to challenge notions of self and other. I use the bricks to reference the perimeter of the home, the point of distinction between interior life and the exterior world. By dovetailing the two bricks together, I present an unusual object relationship that suggests both bodily and social interactions. By repurposing a symbol of separation, this material gesture proposes new forms of connection."

-- Bonnie Carrow

Ruby Andromeda Miller (Deerton, MI), Measure Mark, 2016. Stainless steel, silk, feather, enamel pain, found metal. $260.

Measure Mark is made of the pieces of a square ruler with a scribe, but leaving all the dimensional information behind and adding a feather and other materials. The components of the tool itself that did the measuring are gone and the shop has been left behind. They are both on display and seem to be offered for handling, even though their use isn't totally clear.

"Space is examined by defining it in different ways- the words of a poem shape the whiteness of a page, the stones of a cathedral enclose a verticalness no one looked into without the stones pointing upwards. These tools, taken from a tool of measurement and made into an ambiguous pair of making tools, offer the viewer options to explore defining a space for themselves. They wait in that potential moment when the space is still undefined.”

-- Ruby Andromeda Miller

Allyssa Ray Yamaguchi-Juarez (Laurel, MD), Maybe I Am, 2021. Digital collage. $300.

Maybe I Am, a digital collage examines the spaces we exist in and the spaces we have inhabited. There are ambiguous and disjointed spaces that are familiar and fantastic when placed together; the edges and fractures showing. The figure restrains from interacting with space shows the isolation that we have had to take in 2020. Am I taking up too much space? Too little? I am outside so, is that ok?”

-- Allyssa Ray Yamaguchi-Juarez

Kate Fitzpatrick (Alexandria, VA), A Kind of Palimpsest 6, 2020. Acrylic ink on vellum. $1200.

“Repetitive glyphs appear as broken language that gather and float away to reveal new worlds. This series of layered drawings are inspired by palimpsests. Palimpsests stand in for the day to day veneer that cover the meaning of words and images we encounter. The overwriting of the artist’s signs systems opens up the possibility for multiple meanings to live in the remnants of our “readable” surfaces. The meaning of images and words lie somewhere in the interplay of the spaces between.”

-- Kate Fitzpatrick

Ceci Cole McInturff (Alexandria, VA), Languages Not Yet Spoken, 2021. Sable palm husk, hemp, steel wire. NFS.

“A sable palm husk crashed from a 40-feet treetop to ground in front of me in southern California in 2019. Badly disfigured in this otherwise-normal shedding, it was evocative and beauty-filled in death. I shipped it home. Lovingly weaving it back into recognizable form all during 2020, its stitches, knots and spaces between them were like metaphors for the pandemic-forced distancing I was living through.

"Stitching initially was like emergency triage, furtive and spaced randomly just to stabilize the rapidly drying husk. As with public attitudes in those early months of social distancing, I didn't fully comprehend all that was to come; I just kept sewing. Later, patterns of spacing emerged and were re-sewn with a deeper, more deliberate awareness, and came to pose a question: Putting things back together after injury, disfigurement, failure, misunderstanding... can we find value, forgiveness or beauty in the changed state or situation? Can spaces become healing?”

-- Ceci Cole McInturff

Sharon Koelblinger (Kent, OH), In the City, You Forget to Look at the Sky 1/7, 2018. Archival pigment print, steel, mirror. $1600.

“In this project, sculptural frames emulate the experience of peripheral vision by obscuring a straightforward viewing angle. A photograph is mounted to the inside of the steel frame facing the wall, while a mirror reflects the image towards the viewer. The frames encourage viewers to press their bodies against the wall, crouch below to look up and take multiple angles to view the image shift as their body moves in space. Through presenting photographs that are only visible by way of a mirror, the viewer’s own reflection becomes intertwined with the artwork, and they are urged to confront their perceptual limitations.”

-- Sharon Koelblinger

Dustyn Bork (Batesville, AR), Shaped No. 9, 2019. Acrylic on shaped panel. $2000.

“If we strip architecture from its three-dimensional surroundings, there is a tension between physical space and its illusionary depth. This creates a liminal space between the constructed environment and our spatial response to how we imagine occupying it.”

-- Dustyn Bork

Anya Kotler (Weehawken, NJ), The Conversation, 2020. Oil on panel. $3200.

“This is a painting of a compressed space, a tabletop around which the spiral of a conversation takes place. Sometimes these are the hands of family members who are spending much time in close quarters. The space between us has collapsed, and each brings his or her own wounds onto this small rectangle. At other times the hands are of one individual, her thoughts going in circles within the constraints of the mind.”

- Anya Kotler

Nilou Kazemzadeh (Potomac, MD), The Space Between I, 2019. Ink jet printed photos with screen-printed handwriting. $5000.

“This piece includes two family photographs. One image is of two of my relatives in their orchards in Hossienabad, Iran and the other image is of my childhood self playing outside in Ashton. The black and white edit almost makes this reel of moments seem as though they exist in the same space and time.”

-- Nilou Kazemzadeh

Cecilia Kim (Richmond, VA), Sandcastles, 2019. Video 1:46. NFS.

Sandcastles contemplates how language fails as a communication tool. The text, narrated in Korean by the artist's mother, communicates emotional overtures, while the verse “I am exasperated by my own silence” illustrates the struggle of speaking, both in a foreign language and within a native tongue. Words are caught in the air, lost in the space between two people.”

-- Cecilia Kim

Katie Waugh (Fort Smith, AZ), Citizens/Nationals: Third Country, 2019-2021. 4K Video/No Audio 10:00 minutes. NFS.

“With this work, I invoke the sometimes violent, sometimes routine, experiences of physically encountering a border. Under or adjacent to nearly all of the bridges spanning the northern border of the US, I attempt a mutual connection between my hand and the membrane of water that separates these countries; it's an attempt to assert human presence in liminal space. These waters are distinct and undeniable geologic boundaries, yet between their shores the human ability to perceive this political border is challenged -- while the fluid borderline itself is policed by an ever-intensifying surveillance apparatus.”

-- Katie Waugh

Emily Fussner (Fairfax, VA), Untitled (Embrace), 2020. Pigmented abaca paper pulp with copper wire, cast from asphalt parking lot cracks. $1500.


“When casting cracks in a parking lot, I leave the paper pulp to dry, sometimes for several days. I let cars drive over it-the pressure condensing and strengthening the form – and hope perhaps a pedestrian will notice it and consider that transitional place differently. But then I remove the casting, because I am also interested in re-contextualizing – bringing a record of an overlooked and transient space into a different area, allowing new possibilities to emerge in the encounter. Once removed, the paper keeps the shape of the fracture: a scar that can cast a shadow. A map of specific cracks, with dirt and pine needles still clinging to the fiber. A microscopic diagram of plant cells. The organic form of the body, the heart. An embrace.

"In this sculpture, I am also interested in how the shadows extend the visual space and form, creating another area of liminality.”

-- Emily Fussner

Laura Beth Davidson (Forest, VA), Post-Op, 2020. Digital photograph print. NFS.

“Two days after surgery to remove her kidney and the tumor that had invaded it, my four-year-old daughter walked the halls of the children’s hospital for some exercise and a change of scenery. My husband walked with her, holding the cord of her pulse oximeter. I trailed behind to document everything – the koala hospital gown, her rumpled hair, and the big wide world outside to which we couldn’t wait to get back.”

-- Laura Beth Davidson

Lisa Co (Gainesville, FL), Mountain/Gravel Books, 2018. Digital print, bookmaking. $30 per book.


“This series of books are made using a xerox scanner to break apart and morph words and images into abstract compositions and aleatoric poetry. Inspired by a famous collaboration between Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter entitled Transforming a Mountain Into a Ball of Light, this series explores transitions from understood images and text into an ambiguous space from solid ground to small pieces. Through the comparisons forged between foundations of understanding in text and book forms and foundations of solid meaning, this series asks viewers to accept a space in which narrative is nonlinear and enigmatic.”

-- Lisa Co

Mary Janacek (Fairfield, CT), The Ninth of September Two Thousand and Twenty in San Francisco, 2020. Watercolor, cardboard, glue, paper. $800.

“The colors and gradations in this series are rooted in images of clouds seen in 2020, as converging natural and unnatural disasters of the pandemic, social injustice, and climate change gave way to a landscape of smoke-filled skies. Despite the space between, similar clouds emerged from different locations and moments in time. The work aims to create an inmate visual space for reflection and contemplation on grief, unrest, and transformation. It asks the question: what raises from ruin?”

-- Mary Janacek

Whitney Sage (Naperville, IL), Recession from Homesickness series, 2020. Ink on paper. Prints for $250.

Homesickness Series is a series of monochromatic ink paintings on paper that addresses universal issues of loss as related to our relationship with home and the individual and collective stories lost in the life cycles of urban degradation. Through the evocation of the image of the home and tin type photographs, the paintings play off issues of psychological loss as related to memory and leaving home, and the nostalgic longing that our separation with our primal “home” and the objects within it creates.”

-- Whitney Sage

Harry Mayer (Lorton, VA), my me box, 2021. OSB plywood, plotter print. $600 for full installation, $200 for each print, $200 for the box.

“Over the course of 2020 I have been primarily occupying a single space, my small apartment. I wake up every day in the same space and spend all my time between my bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. It’s confusing, I feel like I’m not supposed to be here and at the same time it’s the only place I can be. It’s the only place I feel safe. I created my me box as a way of being able to see myself in the space that I occupy. I want to understand the space I take up, to better understand the size of myself and see how I exist in space. my me box is built to my own height and shoulder width. It’s a crazy realization standing next to an object that is built to your own dimensions, you truly don’t understand how big you are until you’re standing next to yourself.”

-- Harry Mayer

Jacob Lahah (Richmond, VA), Exit, 2020. Silkscreen, graphite, oil marker, Bulldog clips, fluorescent risograph print on paper. $150.

“My recent drawings in my studio are composed by drawing the architectural skeleton and laser lights of queer night clubs around the city of Richmond from memory. I'm interested in the relationship between nightlife and queer culture, and how many queer people use these spaces a secondary home.”

-- Jacob Lahah


Zachary Z. Handler (Baltimore, MD), Vyette. Washington, DC, USA, 2020. Photograph. NFS.

“In response to COVID-19, I created ERRANDS, a portrait series documenting our shared shelter-in-place experiences from my home to yours. Art is the only way I know how to take care of myself and others. Quarantining posed obvious challenges to engaging with others during such an unprecedented time.

"ERRANDS was born of this desire to provide care while maintaining connections, and it began with Khalid on April 18, 2020. Anyone could sign up for a session; we’d schedule 30 minutes of time to connect over video. I start with a wellness check to make sure someone has asked them, “How are you?” today. Then I set up my phone somewhere in my house - atop laundry, in my freezer, or I'll build them a miniature world - and then I take their portrait.”

-- Zachary Z. Handler

Target Gallery is the contemporary exhibition space for Torpedo Factory Art Center, managed by the City of Alexandria's Office of the Arts, a division of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities.