Opening September 13, 2015

Cheryl Edwards: Visual Chemistry

Chemistry, the study of how matter and energy interact, informs the construct of scientists and of artists. 

In the art-making practice of Cheryl Edwards, creative investigative inquiry is inspired by familiar sources:  human and political condition, spirituality and mythology, cultural custom and patterns; and place.  In the absence of the former (manifestations of energy), the physical aspects of place remain. Cheryl Edwards: Visual Chemistry exposes an interaction of dichotomies, with imaginative visual interpretation. Edwards explores points of inquiry through the development of series. In the words of the artist: ’Working in series allows for thorough examination of what is being said visually.’

Visual Chemistry is comprised of works from four series, created since 2012. The “CUBA" Series communicates impressions from a 2014 visit to Cuba.  The journey was a kaleidoscopic survey of life, spirituality, culture, art, and political bearing. Two monoprints inspired by political refugee, Assata Shakur, are on view. 

The “NDEBELE PEOPLE – DOLLS RITUAL/PLAY” Series examines the use of dolls by the Ndebele People of South Africa. The works depict the traditional use of dolls for play and for performing rituals. An evolution of the Ndebele Series is the “PLAY” Series, from which four works are presented here.  These abstract works are created in vibrant mixed media hues, on paper and on board.

The "HAPA" (‘Half-Asian, Pacific-American’) Series. The acronym HAPA is rooted in Hawaiian contemporary culture. The HAPA Series is a unique visual exploration of multiculturalism within families and social culture.  The series of twelve portraits documents the ancestry of five families. Included from this series in Visual Chemistry is “The Lims”.  Featured from The EPI Series are two alluring collagraphs created during a 2015 printmaking residency at the Experimental Printmaking Institute at Lafayette College in Easton Pennsylvania.

Earlier series of note include “The Civil Rights Movements” (2014), an ongoing series exploring the historical documentation of the civil rights movement in America; “Occupy America” (2011), thirty mixed media works that commemorate the Occupy Movement; and “The Return” (2007), a narrative that probes the dark period of enslavement of the Senegalese people. The series chronicles their forced departure through the “Door of No Return”, and entry into the history of the Diaspora. 

Cheryl D. Edwards was born in Miami Beach, Florida. She began her studies in art during 1988 in New York City at the Art Student League. A student of the late Ernest Crichlow, she communicates her vision with a vocabulary of shape, repetition, and a richly hued palette that is decisive. Her work has been exhibited nationally, and in Europe and Asia. She is a resident of Washington, D.C., and is a 2015 DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Fellowship grantee.