Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Local pop-inspired artist receives D.C. arts grant

Per press release from College of Southern Maryland

A College of Southern Maryland art professor known for his affinity to superheroes, childhood nostalgia and science fiction has been honored with a fellowship grant. 

Professor Andrew Wodzianski has received an artist fellowship grant for 2017 by the District of Columbia’s Commission for the Arts and Humanities. 

“The grant is wildly important in part because it has no funding restriction. With no unallowable costs, I can choose how to best spend this award for my art practice,” Wodzianski said. “A portion of the grant will certainly pay for expendable materials, but I'll also use the funds to travel and conduct research.” 

College of Southern Maryland Art Professor Andrew Wodzianski
has been awarded an artist fellowship grant for 2017 by the District
of Columbia’s Commission for the Arts and Humanities. (Photo: CSM)
 The honor and the funding that comes along with the artist fellowship grant came at an opportune time for Wodzianski, who will be on sabbatical from CSM from June through January 2018. During that time, he plans to pursue his own art projects and hopes to be selected for a residency. He is also scheduled to curate two fine art shows. “These exhibits are an exciting balancing act between rose-colored nostalgia and newly transcendent images,” he said. “The artists I've selected have one foot planted in their childhood, and another dangling over a pool of prophetic slime. That may sound horrifying to some, but I assure you — it's a fun position to find yourself.” 

Both Wodzianski and his art are quirky and memorable. The art he creates reflects pop culture, particularly pop culture from his childhood growing up in northwest Pennsylvania. He is a fan of film ephemera, and he incorporates that interest into his art. For instance, this summer he created a series of color theory exercises on blueprints of vehicles that were used in the television show “Star Trek.” That series was juried into a group exhibit “Emulsion” that will take place in March at the Pepco Edison Place Gallery in Washington, D.C. His office at CSM reflects his interest in film, science fiction and horror as well. Students who visit his office are met with walls covered with posters from old horror movies, skulls placed amid the books and games on his shelves, and fantasy and superhero collectible figures studding the walls, shelves and ceiling.

In 2011, the Tony Hungerford Memorial Art Gallery at CSM hosted an exhibit of Wodzianski’s work, “Games We Play,” that was inspired by board games and drawing toys from Wodzianski’s childhood. In 2010, Wodzianski himself became art when he lived in a storefront window for two weeks on U Street NW in Washington, DC.

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