It’s quite challenging to select just three artists living and working in Washington that I respect and admire–there are so many more!
The three that I’m highlighting here have my respect and admiration because of their dedication to their personal creative practices and their rootedness in the traditions of their craft. They each have their own approach to material and concept. All have a strong command of traditional art fundamentals and are able to bend and expand their preferred mediums into unique expressions.
Though I’ve not yet met Whiting Tennis in person, I’ve got quite an affinity with his work. I’m drawn to the use of color, line and form in his work. There’s a visual clarity that draws me to the work; it’s primal yet of today. I appreciate what seems to me to be a nod to historical traditions of mark-making, painting, sculpture and design. It’s also evident that Tennis is following his own vision through a very personal process of developing his work.
I’m drawn to a series of glazed stoneware works of Cat’s that I’ve only ever seen online. I’m moved by the materiality, intimate scale, and seemingly ephemeral aspects of the work including the subtle mark-making and fragile edges. The artist’s commitment to an intentional and examined life is evident throughout.
There are two facets to this artist that inspire me. Pietrantoni is committed to helping others develop their own aptitude and passion for art-making through her work as a college professor. Her dedication to others is inspiring. Then there is also the physical work which I’ve found to be compelling over the years as I’ve seen it shift and morph in subtle ways: materiality, points of physical connection, conceptual underpinnings, exploration of color.