The Washington Post

Art in focus: DC Arts Center Decathlon

Lee Gainer used diamond ads from magazines for the collage “Facets,” one of her tongue-in-cheek works inspired by the engagement ring industry. (Lee Gainer)

Four local artists are off to the races tonight when the DC Arts Center Decathlon kicks off with an opening reception from 7-9 p.m. The work by finalists Shanthi Chandrasekar, Lee Gainer, Lisa Rosenstein and Mary Woodall uses 10 media to investigate a theme of each artist’s choosing. The result: a diverse show of prints, photography, textiles, video and more that can range from playful to ponderous and abstract to heavily concrete, while always remaining thought provoking

Gainer stumbled upon this tableau while walking the streets of London. It served as the ideal subject for her decathlon photography entry. Other work, which Gainer intentionally keeps amusing and accessible, includes an audio clip, titled “The Gem Jam,” of wedding-related sound bites from ads, television shows, movies and songs. (Lee Gainer)

Lisa K. Rosenstein’s series looks at the ways we measure time, including a drawing of uniquely patterned boxes representing each day leading up to the decathlon. In “Memento Mori 18” a print of an egg serves as a foil to an obituary clipping.(Lisa K Rosenstein)

Given that much of Rosenstein’s work is white on white (with a few examples of gray and black hues), the colorful work "The Seed" stands out. The seemingly cheery collage is composed of obituary newspaper clippings, except Rosenstein displays what’s on the reverse of the Metro page — the weather forecast. (Lisa K Rosenstein)

Mary Woodall’s series, "You Can Always Tell a Lady By Her Hands," looks at the gender roles she perceived growing up in a blue collar town. Her painting submission, the cleaned and shined hood of an old Opel that she found at a junkyard, expresses both the masculine — a hunger for speed and power — and the feminine, through the process of polishing. Her other works include a peep show of an apron, made from exploded airbags, and a sculpture using car parts and a tube covered in a crocheted creation. (Mary Woodall)

Shanthi Chandrasekar’s work uses a central theme of weaving to explore everything from parallel universes to technological advancements to her own brain. The photo “Hanging By a Thread,” taken in her native India, captures an antiquated form of weaving. Her audio piece features the sounds of manual weaving, which is slowly drowned out by the whirring of modern machinery. (Shanthi Chandrasekar)

Her drawing “One Reality to Another Reality” features layer upon layer of pattern under threads that are at once perfectly arranged and entirely tangled. (Shanthi Chandrasekar)
Washington-area native Stephanie Merry covers movies and pop culture for the Post.


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