Roxana Geffen, Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi, Austin Shull, Michele Colburn, Dawn Whitmore

Reasoned Likelihood, May 2017

For our May and June shows, Grizzly Grizzly is pleased to present a two-part exchange exhibition featuring the Artists in Residenceat Arlington Art Center [AAC] in Virginia. This two-month series views the AAC resident artists’ work through the lens of two creative hypotheses: Instinct and Reason. In the May iteration, titled Reasoned Likelihood, the curated work straddles a compelling space between the cultural/political and the personal. In Instinctive Naturalness, which will run June 2nd to the 25th, the artists create work inspired by memory, emotion, and first-hand experience.

The five artists in Reasoned Likelihood filter society, politics, and culture through an innately personal framework. Each employs concrete references to our social or global world, whether in their choices of material, imagery, or subject. Michele Colburn subtly comments on our military industrial complex through her gunpowder drawings; the images are suggestive of murky landscapes and devoid of figures. Likewise, Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi references an ambiguous topography.  In her piece, “I am silent for I have seen nothing #1,” abstract layers hint at the surface of another planet, but the subtle lines actually trace the boundaries of countries in the Middle East.

While Ilchi and Colburn explore the dark side of our the political landscape, the works of Roxana Alger Geffen and Austin Shullprovide a humorous counterpoint. Shull’s large photographic works are a kaledescopic mash-ups that collapse images ranging from Ronald Reagan to Rubik’s cubes, while Gefen’s textile-based combines are equal parts Minecraft fantasy and grandma’s hand-me-downs. To round out the show, Dawn Whitmore’s whimsical photographs shows aspects of American society not often depicted in the art world -- with both insight and ambiguity.

The artists of Grizzly Grizzly collective are currently featured in the exhibition Future Imperfect Continuous at Arlington Arts Center in Virginia.  That exhibition is on view until June 11, 2017.

Artist Bios

Michele Colburn was born in Washington, DC and continues to live and work in the nation's capital. Her work comments on the idea of military indoctrination that comes from the external sociocultural arena and internal sources from inside the family. She also creates work that addresses military-style violence within our culture.  Colburn holds a B.A. in Art History from Franklin & Marshall College and an MFA from American University (2012). The artist has worked in the arts for better than 20 years and has lived in various states in the U.S. including New York, Maryland, Arizona, and Colorado. Colburn has exhibited in group exhibitions nationally in Baltimore, Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, DC and had two solo exhibitions in Washington, DC in 2015.

Roxana Alger Geffen works with a variety of media and techniques, including painting, photography, textile art and installation. She has an MFA in Painting from Boston University. Now, she is a resident artist at the Arlington Arts Center, in Arlington, VA, and lives in D.C. with her husband and three children. She has shown her work in solo and group shows in D.C., Virginia, New York, Boston, Vermont, Atlanta and Denver, as well as in Wellington, New Zealand. Her work has been featured in a number of publications—most recently in the April issue of Sculpture Magazine—and is part of several private and corporate collections, including the District of Columbia’s Council for the Arts and Humanities Washingtonia Collection.

Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi was born in Tehran, Iran and lives and works in the Washington DC area. Her paintings function as metaphors for the complexities that emanate from her polarized cultural identity. Ilchi received her MFA from American University and her BFA from the Corcoran College of Art + Design. Ilchi has participated in solo and group exhibitions in Washington DC, Baltimore MD, New York City, Los Angeles CA, Birmingham AL, and Winston-Salem NC.

Austin Shull was born in Washington, DC, and is a multi-disciplinary artist. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture summer of 2008, and the Whitney Independent Study Program 2007-2008. Shull received an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2007 and a BA from the Bard College in 2001. He has exhibited work nationally and internationally at venues including the Cooper Union, Syracuse University, International Print Center, Pratt Institute, Nurture Art, and Exit Art.

Dawn Whitmore is a Washington DC based documentary photographer and visual artist whose work focuses on gender and identity. She received a BFA from the Corcoran School of Art in 2005. She is presently a resident in the competitive residency program at the Arlington Arts Center in Arlington, Virginia.  Her work has been shown in numerous venues including: the Corcoran Gallery of Art (DC), Mesa Museum of Contemporary Art (AZ), Hemphill Fine Arts Carroll Square Gallery (DC), Area 405 (MD), Spring Gallery (NY) and featured during DC FotoWeek and the Dumbo Arts Festival in NYC. She is a recipient of a DC Commission for the Art & Humanities Artist Fellowship Grant (2016 & 2017) and recently contributed a feature photo essay in the Virginia Quarterly Rev