Exhibition: Inevitable Expansion 4/5/19 – 5/19/19
By Steve Wanna and Marcel Taylor
Opening Reception 4/5/19 6-9PM
Steve Wanna is a multi-disciplinary sound and visual artist whose work includes music, sound design for dance collaborations, sculpture, installation, photography, and works for mixed media. Born and raised in Lebanon, he immigrated to the United States with his family as a teenager, eventually receiving a doctorate in Music Composition from the University of Maryland in 2004. Most of Wannaâ€™s work generally falls into one of two broad categories, both informed by the principles of emergence and auspicious coincidence as defined in systems theory, swarm intelligence theory, and Buddhism: under the right conditions, great beauty can emerge without the need for much intervention. The first category includes works that highlight or capture the moment of their creation, a process frozen in anticipation of the potential of unfolding. These works are usually mixed media and draw on experimental techniques that use materials like paints, powders, and wax in atypical ways. The second includes works that are in constant flux, perpetually in states of becoming rather than being. These tend to utilize various electronic components driven by software designed by the artist to create carefully controlled randomness, which imbues the works with a sense of autonomous life. His compositions have received national and international performances and his artwork has been presented in galleries and venues across the United States. He has been teaching Sound Recording and Music Technology at the college level for the past decade.
A native of Houston, Texas, Marcel Taylorâ€™s love affair with art began when he was a toddler. In 1988, he
received a scholarship to the fine arts program at Howard University, in Washington, D.C. Marcel also
received his Masterâ€™s degree in Art from Lesley University 2017.
Marcelâ€™s current body of work illuminates the changing landscape of Washington DC and urban renewal.
Urban renewal is paradoxical, as it bolsters commerce and revives neglected neighborhoods. However,Â when renewal runs amuck, newcomers confiscate occupied communities and displace nativeÂ inhabitants. As Marcel considers urban renewal and gentrification, his paintings conjure images of urbanÂ dynamism, commotion, pandemonium, and chaos. Though his works are non-representational, theyÂ contain architectural elements which allude to the hardships of displaced communities and vulnerableÂ people. Multi-layered with paper and collage, his paintings reflect the layers of socio-economicÂ complexities driving so-called urban renewal initiatives.
Marcel has exhibited his work in many shows throughout the D.C. metropolis, as well as in otherÂ prominent cities, including: Philadelphia, Baltimore New York City, Chicago, and San Diego. Marcel has
also won several artistic grants and awards, including a public arts grant and an individual artisticÂ fellowship, both in 2018. Currently, Marcel resides in Washington DC, where he continues to createÂ contemporary work that addresses the shifting DC landscape.