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Introduction

The Alloy Project, the inaugural Tephra ICA Annual Benefit, will take place on Saturday, October 15, 2022, offering new collaborative artworks for purchase and free arts experiences for audiences of all ages culminating in a ticketed evening Cocktail Event. This year, The Alloy Project invites five pairings of contemporary artists to engage in a process of creative response, generating five original collaborative works of art and a series of limited-edition prints. Like an alloy, these art works result from bringing together two distinct elements, creating new synergies and possibilities.

The evening Cocktail Event will bring together artists, collectors, arts enthusiasts, and professional leaders from the Washington, DC metropolitan community and beyond. Featuring works for purchase from The Alloy Project, honored guests, artist dialogues, live music, and a special performance, this event promises to be our most vibrant night of the year.

Throughout the day, visitors can view the Dominic Chambers: What Makes the Earth Shake exhibition at the Tephra ICA gallery, drop-in for a handmade papermaking workshop led by the Navigation Press from George Mason University, enjoy a public concert in the park hosted by Reston Town Center Association, and explore the VMFA Artmobile – the state-of-the-art traveling museum on wheels presented by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts – providing an opportunity to experience and explore authentic works of art directly from the VMFA collection.

The Alloy Project - Events - Tephra ICA

Schedule of Events

11am–4pm
View the Dominic Chambers: What Makes the Earth Shake exhibition at Tephra ICA gallery and the Danni O'Brien: Cross Sections exhibition at Tephra ICA at Signature (both free)

11am–8pm
Explore the VMFA Artmobile, a traveling museum from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (free)

12pm–2pm
Drop-in for a papermaking workshop led by George Mason University’s Navigation Press (free)

2–3:30pm
Enjoy a concert by Eric Byrd Trio in Reston Town Square Park, courtesy of Reston Town Center Association

8pm–11pm
Ticketed Cocktail Event at the Avant | 12025 Town Square St, Reston, VA 20190 (General Admission $75). Featuring a special, collaborative performance by Boris Willis and Rex Delafkaran and live music by DJ Geena Marie. Cocktails and d’oeuvres by Balducci’s. Masks encouraged. Ticket holders can view the Dominic Chambers: What Makes the Earth Shake exhibition between 8–9pm.

Click Here to Purchase Your Ticket

About The Alloy Project

The Alloy Project is a new fundraising initiative and collaborative artwork series rooted in Tephra ICA’s mission to promote innovative contemporary art and thought.

An alloy, known as the result of combining two or more metallic elements, provides the opportunity for enhanced strength and other beneficial qualities. Tephra ICA has invited five contemporary artists each to engage in a process of creative response with another artist of their choice, to create an artwork that, like an alloy, creates new synergies and possibilities. 

Their dually authored artworks, showcasing the interaction between two distinct voices in contemporary art, will be reproduced by Tephra ICA as special, signed limited edition prints that will be for sale all day at the Annual Benefit; and the original artworks, as applicable, will be available for auction during the Cocktail Event.

Participating Artists

Charles Jean Pierre & Laurenee Gauvin
Joseph Shetler & Mary Early
Anne C. Smith & Sarah Irvin
Olivia Tripp Morrow & Emily Fussner
Omolará Williams McCallister & Jessica Valoris


A first-time experience of commissioning collaboration, The Alloy Project fosters experimentation and creative exchange by pioneering artists working in a variety of media. Tephra ICA is at an exciting and transformative moment, where the future of the institution is taking shape. Proceeds from the Annual Benefit support Tephra ICA’s work and commitment to contemporary art, artists, and access to this work; and raises essential funds to further the institution’s presentation of regional to internationally acclaimed exhibitions, unique educational programs, and forward-thinking initiatives.

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Charles Jean Pierre

Charles Philippe Jean-Pierre is a Haitian American artist groomed on Chicago’s south side. Stark contradictions of beauty and power, as a theme, are ever-present as a theoretical and methodological struggle within his overall body of work. His multimedia paintings speak to the nexus of political, social, and economic structures and is representative of the synergy, or lack thereof, between societal perceptions and reality. 

He is currently an adjunct professor at American University in the Fine Arts department. His work can be found in the permanent collection of the U.S. Embassy in Cotonou, Benin West Africa, and has been highlighted by numerous media outlets, including The Washington Post, Ebony Magazine, Black Enterprise, NHK Japan, The Village Voice, BET, NBC, Netflix, and FOX. Jean-Pierre was a President Obama White House invitee for the role of art education in promoting national youth justice. He holds a MA from Howard University and has created public art murals in South Africa, Panama, New York, Chicago, Washington, Istanbul, Montreal, Port-au-Prince, London, and Paris.

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Laurenee Gauvin

Laurenee Gauvin is an interdisciplinary artist based in Maryland. As a young child born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Gauvin was inspired by her father’s artistic passions. At the age of 4, she began sketching on sticky notes and would later sell them to her family and friends. At that moment, she embarked on her creative journey. During her initial years stateside at the age of 14, Gauvin had to adapt to the new American lifestyle all while struggling with a language barrier, cultural differences, and much more. This allowed Gauvin to mold into the artist she is today creating a pitcher for passions to pour and to use art as a form of expression. 

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Joseph Shetler

Joseph Shetler (American, b. 1984) is an American post-minimalist artist. He approaches post-minimalism with a Mennonite lens, basing his aesthetic off of ana-baptist theology and simple way of life as well as art history.

Shetler has exhibited nationally at The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Step Gallery in Phoenix, AZ, Goshen College, IN, and internationally at Dr. J Art Projects in Berlin, Germany. His work is included in the collection of Arizona State University and Hesston College and in private collections globally. He was educated at Hesston College (AA 2004), Goshen College (BA 2006), and Arizona State University (MFA 2014). He lives in Hyattsville, MD.

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Mary Early

Mary Early (born 1975, Washington, DC) lives and works in Washington, DC. She studied visual art, film, and video at Bennington College, and her work has been exhibited at the United States Botanic Garden (Washington DC), Washington Project for the Arts (Washington DC), the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington DC), Second Street Gallery (Charlottesville, VA), Hemphill Fine Arts (Washington DC), the Austrian Cultural Forum (Washington DC), Galerie Im Ersten (Vienna, Austria), Kloster Schloss Salem (Salem, Germany), Kunstlerbund Tubingen (Tubingen, Germany), the American University Museum (Washington DC), and the Sun Valley Museum of Art (Ketchum, ID) among other regional and national galleries. 

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Anne C. Smith

Anne C. Smith is an artist based in Washington, DC. Smith studied silkscreen printmaking with Master Printmaker Lou Stovall while working as his studio assistant and later served as master printmaker on a silkscreened book edition at George Mason University’s Navigation Press. She has taught drawing at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, George Mason University, and Northern Virginia Community College. 

Her practice has been enriched by poetry, woodworking studies at the Penland School of Craft, and artist residencies with Artist Mother Studio at Washington Project for the Arts, the Kala Art Institute, and the Torpedo Factory Art Center. She is represented by Adah Rose Gallery.

 

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Sarah Irvin

Sarah Irvin earned a Master of Fine of Arts in Painting from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Drawing from the University of Georgia. 

Irvin has been featured in more than twenty solo shows, as well as more than fifty group exhibitions, across the United States and abroad. Irvin’s work is included in the collections of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Capital One, Four Seasons Hotel, Federal Reserve Bank, and Royal Caribbean, as well as the private collections of Quirk Hotel, Try-Me Urban Restoration Project, and the University of Richmond. 

She is the founder of the Artist Parent Index, a searchable database of artists making work about their experience with reproduction and caring for their children. Irvin is represented by Kathryn Markel Fine Arts and Massey Klein Gallery, both in New York City. She lives and works in Richmond, VA. 

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Olivia Tripp Morrow

Olivia Tripp Morrow is a Washington-DC based multimedia artist whose work broadly examines gender, sexuality, beauty, and the body. For the last several years, Morrow’s work has been rooted in fiber-based installations that incorporate materials imbued with personal and cultural meaning. 

In January of 2020, Morrow’s body was surgically augmented to halt a progressive spine disorder, which brought the focus of her practice to the physical body: proprioception, pain, resilience. Her most recent works explore the abilities and limitations of her ‘new’ body through a wide variety of mediums, including embroidery, paint, charcoal, graphite, sculpture, performance, and video. 

Morrow's work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. She has had solo exhibitions at Arlington Arts Center (2021), IA & A at Hillyer (2019), Anacostia Arts Center (2019), and Point of Contact Gallery (2013). She has a forthcoming solo exhibition at VisArts (Rockville, MD) in May 2023. Morrow holds a BFA in Sculpture from Syracuse University, and she is a current Resident Artist at Arlington Arts Center.

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Emily Fussner 

Emily Fussner is a multidisciplinary artist whose work highlights and transforms peripheral patterns of light and cracks in everyday spaces, exploring questions of transience and presence; fragility and strength; and perception and care.

She is based in the Washington, DC area and has had solo exhibitions at Arlington Arts Center (2021), IA&A at Hillyer (2019), and has created site-specific installations for Georgetown Glow (2021) and The Foggy Bottom Outdoor Sculpture Biennial (2018). 

Fussner holds an MFA in Visual Arts from George Mason University (2019), during which she was awarded 2018-2019 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Graduate Fellowship and a summer residency at GlogauAIR through American University’s MFA Studio Berlin in 2018. Emily is currently a resident artist at Arlington Arts Center and is the Events Manager & Resident Designer for Washington Project for the Arts.

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Omolará Williams McCallister 

Omolará Williams McCallister (pronouns: o, love, beloved) (born 1990, Atlanta, GA) lives and works in Baltimore, MD. O’s work is a call and response blend of sculpture, performance, installation, ritual, space holding, community building, surface design, adornment, word, sound, song, movement, moving images, and photography. 

The roles that Ọmọlará steps into include artist, educator, organizer, cultural strategist, conjurer. In all forms O’s work is immersive and interactive, it is co-authored by the people who inspire and encounter it. O holds an MA from Maryland Institute of College of Art. 

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Jessica Valoris

Jessica Valoris is a Washington, DC based artist and community facilitator. Weaving together mixed media painting, sound collage, and ritual performance, Jessica creates sacred spaces that activate ancestral wisdom, personal reflection, and community care.

Inspired by the earth-based traditions of her Black American and Jewish ancestry, Jessica explores ideas through the lens of metaphysics, spirituality, and Afrofuturism. Using art as a catalyst for collective healing, Valoris affirms the joy and vitality of Black people, complicating flattened histories of oppression, and creating space for affirmative celebration and re-definition. Jessica values collaboration with community-based cultural workers and collectives, and her work supports culturally-relevant wellness and resilience.

Jessica Valoris is currently a Studio Fellow at VisArts and is an alumna of the Public Interest Design Lab, Intercultural Leadership Institute and Halcyon Arts Lab. Iterations of her most recent body of work, Black Fugitive Folklore, have been shown at the Phillips Collection, The Kreeger Museum, Africana Film Festival, and Brentwood Arts Exchange. Her interactive installation, Phone Home debuted at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center in Austin, TX. Her interactive Xigga Project and Dope and Different portrait series has been featured at Anacostia Arts Center, Culture Coffee Too, Afrotectopia NYC, and Harvard University’s Black in Design Conference. Jessica has been an ensemble member of Body Ecology Performance Ensemble, and is a co-creator of the Colored Girls Hustle Hard Mixtape.

Support for the Alloy Project is Generously Provided By:

Cochairs
Ricki Marion
Shane Ziegler

Host Committee
Ruth Abrahams
Joanne and David Bauer
Caitlin Berry
Leonor and Eduardo Brazão
Jim and Karen Cleveland
Scott and Maureen Cryer
Ila and Reggie Forster
Alissa Maru
Allison Nance
Sue and Terry Robinson
Renée Stout
Usha Subramanian

Sponsors
Signature Arts & Community Sponsor
Reston Community Center

Additional Sponsors and Partners
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
The Avant
Navigation Press
George Mason University
Broadway Gallery
Reston Town Center Association
Mayflowers Floral Studios

 

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