2014 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence
Featuring large-scale paintings by Ben Grasso, the 2014 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence, that display a realm of the kinetic chaos depicting familiar objects such as houses and trees that have been exploded and float in space. His paintings convey the appearance of transformation mid-genesis, and, according to Artforum magazine critic Ara H. Merjian, evoke images that are “coming undone and revealing how it might be put together again.” Grasso lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Ben Grasso was born in 1979 in Cleveland, Ohio. He holds an MFA in painting from Hunter College, New York, New York and a BFA from Cleveland Institute of Art. His numerous accolades include a 2011 Pollock- Krasner Foundation Grant and the 2010 New York Foundation for the Arts Painting Fellowship. His work has been exhibited across the United States and in Europe as well as being featured in Artforum, Art in America, Harper’s and others.
The Frances Niederer artist-in-residence program allows Hollins University to bring a nationally recognized artist to campus every year. While in residence, the artist creates work in a campus studio and teaches an art seminar open to all students. During their time at Hollins University, the artist-in-residence plays a vital role in the campus and greater Roanoke community
Virginia-based artist Kris Iden creates prints and drawings that explore themes of place, identity, and metaphor through a combination of poetry, biography, and elements of geography. Her exhibition features several selections from her recent series addressing notions of home and the hybridity of various landscapes. Called by arts writer Deborah McLeod “poetry for the eyes,” Iden’s images can be read like text as she embraces both the surrounding ground and the language of line, form, and very subtle color, resulting in delicately nuanced work. Iden is an artist and teacher who has exhibited widely throughout Virginia and has been included in exhibitions in Canada, Chicago, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Peru, and Poland. She has been a residency fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and at Denkmalschmiede Höfgen, Germany. Her awards include the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship and the Visual Arts Award from the Shenandoah Arts Council. She holds an MFA in printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University.
This exhibition features a selection of works in a variety of media that highlight the natural terrain of places both nearby and farther afield. From the mountainous landscapes of Roanoke to the snow-capped vistas of Japan, Landscaped! presents compelling and historically significant works alongside more contemporary pieces from the Wilson Museum’s renowned permanent collection.