Exploring themes from the natural world, Andrea Uravitch creates mixed media sculptures of mammals, insects, fish, birds, reptiles, and amphibians often integrating vegetation and other elements from their habitat. Through careful research, the artist studies her subjects before translating the forms, patterns, colors and textures she observes to construct exquisitely crafted animals using clay, steel, fiber, paper and other materials.
In her solo exhibition “Land, Sea, and Air”, which will be at the BlackRock Center for the Arts September 16 through October 28, Uravitch combines individual sculptural works in tableaus and installations intended to immerse the viewer and encourage contemplation of our relationship to and responsibility for preserving the environment.
Born in Cleveland, Uravitch earned a BFA at the Cleveland Institute of Art where she majored in fiber with minors in textile design and ceramics. The award-winning artist has exhibited her work regionally, nationally and internationally in galleries and museums which include the Textile Museum and Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, DC. A long-time resident of Virginia, Uravitch maintains her studio practice in Falls Church.
For the past 45 years, Uravitch has explored nature themes in mixed media sculptures focused on animals and their environment.
“First I study an animal by going to the library or the Smithsonian Institution,” says the artist, “I also go and find a live example and take pictures in a garden, the woods near home, or the zoo.” She then makes scale drawings, selects materials, welds steel armatures, sculpts clay and wire forms, applies layers of paint, makes paper and silkscreen prints, and constructs fiber and fabric elements using a variety of crochet, sewing and embroidery details. It takes from two weeks to three months for Uravitch to complete a piece, depending on the complexity.
Uravitch believes her work is most successful when it provokes a reaction in people. “Sometimes it’s as simple as just getting people to realize how beautiful insects really are,” says the artist. Her sculptural works are designed to stand alone as individual and complete works, but she often combines them in tableaus and installations intended to draw the viewer in.
“It’s important for me that the observer becomes part of the environment that I create,” says Uravitch. She hopes that by spending time viewing her larger-than-life insects, lizards, frogs and other creatures, we will be reminded of the interaction between humans and nature.
BlackRock Center for the Arts will present the solo exhibition “Andrea Uravitch: Land, Sea, and Air” in the Terrace Gallery from Saturday, Sept. 16 through Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. A companion exhibition features a series of works by New Image Artists B.J. Adams, Mary Beth Bellah, Jeanne Benson, Linda Colsh, Joan Dreyer, Candace Edgerley, Catherine Kleeman, Dominie Nash, and Saaraliisa Ylitalo who were challenged by Andrea Uravitch to create works that emphasize awareness of how land, sea and air are impacted by climate change. The public is invited to a “Meet the Artists Reception” on Sunday, September 17, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
Admission to the galleries at BlackRock Center for the Arts is always free. The Terrace Gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Special evening and Sunday hours are offered when performances and classes are held at the center. Please call 301-528-2260 to confirm.
Images courtesy BlackRock Center for the Arts.