This spring, Virginia-based artist Craig Pleasants will display drawings and a site-specific sculpture installation in Babcock Gallery at Sweet Briar College. “New Work” opens with a reception and gallery talk by the artist at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14. The exhibition is on view until May 5.
The focus of the show will be a large-scale piece constructed of various materials, such as wood, cardboard, used clothing, BFK Rives drawing paper, aluminum foil and the existing, movable walls in the gallery. Pleasants is well known for his functional in- and outdoor installations, but this time, he’s adding a twist: Instead of completing the entire sculpture beforehand, he will be adding to it as the exhibition progresses.
“I have challenged myself to try to do something that can be visited many times over the course of a semester and remain new and fresh,” he said.
“In effect, I will come into the gallery at intervals during the semester and add things or take things away or change things or create large-scale drawings onto the form.”
Sweet Briar galleries director Karol Lawson believes Pleasants’ emphasis on site-specific, unfolding art will fit right in with the College’s dynamic academic (and architectural) landscape.
“Craig’s work will resonate with classes such as Professor Tracy Hamilton’s popular art history course ‘The Land as Art,’ as well as with a new initiative … from the Friends of Art to commission an original sculpture for the Cochran Library renovation and addition.”
Pleasants is the artistic director at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA), an artists’ retreat in Amherst. He has exhibited in numerous venues across the country and in Europe for more than 30 years. His shows have included site-specific installations, life-size sculptures, drawings and multimedia performances. He is the recipient of several grants, including three fellowships from the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Pleasants studied at the University of North Carolina, receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture in 1976. He went on to study at L’Institut d’Arts Visuels in Orleans, France, before moving on to Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C., where he completed his M.Ed. in humanities in 1983. To learn more, visit craigpleasants.com.
Babcock Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and closed when the College is not in session. It is recommended that visitors call ahead to confirm hours. For more information, contact Karol Lawson at [email protected] or (434) 381-6248.