TIMESTAMP / Jean Blackburn, Leslie Hirst, Martie Holmer and Thomas Lyon Mills

March 9 to March 29, 2012

Leslie Hirst (L), Thomas Lyon Mills (R)

Martie Holmer (L) Jean Blackburn (R)

The Chazan Gallery is presenting TIMESTAMP, an exhibition of works by Jean Blackburn, Leslie Hirst, Martie Holmer and Thomas Lyon Mills from March 9 to March 29 2012. There will be an opening reception for the artists on Gallery Night, Thursday, March 15, from 5 – 7 p.m. The public is invited.

Through the manipulation of familiar domestic objects, Jean Blackburn examines the complex and layered associations we make with the everyday items that surround us. Blackburn's paintings build upon scanned images from home-furnishing catalogues, which she layers with silk screen and hand painting. She writes, "As a sculptor, and as a painter, my work examines the negotiation of cultural model and individual experience in the domestic setting".

Blackburn has taught in the Illustration department at RISD since 1982. She has exhibited widely throughout the US and abroad, including the DeCordova Museum and the Neuberger Museum. She holds a B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design and an M.F.A from Yale University.

Leslie Hirst's current work, The Graffiti Project, "examines the way in which the visible word is woven into the social context of societies". Focusing on the materiality of the written word, Hirst creates multi-layered works which reference the forms of graffiti that she extracts from the environment. Hirst's broad fascination with visual patterns in both natural and man-made environments pervades her work.

Hirst received a B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an M.F.A from the Maryland Institute College of Art. She has exhibited in solo exhibitions at Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York NY, and in group exhibitions at VI Biennale di Soncino Marco, Soncino, Italy among many others. Hirst is currently Assistant Professor at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Martie Holmer draws inspiration from diverse sources; the works exhibited here are influenced by "geometric patterns of Venetian floor tiles, the sidewalks of New York, rebuilt ancient cities and the ever-present power of water to bring life as well as to change and destroy". Holmer's work demonstrates a love of color, history, symbols, organic forms and physical structures.

Holmer has exhibited widely, including a solo show at RISD Works, Providence, RI and group shows at the Providence Art Club and the Boston Center for the Arts. She has produced hand drawn and digital maps for various publications including The New York Times and Simon and Schuster. Holmer has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design since 1985.

Thomas Lyon Mills is the only non-archaeologist granted access to work and explore alone inside the Roman catacombs. Working on paper with watercolor, ink, charcoal and other materials, Mills documents his experience of this ancient space. He develops his pieces slowly, "cross-pollinating ideas, locations, and subject matter". In the studio, the process is extended by the construction of three-dimensional models. "All my sites are transformed into one world – one cosmology – one overwhelming threshold where the seen and the unseen co-exist".

Mills has exhibited his work throughout the US and Italy. He has held solo shows at Indiana University, the University of Arkansas and Lenore Gray Gallery in Providence, RI. His work is held in the collections of the Boston Athenaeum, the Arkansas Arts Center and the DeCordova Museum. In 2011, he was awarded the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship in Painting.