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SolArt Center presents sculpture show, kicks off summer season in Staunton Wharf

“Fine (not) Fine” opens Friday, May 24, at SolArt Center, 6 Byers Street, Staunton. Courtesy of SolArt Center.

SolArt Center in the Staunton Wharf presents a sculptural exhibit titled “Fine (not) Fine” that showcases three local artists.

On Friday, May 24th, an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. will begin the summer art show season in the burgeoning community arts space. The show will extend through Monday, May 27th.

JMU Visiting Assistant Professor Maryalice Carroll, JMU MFA candidate Michelle A. Smith and Staunton artist Jeremy J. Starn relate their experience navigating the fraught human experience through their distinctive and thought-provoking sculptures. With an assemblage of expressive ceramics and mixed-media models, the artwork is often unnerving, sometimes abject, but always transcendent.

The artists ask themselves: How do we relate our inner conflict to the world around us? Reacting to both over stimulation and reconciliation of trauma, the artists delve into the personal struggles of navigating life saturated with loss and anxieties as unseen forces bring up vicious cycles of self-sabotage manifested in both internal and external turmoil.

Maryalice Carroll describes her work as “what happens to the body when it is overwhelmed with feeling. I explore this idea through playfully abstract clay bodies with intensely textural glazes. Each of these lumpy beings is covered in large pores that ooze bodily fluid.”

SolArt Center is a new community arts space with the mission of providing a safe place for creative expression through art, music, film and story. The center highlights the underlying artistic culture that is a bedrock of Staunton and gives light to anyone who wishes to share their passion.

From play readings to show and tells, SolArt Center brings people together over their love of sharing and community.

Co-Founders Wes Wyse (also owner of Eclectic Retro) and Rachel Towns opened the center in November 2023 with a vision for an alternative space for artistic expression of all stripes. Past events included the infamous Verbatim/Verboten production, live music, craft fairs, art markets, movie nights and weekly yoga.

SolArt Center is at 6 Byers Street, Staunton.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.