Spruill Art Gallery, 2010
About Face: “The act of pivoting in the opposite direction. A military command to turn clockwise 180°. A total change in attitude or viewpoint.”
About Face takes this phrase literally in presenting artists that look for the unexpected, see things from an alternative perspective and observe what others don’t always see. The artists included in the exhibition Jason Francisco, Kael Alford, Neil Jones, Bryan Metz, Chandler Leathers, Matt Haffner, Wes Airgood and Sandy Hooper exemplify this perspective. Each in their own way, these artists have documented, responded to, and have been moved by what they have observed. Their work provides a personal interpretation of situations, events and people that is often missed by the casual observer. Their work draws us in by revealing the unexpected side of a situation or event, highlighting the overlooked, the unobvious or the neglected. In revealing these viewpoints they make us empathetic, compassionate and understanding. Their eyes become ours and we see and experience their vision.
Whether they are the brave young soldiers who serve our country, the faces of the crowds who pledge their cause of peace together, the refugee families that have paved their way to a new life or the recording of the chilling episodes of war, they share in common the underlying theme of humanity, the pathos and immense bravery of service to a cause and responsibility for social awareness.
About Face is about facing realities often overlooked. It is about the consequences of choices and the contradictions they uncover. It is about understanding the full range of human action and reaction. In a world where viewpoints have become increasingly polarized, these artists invite us to share in a collective vision of inclusion and diversity.