BLACKSBURG, Va., Feb. 15, 2010 – Janet Niewald, an artist and senior instructor of art in Virginia Tech's School of Visual Arts, College of Architecture and Urban Studies, is currently featured in a one-person exhibition at Washington and Lee University and is soon to be featured in a national exhibition in New York City.
The paintings in “Off the Bridge” are an outgrowth of Niewald's walks to the North Fork of the Roanoke River below her house and studio in the Ellett Valley outside of Blacksburg. The organic material and brush cast up by the river, and various approaches and metaphorical allusions that developed from the experience of seeing off or from bridges over the river, were catalysts for the work in this show.
Niewald was selected for the 185th annual Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary American Art, Feb. 17-June 8, at the National Academy Museum, 1083 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y.
“The exhibition includes an array of artists and art-making strategies from emerging and veteran abstractionists to representational artists addressing issues of identity and sexuality,” said Marshall Price, curator of modern and contemporary art at the National Academy Museum. Niewald was previously invited to the 179th installation of this same exhibition.
Her work has been included in many juried competitions, including the Bowery Gallery, the Prince Street Gallery, and the First Street Gallery biennial competitions in New York City. She shows often at university venues, as well as at art centers in the Northeast and the South. Her paintings have also been exhibited at the Masur Museum of Art in Monroe, La.; the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Va.; and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo. She has been affiliated in the past with the Bedyk Gallery in Kansas City, Mo.; the Munson Gallery in Santa Fe, N.M.; and Reynolds Gallery in Richmond, Va.
Niewald studied biology, art and Asian studies at Connecticut College in New London, Conn., and attended the New York Studio School Program in Paris, France, before transferring to the Kansas City Art Institute to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She received a Master of Fine Arts in painting from Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.
Niewald was next granted a year-long Ford Foundation Grant for an artist-residency at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga., where she was subsequently asked to teach. Since 1980, she has taught in the School of Visual Arts at Virginia Tech. She was the 2008 recipient of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies Career Achievement Award.
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