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NOVA-Woodbridge to host Mary Carothers' Air Loom exhibit, artist lecture, Jan. 20


Artist Mary Carothers’ exhibit, “Air Loom,” an installation-based work incorporating seeds from various locales, encased in plexi-spheres and suspended seemingly on air, will be held at The Gallery at NOVA-Woodbridge from Jan. 20 through Feb. 20. Following opening of the exhibit on Tues., Jan. 20, there will be an Artist Lecture in the Black Box Theatre next to the gallery. A reception will follow.

Additionally, the gallery will be hosting Works by Prince William County High School Art Students in the Atrium Gallery on the 4th Floor at the same time as “Air Loom.” Participants in the student exhibit are invited to view Carothers’ exhibit and attend her lecture.


Northern Virginia Community College’s The Gallery at NOVA-Woodbridge, 15200 Neabsco Mills Road, Woodbridge, VA 22191

The gallery is located on the first floor of the Arts & Science Building, which is accessible to people with disabilities.


Tuesday, Jan. 20, from 4 p.m. until 5 p.m.

The exhibits, lecture and reception are free and open to the public.

“Air Loom” is based on a commission Carothers completed called Floating Seeds for a new hospital in Owensboro, KY. A nationally-juried competition, the Commission of Design and Architecture (COD+A) also designated her installation in the top three national health care commissions in the last three years.  Taking cues from the area’s local ecology and community members, Carothers made connections between the hospital’s leading plant-based medical research and the fact that the facility now occupies what was once a farm. Also on the grounds was a WWII airplane hangar and Carothers connected it with the region’s importance as a migration flyway for birds. Acknowledging the theme of hope and healing, coupled with flight and agriculture, Carothers sculpturally addressed the concept of floating seeds, not unlike those one might blow off of a dandelion, and involved the Owensboro community, holding seed collections and archiving written stories over a six-month period.

Although a multi-layered, site-specific project, the personal stories of the surrounding community were the core of the work. By incorporating the inclusive efforts of others, Carothers blurs the boundaries of authorship, allowing the work to make a far more genuine connection to the landscape, the people who live upon it and the changing audience that experiences the installation on a daily basis. “Air Loom” holds the wishes and stories of a community that not only is defined as a geographical place, but also by groups of people sharing historical, economic and cultural traditions.

Carothers received her BFA from the Pratt Institute in New York City, and her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.  She is an Associate Professor of Photography and Fine Art at the University of Louisville. Carothers has exhibited her work at venues such as CEPA, or the Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Art in Buffalo, the Atlanta College of Art, Pittsburgh Filmmakers and was recently featured on the Discovery Channel for her collaborative public project, "The Frozen Car."  She has received grants from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Johnson Foundation and the Kentucky Foundation for Women.  Her multi-media projects are both inside and outside of gallery spaces, working in installation and public art to investigate issues of mobility, power structures and the collective and individual psychologies that influence American culture.

Exhibit Contact:

For more information, contact Erin Devine, gallery director, at 703-878-4562 or edevine@nvcc.edu.

Media Contact:   Kathy Thompson | 703.764.0896 | kthompson@nvcc.edu

Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.