“Two Trees,” an upcoming exhibition at the Virginia Tech School of Visual ArtsArmory Art Gallery, explores the interaction of computer-based technologies and traditional art practices through two works by leading contemporary artists Rona Pondick and Jennifer Steinkamp. 

The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, runs Oct. 25 through Nov. 22.

Steinkamp will give an artist's talk at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18, in the Armory. The talk is it is sponsored by the Center for the Arts in conjunction with Steinkamp’s Madame Curie exhibition, which runs Oct. 28 through Dec. 1 in the center’s Ruth C. Horton Gallery.

Rona Pondick will speak at 12:15 p.m on Monday, Oct. 28, in the Armory.

The joint exhibition reflects the School of Visual Arts’ focus on the synthesis of art and technology by showcasing two contemporary, successful artists who each have found different ways of leveraging modern techniques to create their art. The result is a show featuring two artistic interpretations of trees, one projected video animation and the other 3-D sculpture.

Steinkamp, one of the world’s leading installation artists, works with video animation and new media to create spectacular projected animations that range from the majestic simplicity of her undulating trees to immersive, multichannel projections like “Madame Curie,” which will be shown among the inaugural exhibitions at Virginia Tech’s Center for the Arts. The Armory Art Gallery will feature “Judy Crook 3,” one of her tree animations. Her trees, grafted and grown in computer processors, sway gently and hypnotically as they cycle through the seasons. They have transfixed gallery-goers around the world for a decade.

Rona Pondick, among the most accomplished sculptors of her generation, makes elegantly unsettling painted bronze and stainless steel sculptures that at first glance seem conventional, but that are actually quite unique. In her sculptures, Pondick grafts human heads and hands onto plants and animals, creating hybrid forms that fascinate even as they disturb. 

For more than 15 years, she has combined traditional sculptural methods with leading-edge computer technologies for high-resolution 3-D scanning and digital outputs. Her work for the Armory show, “Dwarfed White Jack” is the result of her method of scanning casts of her own head and hands, manipulating them within software programs and by hand, outputting them in various scales, and finally, grafting them onto the ends of dozens of branches, creating the appearance of buds about to flower.

The Armory Art Gallery’s hours are Monday through Friday, noon–4 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Metered parking is available on Draper Road. With a visitor’s pass, parking for the Armory is available in the Squires Lot on Otey Street. A visitor’s pass may be obtained Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. at the Visitor’s Information Center, located at 965 Prices Fork Road, near the intersection of Prices Fork and University City Boulevard next to the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. A visitor’s pass may also be obtained from the Virginia Tech Police Station, located on Sterrett Drive, outside of the Visitor Information Center hours. After 5 p.m., free parking is available in the Squires Lot on Otey Street. Find more parking information online or call 540-231-5547.



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