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Piercing The Mundane / What The Birds Saw

Causey Contemporary
92 Wythe Avenue, 718.218.8939
April 15 - May 15, 2011
Reception: Friday, April 15, 6 - 9 PM
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Causey Contemporary is pleased to announce the opening of Piercing the Mundane, Steven Dobbin’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery on April 15, 2011. On the same day, the gallery will also introduce the drawings of Melissa Murray in her first exhibition at the gallery , What the Birds Saw. Mr. Dobbin’s exhibition will feature his mixed media paintings and sculpture created from found objects while Ms. Murray’s show will focus on her realistic drawings in graphite, colored pencil and gouache. Both exhibitions will open with an artist’s reception on April 15 from 6 – 9 p.m. The public is invited to attend. Additionally, the exhibitions may be viewed until May 15th during normal gallery hours: Wed. – Sat. 11 a.m – 7 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. And Mon. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Piercing the Mundane, the title of Steven Dobbin’s upcoming exhibition at Causey Contemporary comes from a Bill Moyers quotation, “creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.” Mr. Dobbin believes that the most mundane of objects: nails, old paint cans and their lids, old buckets etc have the inherent ability to be given new life by the person who can see them and indeed use them in a new way. He thus explores such objects use in his sculpture and in his paintings recombining these objects with other materials to create something new. This latest series continues on from his previous “Reclamation” series of the past two years in the use of old paint cans and their lids. Additionally, this series also re- approaches Steven’s previous investigations of self identity.

Steven Dobbin is a sculptor working in lead, copper, and steel with plaster and pigment. He has received his degrees from Indiana University, The University of Southern California, and George Washington University in Fine Arts, Ceramics, and Education. He resides in Western Maryland. Since 2006, he has taught at the Frederick High School in Frederick, Maryland where he started a program to teach life skills to intellectually disabled students and was named special educator of the year in Frederick County. Prior to this he taught at the Phillips School for Contemporary Education where he developed an arts program for severely emotionally disturbed children.

His conceptually based creations have appeared in group exhibitions at the Mommouth Museum in Linton , NJ, The University Art Gallery of Catholic University in Washington, D.C., Goucher College in Baltimore, MD, Rockville, Maryland, The Bridge Art Fairs in Chicago, New York and London, at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Center, the Artist’s Gallery / Blue Elephant Studios in Frederick, Maryland, the Artist’s Museum in Washington DC, the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Occidental College, and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, at the Pasadena Armory Center for the Arts in California, the Heritage Museum, and the Meyers/ Bloom Gallery in Santa Monica, CA. 
His solo exhibition credits include Causey Contemporary (formerly Ch’i), the Artist’s Gallery and Blue Elephant Studios in Frederick, MD, Millennium Art Center in Washington DC, Meyers / Bloom Gallery in Santa Monica, CA, the Helen Lindhurst Gallery at USC, Los Angeles, CA, and the Delaplaine Visual Arts Center where his show received the Meredith Springer award for exceptional artists who have contributed to the arts community in Frederick, Maryland. In 2009, he won the Individual Artist Award for Excellence in Sculpture from the Maryland State Council of the Arts.

Steven Dobbin’s permanent installation, “Labyrinth of Remembrance” on the grounds of the Phillips School in Laurel, MD, was published in the Baltimore Sun, on WBLA TV, the NBC Afflilate Channel 25 in Maryland, and, a project of the southern poverty law center. In addition, Steven Dobbin has been published in the Arlington Connection, Washington Post, The Frederick Gazette, Channel 51, and the Los Angeles Times. Steven Dobbin’s sculptures are in collections throughout the United States and the UK.

What the Birds Saw by Melissa Murray marking the artist’s first solo exhibition with Causey Contemporary features Ms. Murray’s realistically rendered drawings in graphite, colored pencil and occasionally gouache. In this body of work, Melissa is exploring the realm of subconsciousness in both dreaming and waking life, tapping into primal, raw emotions and the visual associations that follow. Animals appear in the drawings as the players on the stage. Worlds in black and white or color, and shifting perspectives create different planes within the drawings which Melissa’ hopes will express different thoughts in time. She borrows her imagery from everyday experiences of love, suffering, tragedy and hope.

Melissa Murray’s work has previously appeared in group exhibitions at the Arc Gallery at MOSI Museum in Tampa, Fl., ArtPrize 2011 in Grand Rapids, MI., the Target Gallery in Alexandria, VA., at Fuse Gallery, Headquarters and Chashama in New York, NY  and at Causey Contemporary, AdHoc Art and 3rd Ward in Brooklyn, NY.  Her first solo exhibition was at Zahra’s in Beacon, NY.  Ms. Murray’s work has also been published and or reviewed in Juxtapoz Magazine, Beautiful Decay Magazine, Art Czar and the NY Arts Magazine. 

Melissa Murray’s What the Birds Saw and Steven Dobbin’s Piercing the Mundane will open with artists’ receptions on April 15 from 6 – 9 p.m. The Public is invited. Both exhibitions will then run through May 15, 2011 with viewing during normal gallery hours. For more information on these exhibitions or either artist contact Causey Contemporary at 718 218 8939 or via email at [email protected]
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