Painter Claire Stankus to speak at Sweet Briar College Feb. 21

Claire Stankus, Paint Isle
Claire Stankus, “Paint Isle,” detail

Artist Claire Stankus will be at Sweet Briar College on Thursday, Feb. 21, for a gallery talk and reception. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m., with the talk following at 6. Her exhibition “Forgetting Orange” is currently on view in Benedict Gallery and will be up through Feb. 28.

“‘Forgetting Orange’ is a collection of paintings focusing on ordinary observances of the everyday,” explains Annie Labatt, Sweet Briar galleries and museum director and associate professor of visual arts. “Sometimes a painting will depict a shadow of a plant, debris left on the floor or birthday cakes. These mundane moments are then transformed into abstracted color and shapes to offer a new interpretation of space and memory. Stankus uses casual marks and invented line and shadow to break down the recognizable into something ambiguous yet familiar. The remaining abstraction is where viewers may find unexpected humor, joy or curiosity.”

In her artist’s statement, Stankus puts it this way: “I collect seemingly banal and discarded objects and paint my daily encounters with them; expressing that even a pile of junk is worth painting.”

Stankus was born and raised in the suburbs of Albany, N.Y., and earned a B.F.A. in painting from Syracuse University in 2012. She has attended artist residencies at the Chautauqua Institution, Vermont Studio Center and Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild. Stankus recently completed her M.F.A. in studio art at the University of Connecticut and is currently a visiting assistant professor of fine arts at Roanoke College.

You can learn more about Stankus on her website. For more information about her talk and other gallery events, email Labatt at alabatt@sbc.edu.

Benedict Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.