Donna McCulloughTeam Capitol
This unique cut and found welded metal standing 51 inches tall, is comprised of vintage Capitol Motor oilcans. Given that the style of these dresses references that of the cheerleader, by implication this references the sponsoring of televised sporting events by large business corporations, including the oil companies. The implication is that everything is destined for the mass market; everything carries a subliminal message, nothing is pure, everything is manufactured and offered for consumption. McCullough’s dresses subvert this macho symbol beautifully, by converting the oil can into a dress; she at once emasculates it and creates the most feminine of objects. This theme carries over to McCullough other series where she coaxes the audience to re-examine their perceptions gender stereotypes and the nature of these unyielding metals. The colors are red, white, and blue. The piece is signed on the back by the artist. A certificate of authenticity is included. About the Artist Donna McCullough‘s Garden Girls and Drill Team series, which is comprised of mesh, steel, and bronze dress forms, coaxes the audience to re-examine their perceptions of the cultural icons, gender stereotypes and the nature of these unyielding metals. Intrigued by the dichotomy between perception and reality, her medium becomes symbolic, where the qualities of metal define not just itself but the object it eventually is molded to become. McCullough employs a juxtaposition of extremes: such as lightness and gravity, suppleness, and intransigence, to convey feminine sensibilities. The duplicitous nature of bronze or mesh, which can be manipulated to appear feminine and soft while actually maintaining its strength and rigidity – the dresses are at once both elegant and imposing. “Fashion is well known as a reliable reflection of cultural trends and historical events. On a personal level, it has become my creative vehicle for exploring the emotional roller coaster of life. My inspiration arose from contemplating the dichotomy between the perception of women as fragile, delicate creatures, and the reality that most women are defined by resiliency and steely resolve. I like the duplicitous nature of steel which can be manipulated to appear feminine and soft while actually maintaining its strength and rigidity—an expression in contrasts and complements.” -Donna McCullough “ Could there be a perfect symbol of modern America than the oil can? The oil can captures the essence of that country in a single object. It conjures up images of the car industry providing whole town employment, import and export and private car ownership. The oil can embodies the mixed message of consumerism versus the open road of the early pioneers and the advertising industry, with its logos and graphics, competition and power, conspicuous consumption and flagrant waste. These dresses demonstrate their own transition, from the functional to the fabulous, from the Industrial to sculptural. By deliberately leaving the iconography of the oil can intact, this dress is a consumer icon, it recognizably retains its original identity although it now exists in a new form. McCullough refers to her series as, “The Drill Team”, a phrase which at a stroke conjures up a number of diametrically opposed images. The name has overtly masculine overtones; heroic, idealized men and machinery exuding power, danger and the exploration of unknown territories in hidden depths. But it also references the Drill Team of the cheerleaders who decorate the peripheries of that great, essentially masculine institution; the American Football game with displays of colorful choreographed athleticism, noted solely for their twirling of pom-poms and blatant femininity. The value to be found in Donna McCullough’s work is in her development of a genre that although technically less than a century old, can trace its origins through the history of art.” Excerpt from Donna and The Drill Team – An Interview with Donna McCullough by Michael Stewart Education • University of MD, College Park - 2009 • Study with Mauro Berretinni - Serra de Rapolano, Italy - 1998 • Corcoran School of Art - 1990's • Maryland Institute College of Art - 1980's • A.A., Catonsville Community College, Catonsville, MD 1975 Selected Exhibitions 2017 Donna and The Drill Team - Artist Proof Gallery - Washington D.C Donna and The Drill Team - W Washington - Washington D.C Donna and The Drill Team - W Union Square - New York City, New York 2016 Garden Girls - Artist Proof Gallery - Washington D.C 2015 Syd Entel Galleries "ArtDresses 2" - Safety Harbor, FL 2013 American Ambassador's Residence - Brussels, Belgium - Art In Embassies Program- curator Sally Mansfield American Ambassador's Residence - Paris, France - Art In Embassies Program- curator Robert Soppelsa 2010 - Black Rock Center for the Arts - Germantown, MD - “Personal Armor” -curator Trudi Van Dyke 2012 The Mansion at Strathmore “Strathmore Unleashed” - North Bethesda, MD - curator Harriet Lesser The Mansion at Strathmore “You Are What You Eat” - North Bethesda, MD - curator Harriet Lesser 2011 Morpeth Contemporary - Hopewell, NJ Arts Council of Princeton Paul Robeson Center for the Arts - "Raw Beauty" curator Rebecca Kelly 2010 Black Rock Center for the Arts - Germantown, MD - “Personal Armor” -curator Trudi Van Dyke 2009 Art Museum of the Americas OAS - “Bilateral Engagement” - Washington, DC - curator Laura Roulet United States Botanic Garden - “Flora: Growing Inspirations” - Washington, DC Marymount University - Barry Gallery - Arlington, VA 2008 Aughinbaugh Art Gallery - Messiah College - Grantham, PA Zenith Gallery - “For Real” - Washington, DC 2007 Zenith Gallery - “The Allure of Texture” - Washington, DC 2007 - Suffolk Museum - “Women of Steel, Men of Cloth” - Suffolk, VA - curator Trudi Van Dyke 2006 Ruth Morpeth Gallery - Hopewell, New Jersey Creative Partners Gallery - Bethesda, MD 2006 - Hickory Museum Of Art - “NASCAR Inspired” - Hickory, NC - curator Gina Mitchell 2006 - Zenith Gallery - “Dimensions” - Washington, DC - curator Anne Surak 2005 Ruth Morpeth Gallery - Hopewell, New Jersey 2005 - 2006 - Museum of Contemporary Art, Merida, Yucatan, MEXICO - “Hermandades Escultoricas: Mexico - USA” 2005 - Gallery of Functional Art - “The Group 2005” - Santa Monica, CA 2004 Sculpture Garden at The Corporate Office Centre at Tysons II - McLean, VA Zenith Gallery - “Ready To Wear” - Washington, DC - curator Anne Weber United States Botanic Garden - “Flora, Sculptures of the Natural World” - Washington, DC - curator Lillian Fitzgerald 2004 - Gallery of Functional Art - “The Group 2004” - Santa Monica, CA 2003 Carla Massoni Gallery - Chestertown, MD 2002 Creative Partners Gallery - Bethesda, MD Ruth Morpeth Gallery - Hopewell, New Jersey Patricia Carlisle Gallery - “The Horse Through the Eyes of the Artist” - Santa Fe, NM Northern Westchester Center for the Arts - “The Horse Show” - Mt. Kisco, NY The Art Center, Steve Austin University - “Texas National” - Nacogdoches, TX - curator Sandy Skoglund 1111 Pennsylvania Avenue Sculpture Space - “Inaugural Exhibition” - Washington, DC Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts - “Out of Tradition” - Wilmington, DE Mill River Gallery - Ellicott City, MD — Member’s Choice Award 2001 Maryland College of Art and Design - Gudelsky Gallery - Silver Spring, MD 57 N Fine Art - “The Other Texas” - Washington, DC - curator Lorraine Adams 2001 - Northern Westchester Center for the Arts - “Spirit of the Horse” - Mt. Kisco, NY 2000 The Ellipse Art Center “Way Off The Rack, Costume As Sculpture” - Arlington, VA - curator Trudi Van Dyke Grounds for Sculpture “Washington Sculptors Group”- Hamilton, NJ Interim Gallery - The National Press Building - Washington, DC 1999 The Corcoran Museum of Art - “4th Corcoran Alumni Hemicycle Exhibition” - Washington, DC William G. Kenton Gallery, International Museum of the Horse -“Fall Showcase of Equine Art” - Lexington, Ky- Museum Director’s Award Madison-Morgan Cultural Center -“Celebration of the Horse - The Horse in Fine Art”- Madison, Georgia, 1999 1998 Washington Ballet’s Fannie May Gallery -“Interpretation of Dance in the Visual Arts” - Washington, DCMuseum of the Americas - “Neighbors: The Corcoran at the OAS” - Washington, DC 1997 Ruth Morpeth Gallery - Pennington, NJ Commissions St. Bede’s Catholic Church - Floor Mosaic - Williamsburg- VA, Bowie City - Outdoor Steel Sculpture - Sussex Park - Bowie, MD, Bowie State University - Outdoor Steel Sculpture - Bowie, MD, Mater Dei School - Outdoor Wood Sculpture - Bethesda, MD, Baltimore City Anti-Graffiti Program - Outdoor Mural - Baltimore, MD Awards James Renwick Alliance Recognition of Excellence - 2012 Artomatic Maryland State Arts Council Grant Member’s Choice Award - Baltimore Sculptors Group Annual Show - Ellicott City, MD Museum Director’s Award - “Fall Showcase of Equine Art” William G. Kenton Gallery, International Museum of the Horse” - Lexington, Kentucky Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Inc. - Brooklyn, NY Selected Press Modern Luxury Magazine September 2017, Impeccable Virginia Magazine Dec./Jan. 2015/2016, Modern Luxury Magazine 2015, ManneqArt Calendar 201, Desk Calendar: U.S., Department of State ”Homage to American Women Artists” 2012. week 26, Book: Martin, Brigitte “Humor in Craft” Schiffer Publishing 2012. pg. 116, Book: Campello, F. Lennox "100 Washington, DC Artists” Schiffer Publishing 2011 , Book: Rooney, E. Ashley "100 Mid-Atlantic Artists” Schiffer Publishing 2011 , TV: HGTV - Home and Garden Television - That’s Clever - Steel Cheerleader Dress Sculpture - April 12, 2005 - Episode HCLVR-1A13, Book: Hansson, Bobby “The Fine Art of the Tin Can, Techniques & Inspirations” (revised edition), Lark Books 2004. Pg.144, Crafts Report, Santafean Magazine, The Chronicle of the Horse, Montgomery Cable Channel, Montgomery Gazette, Newspaper: Van Dongen, Susan Wild Horses (Cover Story), TIME OFF cultural guide Princeton Packet, September 15, 2000. pgs 18 & 19, Equine Images Magazine, Book: Cherkasky, Lisa & Comet, Renée The Artful Pie, Chapters Publishing, 1993. Pg.158, 159, The Washington Post, International Design Journal
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