Artists create on-site work with Virginia Tech students for Moss Arts Center exhibitions
Two internationally renowned artists will spend two weeks working with Virginia Tech students in Blacksburg to create new works specifically for the Moss Arts Center galleries. Featuring the work of Anne Samat and Yanira Collado, the Moss Arts Center spring exhibitions explore the potential of everyday objects — from the connections they create to the feelings and memories they evoke.
The exhibitions open with a reception on Thursday, Feb. 16, from 5-7 p.m. in the Moss Arts Center’s Grand Lobby, located at 190 Alumni Mall in Blacksburg. Samat and Collado will participate in an artist talk on Friday, Feb. 10, at 2 p.m. in the Cube. The galleries and all related events are free and open the public.
“I’m excited to bring Yanira Collado and Anne Samat to Virginia Tech, where they will be in residence for two weeks to create site-specific installations in our galleries,” said Brian Holcombe, Moss Arts Center curator. “Their work blurs the boundaries between art and craft through meticulous assemblages of everyday materials — from dollar store knick-knacks to reclaimed construction materials — that address memory, identity, and diaspora. They are collectors and alchemists, and their transformation of the galleries will amaze and open minds to the possibilities and histories of the objects that surround us.”
The Moss Arts Center spring exhibitions will be on view from Thursday, Feb. 16, through Saturday, April 22.
"Follow Your Heart Wholeheartedly 2"
Ruth C. Horton Gallery
Anne Samat is a Malaysian artist formally trained in the Southeast Asian craft of Pua Kumbu. Samat incorporates traditional weaving techniques into intricate three-dimensional wall sculptures. Breaking from custom, her pieces include repurposed objects and consider concepts of both freedom and identity. Dollar store items such as rakes, brooms, and combs combine with found items such as sieves and wheels to create cohesive and totemic artworks.
Steeped in personal connections and stories, her weavings are full of symbolism and often anthropomorphically represent herself and her family members. Samat’s humanized sculptures serve as tributes to these important people in her life, celebrating the connections that have helped her thrive as an artist.
In "Follow Your Heart Wholeheartedly 2,” Samat will combine a sculpture she created in 2021 with two new works made specifically for the exhibition. The installation will be approximately 12 feet high and 24 feet wide, consisting of a family of three anthropomorphic wall-mounted sculptures and one small standing sculpture in the center. The totemic sculptures connect with brightly colored weavings of rattan sticks and yarn draping down the wall and extending out onto the floor.
Samat’s exhibition is supported in part by a gift from Sherwood P. Quillen.
Samat will be a visiting artist in residence in Virginia Tech’s Mozaiko living-learning community. During her residency, she will realize a large-scale site-specific installation for her exhibition at the Moss Arts Center and share her practice with a behind-the-scenes tour for students in Mozaiko.
“Zafa/ A Spellworking of Temporal Geometry”
Miles C. Horton Jr. Gallery and Sherwood Payne Quillen '71 Reception Gallery
In the face of inevitable change and displacement, memories find a home in the relic. Yanira Collado explores the ideas of migration, reliquary, and memory through construction and ritual. Collado’s work ranges in size from the smallest snail shell to full-room installations. Maintaining an unfinished, rough aesthetic, her work often features raw edges, jagged fragmentations, and uneven textile scraps. Brightly colored fabrics contrast with neutral-toned building materials to lead the eye of the viewer throughout the pieces. Painted shapes and patterns provide sites of ritual critical to Collado’s reconstruction of memory and tradition.
While many of Collado’s works are wall sculptures, she also creates free-standing works and textiles. Some of her works are reminiscent of quilts and take inspiration from the American quilting movement through the use repeated symbols. Preferring to leave discussion to the viewer, Collado leaves her process open-ended and takes a spiritual approach to her artistic practice.
For “Zafa/ A Spellworking of Temporal Geometry,” Collado is creating a series of wooden structures and patchwork textiles from fragments of reclaimed materials. The wood assemblages, reminiscent of architectural ruins, store lost bits of history retrieved by Collado on her walks through Miami’s neighborhoods. Entering the gallery, a tall C-shaped form composed of door fragments stands in the center. Behind it, collaged fabrics embedded in a raised wooden frame wrap the corner of the gallery’s walls. The frame’s shape implies the outline of a building’s foundation. The built surfaces of fabrics resemble decaying stucco walls seen around the Caribbean. Her support structures serve as reliquaries for displaced materials and the histories they contain, reflecting on stories of migration and subcultures.
Passing through to the larger space, visitors encounter the back of a large plywood ramp wrapping one of the gallery’s columns. With an awkward slope and broken section where the ramp meets the floor, it suggests a collapsed platform that succumbed to gravity and time. The platform’s blue carbon paper surface is inscribed with quilting patterns from around the world, showing traces of migration stories embedded in the work.
Collado will be a visiting artist in residence in Virginia Tech’s Creativity and Innovation District residence hall. During her residency, she will work closely with Virginia Tech students and faculty in the realization of several site-specific works for her exhibition. Collado will also visit secondary students at a Roanoke City Public School to talk about her work.
Visiting the galleries
The Moss Arts Center’s galleries are open on Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. The center offers many opportunities for students, faculty, and community members to engage with artists and their work. To arrange a group tour of the galleries, contact Laura Higgins.
Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. When not staffed for a special event, visitors may park in the garage by taking a ticket at entry and paying with Visa or Mastercard upon exit. Virginia Tech has also partnered with ParkMobile to provide a convenient, contactless electronic payment option for parking, which may be used at any parking meter, campus parking space, or lot with standard F/S, C/G, or R parking.
If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Jamie Wiggert at least 10 days prior to the event at 540-231-5300 or email email@example.com during regular business hours.