Opening Reception: Divergence


- Friday, September 12, 7-9pm

Join us on Friday, September 12th from 7-9pm for the Opening Reception of Divergence.

Guest curator and renowned artist Martha Jackson Jarvis unites the provocative works of emerging artists Shaunté Gates and Njena Surae Jarvis as they explore the body as metaphor, challenging the torpid qualities of painting and sculpture with a sense of didactic theater and enigmatic forms. Their works command and redefine space with mysterious pairings of disparate forms and malign compositions. There is a non-static reconfiguration, reconstruction, and reinvention that occur simultaneously that both disturbs and stimulates. Viewers are made a part of this ever-changing matrix that remains haunting, unknowable, and in a state of flux.

Both artists in their practice engage multiple forms of media - performance, video, and numerous materials - to create socio-dynamic environments frozen in time and space. Each artist evokes the feeling and connotation of a sagacious still from a futuristic movie set or film clip. We, as viewers, are never given entirety. We are asked to discern, to distill, and to somehow complete for ourselves the imaginative narrative unfolding before us. These young, energetic artists, Njena Surae Jarvis and Shaunté Gates, provide us a non-linear transfixing glimpse of immortality and intrinsic momento mori.

Divergence presents a complex forum and exacting commentary on contemporary life, challenging us to perceive and experience more than disjointed parts. The show invites us to walk life's knife-edge to explore that which makes us sentient beings and connected.

Divergence 2014 from Smith Center on Vimeo.
Video by Shefa Nola Benoit, photographs by Anthony Palliparambil, Jr.

Divergence will be open from September 6 - October 25th, 2014. There will also be a Curator and Artists' Talk on Thursday, October 16th at 6:30pm.

Please note: The gallery will be closed on 10/10 and 10/11 for an on-site cancer retreat.

Special thanks to John Paradiso at 39th Street Gallery for the creative incubation of this artistic pairing and ongoing support of our work. Check out their September exhibition at

(above) Shaunté Gates, Puppet Test
(below) Njena Surae Jarvis, Head and Arm
Gallery Hours: Wednesday to Friday, 11am-5pm, Saturday, 11am-3pm, and by appointment.
Please note: The Gallery will be closed on 10/10 and 10/11 for an on-site cancer retreat.

Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery is located at 1632 U Street, in Northwest DC
Learn more about the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery

Special thanks to our sponsors:

All of our specially featured Jackson Family Wines & Monument Fine Wines are available for purchase at Calvert Woodley!