E15: A Body to Follow

July 14, 2018 - August 18, 2018


E15: A Body to Follow 
July 14 – August 18, 2018

OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, July 14, 6:00 -8:00pm

Transformer is proud to present A Body to Follow – the culminating exhibition of our 15th Annual Exercises for Emerging Artists Program – E15: FIBERS, featuring artists Aliana Grace Bailey, Rachel Schechtman, Dulcina Abreu, and Alanna Reeves.

E15: A Body to Follow focuses on fiber and textile as medium, history, and a means of survival. Considering the concept of the ‘survival thread’, artists Aliana Grace Bailey, Rachel Schechtman, Dulcina Abreu, and Alanna Reeves explore issues surrounding the body, security, identity, and connection to nature and family. These themes are introduced through new installation-based projects, varying in material, production, and sustainability.

Founded in 2004, Transformer’s annual Exercises For Emerging Artists is a peer critique & mentorship program created to support a selected group of DC based emerging artists each year who are at critical points or crossroads in their professional growth and creative development. Designed to stimulate and encourage the participating artists as they create new work, the artists participate in bi-weekly critiques & as well as studio and museum visits over several months period resulting in a group exhibition or comprehensive concluding program. 

Focusing on a different artistic discipline each year, E15 brought together four emerging DC-based artists exploring the use of fiber & textile for rigorous peer & mentor critique as they created a new work or new body of work. Over the course of the program, the invited artists received guidance and feedback from a series of visiting mentor artists, curators, and gallerists including; Dominie Nash (Artist; Washington, DC), John Paradiso (Resident Artist/Curator at Portico Gallery and Studios; Brentwood, MD), Julia Kwon (artist, Founder of DC Artist Talks, Professor at Northern Virginia Community College; Woodbridge, VA), John Chaich, (Curator; New York, NY), Ramekon O’Arwisters (Artist; San Francisco, CA), Padma Rajendran (Artist; New York, NY), Jesse Harrod (Artist, Head of Fibers & Material Studies at Tyler School of Art; Philadelphia, PA) as well as Transformer staff and their peer E15 artists.


Aliana Grace Bailey is a mixed media artist, designer, and social good doer—thriving from vibrant colors, intricate patterns, bold typography, and raw emotion. She is embracing and exploring the ways in which different mediums hold a special purpose and create beautiful conversations. Aliana strives to give viewers a sense of joy, healing, and a reminder of how to love—themselves and the world. She is a Washington DC native and a graduate of NC A&T State University, where she studied Social Work and Visual Arts/Design. Currently, Aliana is a practicing artist, graphic designer, and a socially engaged teaching artist. She will be attending Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in the fall of 2018 to pursue her MFA in Community Arts. Aliana is a 2018-2020 recipient of the Jacob & Hilda Blaustein Foundation Fellowship and the Leslie King Hammond Graduate Fellowship.

Rachel Schechtman is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in Washington, D.C. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from The George Washington University in 2012, and since then, has been using a variety of materials to make sculptural assemblages and installation work. She is most interested in materials that have been discarded or which have a common utilitarian use that can be manipulated and skewed. Her recent explorations have included the use of medical equipment, food products, fabric, foam, and materials that change over time through natural growth, evaporation, or chemical reaction. Rachel’s work explores issues tied to the body, health, gender, family, control, and the anxieties that stem from each of these.

Dulcina Abreu was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Graduated from Parsons The New School Major in Fine Arts (2016), AS in Fine Arts from The National School of Visual Arts in Santo Domingo (2012) and AS in Fine Arts and Illustration from Altos de Chavon School of Design (2014). In parallel zie has been working closely as an independent curator with institutions as The Museum of Contemporary Ceramics in Santo Domingo, Museo del Hombre Dominicano, Photo Shelter Gallery and Lyle O.Reitzel Gallery, Smithsonian Museum of American History learning and building new platforms of exposure for Latinx / POC artists. Abreu's artwork is primarily focused on dance as medium, creating spaces to talk about resistance, identity and displacement through performance art, installation, poetry and sculpture. With pieces as "Lady Walk" or "Is there such a thing as FUTURE?" Abreu creates cathartic spaces to talk about the complexities of the American experience for Latinx diaspora, and transcultural phenomenon around construction craftsmanship or basic assembling line performance. Zie projects have been presented with art institutions as New Museum, Lyle O. Reitzel Gallery, Sheila C Johnson Design Center and Studio 301.

Alanna Reeves is a native Washingtonian and a recent graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design where she earned a BFA in Illustration and Concentration in History of Art and Visual Culture. During her time there she participated in the institution’s European Honors Program, which offers the opportunity to conduct independent studio projects, all while in the heart of Rome, Italy. This study and its location resulted in a focus on language, food, cultural perception, and origins. Reeves uses these subjects to explore larger issues surrounding displaced identities, expressed through fiber works, gouache and ink paintings, and printmaking. She currently serves as founder, editor, and writer of HUE: Culture, Color, Theory Zine, which has been accepted into several university special collections.