Foon Sham: Arlington Projects, 1988-2019

On View: through December 19, 2020

Jenkins Community Gallery

In partnership with Arlington Public Art, Arlington Arts Center presents an exhibition of models, drawings, and photographs created by artist Foon Sham as preparation for and documentation of his large-scale public artworks. The exhibition takes place in conjunction with the recent unveiling of Ridge, a new public art piece created by Sham for Oakland Park, two blocks from Arlington Arts Center. The form for Ridge was inspired by mountainous ridges, transforming landscapes one might see in nearby Shenandoah or the Blue Ridge Mountains into a human scale, interactive sculpture. Since his time as a resident artist at Arlington Arts Center from 1988 to 1994, Sham has also completed multiple public artworks across Arlington. The exhibition will focus specifically on these projects, featuring models, drawings, and photographs of projects in Bluemont Park, Bennett Park, Oakland Park, and on AAC’s front lawn. By exhibiting models and documentation, the exhibition gives visitors a glimpse into the development of the artist’s large-scale pieces, as well as an appreciation for his meticulous and committed approach to wood, his chosen material.


Foon Sham is a prolific sculptor whose work has been has been featured in more than 45 solo exhibitions and 160 group exhibitions across the United States and around the world, including in Canada, Norway, Mexico, Australia, Bolivia, Suriname, Hong Kong and France. He has completed commissions across the Mid-Atlantic, including Arlington Public Art, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Art in Public Architecture Program, Montgomery County, MD, and the City of Richmond. In 2016, he completed a commission for the US Embassy in Suriname through the US State Department’s Art in Embassies Program. Dead Wood is Life, a newly commissioned work, is up outside of the National Museum of American History by the Smithsonian Garden through December of 2020 as part of the Smithsonian’s Habitat exhibition and his upcoming solo exhibition Maze of Knowledge, will open at the National Building Museum in November of 2020. Sham holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, California, 1978; and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, 1981. Born in Macau, raised in Hong Kong, and currently based in the DC Metro area, Sham is a professor at University of Maryland, College Park, where he has taught since 1988.


Opening Reception: Saturday, February 1, 6-9pm


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