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This Weekend in DC: This is a Sentence by Amy Wike

Meg Schmidt

Photo: Meg Schmidt

DC! Before you press the gas for your road trip 'home' to catch that turkey dinner, get into some art therapy this weekend at VisArts in Rockville. Last year, I moved to the heart of The District and somewhere in the mix, began an unlikely friendship with a very sweet, happy-go-lucky girl from Wisconsin. She happens to be an alumna from the University of South Carolina, vital part of the marketing team at The Phillips Collection and most importantly: an artist. Enough of the mystery- her name is Amy Wike and her first solo exhibit is currently on display! Go see it! And do some other cool $h!t too- it's been a hell of a year so let's have some fun!

Photo: Meg Schmidt

Amy Wike's work plays with the ideas of translation, interpretation, and the complexities of language. In this body of work, Wike takes small nuances of speech—turns of phrase, words that have multiple meanings, and the varying ways we interpret them—and abstracts them beyond recognition by translating them into Morse code and knitting the transcription row by row with yarn. The resulting amorphous shapes act as visual representations of the intricacies of communication. No matter your language of origin, the viewing experience is equal.

Wike aims to create a space where visitors are challenged to think about language in a way we aren’t used to experiencing it; visually, but also tactilely—by using the knit and purl stitches to represent sounded and silent beats respectively in Morse code, the works are given a braille-like surface.   -

This is a Sentence by Amy Wike is on view until Sunday, November 20th. 

When I made my personal visit to see Amy's work, it was the day after the presidential election. Myself, like most Americans have been under enormous post-election stress and in one way or another, searched for outlets and places to cope. Leaving the gallery, I felt better- much lighter and less tense for the remainder of the afternoon. I must say, do not underestimate the power of art therapy. I have long believed that the beauty in the world- either natural or man-made, can (and should) be internalized to prove itself as a true healing mechanism. If exploring the art world is uncharted territory for some who may be reading this now- take a first step this weekend. You have nothing to lose. Again, it's been a hell of a year- so let's find some peace for once, in art.