Centroid Towns: Like a Passing Shadow

Centroid Towns: Like a Passing Shadow

New work by Nate Larson
September 28, 2019–January 4, 2020

Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) presents the next chapter of Baltimore-based artist Nate Larson’s Centroid Towns project, on view September 28, 2019–January 4, 2020 at the gallery located at the Reston Town Center. The exhibition is curated by GRACE Executive Director and Curator Lily Siegel. An artist talk (4pm) and opening reception (5–7pm) will held on September 28.

Since the first US census in 1790, the United States Census Bureau has been recording the mean center of population as it moves steadily west and south. The first Centroid Town recorded was Chestertown, Maryland, and the projected Centroid of the 2020 census is Hartville, Missouri. Larson has done preliminary research in all 25 towns and completed five chapters of the project with communities in Ellicott City, Maryland; Bloomington, Indiana; Mascoutah, Illinois; and De Soto, Missouri. For this exhibition at GRACE, Larson dives deeper into the community of Waterford, Virginia, Centroid Town of 1810. Waterford is also notable for its designation as a National Historic Landmark, the highest designation of historic significance possible in the US. The exhibition will include historic ephemera related to the decennial US Census and Mean Centers of Population, photographs, and tintype portraits made in collaboration with Jay Gould.

Nate Larson works with photographic media, artist books, and digital video. His projects have been widely shown across the US and internationally as well as featured in numerous publications and media outlets, including Wired, The Guardian, NPR, Hyperallergic, New York Times, The Washington Post, and Art Papers. His artwork is included in the permanent collections of the High Museum Atlanta, Crystal Bridges Museum o­­­­f American Art, the Orlando Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago. Larson is currently serving as Chair of the Photography Department at MICA / Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.


Waterford Fair with artist Allison Smith: October 5, 2pm

In conjunction with GRACE’s exhibition Centroid Towns: Like a Passing Shadow, join artist Allison Smith for a personal intergenerational reflection on the Waterford Fair, this year celebrating its 75th anniversary. Smith will share her memories of attending the Fair as a kid and share insights and favorites from this year’s Fair through a critical and loving lens. She will be joined by her mother, Kitty Smith, and aunt, Kimberly Dickerson, who attended the Fair as kids with their mother Edith Barton. These women have made visits to the Waterford Fair an almost annual pilgrimage for multiple decades and their homes are filled with handcrafted objects made by Waterford Fair artisans.

Private Reception in Waterford
October 5, 5pm
After the Fair, join GRACE for an intimate private reception at an historic Waterford property. Wine and light refreshments will be provided. RSVP is essential and directions and further details will be provided after registration.

$45 Non-members: Register here
$30 Members: Register here
(includes ticket to the fair, artist presentation, and private reception)

Allison Smith is Dean of Fine Arts at California College of Arts. She received a BA in psychology from The New School for Social Research, a BFA in fine arts from Parsons School of Design, and an MFA in sculpture from the Yale University School of Art. Smith has produced over twenty-five solo exhibitions, installations, performances, and artist-led participatory projects for venues such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Public Art Fund, New York; and Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University. She has lectured extensively and participated in a number of group exhibitions and residencies in the United States and abroad. She was born in Manassas, Virginia, in 1972.


Artist Talk and Opening Reception

September 28, 4–7pm
Free and open to the public

Creative Response: Vanessa Schulman

October 30, 7pm
Free and open to the public

Family Day

October 26, 12–3pm
Free and open to the public

Artist-led workshop

November 2, 1–3pm
Register at www.restoncommunitycenter.com

Visit RESTONARTS.ORG for additional programming and updates.

Gallery hours: Tues–Sat, 11am–5pm

The Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) serves 80,000 people annually, providing Virginia, Maryland, and DC’s diverse communities with abundant opportunities to experience and explore contemporary art through exhibitions, education programming, and the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival. Greater Reston Arts Center strives to increase understanding of different cultures through art, brings diverse audiences together around a common interest, and ensures access and opportunity for engagement in the arts to all residents, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, or income. Admission to the GRACE gallery is always FREE, as are most programs.

GRACE gratefully acknowledges the leadership of its Board of Directors and the support of its sponsors, members, and patrons. GRACE is a Virginia Commission for the Arts “50 for 50 Arts Inspiration Award” winner in the category of Bedrock Institutions and is supported in part by ARTSFAIRFAX, Reston Community Center, Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Pictured at top:
Colonial Camp at the Sheep Farm, Waterford, Virginia, 2019
Archival inkjet on baryta paper
24 x 18 inches
Courtesy of the artist

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