Ken Castelli moved to Tangier Island, Virginia five years ago as the inaugural Artist in Residence at the Tangier History Museum. After three years of building exhibits and learning the local dialect (an accent, much like most Tangiermen eccentricities, wholly unique to the island), he decided to make Tangier his home. But this home is disintegrating, bit by bit, chewed away by winds and tides. Tides that swell and surge through the town, unearthing the dead, encroaching on homes, and drowning the marsh. In this exhibition, Castelli, whose larger body of work documents the landscape and lifestyle of Tangier and the Eastern Shore/DelMarVa Peninsula region of the United States, sketches out vignettes of the inevitable. Abandoned by local politicians and put on hold by scientists and studies, the people of Tangier stand on land that is ever sinking and shrinking, waiting for the water to reach their necks.
This series of drawings is both a warning and a dirge. The rhythm of Castelli's linework rings out a threnody for a piece of American history. This tiny world speaks to the universality of our entropy.
J. Brown is an artist and curator residing in Portland, OR. He is the assistant director of Half/Dozen gallery. In his personal work, which has shown regionally and internationally, J. Brown explores issues of societal constructs that exist in the space between our analog reality and our digital reality. Born in Pittsburgh, PA, he has a BFA in fine arts and is the proud father of Daisy Doom, a 1 year old puppy. For more information visit mrjbrown.tumblr.com.