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Bunnyman Bridge Collective reveille: ‘Wake Up Call’

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It is most appropriate to open this story with reveille, and this specific version includes an origami trumpet. Not that you will see an origami trumpet in this next art show, but you very well could. Charles Santee is an origami artist.

The theme of the art show that you will see is “Wake Up Call” at the Epicure Café curated by The Bunnyman Bridge Collective. In the Epicure Café venue, these openings are like a soiree. Every artist that you see associated with The Bunnyman Bridge Collective possesses the unique talent and intellectual fortitude to produce collectable art. They are putting Northern Virginia “suburbia” on the map, proving the point that great art can happen on the cul de sac.

Jessica, tell me something about the relationship between you guys and Epicure. Epicure is a non-profit org, right? Is there any relationship between that and the Fairfax Art League?

I like the idea that there is a gallery venue operating as an "independent" organization, I think. I am trying to get my head around it.

Jessica answered: “Thank you for always asking such important questions. For starters, I would like to say, and be very clear, that there is absolutely no relationship whatsoever between Epicure Cafe and the Fairfax Art League. They are separate entities.

Also, please note that there is absolutely no relationship whatsoever between Fairfax Art League and The Bunnyman Bridge Collective. They are entirely different and separate entities and do not share anything in common regarding philosophy, vision, structure, aesthetic, practice, creativity, direction, mindset, motivation, etc. The Bunnyman Bridge Collective came about through conversations between myself and Javier Padilla in October 2013. We are an independent, self-ruling, evolving, creative entity.”

She explained that in addition to being an artist, she works as an independent curator alongside Javier Padilla, as part of a project of The Bunnyman Bridge Collective. The Bunnyman Bridge Collective is also an independent and separate entity. Since January of 2014 they have been working, often with Jason Davis as well, to collaborate on artwork and innovative curatorial projects.

She wrote in a note, “We are blessed, lucky, and extremely grateful that Epicure Cafe provides a constantly creative epicenter for art, music, storytelling, and poetry in Fairfax. Suburbia is much in need of art and an art venue that is willing to step outside the boundaries, to step away from the typical suburban art exhibitions that offer only the same themes over and over. Suburbia is hungry for new, vital, gritty, raw, avant-garde art that defies all of the boundaries, that pushes all of the limits. Epicure Cafe has provided the perfect venue for a growing community of creatives to realize the boundless potential of the arts in Northern Virginia. Many of these artists, Javier Padilla, Jeff Duka, Matt Somma, Jason Davis, Abner De Jesus, Alex Beck, Lina Alattar, Diana Adams, myself, and many, many more have been here all along. We know every single day how vibrant the art scene is in Northern Virginia and we are dedicated to its growth, resilience, and power. We are constantly connecting with one another, creating and sharing ideas, collaborating, and looking for new ways to bring truly incredible local contemporary art to the greater community.”

This is a groundbreaking initiative that is making its own rules as they go along.

Jessica asserts, “Finally, we realized that if we wanted art to happen, if we wanted all of this immense creativity to be explored and exposed to the public, we would have to do it ourselves. We would have to make it happen. And, as I mentioned, since January 2014 we have been working to do just that. We are making it happen. We are in the midst of a major shift in how art is experienced in this region. The energy for our art exhibitions continues to grow. The audience continues to grow. The number of artists participating in our exhibitions and writing to us with a desire to participate in our exhibitions is growing every single day. It is very exciting to see something like this come to life. We are pleased with the growth, with the interconnectivity in this growing creative community, and we are beyond pleased with the art that fills every moment of our lives now. Truly exciting. Very grateful.”

The exhibit includes the following list of artists. (See their annotated descriptions):

1. Abner De Jesus
2. Michael Fischerkeller
3. Jessica Kallista
4. Javier Padilla
5. Jorge Vascano
6. Nadya Warthen-Gibson

“Epicure Café and The Bunnyman Bridge Collective Present
‘Wake Up Call’
August 9 – October 4
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 9, 2014 8 p.m. – midnight

Epicure Café, Fairfax, VA, is pleased to present Wake Up Call, a new collection of contemporary art curated by The Bunnyman Bridge Collective. Epicure Café and The Bunnyman Bridge Collective nurture a growing community of artists and creatives in Northern Virginia.

Art and bliss surround us in our everyday lives. It is time to for a Wake Up Call! For all of us to open our eyes, hearts, and minds to the art and bliss that are available to us if we simply open our eyes and attend to our surroundings. For their latest exhibition, Epicure Café and The Bunnyman Bridge Collective want you to know that art is here for all of us to create and share.

Wake Up Call sounds an alarm for the discovery of local art and artists in the wilds of Suburbia. Saturday, August 9, from 8 p.m. to midnight, spend an evening with artists Abner De Jesus, Michael Fischerkeller, Jessica Kallista, Javier Padilla, Jorge Vascano, and Nadya Warthen-Gibson. Music for the evening will be provided by the intensely vibrant and energetic Earth's Music Project.”

Via The Bunnyman Bridge

Epicure Café, located at 11104 Lee Highway in Fairfax, VA, is open 7 days a week from 5 – midnight. “Wake Up Call” will be on view at Epicure Café from August 9 through October 4.

1. Abner De Jesus
1. Abner De Jesus Abner De Jesus

1. Abner De Jesus

Abner’s work contains crisp imagery that is often painted against an oblique background, and buried in there is a sense of humor. He is an exceptional painter with a developing intellect. Did I say, he is from Puerto Rico.

2. Michael Fischerkeller
2. Michael Fischerkeller Michael Fischerkeller

2. Michael Fischerkeller

'Faith' Through the Looking Glass, 2014 is shown here.

Study political science at Ohio State University and then become an artist. Or, was it, an artist studied political science and became an intellect on a mission. Michael is a PhD and national defense expert among everything else.

“Infused with a rebellious undertone, my art focuses on improvement rather than defacement, collectivism rather than individualism, and engagement rather than condemnation. It is intended to encourage its audience to take stock in their surroundings and world with a critical eye, see what is often overlooked, face what are often uncomfortable truths, and act to improve their worlds and the lives of others.”


3. Jessica Kallista
3. Jessica Kallista Jessica Kallista

3. Jessica Kallista

Jessica is a ringleader in the Bunnyman Bridge Collective and we will speak with her in a moment. She is giving the organization a written voice as well as artistic one, which makes sense because she is a writer too.

4. Javier Padilla
4. Javier Padilla James George and Javier Padilla

4. Javier Padilla

Javier Padilla could be one of most spectacular art voices of our time. He is a giant of a man who talks softly and carries a big brush, except when he is shouting “Wake Up Call.” Javier is also from Puerto Rico. (See links to past articles about him and The Bunnyman Bridge Collective.)

5. Jorge Vascano
5. Jorge Vascano Jorge Vascano

5. Jorge Vascano

Jorge came to America from Lima, Peru and is flourishing artist. Find his work in the Saatchi collection, or at the Epicure Café with a powerful group of amigos.

“Born in 1982, Jorge "Vascano" Vasquez Elescano paved the way for himself as a generally self-taught artist. Jorge spent his childhood north of his birthplace of Lima in the jungle-like atmosphere of Tarapoto. There, Jorge became fascinated with the bright and bold colors of his surroundings, which would eventually become the inspiration in his abstract work. Jorge developed his talent in the arts and received formal training after he moved to the United States and enrolled at Northern Virginia Community College, where he got his associate degree in Fine Arts. Later on he enrolled at Corcoran College of Art and Design and currently he attends to Maryland Institute College of Art with a focus in painting. During his studies, Jorge's artwork was displayed at showcases across Corcoran's as well as NOVA's campuses, receiving recognition and being published in the school's newspaper and literature journal. In 2006, Jorge traveled to Italy and France.”

6. Nadya Warthen-Gibson
6. Nadya Warthen-Gibson Nadya Warthen-Gibson

6. Nadya Warthen-Gibson

“I am a Russian-born artist operating out of Fairfax, Virginia, and specializing in decorative and fantastical themes.

Nadya Warthen-Gibson was born in the suburbs of Moscow, Russia, and immigrated to the United States at the age of 12, along with most of her family. Since that time, she has lived in a variety of Midwestern states, including Indiana, Iowa and Illinois. During her stay in Illinois, she obtained a Bachelor of Art in Crafts (Metalsmithing and Jewelry) and Master of Art in Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As of 2013 she resides in Fairfax, a suburb of Washington, DC. Here, she continues to work on two and three-dimensional art inspired by both the natural world and the localized, but no less diverse, world of Eastern European folk art.”