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Joan Gaustad

Joan Gaustad addresses the human body as a fleeting form, interpreting figures more as an element with a moment, feeling, or communication.   The artist often uses her nieces as models, portraying a youthful beauty both gossamer and abnormal.  Gaustad’s figures dance, play, and sleep.  They are haunting in their ethereality, seemingly as fleeting as the moment depicted.  The artist explains, “The figures evoke something apparitional or damaged: a sinking down, lowing control, not-knowing” (2014). Her spontaneous use of Mylar—a type of polyester film paper—and washes of acrylic paint guide her approach to composition and form.  As acrylic intermingles on the Mylar surface, color and weight fluctuates, developing relationships sometimes diaphanous, sometimes bold, and often unexpected. Gaustad lives and works in Richmond, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University (1974). She also studied at the University of Maryland’s Far East Division in Bangkok, Thailand and the Offenbach Hochschule Fur Gestaltung in Offenbach, Germany.  Her works have been exhibited at the Center for the Arts, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA; Hunter Gallery, Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, VA; Dupont Gallery, Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, VA; Lavori Su Carta, Milan, Italy; Virginia Contemporary Art Center, Virginia Beach, VA; SCOPE Art Fair, Wall Street Gallery Walk, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, all, New York, NY; 1708 Gallery, The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Studio School, and VCUarts Anderson Gallery, all, Richmond, VA.  Her paintings are in the collections of the University of Virginia Health and Science Center, Charlottesville, VA; and Markel Corporation, Federal Reserve Bank, Medical College of Virginia, all, Richmond, Virginia.

Curriculum Vitae