William King Museum in Abingdon, Va., will unveil its newest exhibition — “Fantastic Mechanics,” featuring the work of artists Sean Pace and Robert Sulkin — on Jan. 11.
Pace of Asheville, N.C., and Sulkin of Roanoke, Va., are imaginative engineers in the studio.
Pace creates mixed-media sculptures that often have a complex network of motors and gears. With human intervention, they can be set into motion and facilitate surprising activities such as painting an abstract picture or shooting a rubber chicken.
Sulkin concocts elaborate readymade sculptures, then photographs them as still lifes in black and white, some with mathematic formulas and other notations superimposed on the final image. They document the musings of a fictional inventor trying to devise solutions for the world’s complex problems.
To different ends, the fantastical machines of both artists invoke absurdity and conjure magic.
William King Museum will celebrate the exhibition’s opening with a public reception from 6 to 8 p.m., Feb. 7. Admission is free.
Pace and Sulkin will also conduct lectures at area colleges during the exhibition’s run. Sulkin will speak at at 7:30 p.m., March 26 at Emory & Henry College’s Board of Visitors Lounge. Pace will speak at East Tennessee State University in the Art Annex along Seehorn Drive from 3 to 4:30 p.m., March 27.
“Fantastic Mechanics” will remain on display in the museum’s United Company Contemporary Regional Gallery through May 19.
William King Museum is located at 415 Academy Drive, off West Main Street or Russell Road in Abingdon.
The museum features five exhibition galleries, artist studios, a museum store and outdoor sculpture garden. Educational programs in the visual arts are offered year-round for both children and adults, and school audiences are served by in-house and outreach programs. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the William King Museum is a partner of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and is a member of the Virginia Association of Museums. It is funded in part by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday; and 1 to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
Admission is $5 for adults; $3 for seniors; and free for students, members and children.
For more information, call the museum at (276) 628-5005 or visit its website at www.WilliamKingMuseum.org.