The Center for the Arts is pleased to present our next exhibit, Rahshia Sawyer: Within the im/balance. The exhibit will be on display May 3 – June 3, 2017.

Rahshia Sawyer introduces an intriguing medium to the Caton Merchant Gallery. Her exhibit features underwater photographs printed on silk fabric. The artist creates an environment to be explored by the viewer with her choice of medium. The photographs often hang freely in their silk form within the exhibit space, allowing the viewer to walk around the art and experience it as an overall environment, rather than displayed in a static frame flat against the wall. Not only does her choice of display create an experience, but her subject matter also adds to the dynamism of her work.

Come experience the art for yourself at the reception, May 13, 6-8 pm.

Some Things I Can't Explain

Some Things I Can’t Explain


Our experience of the world is not static; it is a compilation of layers. Maturing over time, we add layers upon layers, becoming ridged, but never finite. Finding beauty anchors us to our humanity; it acts as the balance between reality and fantasy.  Guiding us to ask the existential questions of our identity, our reality, and our beliefs. Often leading us to examine layers of significant transitions, when we passed from the known to the unknown. This time is described by many as a sensation of floating — a disconnection from their reality.

My work contrasts a daedalean journey of figurative photographs, with the subject disconnected from the ground as a signifier of their transforming reality. Each composition is selected to be neutral — to highlight that sliver of space between positive and negative. Allowing the works abstract quality to be informed by the viewer, recreating a singular struggle with our emotions — an experience we all share.


Rahshia Sawyer is a conceptual photographer based in the Washington DC area. She was the 2012 recipient of the Contemporary Talents award from France’s François Schneider Foundation. Exhibited in the 2012 Inaugural Dublin Biennial, her photographs and installations have been included in numerous group shows in Canada, England, France, Ireland, Spain, and the United States. Her work is featured in the permanent collections of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Foundation François Schneider, and Radford University Museum. More recently, she was a 2015 Trawick semi-finalist, a 2015 Finalist in the 8th edition of the Julia Margaret Cameron Award, and received an honorable mention at the 2015 Fine Art Photography Awards. Rahshia received her MFA from George Mason University in Virginia, and her BFA at the Corcoran College of Art & Design in Washington DC. Her current projects examine relationships between beauty and humanity and its balanced (or imbalanced) interaction between reality and fantasy.