Virginia artist Travis Childers’ work on display at Tephra ICA

Travis Childers, Untitled 2019 (courtesy of Travis Childers)

Virginia-based artist Travis Childers’ work is on display at the Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art in Reston as “Borrowed and Not Returned,” an exhibition of three recent and ongoing series.

The art is on display at the Signature gallery through June 28. The gallery — located at the Signature apartment building, 11850 Freedom Drive — is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Face masks are required to enter.

A reception and artist talk will be held Thursday, April 7, at 6 p.m. at the outdoor courtyard at the Signature Apartments.

Travis Childers’ work is concerned with our society’s extractive relationship to nature, though he often approaches the topic with humor and a healthy dose of culpability as he acknowledges his own participation. In his new Story Tellers series, Childers employs miniature, model railroad materials to create landscapes that, despite their small size, imply the depth of the earth and boundlessness of the sky. In contrast, Childers’ collage work in the Vegetation series presents opaque facades and coverings that create expansive fields of borrowed images.

Altered and constructed landscapes serve as anchors across Childers’ work, creating a common thread between a wide variety of human experiences. Underlying his practice, is the sensibility that in our human relationship to landscape, there is something borrowed and not returned.

Tephra ICA at Signature is a year-round satellite gallery. Curatorial staff select local and regional artists to feature. ​The gallery is in partnership with Boston Properties and Bozzuto, and supported by Reston Community Center.

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