CHAW’s Resident Gallery Artist Program Presents Pam Rogers’ “Botanica Magnifica.”

Summer Solstice, plant, mineral and soil pigments, graphite and ink, 28 x 36

Demystifying Artist Open Studios and the Artistic Process

Introduced in August 2016, the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop’s Resident Gallery Artist program connects the Capitol Hill community with working artists and their process. CHAW is now in its 45th year as an organization with a track record of “building community through the arts.” CHAW’s Resident Gallery Artist program provides a space for experimentation while functioning as an artist incubator that interacts with the public. 

Carolina Mayorga inaugurated the Resident Gallery Artist program on Aug. 26, 2016, with “Life of a Pink Fly.” During public open studio hours in CHAW’s gallery, she drew a series of studies, all pink, resulting in a 10 x 12-foot mural of a pink fly. Just as Mayorga’s residency allowed visitors to examine her artistic process and culminated in a final exhibition, so will Pam Rogers’ “Botanica Magnifica.” Rogers begins her residency on March 1.

Hannah Jacobson, CHAW’s director of marketing, development, and strategy, states that with this particular iteration Rogers’ residency “will take the mystery out of the artist open studio hours.” The open studio format at CHAW during the residency will allow visitors to see how Rogers creates her work, literally from scratch. In addition, through a series of informal discussions between Rogers and the community during open hours, participants can ask questions of the artist and deepen their understanding of her creative process.

CHAW Gallery Residency Manager Ellen Cornett adds that Rogers will in effect “create [three dimensional] artworks that wrap around the gallery.”

Pam Rogers

DC-based artist Pam Rogers was born in Boulder, Colo., and studied art history and anthropology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She holds a BA from Wellesley College and an MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in botanical illustration through a program based in Kew Gardens, England. 

A lifelong love of nature and a fascination with humankind’s relationship to it inspires and informs Rogers’ work. Her examination of human intervention in nature and nature’s reclamation of the manmade results in a visual dialectic. Recognizable forms confront one another in large colorful compositions through the use of classic botanical illustration and abstractions in the form of spilled ink or objects that appear familiar yet have no recognizable equal in nature.

Regionally renowned for her paintings and drawings, Rogers also creates sculptures and site-specific installations with found plant materials, often incorporating twine, nails, and other manmade binding materials that contort and confront the natural elements of her work. She makes her own inks and washes from natural elements, such as soil and plants, and her paper from both invasive (introduced by humankind) and noninvasive (native) plant species. Rogers concludes that “materials and process drive my work.”  

Rogers’ finished drawings and sculpture describe the often contentious and yet sometimes symbiotic relationship between humankind and nature. As Rogers collects plant materials to make inks and to create forms both two- and three-dimensional, she manipulates the natural world while gently letting it influence her.

Rogers hopes her audience will “find the wilderness that each person holds inside, the element of the non-human. By adding the elements of beauty found in nature, presented with a twisted side, I challenge the viewer to question what lurks beneath. It is at this point that the work begins to take on the persona of botanic magic realism.”

‘Botanica Magnifica’

To realize “Botanica Magnifica,” Rogers will create a series of “narrative scrolls using Hajji, mulberry, and large-scale paper with artist-made pigments and inks sourced from plants, soil, and minerals with a local connection.” From these scrolls she will bind plants in the gallery space, “offering visitors a chance to see the process, watch it develop in the space and ultimately seeing the final creation.”

CHAW encourages those interested to stop by during public hours to watch “Botanica Magnifica” take form .

Hours and Location

  • Duration:Residency, March 1-April 18, 2017
  • Public hours:March 1, 6, 10, and 11, 14, 15, 21, 23, 25, 29, and 31 from 9:30am to 3:30pm. April 3, 5, and 6 from 9:30am to 3:30pm.
  • Events:Demo and Happy Hour: Fri., March 10, 6:00-7:30pm.
  • Opening reception: Fri., April 7, 6:00-8:00 pm.

CHAW’s Gallery is located at 545 Seventh St. SE, Washington, DC 20003. Reach the gallery by phone at 202-547-6839 or visit CHAW online at The Gallery Residency at CHAW is generously sponsored by longtime Capitol Hill resident Wade Carey. To sponsor future residencies contact Hannah Jacobson at 202-547-6839.

Phil Hutinet is the publisher of East City Art, DC’s visual arts publication. See this month’s Hill Rag insert for more information or go to for daily updates on DC’s vibrant art world.

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