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TCC’s Visual Arts Center features contemporary glass and new media

The exhibition “Charlotte Potter: Fragile Cartography” will be held at Tidewater Community College’s Visual Arts Center from July 4 to August 28. The opening reception will be July 10 at 7 p.m. with an informal gallery talk preceding the event at 6:30 p.m.

Events are free and open to the public.

Pushing the limits associated with traditional glass techniques, Norfolk artist Charlotte Potter presents sculptures, installations and collaborations that explore her relationships in a shared world. Courting notions of love, loss and the human desire to bridge the barely perceptible distance between each other is the theme of this program.

The main gallery is dedicated to the overarching theme of “self” and “other.” A large-scale installation of hand-engraved glass cameos maps the artist’s relationship to people on Facebook, particularly those individuals who are pending friend requests. A life-size figurative armor created from more than 4,000 microscope slides on which images of the artist’s skin have been printed, is Potter’s most poignant work in the exhibition. The piece illustrates her reluctance to share her most intimate self with others while providing a visible and impermeable barrier that can protect her from the world.

In the center’s small gallery, a minimal site-specific installation presents a room that has been turned on end. A disconcerting yet compelling display, this distortion communicates a sudden change in perspective, and the jarring sensation of one’s viewpoint being unexpectedly altered.

Additional pieces in the hallway gallery celebrate the bond between dog and owner. In these works, Potter has mixed the cremated ashes of her pet with molten glass, like an alchemist trying to bring back the life of her companion. These works recreate the weight of her deceased pet: 84 pounds, 21ounces.

The Visual Arts Center is located at 340 High St., in Portsmouth. For information about the event, call Shelley Brooks at 757-822-1878.