Workhouse Artist Associates: People’s Choice Award Winners for March 2014 Exhibition

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Contributed by the Workhouse Associate Artists

Four artists from the Workhouse Associate Artists (WAA) were chosen as People’s Choice Award winners for their current exhibition in their new gallery space in Building W9 at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA. The winners were chosen during the Workhouse’s monthly 2nd Saturday Art Walk on March 8, 2014. Two artists tied for 1st  place: Karen Rexrode and Mikhail Bolkhovitinov. The other placing artists are: Kenn L. Mckether (2nd  place) and Kathy Strauss (3rd  place). Here is a bit about the winning artists and their work:

Siren-Karen Rexrode

Siren-Karen Rexrode

Karen Rexrode (1st Place – tie)

Artwork: “Siren”

Karen is a resident of Loudoun County, a long time member of the Workhouse Arts Center. A mixed media artist that works with various tools, everything from a dremel to a camera and a sewing machine. You can follow her art/gardening blog at

Artist Statement about the piece

The piece titled “Siren” is a photograph that is attached to a cradled board. Wax coats the surface which gives texture. Oil paint, in this case only black and white, is painted on last and designed to highlight the direction of the wax.

Mikhail Bolkhovitinov (1st Place – tie)

Sochi-Mikhail Bolkhovitinov

Sochi-Mikhail Bolkhovitinov

Artwork:  “Sochi”

Mikhail Bolkhovitinov’s paintings, abstract or representational, always prioritize formal composition over physical reality.  Each of his paintings is a mentally “designed” imaginary layout originating from his knowledge, experience and creative thinking, without direct reference to existing objects or environments..

Artist Statement about the piece

”’Sochi’ is a mixed-media composition that combines painting and collage techniques. This piece, very formal by nature, illustrates the artist’s expressive, structure-driven attitude towards the creative process. The artwork was inspired by the quilt-like graphic style of the recent Winter Olympics and includes motifs of traditional Russian folk art. At the same time, the sharp-cornered structure reflects the tensions associated with the Games and the dramatic nature of the high-level competitions.”

Light House-Kenn L. Mckether

Light House-Kenn L. Mckether

Kenn L.Mckether (2nd Place)

Artwork:  “Light House”

Originally from Saginaw, Michigan, Kenn L.Mckether enlisted in the Navy in 1982 and spent twenty years as a Navy photographer. He is a dedicated as an artist, to recognize and record those fleeting yet memorable glimpses of life that we take for granted, moments every family has but rarely sees revealed in photographs. In addition to portraits, he also paints using mixed mediums, to produce Christian art.

Artist Statement

My artwork takes a critical view of social, political and cultural issues. Often referencing American history, my work explores the varying relationships between popular culture and fine art. I engage in subjects as diverse as the civil rights movement, Christianity, and modernist architecture. While I use a variety of materials and processes in each project my methodology is consistent. Although there may not always be material similarities between the different projects they are linked by recurring formal concerns and through the subject matter. The subject matter of each body of work determines the materials and the forms of the work.

Unity & Balance- Kathy Strauss

Unity & Balance- Kathy Strauss

Kathy Strauss (3rd place)

Artwork Title: “Unity & Balance”

Kathy Strauss, she lives in Lake Ridge, VA. She loves telling stories through her photography and art. Her design background gives her imagery a distinct clean style that brings each image to life. Composing each shot with precision and harmony – sensitive to graphic composition and each of the core design principles – she’s always looking at what makes each scene spark and how to connect the viewer to the piece.

Kathy is a member of the Workhouse Associate Artists (WAA) at the Workhouse Art Center in Lorton, VA where she exhibits her work and is a course instructor. In addition to the WAA, she shows her work at various art festivals and other galleries throughout the Washington Metropolitan area and mid-Atlantic. Her work has garnered numerous awards. You can find out more about her and her work at or her photo portfolio,

Artist Statement about the piece

“When traveling to one of the beaches in Aruba, I noticed that there were many stacks of rocks on this one stretch of beach. The symmetry really struck me as I was taking photos there. I know that there is a meditation-type practice when it comes to balancing rocks, but when I asked the tour guide about this – his comment was, “it’s a tourist thing, letting others know that a person has visited the island”. I like to think it’s something else.”

You can find more information about the Workhouse Art Center at The gallery is located at 9601 Ox Road Lorton, Virginia 22079. More about the Workhouse Associate Artists can be found at

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