Urban | Oxide: Stories in The City with Pam Frederick & Veronica Szalus

Don’t Miss it! - Urban | Oxide 

Urban | Oxide may be ending on Saturday, July 20th, but you can still pop by Studio Gallery to check out Pam and Veronica’s artwork! Continue reading to learn more about the two artists, and be sure to visit this weekend before the exhibit ends!

Pam Frederick

Pawn Shop, 14th Street, NW, Photographs, collage, mixed media. 30” diameter.


Artist Statement

This series, In the City, comes from walking through the streets, subways and bridges of Paris, London, New York and Washington, DC.  The collages represent buildings or areas that no longer exist (or soon will be gone), or continue to survive.  For instance, the collage, “Westside Books”, is about a bookstore on Broadway’s Upper West Side that just got a temporary reprieve on its lease. 

Another collage, “Crown Pawnbrokers, 14th Street, NW”, is about an ongoing business since 1935, which has remained, and is part of a revitalized DC neighborhood.  


About Pam’s Processes

My process is to start with a photograph.  From there, I enlarge, tear and then piece everything back together anew.  A combination of paint and mixed media is then applied to unify the work. I enjoy the physical search for images, and the physical act of cutting and placing.  To me, collage has always been about recycling and renewing.

Pam Frederick, Paris Metro (Odeon), photographs, mixed media on cradled panel, 16” x 16”

Veronica Szalus, Tilted Soul

Pam Frederick, Piccadilly Square/Leicester Square, photographs, mixed media on cradled panel, 12” x 18”


About Pam’s Mediums:

I find that working with acrylics and mixed media on 300 lb paper is the most forgiving, and the material I like best.  I like the feel of the “tooth” of a heavy paper. Painting is my medium, and the one I’m most comfortable with. Though, I think I’m really a frustrated sculptor at heart.


More about Pam:

A lot of your work is jazz inspired, can you talk about that?  What led you there, and how did you begin thinking about translating music into something visual?

Answer:  I have always loved jazz and music in general.  The beats, rhythms, bass lines, percussion, strings, etc. sounds like a wall of different colors to me.  I try to express what I am hearing onto a flat surface with paint and collage elements, as well as my language of original shapes.

Pam Frederick, Bluesville, acrylic on paper, 23” x 21”

Veronica Szalus

Veronica Szalus, Oxidized Soul


Artist Statement:

I produce site-specific installations that incorporate the influence of my study in industrial design and deep interest in creating environmental pieces that explore the phenomenon of physical and metaphysical transition. By manipulating material that is often fragile, delicately balanced, and frequently ethereal and porous, I address nuanced shifts of elemental forms and the impact of the environment upon them, and invite the viewer to reflect upon the temporary conditions that frame our lives.

What aspects of city life inspire you to make artwork?

My artwork reflects a deep interest in creating environmental pieces exploring the phenomenon of physical and metaphysical transition. Urban life is continuously undergoing transition framed by a combination of history, observations, and passage from the past, while being informed by the awareness of a future. Every day you can see buildings, streets, sidewalks, parks and businesses change. Buildings will show wear and tear from rain and exposure to the sun, while new structures emerge alongside these buildings, streets and sidewalks will develop cracks, pits and holes which will be repaired or replaced. Businesses close and new businesses open and the parks evolve as trees and plants grow, with some plant life expiring and new life beginning. City life evolution is persistent, and that inspires my artwork .

Studio Gallery artists Veronica Szalus and Pam Frederick, discussing installation

Veronica Szalus, Oxidized Soul

What are some of your favorite memories of DC?

1) Watching the renovation of Union Station, an iconic DC structure continuously being preserved but each time it’s a little different.

2) Snowmageddon, the February 2010 blizzards One and Two made it look like the D.C. area had been relocated much further north, to a place in Canada.

3) The inauguration of President Obama, a historical event of note, as well as the peaceful transition of office.

Please describe one of your city-based artworks and what your thought-process was when you were creating it.

My artwork is not specifically city-based, it takes a look at all transition and that includes transformation in urban settings. Utilizing physical elements of form and space intersecting with light and with time, I create a means and expression for the transition from one state into the next. Over time, the reality of many of my pieces will change (just like an urban environment changes), parts will move, the quality of materials will alter, and the artwork itself – over long enough time – will ultimately be removed and/or destroyed. These changes are all continuous as evolution is persistent, yet our lives are defined by the present moment.

Veronica Szalus, Lateks, cardboard and latex paint

Pam Frederick, Westsider Books, Broadway, Upper West Side. Collaged photographs and mixed media on wood panel

Veronica Szalus, Tilted Soul, mixed media

Urban | Oxide

In addition, I am continuously developing my work through volume and scale, new forms, and exploration of materials. In the case of my pieces in Urban | Oxide, I was very aware of the city-based nature of the installation and influenced by the collage studies produced by Pam Frederick. I was inspired by many things within an urban environment, including shifts in light, flexibility, tension and movement, color, and especially color that is the result of oxidation. 

Still want to learn more about Pam Frederick and Veronica Szalus? Their art will be up at Studio Gallery until July 20th! Pop by to check out their city-inspired work before the end of the exhibition, or click below discover more of their intriguing pieces online!

Halley Stubis.png

From staff contributor Halley Stubis.