Spectrum 800


The Iridian Gallery at Diversity Richmond is pleased to announce the opening of SPECTRUM, a new exhibit from artist Dakota Summer Becker and What If, a new exhibit and retrospective from textile artist Robin Ryder on January 13 with a reception from 7-9pm. Light refreshments will be served with a cash bar.

We begin our 2023 calendar of programming with the colorful works of VCU Painting alum Becker, who is also a former gallery committee volunteer. 

Dakota Summer Becker (they/them) is a trans non-binary and autistic Richmond-based artist who specializes in creating hard-edge geometric color-fields with acrylic paint. Their work is an attempt to process their everyday lived experience. Dakota begins paintings as an act of self-regulation when they are feeling overwhelmed. By design, this approach lends itself to a process-oriented painting practice, in which they maintain a holistic mindset while also giving focus and care to individual parts. Small decisions accumulate on the visual surface, shaping the life and character of each painting. Ultimately, Dakota’s painting practice acts as an extension of their inner self; a customized coping tool for their neurodivergence.

Iridian Gallery Steering Committee member, Rob Ryder (he/him) is a trans artist who finds joy in the act of quiltmaking.  This is an interesting turn of events, since he actively shied away from anything that was traditionally viewed as women’s work before his transition. Like his experience of gender,  Rob’s quilts move between categories.  He sometimes makes traditional quilts, but more often his work is improvisational or experimental in both technique and materials used.  All of his quilts begin with some basic materials and the question “what if?” They finish with surface patterns that he draws using his sewing machine and thread to add another layer of expression to the quilt and act as a structural element holding the layers of the quilt together.  As layered objects created through a process of exploration and questioning, they are metaphors for his lived experience.

Ryder is a dedicated Iridian Gallery Steering Committee member whose volunteer work has been critical to our success in recent years. This show will run concurrently with SPECTRUM, a show by painter Dakota Summer Becker. Join us for this event to meet the artist and our gallery team.