Murmuration Installation at Schar Cancer Institute at INOVA Fairfax Hospital, VA by Susan Hostetler

Murmuration (birds flying in “intricately coordinated patterns through the sky”), both large and small, are spellbinding, and transport me from any worries to a sublime connection to nature.

After imagining a wall large enough to reflect the grandeur and sense of awe generated by the soaring flight of birds, I got my wish in the form of a commission for INOVA Fairfax Hospital’s newest addition, the Schar Cancer Institute.

Not only was my dream of having a space for a murmuration of my sculpted birds realized, but I was also moved by the fact the installation allowed me to contribute to an uplifting environment in a place of healing.

Murmuration , 10’x74’, multiple clay birds across 3 walls. Photo by Gregory Staley.

Murmuration, 10’x74’, multiple clay birds across 3 walls. Photo by Gregory Staley.

Washington Post review of Beauty of Inflections, by Mark Jenkins by Susan Hostetler

Susan Hostetler and Julia Bloom

A grand swoop of life-size, varicolored birds covers most of the largest uninterrupted wall of the high-ceilinged Athenaeum, where “The Beauty of Inflections” is on display. The birds, made primarily of clay, are the work of District-based artist Susan Hostetler. They flock alongside painted-stick sculptures by Julia Bloom, also of the District, whose constructions suggest nests and baskets but are too airy to be either.

The space defined by birds and branches is central to the effect. Bloom’s and Hostetler’s pieces are generally mounted close to the white walls, so they throw shadows in shifting patterns. Both artists explore the same motifs in [two]-dimensional works on paper or Mylar. The grids and the birds remain compelling when rendered loosely in, respectively, charcoal or gouache and graphite. Bloom’s and Hostetler’s celebrations of nature are also explorations of abstract form.

July 22, 2016