PAPER ROCK SCISSORS

Lynn Wartzki
I decided this year to fully embrace my role as the “paper” in our featured artist show “Rock, Paper, Scissors.” All of the art doll sculptures I created for this show have their mix-media roots planted in a figure executed in some combination of papier-mâché and paperclay.  These materials are highly versatile and allow me to really play with such a playfully themed show.
I love the fact that we at HGA get the chance to experience the satisfaction of creating twice.  There is the solitary experience when, as an artist, you decide that a piece is complete.  It is extremely exciting when what you see on the worktable embodies exactly what you had sketched in a notebook, or held in your mind’s eye while working.  The second, even more enjoyable experience, occurs during our gallery opening when we get the chance to see the work through the eyes of the viewer.  It is so very interesting to hear what draws another to my sculpture, hear the questions they evoke, or, my personal favorite, when you see that spark of agreement when they hear or read my description of each piece.
I also played with the paper theme beyond just materials used, it is also included in the inspiration for many of my sculptures.  I find a number of my art dolls residing in the space somewhere between figurative sculpture and book sculpture.  Three pieces in this show are drawn from works of fiction.  For two of these, “Boleyn’s Ghost” and “Tinkerbell Never Lost Her Shadow”, I utilize selected text from paperback copies of books as part of their surface design.  An additional sculpture, “Local Star” utilizes a different definition of the word paper, as in the news.  “Local Star” is a dancer positioned in the same pose as one of Degas’ well known works, but wigged and clad in a costume created from in the pages of the local newspaper.
 
The last piece I created before installation of the show is titled “Hope”.  My inspiration for this art doll was color and a smile.  I started not with my figure, but with brightly colored tissue paper used to make papier-mâché balloons.  “Hope” is a seated doll that starts with black feet and gradually lightens as you move up the figure ending in an explosion of rainbow “hair”.  Completely conceived to bring a smile, I was rewarded at the opening when the viewer who eventually purchased her exclaimed, “That’s my kid!”
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Rock Paper Scissors

Rock: Arianna Bara writes of her new work, “As a jeweler, stones are often the focus of what I am creating. Boulder opals, drusy quartz, labradorite, fossils and gemstones inspire me with their flashes of color and movement. I am intrigued by the stories our ancestors told about the origins of rocks and their properties. My new work incorporates many different stones into textured sterling silver settings in ways that help relay these ancient stories.”

Paper: Lynn Wartski describes her process for this show, “My creative adventure with art doll sculptures continues to lead me in new and interesting directions. Paper has become the most prominent material in my new work: from paper clay to sculpt faces and hands, to adding a tissue paper crinoline as an accent under a skirt, to drawing inspiration drawn from the pages of printed word. I find myself flipping pages of books, and scouring the internet for images to stretch the ideas I am trying to convey within a piece. I enjoy incorporating small details into each art doll that the viewer can only discover upon close inspection. These items pulled from texts often add surprises to the surfaces of the sculptures. One example of this blending of book and doll is my latest look at Lewis Carroll’s Alice Adventures in Wonderland. My sculpture portrays Alice’s inspection of the small bottle labeled “drink me” and the curiously small door she finds in the wall. Vintage playing card images adorn this figure’s dress, floor of the room, and the back of the sculpture. I am excited for my ‘paper’ works to play alongside Arianna Bara’s beautiful ‘rock’ and silver jewelry designs, and the colorful ‘scissors’ play found in Ali Givens delightful textile works.”

Scissors:s Ali Given writes, “The fabric collages in this show depict details of things I see as I explore new places. A building, a person, a vase of flowers– these are all subjects that I like to illustrate with fabric. Often while I wander in new cities, certain things, like a hummingbird painted on an old building, are so wonderful to me that I come home and begin cutting and stitching fabric to capture my initial excitement.”

 

Opening Reception

March 30

6-9

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ART for a C note

The 22 members of the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts come together to present work that is different in medium, but equal in price. The pieces range from paintings to glass, fabric to pottery, and metal to wood. The common thread: everything is $100.
Opening Reception
Jan 26
6-9

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The Art of Giving

 Each holiday season the members of the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts transform the gallery to showcase original ornaments and hand-made gifts. The gallery’s 22 members work in a variety of media, providing a wide array of art and fine craft for holiday shoppers. The glass art includes hand-blown vessels, ornaments, solar lights, paperweights, and jewelry. Fiber art on display includes framed collage quilts and hand dyed stitched cloth. The jewelry in the show covers a variety of styles and techniques, from copper and bronze to sterling and fine silver necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings, some with gold accents and stones. Visitors will also find metal sculpture, handmade art dolls, pottery, turned wood, and carved ironwood with turquoise and silver inlay. Fine art photography, oil and acrylic painting, scratchboard, and mixed media work festively surround the three dimensional pieces on pedestals.

Come explore the wonderful art exhibited at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts; you will find exactly the right gift for that special person.

Opening Reception

Friday Nov 24

6-9

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Up Close

 Lynn Wartski
 
One of my favorite parts of our yearly featured artist shows at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts occurs at the beginning of the day we install.  It starts with each of us unpacking and un-crating the work that we have produced.  What happens at that point is a mixture of art and magic in itself. Somehow, art by three separate artists in solitary studios starts to tell a harmonious story.
This year, I have the honor to show my art doll figures along side the sculptural paintings of Linda Carmel, and the textile creations of Alice Levinson. There is a level of complexity in the work of all three artists that truly invites the view to take a look “Up Close”. Obviously, it is a natural fit for a sculptor like me who creates art doll figures.  The scale and level of detail of my work invites the viewer in.  I want you to notice that one piece has purple shoelaces, or that another is actually holding a small file to sharpen the spear she holds. You will find many similar discoveries within Alice and Linda’s work as well.
 
My dolls for this show are all quite different.  The only real common feature this year is an increased used of paperclay as my medium of choice for the heads and hands of my figures.  I have in the past retained a tie to my earlier sculpture work in metals by always including some amount of copper in each piece.  This year, I decided to free myself from that constraint.  The end result is nine figures each with their own completely different story to tell, and each tale told with materials that make sense for that piece alone.  I guess that now I must fully refer to my work as mixed media sculpture.  I invite you to come in to the Hillsborough Gallery this month, and take a close look at each, and see what they say to you.

Up Close

Alice Levinson will be presenting her contemporary sewn textiles.  Levinson says, “There is an old saying, ‘the devil is in the detail’.  In the case of my artwork, detail is at the heart my work. Viewing from the usual gallery distance one sees a total composition. Hopefully the work is visually interesting and pleasing to the eye. The overall effect is important in my work. The compositional schema hints to narrative as the palatte suggests mood. The true hallmark of my work, however, is in the attention to detail. I encourage the viewer to approach and come UP CLOSE.”

Approaching Levinson’s work reveals the variety of materials she incorporates into complex compositions. With closer scrutiny one can appreciate the dense variety of stitching which embellishes and elaborates each work.

Of her process Levinson writes, “Starting with white cloth, I experiment freely with dye, pigments, and printing techniques to create cloth which is complex in texture and rich in visual interest. This cloth is the primary prompt to my work. It’s variations in tone, color, and texture inspire me, prompting a creative response.The fabric is cut or torn and pieces are mixed and melded as I assemble my work. Each composition is built of successive layering of fabric and thread. My intuitive work process encourages spontaneity and experimentation.  I live and work in a quiet wood. My work is infused with the lines of the trees, movement of wildlife, and the seasonal changes of form, color, and light.”

For Up Close painter Linda Carmel focuses on women and how they work together. Many of her images involve women helping each other. Carmel’s paintings of women are a perfect illustration of the campaign slogan, ‘stronger together’.

Carmel writes, “I hope that my images will remind us to treat ALL people equally regardless of gender or race. My work strives to speak directly to women, to acknowledge their inner strength and celebrate their power. These themes are especially significant in the present moment as women have been forced to re-engage in fights for rights that they thought were won long ago. Women are massing, marching, and protesting.”

Carmel builds up her canvases with acrylic modeling paste. She creates interesting background textures and then sculpts her figures. Carmel’s paintings are durable: she encourages people to touch them. Get up close and enjoy!

Sculptor Lynn Wartski writes,  “I see our title, Up Close as in invitation to our viewers to take a focused look at our new work.  ‘Athena Sharpening Her Spear’  was the first piece I specifically created for Up Close.  The seated goddess is clad in elements of knowledge, wisdom, and learning, as well as her gleaming armor. Athena is intently sharpening her spear as she prepares for an intense battle.”

Wartski reflects, “This entire year I’ve been experimenting with other surprises that allow some dolls to tell even more of their story.  While continuing to refine gesture and expression, I’ve also incorporated text and images into some surfaces creating collage elements within the sculpture.  In this way an Alice in Wonderland doll became a piece about questions and questioning, and a butterfly figure emerging from its chrysalis about giving flight to dreams and imagination. The scale of my art doll sculptures bids one to take a more intimate look. I try to reward this level of scrutiny with the details that I work into each figure.  I admit that I love creating little elements for each doll, especially the shoes.”

Opening Reception

6-9

June 30


 

it’s all about the story

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“Out Of Abaton” is John Bemis‘ new interpretation of the well-loved tale of Pinocchio. Just as the wooden puppet changes into a human boy, Bemis transforms this classic story with fantastic creatures, alchemy, and the mystery of human emotion–all woven into the magical and glorious landscape of Italy. The artists of the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts depict this fantasic tale in paintings, photography, metal, fiber, glass, ceramics, and wood. It is a show for all those who appreciate rich story telling and local art.

About John Claude Bemis:

John Claude Bemis is an award-winning author and also an inspiring speaker and musician. Bemis grew up in North Carolina and became an elementary school teacher after studying Art History and Education at UNC-Chapel Hill. His experiences of reading, exploring, and teaching naturally evolved into a career of writing. He received the Exellence in Teaching Award from UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Education and was chosen as North Carolina’s Piedmont Laureate for Children’s Literature in 2013. He lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina.

Reception

Feb 24

6-9

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