Serious Fun

 

Ali Givens

For Serious Fun I’ve worked on refining several fabric collages that I began years ago. For some pieces, such as “Orange Peacock” I removed the strongest element, the peacock, from the original quilt and built an entirely new composition. In the new collage a cityscape becomes the backdrop as the the peacock stands in front searching among the rocks.  In another work, “Long Afternoon” I simplified the colors to create a completely new feeling. The original background was bright orange, but by replacing it with a more muted gray I was able to make all of the other colors come alive. I think sometimes you have to look at something a long time to figure it out–it’s like a puzzle. Fabric is wonderfully forgiving which makes it very fun as a medium–the more I work with it, the more I’ve learned to relax during the process. For this show I’ve also revisited my favorite theme: the still life.

Especially fun and challenging for me was incorporating my own interpretations of my fellow artists’ paintings and pottery as elements in my own collages. I have a beautiful vase by Garry Childs in my living room. It sits in the corner full of curly willow branches next to a very old stained glass window. Each morning when I sit on the sofa drinking my coffee, I stare at that corner–it became a still life in my mind. I first made a drawing of these elements, the vase, the window, the brick wall and the table. I then made a small collage with fabric to work out the details. Then, from that small collage, I was able to blow it up to a much larger size. This process works well for me. I love images that are small and intimate, and also images that are very large and bold. “Ode to Garry’s Vase” was challenging collage, but one that I truly enjoyed because of personal connection (Garry is also an artist at HGA). Being inspired by my friends is always fun, serious fun.

 

 

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Serious Fun

Nell Chandler writes, “For our show I have created some of my narrative jewelry about relationships, spirituality and just life. I have also made some of my more abstract pieces that have a more tailored look. I always enjoy reaching back to my previous techniques and jewelry lines for inspiration, but this year feels different. I find the challenges of the world today burdening my heart.  As a reaction to this heaviness, I find myself in the studio making pieces that are more lighthearted and airy.”

Chandler continues,  This show  has also given me the opportunity to try something new. I have been thinking about trying a little torch firing and have been reading magazines and books and watching tutorials. I have dabbled a bit now and it feels perfect for our show we named Serious fun.

Painter and assemblage artist, Michele Yellin, often begins her work by placing a quote in the underpainting as way to start the process. Color is the language she uses with great boldness to say the things that cannot be expressed in words. As she layers the canvas with color she finds that figures and shapes begin to emerge. Much like a writer developing a cast of characters, she lets these shapes and figures tell her who they are. Michele moves from philosophical to playful with deftness and a strong sense of her own artistic voice.

Yellin writes, “For Serious Fun I have created vibrant paintings and wooden folk art using texture, layers of color, and line. With these elements, I am exploring the reality that is inside the reality we see.”

Fabric artist Ali Givens writes, “For Serious Fun  I have worked on refining several fabric collages that I began years ago. For some pieces, such as “Orange Peacock” I removed one element, the peacock, from the original quilt and built an entirely new composition. In another work, “Long Afternoon” I simplified the colors to create a completely new feeling. I’ve also revisted my favorite theme for other new work: the still life. Especially fun and challenging for me was incorporating my own interpretations of my fellow artists’ paintings and pottery as elements in my own collages. Being inspired by my friends is always the most fun, serious fun.”

Opening Reception

July 28

6-9

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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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The Art of Giving

holiday-rgbEach holiday season the members of the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts transform the gallery to showcase original ornaments and hand-made gifts. The gallery’s 21 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, knitted scarves; and fabric handbags. 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, pottery, turned wood, enamels, and carved ironwood with turquoise and silver inlay. Fine art photography, oil and acrylic painting, encaustics, scratchboard, and mixed media work festively surround the three dimensional pieces on pedestals.

Explore the wonderful art exhibited at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts to find a special gift for that special person.

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Dreaming in Color

Sky is Bluer Thank the SeaAlice Levinson

TEXTILE can be a confusing label for a piece of artwork. It truly is an umbrella term which encompasses a wide range of work from quilts to weavings, from fashion to tapestries. Each of these categories of textile is identified by the manner in which the cloth and/or fiber is assembled (e.g., sewn, woven, or quilted). When I started work with textiles,I was drawn to the texture, handof cloth. I worked with cloth I sourced from stores, scrap, or vintage collections. My interest was to use it to assemble visually interesting compositions.

Most often these compositions also had a thread of narrative at their core.

The more I worked, the more I encountered a variety of fabrics, the more I came to appreciate the role pattern and color played as I assembled my compositions.

Alice'e Stash

My stash of acquired fabric grew. My facility with needle and thread increased. All was good. Then one day I watched a demonstration of cloth dying and a new door opened for me, I was entering the world of surface design, yet another sub-category that falls within the rubric of textile. The hallmark of surface design is the manipulation of the surface of cloth through the application of techniques and substances to create a unique textile.

My facination with the process led, to the first of several workshops to learn

to dye cloth. I learned to prepare carefully the dye concentrates and then begin the magic of turning white cloth to any and every hue. Initially I was limited by my lack of experience and expertise in managing the dying process. As someone once said, practice makes perfect.Well, in my case, practice has made good enough!It was a heady experience to create my own rainbow stash of fabric. From early efforts with muslin and cotton sheeting, I progressed to working with embossed and textured cotton,linen, wool, velvet and silk. Each particular fabric takes the dye in its own way and each has its own particular texture. More learning,hs led to more variety with which to work. In the time to follow I have learned to use the dyes to paint and screenprint my fabrics adding pattern to the elements of color and texture. The cloth that emerges from my wet (dye) studio has become the primary inspiration for my current work which are featured in the exhibit, DREAMING IN COLOR. The use of surface design techniques leads my work to be process driven. This encourages experimentation and sponteneity in my working and results in a liveliness and sense of organic movement in the resulting works. I hope you will visit the exhibit and consider the many steps that have resulted in the works you see.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

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ART from shows

Dreaming in Color

 

 

August postcard RGBAlice Levinson, a textile artist, writes of her experience preparing for the show: “In October, 2015 I participated in the X Florence Biennale in Florence, Italy, an international exhibition of contemporary art. My body of clothworks was awarded the Lorenzo di Medici Bronze Medal in Textile Arts. These works will be among those I will be showing in the DREAMING in COLOR exhibit in Hillsborough. 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. 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. I aim to create works that engage the viewer and delight the eye with movement and vibrant color. Raw edges are honored and loose threads purposefully retained. My intuitive work process encourages spontaneity and experimentation. By nature, I am an observer of people and the natural world. Musings, scribbled phrases, and gestural sketches follow. These suggest themes, visual motifs, a palette. My intention in place, I reach for the cloth and then the magic begins. Image, line, and pattern find their way though my hands into the work in a remarkable way. My task is to stay open and responsive to the ‘voice’ of the cloth. ‘Listening ‘ with my hands as well as my eyes, I work to facilitate the creative flow. This isn’t easy, but is always satisfying, and often, surprising.”

Glass artist  Pringle Teetor describes her new work for the show, “Colors, bright and bold run through my work in many variations. The combinations of different metals in some of the glass colors produce spectacular reactions. Many years ago I studied painting and the artist Morris Lewis had a huge impact on my work. Now, I’ve taken this vision into my glasswork applying colors to create bold, irregular stripes on my vessels.  Another use of color in my work is in my incalmo bowl pieces. Incalmo is fusing together multiple glass pieces to make a single vessel. These have to be done very carefully and require a great amount of precision. I’ve combined 4-6 different colors in these vessels to make wide stripes in the bowls – some colors are analogous, others are contrasting to make a bold statement.”

Lolette Guthrie writes, “I am a landscape painter.  I work largely from memory so my paintings are reflections on what I experienced at a particular time in a particular place. They are also always paintings of light and atmosphere as I continually strive to capture the ephemeral nature of the light remembered. I begin each piece with a general idea of time and place and then let the painting tell me where and how far to go. As a result, I am never sure what the end result will be because at some point each piece takes on a life of its own and I just follow along. For Dreaming In Color, I concentrated on exploring the use of color, especially in the sky, that almost alone would give the viewer a sense of space, light, time of day, temperature, and weather.  In most pieces, the foreground is the accent note.”

Opening Reception

Friday August 26

6-9

 

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ART from shows