Let the River Answer

Arianna Bara

 

A table top made of a glimmering 6ft slice of petrified tree trunk. A single quartz crystal taller than I am (and I’m tall). Geodes you can step into. These are some of the amazing things I saw during my first trip to the Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show in Arizona last February.

My friend, jeweler Melissa Booth, had been urging me to go for several years. For her it is an annual pilgrimage, and it is indeed a mecca in the world of gem and mineral buying, collecting and trading. The gem show is actually more than 40 shows sprawled throughout the city, the premier show being that of the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). Located inside the plush convention center is a United Nations of buyers and sellers: diamond sellers from India in impeccable suits, German stone-cutters with sapphires and topaz, South Africans with pietersite (a rare form of tiger eye), the Russian “mafia” selling, well, whatever you want.

And Australian boulder opals, which completely entranced me with their irregular shapes and variety of colors: flecks of red, bright green, cobalt blue, yellows, black, pinks, creams and purples. Definitely not your grandmother’s opals (well maybe yours but not mine).

Some opal was being sold in large chunks of the rock it formed in, clearly showing its origins. Opal begins as liquid silica and flows into open cavities in the stone. When it is mined the top is cut off revealing a shimmering river of every color imaginable. Because of the liquid nature of silica, in rare instances, fossils can become “opalized”, turned into opal. In even rarer cases the internal details of the fossil are opalized as well. Opalized dinosaur teeth, bones and entire skeletons have been excavated.

The Australian boulder opal I brought back from Tucson has really inspired me. I hope you will come the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts and see my new work and let me know what you think.

Let the River Answer

march-postcard-rgbArianna Bara describes the inspiration for each of her new one-of-kind creations in sterling silver: “My pieces for this show are about questions. The ones we all have about why we are here and what we are here to do. Believing as I do that we are spiritual beings having a human experience and that nature is our partner and guide in that experience, the search for answers leads me to look to what is right beneath my feet, to what is right beside me as I walk in the woods or along the river. I believe the answers surround us and are there for us to discover.”

Wood turner, Michael Salemi writes, “Normally, rivers contain the flow of water within their banks. But when water is too powerful to be contained, the river answers by changing. My work for this show displays the same tension. Some pieces are controlled shapings of wood to classic and expected forms, but others reflect the power of the wood itself—the work becomes what the wood would have it be.”

Of his new work for the show, Eduardo Lapetina states, “My paintings are a way for me to enter the world, not an escape from it. A painting opens a door into a space in which a play may be staged– where conflict, climax, and resolution all come together. In the process of creation, a painting becomes a battlefield for my struggles about what is, what is not, what ought to be, what I like, what I love, what I hate, frustrations, disenchantment, embarrassments. My art exposes to the world my most private thoughts and feelings, forming a spatial connection between what lives within me and what is alive in everyone else. I want my spaces to be painted without intention, without conscious technique, without anything that might interfere with the connections I seek to create. I do not want to keep a tradition. I am not looking for beauty, but the viewer might find it in my art. My paintings are not about any particular theme or motif, they are attempts to convey the immaterial through materiality. My aim is to project energy, visual vibrations, light, voices, excitement, and enthusiasm, and to capture them in a physical form that you can take home with you.”

Opening Reception

Friday March 31st

6-9

 

 

To follow our Blog please hit the FOLLOW button at top of page.

To receive Hillsborough Gallery of Arts Newsletter please complete the form below with your name and email address.

Now and Again

 

now-again-postcard-rgb

 

The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts is celebrating 10 years as a gallery with a group show including 42 members, past and present. The gallery opened in September of 2006, and the founding 15 members started the gallery as a leap of faith. The artists did not know each other, and they had little experience in running a business. The gallery is now run by 21 members who are equal partners and make decisions by consensus. Featured artist shows, group shows, and juried shows create a strong relationship between the artists and their surrounding community. Now and Again, the latest group show, is the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts’ way of celebrating with all of the talented artists and friends who have made the gallery a success.

Opening Reception

Friday

January 27

6-9

To follow our Blog please hit the FOLLOW button at top of page.

To receive Hillsborough Gallery of Arts Newsletter please complete the form below with your name and email address.

Preview of the Orange County Studio Tour

ocag42

To follow our Blog please hit the FOLLOW button at top of page.

To receive Hillsborough Gallery of Arts Newsletter please complete the form below with your name and email address.

Go Figure

Lynn Wartski
A big part of the joy of creating art can come in experiencing the reactions of others.  I enjoy watching people in the gallery approach my figure sculptures for a closer look.  They have the exact opposite effect of an expansive painting where a step back will get the best view. Their scale as art dolls requires the viewer to approach, crouch down, and perhaps walk around. It is in this intimate proximity that each piece can reveal all the little surprises and details I have worked in to the final design. It is rewarding to have those who appreciate my work take note and tell me and others what they see there.
cello_secrets_wartski
I experienced several of these moments at the opening reception of Go Figure!  One woman viewing my piece “Cello”, asked if I had myself played the instrument.  I replied that I had not, and asked what had made her ask.  She said that she had played the cello, and that I nailed not just the posture of the figure, but that her hand, wrist, and finger positions were spot on.  I told her that I had in fact spent time pouring over images of cellists for that exact reason.
A couple was looking quite carefully at “Getting Lift”.  The husband asked his wife to walk this way to see the stitching on her helmet, just as the wife told him to come to the back so that he could see how I had laced the wings on to her back.  They both told me that it truly appeared that she was just about to take off from her base, and inquired what the key chained to her belt unlocked.
Others remarked that they didn’t truly appreciate “Secrets” until they were able to get up real close and see the expression on her face, or the fact that her boots just happened to match the fabric of her dress bodice. Of “Lacing III”, one viewer told me that she could really see the dancer’s concentration to her task.
A number of people told me that they could place themselves right in the moment I tried to capture with “Sunshine on a Cloudy Day”.  They all noted the joy and freedom of the figure despite the weather she was probably experiencing.
sunshine_-wartski
Perhaps most rewarding, were the comments that surrounded the show Go Figure! itself. Most saying that beyond the obvious connection of human figures, that there was a brightness and strength of spirit that tied all of the artists work together.
To follow our Blog please hit the FOLLOW button at top of page.

To receive Hillsborough Gallery of Arts Newsletter please complete the form below with your name and email address.

Please visit our website

ART from shows

Colorful Language

 

Matriarch PendentNell Chandler

This year I explored the melding of techniques from my past few Featured Artist shows. I created familiar “story bracelets” with new narratives. I became intrigued by families and ancestry and all the different kinds of families there are in this world.  My Matriarch Bracelet which I modeled after my sister Amy’s family spans  three generations. I painted one daughter with a husband and a daughter of her own and another daughter with a husband and two cats and a dog. I was just fascinated by all the different combinations.

 

flower charms

I also went back to a recent theme of mine of flowers. I would take pictures of all the wildflowers on my frequent morning walks with my friends and then paint them on my jewelry from my phone. I am always delighted by beautiful nature.

poly pendent

 

And the last line I created were ideas of pieces melded together from two of my last shows. I combined my black and white line on polymer clay with some color components. When we were throwing out titles for our show it was when Ali Givens suggested Colorful Language that Michele Yellin and I knew right off the bat that that was perfect for all three of us. It was a wonderful journey.

 

To follow our Blog please hit the FOLLOW button at top of page.

To receive Hillsborough Gallery of Arts Newsletter please complete the form below with your name and email address.

Please visit our website

ART from shows

Luminous

 

Arianna Bara Lapis and Azurite photo by artist

Arianna Bara

In designing the focal pieces for this show I was inspired by a cold and windy trip to the Acoma Pueblo, which lies on top of a 365 foot mesa in New Mexico.  The harshness of the land, the history of the native peoples and the stories of their indomitable spirits and resilience made a deep impression.

The site is the oldest continually inhabited settlement in North America at about 1000 years old.  On top of the mesa, two and three level homes are still made of adobe, with outside ladders leading to the upper stories where people live.  There is no running water, no electricity and no sewage disposal.  For centuries the only access was an almost vertical set of stairs cut into the rock face.

Arianna Bara Tiger's Eye, Plume Agate, Baltic Amber and Garnet, photo by artistThe day I was there was the second of a two-day festival of dancing and ceremony honoring the dedication of the newly-elected leaders.  Native people returned in large number to their ancestral homes on the mesa to participate and there were only a handful of non-native visitors there.  I felt completely immersed within a culture that was foreign to me and honored to be able to observe these dances and ceremonies performed for the Zuni people, not tourists.

The sounds of drums, rattles, chanting, the colors and patterns of traditional clothing and pottery, all stood out brightly against the surrounding brown of the desert and unceasing wind and sand. There was a palpable sense of a living, breathing ancient culture that uplifted me and inspired my work.

My major pieces for “Luminous” are female figures crafted of sterling silver and semi-precious stones like turquoise, carnelian, chrysoprase and lapis lazuli.  The silver is heavily textured and darkened with a liver of sulfur patina making them appear ancient.  They are being buffeted by the wind, perhaps a storm is raging around them, but they are not only still standing, they are strongly rooted.

Arianna Bara Turquoise, Chrysocolla, Carnelian, Amethyst and Lapis