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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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.
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Go Figure

linda and Marcy and Lynn

Linda Carmel is a painter who creates richly textured canvases that focus on the experience of women today. She writes, “The paintings in Go Figure! explore the transition from girlhood to womanhood where outer appearance becomes circumscribed and the carefree girl is hidden.”

In this series she has used the hooped skirt as a metaphor for how women worked within these confines to find autonomy.  She explains, “When girls enter womanhood, both historically and culturally, there are often confining restrictions of dress and behavior that apply.  In times and places where women were unable to voice their opinions, they embroidered their thoughts onto household fabrics and clothing. I have incorporated these unspoken words into many of my new paintings.”

Carmel adds, “Women’s fashion has come a long way from the era of the hoop skirt, but women are still forced to dress the part and hide elements of themselves in order to shatter the remains of the glass ceiling.”

 

Lynn Wartski’s imaginative sculptures portray the human body as art dolls.  Wartski states, “This medium allows me to explore and play with a wide variety of materials and techniques yet still maintain visual cohesion. Inspiration for these small scale figures comes from places both common and unexpected. I delve into the worlds of art, literature, mythology, legend, everyday life.” Lynn uses a variety of materials in her mixed media dolls, but it is her use of metal that links these dolls to her earlier work.

Wartski adds, “For Go Figure!, I have continued to concentrate on gesture and expression.  Though there is no one theme that unifies all my sculptures, there is the intent for each to represent a moment within some narrative. My hope is that the viewer will be drawn into the small details of each doll and hopefully enter into the story she may have to tell.”

 

Marcy Lansman writes of her new work for Go Figure!: “Many of these paintings express my nostalgia for a kind of childhood play that seems rare today, nostalgia for a time when children ran around outdoors uncoached and unscheduled.  I’m intrigued by the excitement and collaboration that emerges from that kind of spontaneity. Several paintings are based on fifty-year old photos of my sons.  I’ve solicited candid photos from friends and family, but often what I get back are smiling faces looking straight into the camera.  So for new subject matter, I’ve taken to photographing children in local public playgrounds.”

Opening Reception

Friday, September 30

6-9

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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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Colorful Language

Michele Yellin
Several of the paintings that I created for this year’s featured artist exhibit carry a secret inside of them.They are filled with colorful language. By that I don’t mean that I have painted curse words all over them, although at times I am tempted, but rather, I have first written a phrase in paint on the surface of the canvas.This is a good way for me to get a painting going. It provides a  structure for the painting, and an interesting or profound thought to keep in mind throughout the arduous process of creating.
 Michele writing
In the painting Giving Up On Being Perfect, this is what is written in the underpainting:
“The thing that is really hard and really amazing is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” by Anna Quindlen.
After I paint the phrase, I fill in the rest of the surface with lots of color creating an abstract
painting that eventually obliterates the words. Hopefully I have taken the time to write the phrase on the stretcher boards on the back of the painting, because if I am lucky, the title of the painting will come from that phrase and be perfectly appropriate.
 Michele underpainting
The next step for me is to look at the abstracted painting, and discover what images are hidden in the paint and texture.Using line and color, I will start to define what I see in the paint. Bit by bit, I will add to the painting until the composition is complete.
MicheleYellinGivingupOnbeingPerfect
While I don’t create every piece this way, I use many of the same practices when I am creating art. Color says the things that I can not find the words to say. It is its own language.
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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.

 

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Grounded

Grounded-BLOG

 

Evelyn Ward, a potter who makes functional stoneware with salt fired glazes, has this to say about her work for the show. “Working with clay keeps me grounded. My time in the studio is a place where I can get distracted from life and totally absorbed in my work. Throwing repetitive forms has become unconscious, almost like a song known by heart, one whose lyrics are never hard to remember. Working on new forms awakens me and keeps me interested and excited about going to the studio every day. For this show I’ll be showing a mix of new forms that I’m really excited about and some familiar ones too.”

 

In her new work for Grounded,  acrylic painter Ellie Reinhold moves away from the intensity of the human experience to focus on nature itself. Reinhold writes, “The new work slated for Grounded holds no deep psychological approach to the theme. Instead recent explorations in texture and color remain my focus and loose tree imagery continues to hold sway. The tree, in my view, is one of the Great Grounders of this world; earth bound yet far reaching, held in place yet always moving.”

 

Grounded is ushered in on painter Pat Merriman’s 80th birthday with her COURAGE series on American Women in History. The series began with a collage of women in the early 1900’s. As an academic, Pat passionately researched the history of women’s acts of courage from the early settlers to the 2016 edict that the American military can be gender neutral. As an artist, Pat then simplified these themes to create bold, colorful collages. Merriman states, “There are panels of the Suffrage movement, the Daughters of Liberty, The Trail of Tears, Latina women, African American women, and 1950’s women who read the “Feminine Mystique”– all leading toward the Equal Rights Movement.”

 

Merriman adds, “There is also a series of four profiles of North Carolina Barns, some reflecting the styles of Wolf Kahn and Milton Avery.  Barns depict the sociology of  America…styles reflect the culture of the immigrants, their life in America often began outside of the cities with the building of a barn.”

Opening Reception

June 24

6-9

 

 

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ART from shows