ROCK PAPER SISSORS

 

Arianna Bara

Mortified. That’s how I feel every year on January 3rd. The holidays have just rampaged through, the final glitter dust is just settling on the floor and the wreath is still on the door, where it will remain until I am shamed into removing it mid-February. So it is. I think perhaps I can breathe now and pull out the calendar to look ahead to what the new year holds. I gasp when I see that my March Featured Artist show at The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts is just around the corner (this happens every year and every year I am surprised).

Three months can feel like a long time sometimes, like when you’re 6 months pregnant and big as a house or when your child is a toddler or when you’re counting down the days until summer vacation ends and your child goes back to school. But three months never seems like enough time to prepare for a Featured Artist show.

I usually spend January hunkered down in my studio in the woods, watching the snow fall, learning new techniques and experimenting with designs. This is always such a thrilling time; designing is on my mind every waking moment and I have given myself the luxury of play and exploration.

At the beginning of February the new designs come to life as I focus on a handful of large pieces that will be the highlights of the show. Designs are the first thing on my mind in the morning and dance in my thoughts as I sleep, which I don’t do enough of. Towards the end of the month the frenzy kicks in and builds until the day the show goes up at the end of March.

By the time the reception begins I have been subsisting on a diet of coffee and walnuts for longer than I care to admit. A steady stream of people flows into the gallery and I’m surrounded by friends old and new who have come to see my work, hear what inspired it and support me with their hugs and kind words. At the end of an exhilarating evening I crawl into bed exhausted but smiling.

January through March are filled with a creative intensity and growth that I experience at no other time of the year. It is at once exciting, expansive and filled with pressure that is totally of my own making. Every year I both look forward to it and approach it with apprehension. And so it is.

 

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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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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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Serious Fun

 

 

Nell Chandler

For our show Serious Fun I found myself in a few different modes. First I wanted to reach back to my earlier mostly narrative line but add a more light a airy feel to it. I worked with copper and my etched brass but added a hinged sterling component to it.

I also got inspired by a collaborative piece I did with Pringle Teeter when she asked me to make a chain for her Hunter’s Globe in our All about the Story Exhibit. The more the world around me seemed to becoming unhinged the more obsessed I became with hinges and I made a couple of necklaces and bracelets that were created mostly of hinges. I loved the light and airy feel they have.

Then I got in a mood to work on some of my serious work of a more tailored line. I felt like I was searching for some sort of stability.

All the while I was reading books, magazines and watching tutorials on how to fire enamel during the slow times on my shifts at the gallery. I have wanted to learn torch enameling for a long time. I began ordering the things I knew I would need and one day I sat down with my book and began experimenting. I loved it from the first firing I did! I found I could mix my light and airy component to the sturdy and stable piece of enamel and find a comfortable balance.

I loved the way my friends and family and gallery folks reacted to my newest line at our opening! I loved that so many people wanted to try it on and hold it in their hands. And having my exhibit along with Ali Givens and Michele Yellin, with all their big bold happy colors made our title Serious Fun fit perfectly into the space..

 

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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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

 

 

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