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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What I came here for

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Arianna Bara

Before I made jewelry, I tried a lot of different things. I drew, painted, sculpted, took pottery classes. None of them felt like “what I came here for”. I kept asking myself in which direction I was supposed to go and no way became clearly “the” way.

In the 90’s I read a book on lucid dreaming, which is a way to awaken within your dream state so you can ask your subconscious questions about your life: little questions like how to solve a problem, or the bigger ones like “Why Am I Here?” questions. I practiced the techniques and, amazingly, was able, several times, to become aware or “lucid” when I was dreaming.

As you can imagine, this is tricky on several levels. The key is to realize you are dreaming without waking up. One of the ways you can do that is throughout the day and as you fall asleep at night, you ask yourself the same two questions and listen for the answer. You ask “Am I dreaming”? “Can I fly”? As you ask yourself throughout the day, the answer is, of course, no. I’m not dreaming, I’m writing this on the computer. Can I fly? Nope, my feet are firmly on the carpet.

As you ask yourself these questions as you fall asleep, there will be a time when you ask yourself if you are dreaming, and you will be uncertain. You will ask yourself if you can fly and you will. You will fly!

flight

Dream flying is the most exhilarating thing. You just want to fly forever. So the next tricky part is to stop flying and ask your question. One time my question was “What will my art look like”? I saw myself in a gallery and my work was on the wall. It was far away and I kept trying to move in closer to see it but I couldn’t get a clear view. It was small and seemed metallic, but it was hanging on the wall and so was not clearly jewelry.

I had fun with lucid dreaming and had some fabulous flights, but never found exact answers to the questions I asked. It took constant practice and I was unable to keep up with it as the demands of my life took precedence.

I discovered jewelry-making about 10 years later, when a friend invited me to join her in a class. I had recently lost my husband and was stunned and grieving. I had no idea what metalsmithing entailed and next to no interest, but I wanted to spend time with her so I signed up for it. The minute I picked up a pair of round-nosed pliers and wire I began making spirals. Over and over. I was hooked. Then came the hammer and the forging and the torch and there was no going back. All the therapy I needed was in those motions and the creative process.

So, what did I come here for? I believe we are spiritual beings having a human experience. We are here to remember, in the face of love and loss, that we are radiant eternal beings. We are here to “arise and illuminate”, as poet John O’Donohue says. That is what my jewelry is about.

 

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