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


 

Earthworks

Garry Childs

All of my work is formed on the potters wheel from terra-cotta clay. I apply glazes and pigments to my pots when they have reached a state potters call “leather-hard” which is when the clay has stiffened up enough to handle but is not completely dry. I usually do this by spraying but sometimes also with a brush. I then carve through the glaze into the still damp clay to achieve the various patterns seen on my work.

Some of the pieces in the show utilize a combination of glazes and a metallic slip coating areas on the pot. I particularly like the way the slip gets a slightly bronze tone on some pieces.

I also have several pots that are a continuation of my “Red Clay” series that use local clays dug straight from the ground to develop texture. These pieces are much heavier textured than I have done in the past and incorporate some additional colors.

It is Springtime so naturally there will be planters included in the show. I make planters in three general sizes. The smallest are approximately twelve inches wide and tall measured on the outside, the medium 15″ x 15″ and the large are 18″ x 18″.  The 12″ size fit nicely on most steps and are the perfect size for growing herbs on your deck or patio. Larger sizes are available on a custom basis.  All have two drainage holes in the bottom of the pot and are suitable for use both indoors and outside in moderate climates.

EARTHworks

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Garry Childs describes his technique, “All of my work is formed on the potters wheel from terra-cotta clay. I apply glazes and pigments to my pots when they have reached a state potters call “leather-hard” which is when the clay has stiffened up enough to handle, but is not completely dry. I usually do this by spraying, but sometimes also with a brush. I then carve through the glaze into the still damp clay to achieve the various patterns seen on my work.”

Chris Graebner describes her inspiration for the show, “I love to drive, especially on long trips. Every summer we go to Northern Michigan – to Lake Huron. It’s a trip I love, two days up and two days back, driving through gorgeous scenery, forests and farms. (It’s amazing how many different types of barns there are!) Last summer, in addition to the trip to Michigan, we made a 3700 mile trip to South Dakota, returning home by way of Texas and Louisiana. As usual, I did most of the driving. Driving forces me to pay attention to everything around me and I’m always amazed by the beauty. Painting is my way of possessing that beauty so I want to paint it all!  My husband is patient about taking photos with the cell phone as we sail past interesting things on the highway. My paintings in this show are all of places observed from the car, in our travels over the last year.”

Jude Lobe’s work presented in Earthworks reflects her love and respect of nature. “For this show I’m still using the method of building and deconstructing, but concentrating on the connectedness between earth, man, fauna, plants and everything else making  up the universe, and the loss that may occur if we don’t become more mindful. I like mixing mediums and love textures, which becomes a metaphor for how all things in the universe are interwoven and intertwined. My paintings in cold wax & oil, encaustics and collage are a journey to articulate on a surface an emotion I have difficulty in articulating in words.”

“Sometimes I’m on an archaeological excursion. From building up layers of colors and textures, to scraping away, scratching and uncovering what is beneath, the process leads me to new places I discover.”

Opening Reception
May 26th, 2017, 6 – 9 pm

Parallel Play

While considering a title for their three person show, Jason, Evelyn and Ellie sifted through many words in an effort to evoke their creative commonalities. Many came from geometry: intersection, structure, converge, planes, parallels, and perspective. Words related to play such as natural, spontaneous, and essential were another common thread. In the end “Parallel Play” seemed a perfect combination of both themes.

Ellie Reinhold states, “Several years ago I inadvertently fell in love with using geometric grids in my paintings. I’d paint a spray of circles or rectangles, to both break up and hold together my landscapes. I fell in love with the balance these paintings struck between landscape and abstraction. In lucky moments, the representation that remained was stronger once it had been pulled away from convention. While my work is informed by elements from the natural world, (tree forms in particular), my process pulls it away from simple landscape into a different arena altogether. This process demands a playful, risk-taking approach. A constant willingness to let go of things I love– to destroy what’s on the canvas– in order to find the path to a better painting.”

Sculptor, Jason Smith, states, “As an artist, sculpture has always been my primary focus. Though I have worked in many mediums, I always return to metal because of its strength, malleability and inherent beauty. My sculpture is abstract. I manipulate form in space to create visual balance, combining rhythm, movement, and action to create compositions that convey the energy found in my work.

Potter Evelyn Ward creates pots that reflect the strength of a salt fire with the delicacy of a sepia photograph. Ward writes, “I like to make good, useful pots that someone will enjoy using every day.” Her process for creating them is far from simple. First, each piece passes through a labor-intensive salt firing. Then the pots are placed in a second electric kiln firing, which fastens ceramic decals of delicate plant drawings, or photographs to the rich, salt-glazed background. Evelyn designs and creates all of the images for the decals, which are derived from her photographs and drawings of botanical subjects.

Opening Reception

6-9

April 28

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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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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