Apr 192024
 

Meryl Engler, “Lying in Red”, 2023, Woodcut

Work by Michael Loderstedt (left), Eva Pozler (center) and Lori Kella (right)

Work by Lori Kella, Maria Uhase, and Meryl Engler (right two pieces)

Lori Kella, “Mudslide and Forsythia”, 2022, Inkjet print (left) and Corrie Slawson, “Amalgam 4”, 2022 (top) and “Amalgam 3”, 2022 (bottom), Oil and screenprint on plywood

Today (4/19/24) is the last day to see Life Out of Balance at the Emily Davis Gallery at The University of Akron. The group show show includes work by Maria Uhase, Meryl Engler, Lori Kella, Benjamin Lambert, Michael Loderstedt, Eve Polzer, Ron Shelton, Ariel Bowman, and Corrie Slawson.

From the gallery-

When a tree falls in a forest, we may see it as the death of the tree. It stops photosynthesizing, growing, feeding its mycorrhizal symbionts, flowering, developing fruit, dispersing seeds, taking in carbon dioxide, and producing oxygen. But in the ecosystem, it begins a whole new life in decay. It feeds the soil and microbes through the decomposition of its tissues; it provides a place for fungi, mosses, and lichens to grow; and it becomes a protected habitat for a myriad of insects, mammals, and birds. This same tree, therefore, can be both dying and living at the same time, depending on perspective. It can be dead if considered separate from its surroundings, or it can be alive in its continued relationship within its ecosystem.

Humans can feel more alive by being integrated with the rest of the natural world. We are not living to our full potential, or allowing nature to be its full potential, when we consider ourselves as separate from it.

If we are to have hope for solving the complex environmental issues that are facing us today, we need to work with, rather than against, the forces of nature.

Below are a few more selections.

Ron Shelton, “Yellow Mosaic”, 2021, Plastic and wire

Ariel Bowman, “Wall Trophy Series”, 2019, (Cave Bear, Antique Bison, Early Horse, Saber Cat, Dodo, Brontotherium, Parasaurolophus), Unglazed, high fired porcelain; Maria Uhase, “Splitting Headache”, 2022 Ink on paper and “Softly”, 2023, Graphite on paper

Ariel Bowman, “Wall Trophy Series”, 2019, (Cave Bear, Antique Bison, Early Horse, Saber Cat, Dodo, Brontotherium, Parasaurolophus), Unglazed, high fired porcelain

Benjamin Lambert, “A pint for a gallon”, 2020 and “I Found Your Damn Lost Shaker of Salt”, 2020, Stoneware, underglaze, glaze, epoxy

Corrie Slawson, “Stage Set Tapestry 1, for Feast: a ballet. Of Bats, Blue Footed Boobies, Penguins and other threatened fauna and flora. Pastoral landscape after Rubens”, 2020, Oil and mixed media on muslin

Corrie Slawson, “Stage Set Tapestry 1, for Feast: a ballet. Of Bats, Blue Footed Boobies, Penguins and other threatened fauna and flora. Pastoral landscape after Rubens” (detail)

Michael Loderstedt, “Snakehead”, 2023, “Thistles”, 2023, Cyanotypes on fabric, embroidery, fabric collage

Lori Kella, “Mayflies in the Grass”, and “Yellow Irises”, 2024, Framed inkjet prints

Maria Uhase, “Encircled”, 2023, Oil on linen panel, “Worm”,2023, Oil on linen and “Conglomeration in the Spiders’ Ghost Town”, 2020, Oil on canvas

Eva Polzer, “Gift from a Cat”, 2024, Ceramic, underglaze, velvet jewelry box, and “Gift from a Rat”, 2024, Ceramic, underglaze, petri dish

Meryl Engler, “Waiting”,2023, Woodcut Block

 

Mar 162024
 

Stephen Tornero “Don’t Tell Me” Hand dyed wool, acrylic rods

Chad Troyer “Crashing Waves” (bottom) and “Calming Shores” (top) Jacquard-woven, gradating waffle weave; Cotton, linen, rayon, silk, birch

Jen P. Harris “Oscillator” (left) and “Sphinx” (right) Hand-woven cotton, canvas, gesso, and thread on wood stretcher bars//Hand-woven cotton, canvas, thread, and acrylic paint on wood stretcher bars

Trey D. Gehring, “Stacked” Woven cotton yarn, crocheted acrylic yarn, fabric paint

Etta Sandry “Pivot: Moi-même” and “Pivot: Big Squish”, Cotton and cottolin, handwoven on Jacquard loom//Cotton and wool, handwoven on Jacquard loom

There are some incredible pieces in Waffle Weave Invitational, one of the current exhibitions at Summit Artspace. A few selections are pictured, but head to the gallery’s website to see all of the work on view.

From curator Stephen Tornero (who also has work in the show)-

This show was conceived as an idea to focus on a specific structural variable of a textile, and see how many different variations artists, artisans, and craftspeople would be able to produce. While researching the development of weaving technology, a loom with the capability to create complex structures was developed around 600 CE simultaneously in different cultures. This structure could have been produced by these looms, but also could have been designed much earlier by hand-manipulation of threads by the weaver. The waffle structure is so unique in its ability to transform a textile- seemingly a two dimensional surface- into a three dimensional object that has depth as shown by many repeated square pyramidal cells. Historically, this structure was used to create a textile that would hold water in its cells for cleaning or drying, or to help insulate the body with tiny pockets of air.  This structure can be modified by changing the color of the threads with which it is woven, the fiber content of those threads, or even by expanding the amount of threads used in a cell, expanding the scale. 

Statements from the artists about the work pictured above (from the Summit Artspace website)-

Stephen TorneroDon’t Tell Me– “This piece is part of a continuing study of material, color, and structure in textiles. I have been mesmerized with the “waffle weave” structure and its ability to create large, three dimensional pockets of space. This pieces experiments with the combination of the flexible, fibrous wool yarns with the rigid neon acrylic rods. These two materials are combined in a large textile in order to explore the effects that this unique weaving structure will have on these materials. This use these two opposing materials in the piece creates a dialogue between the traditional usefulness of this wool weaving and its display on the wall as a work of art.”

Chad TroyerCrashing Waves and Calming Shores– “The gradating structure allows for the weft to float acrost the surface of the weaving for varying lengths, from half an inch to nearly the whole width. The warp is allowed to float for varying lengths, but not nearly as long as the weft. After it was taken off the loom, the weaving was stretched. Parts of it were pulled, and others were left loose, allowing the floats to be accented by the folding and tautness of the cloth. The two pieces are the same piece of cloth cut apart, however they both display a different state of being: turbulent & calm.”

Jen P. HarrisOscillator and Sphinx– “These small weaving-painting hybrids are part of an ongoing, experimental body of work in which I am developing a heterogeneous formal language that both honors and questions histories and conventions of painting and weaving.”

Trey D. GehringStacked– “Stacked follows a line of investigation by the artist into a poststructuralist analysis of language as a system of symbols that lack meaning beyond context. The piece melds the namesake with the woven structure itself creating a hyper-literal interpretation of the exhibition’s theme. However, an understanding of the theoretical underpinning is unnecessary and secondary to the enjoyment of the whimsical and humorous nature of the work.”

Etta SandryPivot: Moi-même and Pivot: Big Squish- “My woven work focuses on samples that explore dimensionality in woven cloth using techniques such as multi-layer weaving, pleating, and woven structures that are elastic, self-shaping, and otherwise transformative, like the pocketed cells of waffle weave. This work creates a series of translations between the flat draft and the materiality of the cloth. Weaving is a technically binary structure: a warp thread can be either raised or lowered. When drafted, woven structure is drawn as a flat grid. Woven in multiple layers, cords, and pleats, weaving maintains its inherent binary nature but takes on a new physical dimensionality. Between the flat draft and the woven cloth, there is an unknowable material transformation that reflects the nuance, radical variation, and possibility that emerges from a seemingly set and limited system. In these works, this variation is expressed through two large waffle weave samples that test the limits of the waffle structure. Each piece weaves the same design of increasingly large waffle cells. Moi-même presents a balanced the waffle weave in which warp and weft threads of a similar weight and color draw out a subtle loosening of the structure as the size of the cells increase. In The Big Squish, the waffle structure is boldly packed, extended and distorted by colorful wool wefts.”

This exhibition closes 3/16/24.

Dec 172023
 

The Arts Annual at Creative Pinellas is always a great way to see what the artists in the area are creating. For 2023’s larger than ever edition, there is also a separate space for a video program that includes short films, theater productions, poetry readings, musical performances and more.

Artists included in the exhibition-

Tatiana Baccari, Elizabeth Barenis, Christina Bertsos, Daniel Barojas, Chomick + Meder, Courtney Clute, Neverne Covington, Sheila Cowley, Patricia Kluwe Derderian, Nikki Devereux, Javier T Dones, Dunedin Music Society, Sara Ries Dziekonski, Sarah Emery, Roxanne Fay, Jean Blackwell Font, John Gascot, Denis Gaston, Mason Gehring, Donald Gialanella, Jim Gigurtsis, Kevin Grass, Sheree L. Greer, Jason Hackenwerth, Steph Hargrove, Patrick Arthur Jackson, Reid Jenkins, Kenny Jensen, Charlotte Johnson, Victoria Jorgensen, Steven Kenny, Candace Knapp, Akiko Kotani, Teresa Mandala, Cora Marshall, Carol Mickett & Robert Stackhouse, Miss Crit, Mark Mitchell, Chad Mize, Desiree Moore, Zoe Papas, Gianna Pergamo, Rose Marie Prins, Gabriel Ramos, Babs Reingold, George Retkes, Heather Rippert, Ashley Rivers, Marlene Rose, Ric Savid, Tom Sivak, Sketzii, Emily Stehle, Rachel Stewart, Erica Sutherlin, Takeya Trayer, Judy Vienneau, Kirk Ke Wang, Angela Warren, and Joseph Weinzettle

The show is on view until 12/31/23.

Below are some additional selections from the exhibition.  

Reid Jenkins, “Holding Court”, Acrylic

Candace Knapp, “What the Blue Heron Sees” and “The Light Within” Acrylic on canvas

Daniel Barojas, “Future Ancestor”, Gouache, acrylic, gold leaf on canvas and “Future Ancestor #3”, Gouache and resin on paper

Rachel Stewart, “Caribbean Currents” Colored pencil, oil stick and collage on Archers archival paper; “Under a Different Sky”, Wall installation Painted relief wood construction with cooper and mixed media materials; Printing Ink and collage on rice paper

Mark Mitchell, “The BurgHive”, Acrylic on Hexagonal canvases

Sketzii,”Out of the Pink Concrete”, “Reclamando Mis Raices” and “A Señora’s Dream”, Acrylic on canvas

Steph Hargrove, “Catch You Later”, Acrylic paint, paper on canvas

Marlene Rose, “Three Bell Tower”, Sandcast glass and “Map Triptych” Sandcast glass

Heather Rippert, “Shakti” (center) and “Hawk 1, 2, and 3”, acrylic on canvas

 

 

Oct 182023
 

Keith Crowley “Longwood Run (Nocturne)”, 2019, Oil on linen (left) and “Mooring Fields (Twilight)”, 2021 (right)

Kenny Jensen, “I Didn’t Forget You (The Clearing)”, 2023 (left) and “I Didn’t Forget You (Papa’s Van)” 2023 (right)

Alison Tirrell “untitled (It’s all under control)”

Elizabeth Barenis, “The Creek Drank the Cradle”, acrylic on canvas

The Factory is a massive space in the Warehouse Arts District in St. Pete that houses numerous galleries and artist spaces, as well as the Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation, Museum of Motherhood (MOMMuseum), Fairgrounds St. Pete, and Daddy Kool Records. This past Saturday (10/14/23) was Second Saturday ArtWalk and there was a lot to see. On this page and the ones that follow are some of the highlights.

In Studio B, a temporary gallery space, was the group exhibition Soft Spoken (images above), which included artists Keith Crowley, Kenny Jensen, Alison Tirrell, Elizabeth Barenis, Raheem Fitzgerald, Kate Cummins, and Alfredo Christiano. This show remains on view by appointment with the artists.

In The Factory’s gallery space was the group exhibition Medium (images below).

Oil paintings by Luke Vest

Laurent Waldron “Road Killer”, 2023, Latex and acrylic paint, rubber tire and “Last Rodeo” 2023, Acrylic paint, wirebrush frame

At the Florida Wildlife Corridor’s gallery space Wild Space is Mickett/Stackhouse Studio’s Circle of Water, a collection of paintings, drawings, and video by artists Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse continuing their explorations of environmental issues. This exhibition will remain on view until 1/13/24.

Work by Mickett/Stackhouse Studio– “Mitigation Paintings: Green Shade Oak, Whale Pump, Mangrove Family, Mangrove Sea Wall, Green Swamp, Green Swamp Aqua Feeder, Whale Pump & Plankton, Shade Oak”, Watercolor on paper

About the above by the artists-

Mitigation Paintings further explore the ways in which natural resources can help to remedy and even forestall the damages of climate change. The swamps, whales and trees depicted are all “carbon sink,” in other words they absorb CO2, among their other contributions.

Work by Mickett/Stackhouse Studio at Wild Space Gallery

Oct 072023
 

Emiliano Settecasi, “Baby Blue Blowers”, 2023, faux fur, metallic fringe, box fans, wood

Jessica Caldas, “I come honouring your power (Clytemnestra)”, 2023, house linens, poly fiber fill, house patterned quilt, fabricated structures from gifted furniture, fabric wallpaper, found and embellished light fixture

Saumitra Chandratreya, “Throne”, 2022, Cyanotype on sateen, hand embroidery

Touchy/Feely at Hillsborough Community College’s Gallery 221 in Tampa has a lot of great interactive (and non-interactive work) on view. The three artists in the exhibition- Jessica Caldas, Saumitra Chandratreya, and Emiliano Settecasi– have contributed work that explores important themes while also adding an element of fun by allowing the viewer to become actively involved in the show.

The Curatorial Statement by Alyssa Miller-

Art touches you, and sometimes you get to touch it back. Challenging conventional gallery manners, Touchy/Feely encourages visitors to assume the role of participant by handling and manipulating several of the works on view. Contemporary fiber artists disrupt the long-held distinction between art and craft, blending the conceptual with the experiential in a highly tactile medium. In Touchy/Feely, artists Jessica Caldas, Saumitra Chandratreya, and Emiliano Settecasi go one step further in collapsing the space between artist and viewer, exploring themes of labor, motherhood, relationships, conscious choice, and joy through fiber art that both holds and is held.

So much of art and history is exhibited at a distance, close enough to see but never touch. Whereas engaging with the nature of textiles can be familiar, exciting, and sensational. Combinations of art and cloth have a long and fraught history within contemporary art, such as the novelty of interactive exhibitions that can become a commodity in contemporary museums. Ogled and beaten become the play spaces, tarnished and brassy the sculptures, worn and bruised the forms become overtime through the nature of interaction. Touchy/Feely aims to be a space in between museum rules and contemporary art photo-ops. Here, artists display a mix of interactive and static artwork that exemplifies intense feeling, encouraging the viewer to make decisions in real time, and submerge themselves in something they did not expect.

Ultimately, this exhibition satisfies my urge to explore, manipulate, caress, and experience art in a way not many individuals are able to do. In working behind the scenes, I am allowed to safely satisfy my interest in exploration. I will forever be grateful to the HCC Art Galleries team for their dedication to students, staff, and artists for this exhibition and the work they do year-round. I hope that visitors come away from this exhibition with a new experience, perspective, feeling, or sensation.

This exhibition closes on 10/12/23.

Jessica Caldas, “A name can be in a lot of places at once (Helen)”, 2023, house linens, crochet, fabricated structures from gifted furniture, polymer clay, yarn, polyfiber fill, fake pearls, and ceramic

Emiliano Settecasi, “Neon Green Furry Shelf”, 2023, faux fur, plywood, metal brackets; “Hand Bags (Purple)”, 2023 velvet Velour, polypropylene pellets; “Inman Ottoman”, 2023, ottoman reupholstered with vintage fabric that matches family chairs; Hand Bags (Merlot), 2023

Sep 132023
 

Alison Elizabeth Taylor, “Anthony Cuts under the Williamsburg Bridge, Morning”, 2020 Marquetry hybrid (wood veneers, oil paint, acrylic paint, inkjet prints, shellac, and sawdust on wood)

Currently at Orlando Museum of Art is The Outwin: American Portraiture Today, an impressive collection of work in a variety of mediums.

From the museum’s website-

Launched in 2006 to support the next wave of contemporary portraiture in the United States, the National Portrait Gallery’s celebrated triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition is a major survey of the best American portraiture selected by internationally prominent jurors and curators. Now in its sixth edition, The Outwin: American Portraiture Today presents 42 works selected from over 2,700 entries, that foreground the vibrancy and relevance of portraiture today. In addition to paintings, photographs, drawings, and sculptures, The Outwin includes video, performance art, and textiles, highlighting the limitless possibilities of contemporary portraiture.

Open to both emerging and established artists, this year’s entrants were encouraged to submit work that moves beyond traditional definitions of portraiture, and to explore a portrait’s ability to engage with the social and political landscape of our time. The variety of media and subjects featured in the exhibition invite audiences of all backgrounds to find relation in the human experience.

Since its inception, finalists for the exhibition have been determined by a panel of jurors including three Portrait Gallery staff members and four external professionals (critics, art historians, artists). The competition is endowed by and named for Virginia Outwin Boochever (1920 – 2005) who, for 19 years, volunteered as a docent at the Portrait Gallery. Her commitment to advancing the art of portraiture is continued through the support of her children.

Below are a selection of works from the show and information about them from the museum.

Alison Elizabeth TaylorAnthony Cuts under the Williamsburg Bridge, Morning, 2020 (pictured above)

On walks around her Brooklyn neighborhood during the COVID-19 lockdowns, Alison Elizabeth Taylor encountered the hair groomer Anthony Payne, who,with his workplace shuttered, had taken his scissors, mirror, and chair to the streets. Payne sought to financially support the Black Lives Matter movement, especially in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, and turned over proceeds from his donation-based haircuts to organizations advocating for social justice.

Taylor’s process, one she developed and named “marquetry hybrid,” incorporates vivid paints, inkjet prints, and the natural grains of over one hundred veneers. Marquetry, with its inlaid combination of woods, can “memorialize,” Taylor notes. She acknowledges the history of the craft, which was favored by Louis XIV (1654-1715) when he was acquiring furniture for Versailles. By giving Payne this “royal treatment,” Taylor aims to pay tribute to him.”I want him to see how much his example meant to me,” she explained.

Kira Nam Greene, “Kyung’s Gift in Pojagi (From the series “Women in Possession of Good Fortune”)”, 2019 Oil, gouache, colored pencil, and acrylic ink on canvas

Kira Nam GreeneKyung’s Gift in Pojagi (From the series “Women in Possession of Good Fortune”), 2019

In this mixed-media work, by Kira Nam Greene, the artist Kyung Jeon faces us with relaxed self-assurance. She is carefully positioned on her couch as her long black hair falls over her orange and turquoise tunic. In the foreground, a wooden cylinder containing paint brushes reveals her medium of choice. A plate with persimmons, consumed during the harvest festival Chuseok to celebrate good fortune, brims with potential while the rest of the painting pulsates with action.

Greene situates her friend in a fantasy world that echoes Jeon’s artwork and their mutual interest in the traditional Korean fabric quilting technique of pojagi. Two rabbits, representing Jeon’s Chinese zodiac, appear to be concocting a potion. Flowers sprout as kaleidoscopic patterns envelop her. The reference to pojagi, the visible paint drips in the background painting, and the hands of the sitter- left unfinished- invoke the role of tradition, process, and exploration in artmaking.

Stuart Robertson, “Self Portrait of the Artist” from the “Out and Bad” series, 2020, Aluminum, earth, acrylic paint, enamel, paper,metallic bubble wrap, sequins, and gold foil on wood

Stuart Robertson–  Self Portrait of the Artist from the Out and Bad series, 2020

“In my world, skin is high-tech, amorphous, and armored,” the artist Stuart Robertson observes. “Blackness is percussive, lustrous, flexible, and indestructible.” Self-Portrait of the Artist depicts a fragment of a man- half of his face and his upper torso-shiny and monumental. A black beard delineates his jaw, and a small gold hoop adorns his ear. Although the figure is cropped beyond recognition, the work’s title provides a clue.

Through the alternation of flat and repoussé aluminum sheets, Robertson achieves a hypnotic effect, a poignant tension playing on what he reveals or hides from us viewers. His refusal to depict his entire face or figure challenges the notion of what a portrait should be and blocks the objectification of the Black male body, so often sexualized in visual culture. Simultaneously, Robertson delivers an irrepressible, resplendent image of that body, one inspired by the aesthetics of Jamaica’s dancehall culture.

Vincent Valdez, “People of the Sun (Grandma and Grandpa Santana)”, 2019, Oil on canvas

Vincent ValdezPeople of the Sun (Grandma and Grandpa Santana), 2019

An elderly couple faces us with the gentle authority that old age provides. People of the Sun (Grandma and Grandpa Santana) is a portrait of Vincent Valdez’s maternal grandparents. “My grandparents spent most of their time outside,” the artist recalled. “Grandpa spent his entire life working under the blazing Texas sun as a carpenter and yard worker, cutting lawns in the wealthy communities of San Antonio right up until he passed away. Grandma was constantly working with her hands–raising kids, washing, sewing clothes, and tending the plants in her yard.”

The Santanas are depicted in a space defined by details the artist remembers: their vintage AM radio, their plants, their homemade clothes. The bedsheet, like the Virgen de Guadalupe’s aura, signals their spiritual role in the family. This portrait connects the pair to the Indigenous and mestizo cultures of the American Southwest, including the Aztec and Maya, who honored the sun.

For more work from the exhibition, please head to page 2.

Aug 212023
 

Leora Stewart (1943-2021) “Banyan Tree”, Fiber wall hanging

Leora Stewart “Banyan Tree”, Fiber wall hanging (detail)

Norma Lewis (1929-2015) “Kimono”, Paper fiber

Nneka Jones- “Layers of Identity”, Fiber collage and embroidery on canvas

Kathleen “Kaki” King, “Syngonium”, Earthenware

Abraham Rattner (1893-1978), “Birds”, 1971, Wool

Taylor Robenalt, “Rookery Queen”, Ceramic

Josette Urso, “Chola”, 1990, Fabric collage, found object quilt

Duncan McClellan, “Alchemy”, 2013, Hand blown glass, sand carved

The works above are from Material Mastery: Florida CraftArt Permanent Collection of Fine Craft on view at Leepa Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs.

From the museum-

Florida CraftArt (formerly known as Florida Craftsmen) was organized in 1951 by Stetson University art professors Elsa and Louis Freund as a statewide organization celebrating fine craft. As the only statewide nonprofit representing Florida’s fine craft artists, Florida CraftArt is a member-supported organization helping mentor and advance artists. Now headquartered at 5th Street and Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, this vibrant organization has been at the center of St. Pete’s artistic renaissance.

The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art is delighted to partner with Florida CraftArt to showcase their permanent collection and enduring contribution to Florida’s cultural heritage. The goals of this collection are to recognize the significance of Florida’s fine craft art in our broad artistic landscape, document the rich tradition of craft art statewide and beyond, and to educate and inspire future generations of artists and arts appreciators.

This exhibition will close 8/27/23.

Artists included in this post-

Leora Stewart

Norma Lewis

Nneka Jones

Kathleen “Kaki” King

Abraham Rattner

Taylor Robenalt

Josette Urso

Duncan McClellan

 

Aug 042023
 

The work above is from Regina Durante Jestrow’s current exhibition Free Form Connections at Dunedin Fine Art Center.

The artist’s statement about the exhibition-

This exhibition includes my organically shaped geometric art quilts from various series from 2020-23. I utilize improvisation, repeat patterns and shifts in scale while incorporating colors, textures, and structures representative of the diversity of the people and the natural surroundings of my current home in South Florida.

I use diversely toned second-hand, gifted, or saved fabrics and dyes from locally sourced plants and rust. Textiles are also manipulated with burning and staining with inks and acrylic paint. Other materials, such as neoprene, sequins, and faux leather, reference Miami’s pop culture.

Along with my constant interest in American Folk-Art Quilts, geometric-abstract artists from the mid to late twentieth century are my influencers, including Gees Bend quilters, Elizabeth Murray, Helen Frankenthaler, Anni Albers, and Gego. These artistic voices have driven me to create quilts of scale with strong personal symbolism and narrative.

This exhibition is on view until 8/13/23.

Aug 042023
 

The sculptures above are from Kat Howard’s current exhibition Controlled Telling, at Dunedin Fine Art Center.

From the gallery about the work-

Kat Howard’s work interrogates the complicated process of healing from trauma. The sculptures in ‘Controlled Telling’ examines the burden and pressure to conceal the truth.

Existing as various restricted forms of cotton, bound braids, transparent quilts, compressed scraps of muslin, mound of raw material, or hand-twined waxed rope, the writhing abstracted bodily forms overwhelm and invade the viewer’s personal space, emulate the feeling of tension, imploring the viewer to navigate physically and emotionally around them.

Howard creates visual art that uses abstraction, the innate language of texture, and the repulsion/attraction of touch to interrogate her identity as a survivor of abuse and sexual violence. The material and texture of the object is integral to her practice, and its connection to the body. Evidence of the hand and the physical marks of the body are always present in her work. What happens to the body when it is forced to become a vessel for trauma? In what ways do we physically carry pain? How is the self altered afterwards?

Howard’s pieces either have a physicality to them that feels almost human, or they are twisted abstractions from the domestic landscape. Repetition and labor are vital aspects to the work. Through the labor, the anxiety tethered to a desire for freedom is palpable. The viewer can sense the thousands of hours, and the fevered precision which act as an echo of the madness in the mind that comes to claim the body. What does freedom look like? The answer is in taking up space. The answer is in speaking up. The answer is in the attempt.

This exhibition is on view until 8/13/23.

Aug 042023
 

There are so many wonderful, detailed art works in Hannah O’Hare Bennett’s current exhibition Recede, on view at Dunedin Fine Art Center. They are all worthy of a closer look.

Below is the artist’s statement about the work-

“From the moment we are born until we die, we are almost constantly in contact with cloth as we move through our lives. Without thinking about it, we are familiar with its varied qualities–the simplicity of white cotton, the luxury of silk velvet, the flexibility of knitting, the structure of weaving. We can see the impact of time in a piece of fabric: how it wrinkles, stains, takes repairs, unravels. Handmade paper is a kind of non-woven cloth and is in fact often made of recycled cotton or linen. It can be dyed, stitched, wrinkled, torn, and repaired much in the same way as fabric.

My work explores the expressive possibilities of these materials, which I use to deal with my fascination with time altered urban and rural landscapes. A piece of land in the Oregon outback, the brick wall of buildings in Madison, a leafy Minneapolis neighborhood, etc. are all impacted by the passing of time, actions of human beings, weather. These occurrences can be incremental or sudden, and the change they bring almost imperceptible or very radical, each change layering on top of what came before. I use that observation to inspire my work. Fabric surfaces are worked over with layers and layers of pigments, embellished with embroidery, dunked into dye, cut and torn. Paper pulp is poured, dipped, mixed with sawdust, painted, crumpled and smoothed out again. In this small human way, I am channeling the world into the objects I create.”

The exhibition closes 8/13/23.