Feb 272024
 

Jo Westfall, “The Queens Astronomer”, 2023, Mixed media

Christine Mauersberger, “Kates Bouquet”, 2022, Digital print on Japanese Kozo paper, of loom weaving

Cat Mailloux, “Rose Window”, 2023, Quilted appliqué on found fabric

Suzi Hyden, “If the Sun Could Kiss Me”, 2023, Toned cyanotype on vintage linen hand-stitched onto metal fencing

Above are a few of the works from Common Thread, the current exhibition at Malone University’s art gallery. It is on view until 2/29/24.

From the gallery about the show-

Although quite different, all artists in this exhibition are united by the idea of textiles. Suzi Hyden’s work celebrates the environment by combining elements from nature and repurposed materials to create cyanotypes on vintage fabrics.

Cat Mailloux’s textile practice is focused in quilt making, pursuing connections between the visual language of churches, cathedrals, and domestic spaces that slowly bleed their way into imagined and limitless landscapes, exploring questions of the infinite through material.

Christine Mauersberger’s body of work is aesthetically eclectic. Hard and soft. Digital and analog. Some pieces fill a room, others can be held in your hand. The common thread is that each piece attempts to make the invisible visible.

Jo Westfall creates visual work considered resource art. It is portraiture, fiber art, and assemblage made with local materials that were discarded, overlooked, or unused. It reclaims the aesthetic capacity and utility of these items by integrating them into fresh renderings.

Feb 262024
 

Willie Cole, “American Domestic”, 2016, Digital Print

Tom Laidman, “Broadway”, 1993 and “Bois Ma Petite”, 1999, Lithograph on paper

Currently on view at Akron Museum of Art is RETOLD: African American Art and Folklore, a collection of art from the Wesley and Missy Cochran collection, organized into themes exploring aspects of African American history and culture. The show features many well known and lesser known artists including Amiri Baraka, Beverly Buchanan, Willie Cole, Trenton Doyle Hancock, William Pope.L., Tom Laidman, Jacob Lawrence, Alison Saar and more.

From the museum about the exhibition-

African folklore has been around as long as humankind, and the African diaspora in America has added new dimensions to its rich history. African American folk stories teach about culture, the mysteries of life, and the survival of a race of people bought and sold who continue to thrive in an unjust society.

“RETOLD: African American Art and Folklore” focuses on four themes: Remembering, Religion, Racialization, and Resistance. These themes provide a comprehensive retelling of the works featured in the exhibition. In many of the pieces, the artist’s muse connects closely with stories that have been told generation after generation. Folklore texts are featured throughout the space as a means to retell a richer, deeper story of African American culture.

There are more than forty artists represented in this exhibition, all holding one similar truth: their story of joy and struggle in the African American experience.

In addition to the artwork, there is also an educational video produced by Josh Toussaint-Strauss of The Guardian that explores the misconceptions about Haitian Voudou that is worth a watch.

How ‘voodoo’ became a metaphor for evil

Feb 232024
 

Wadsworth A. Jarrell’s Revolutionary (Angela Davis), 1971, spotted at Brooklyn Museum in 2020, is based off of a photograph of the activist.  The colorful painting includes words from her speeches and actual bullet cartridges.

From the museum about the work-

Wadsworth Jarrell’s Revolutionary (Angela Davis) is one of the most recognized paintings associated with the Black Arts Movement, a cultural manifestation of the Black Power Movement. Artists of this movement sought to create uplifting images that called upon Black people to harness their collective power. The power of communal action is here expressed through a chromatic swirl of individual colors that coalesce into a unified image of the radical activist and intellectual Angela Davis. Davis’s militant clothing—complete with bullet cartridges—was modeled after the Revolutionary Suit designed by artist Jae Jarrell, Wadsworth’s wife. An icon of Black Power, Davis continues to lead the prison abolition movement today.

Jarrell, along with his wife, is part of the African American artist collective AFRICOBRA, formed in Chicago in 1968.

Below is part of a statement about the group from their website by another of the founders, Gerald Williams.

AFRICOBRA began very loosely in 1968 as an association of visual artists. We decided to commit our selves to the collective exploration, development, and perpetuation of an approach to image making which would reflect and project the moods, attitudes, and sensibilities of African Americans independent of the technical and aesthetic strictures of Euro-centric modalities.  Jeff Donaldson, who spearheaded the movement,Wadsworth Jarrell, Jae Jarrell, Barbara Jones-Hogu, and myself, Gerald Williams opened the lid on what we called AFRICOBRA – African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists.  It was an original name that came to identify our place within the broader context of Black art.

Our mission was to encapsulate the quintessential features of African-American consciousness and world view as reflected in real time 1968 terms.  For months, beginning as early as 1967, we examined and talked about the forms of expression and images produced by previous generations of artists.  We came to the realization that there was not the existence of a consistent, unequivocal, uniquely Black aesthetic in visual arts as there was in other disciplines, notably music and dance. Many of our contemporary artists, at the time, generally said that they “were artists who happened to be black”, or held the view that their work was expressing universal ideas or concepts that were not tied to such a narrow category as Black art.   The notion of an intrinsically Black view point, expressed in characteristically “Black ways”  was a relatively alien idea for the most part.  That notion begged the question as to whether it was possible to create a style or approach to art that at its core could be identified as African-American or Black, notwithstanding  the presence of Black imagery or subject matter.  If imagery and subject matter were the sole criteria then the question was moot.  One could conclude, thereby, that Winslow Homer or any number of artists produced Black art when they painted Black images.  After numerous brain storming sessions where such topics were discussed, after test projects and critiques,  the five of us mapped out the core principles that became the foundation of AFRICOBRA.

 

Feb 152024
 

“The Flameless Green Dragon”, 2018, Elm and acrylic

“In Rhythm”, 2018, Elm and acrylic; and “Water Music”, 2002, Inkjet photocollage on paper

“Introvert”, 2019, Elm; “Engendering Life”, 2020, Green soapstone

Two left sculptures made of Italian translucent alabaster and “Harboring Emptiness”, 2021, Maple and acrylic

Above are several works from Barbara Stanczak Spirit and Matter, the artist’s recent exhibition at Akron Art Museum.  Stanczak’s sculptures are energetic shapes created in partnership with the natural materials used.

From the museum’s web page-

Barbara Stanczak’s sculptures are born from an essential combination: the artist’s creative vision and the natural qualities of her materials. This two-sided collaboration remains in effect throughout Stanczak’s entire process of conceiving and creating an artwork. A piece of wood or stone presents initial possibilities that help to set a direction, but invariably the course will change—the substance may be so hard as to resist carving, or it may contain internal structures that must be accommodated. But the artist does not surrender her own interests, as she has found that a successful work must become the physical embodiment of a rich and valuable idea. In her own words, “I can only hold onto my idea of the whole by letting go of ‘mine’ and focusing on ‘our.’ The material becomes a partner who needs my patience, respect, thoughtfulness, cooperation, skill, and persistence.”

Stanczak committed to working with wood and stone only after a long process of discovery. Born in Germany in 1941, she moved to the United States in 1960 to assist her grandfather in painting church frescoes, and later worked in handmade paper, metal, and a variety of other media. She also worked alongside her husband, Julian Stanczak, whose paintings and prints were celebrated at the Akron Art Museum with a one-artist show in 2013. As her own career evolved throughout her thirty-seven-year tenure as a professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Barbara carved her first wooden sculpture in 1992. “I was tired of searching,” she recalls. “It was time to arrive!”

Stanczak continues to find wood and stone compelling because, as she puts it, they are constantly “teasing, tempting, and provoking me to see more, to see beyond, to see the micro and the macro of the universe.” She finds these universal qualities not in immediately recognizable forms like leaves and flowers, but rather in dense rings and layers, subtle features formed over decades or even thousands of years. As Stanczak exercises her own intuition, she aligns it with these natural processes. As the artist and the materials harmonize, it is as if two forms of intelligence are working together—as if spirit and matter are not so separate as one might expect.

Dec 222023
 

José Parlá’s majestic paintings, pictured above, are from his series CICLOS: Blooms of Mold. They are currently on view as part of the Brooklyn Museum exhibition, Brooklyn Abstraction: Four Artists, Four Walls. The other artists included are Maya Hayuk, Kennedy Yanko, and the late Leon Polk Smith.

From the museum about the work-

In his monumental compositions, José Parlá layers and scrapes paint to obscure, reveal, and abstract both text and narrative, creating landscapes with textured gestural skies interwoven with a unique code of writing to reveal a new horizon with a universal line. Parlá’s abstracted text visually recalls underground mycelium formations, complex and mysterious fungi communication networks he references that interconnect everything on earth through a web of life. The five newly created paintings on view draw upon his youth as a Cuban American in Miami in the 1980s, his world travels, his almost fatal battle with COVID-19 in 2021, and his survival and recovery.

While in a three-month-long coma after contracting the virus, Parlá experienced dreams that carried him through his healing process. While recovering in the hospital, he transformed these visions into acrylic on paper drawings and, once back in the studio, into these powerful, otherworldly paintings that evoke natural landscapes. Their distinct horizon lines and internal, precise, psychological geographies remind us of our shared humanity.

Blooms of Mold, this new body of large-scale paintings, was inspired by what the art historian Simon Schama, in describing the art of Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn, once called “blooms of mold,” which one encounters on decaying urban and natural landscapes.

Parlá chose the subtitle Ciclos (from the Greek Kúkos, meaning circle) to refer to the life cycle and the function of the mycelium. It connects to ecosystems, providing nutrients and information to trees, which, in turn, convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, providing critical support for the respiratory systems of humans and all other living beings. Without mycelium, there would be no life.

The exhibition will be on view until 7/28/24.

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

 

 

Dec 122023
 

Artists from L to R: Julie Schumer, Vivien Collens (sculpture), Maggie Kruger, and Blair Vaughn-Gruler

Renee Mendler, “Rainbow Vision I and II”, Acrylic, Gold leaf, and resin on panel (left) and “Pure Joy No. 10 and No. 14”, Acrylic on canvas by Hans Petersen

Imani Bilál, “If Dreams Could Wander”, Acylic paint and ink on canvas (left) and work from the “Accumulation” series by Blair Vaughn-Gruler, Oil, mixed media, wood, on canvas

Michelle Gordon, “Ocean Splash”, Oil on canvas

This past weekend was the Second Saturday ArtWalk in St. Pete, Florida with numerous galleries staying open into the evening. Above are images from the recently opened Drew Marc Gallery, part of The Factory St. Pete’s complex in the Warehouse District. In addition to the artwork, the gallery also had live painting by Michelle Gordon.

At Morean Center for Clay is Lauren Hope: Time (pictured below), a solo exhibition that includes the artist’s ceramic work and photography.

From the gallery-

...Time is an investigation of alternative photographic process, using clay as a catalyst for record keeping. Using ceramic vessels as pin hole cameras, Lauren captures moments in time and transfers them onto ceramic surfaces. This exhibition will be a collection of photographic prints, vessels, cyanotypes, and handmade pinhole cameras. 

 Her statement about her work-

My work is heavily influenced by the complexity of hues, forms, and patterns found in the natural world. This studio practice has become deeply cathartic, signifying the ephemeral and fleeting notions of time.

Ceramic vessels within this collection are wheel-thrown, altered, and sculpted. Every striation carved serves as a visual representation and a gentle reminder of the delicate passing moment. This method of subtractive carving has become transformative, developing into deep states of meditation and reflection.

Experimental photography is used as an explorative process, allowing for the convergence of internal and external experiences. By casting memories and photographic recollections onto stoneware, I attempt to immortalize my profound experiences and revelations.

This exhibition will be on view until 12/30.

For selections from additional galleries, head to the next page.

Dec 082023
 

“Eulogy for Twilight: Ad Memoriam”, 2023, Oil on canvas

“Golden Pond”, 2023, Oil on canvas

“A Stream for Fiver”, 2023, Oil on canvas

Morean Arts Center in St. Pete is currently showing Remember When, a selection of dramatic and beautiful work by Tampa based artist Alex Espalter-Torres.

From the artist about the work-

“Unlike conventional landscapes that attempt to capture an exact image, my artwork has always been my personal narrative; an amalgam of places, tragedies and triumphs, fears and hopes, and dreams of the unknown. The one constant in my vision is the impact of the sea and sky on this earth, both experienced and imagined.

I have always worked in layers; nothing is whole or complete on the surface. There are experiences running beneath my images, much like currents in a river or riptides in the sea. The composition is often torn and dripping, showing droplets of the past and visions of the future.

My works have evolved over the years to remove myself as the sole narrator. You, the viewer, are invited to interpret each image and insert your layers and reactions as a reflection of yourself.”

This exhibition closes 12/30/23.

Dec 072023
 

In the Deep Space of the Sea I Have Found My Moon by Ales Bask Hostomsky aka BASK was created for the 2020 edition of the SHINE Mural Festival in St. Pete, Florida.

You can also see his work at his exhibition B.A.S.K.: Because Art Should Kill at The University of Tampa’s Scarfone/Hartley Gallery, on view until 12/15/23.

Dec 072023
 

Lilian Butler, “Wave of Emotion”, Drawing

Lilian Butler, “The Value of Grey Thinking”, Drawing

Currently on view at Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs is Visual Metaphors, an exhibition of impressive work created by Pinellas County public high school students. Hopefully this is just the beginning for these young, talented artists.

From the museum-

Presented in partnership with Pinellas County Schools (PCS), this exhibition presents a selection of two- dimensional and three-dimensional work from public high school students in grades 9-12. Like its namesake, Visual Metaphors are comparisons used to create a heightened awareness or emotional connection to a statement, a figure of speech, or condition. Think “raining cats and dogs,” “rollercoaster of emotions,” or “tongue in cheek.” A visual metaphor represents a person, place, thing, or idea by means of an image that shows a particular association or similarity. The students asked themselves “How will I convey a visual metaphor through my art? Will I illustrate a metaphor that is part of everyday speech, a cliché, a poem, or a lyric? Are there seemingly unexpected images that I can combine to create a metaphor? Will the metaphor be humorous, subtle, or overt?”

Now on view at the Leepa Rattner Museum of Art (LRMA) for the first time, this installation of Visual Metaphors is a continuation of an exhibition series, which was previously hosted at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, for the last thirty years. LRMA is proud to continue our partnership with PCS, as well as showcase the incredible talent that makes up our student communities.

This show will be on view until 12/10/23. Below are a few more selections.

Jonah Williams, “Life’s But A Walking Shadow”, Photography

Asalyn Schrotenboer, “Hands On”, Painting

Siena Van Beynen, “Handle With Care”, Sculpture

Emily Delucia, “At The Center of A Web”, Digital Art

Trinity Breha-Huffman, “Burnt Out”, Painting

Sela Marks “Power is A Fire That Can Be Controlled or Released”, Drawing, and Mia Lemmons “Her Star Shines The Brightest”, Sculpture