Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Call for Artists - Still Point II

Still Point Art Gallery invites submissions from emerging and established artists for its upcoming exhibition - Still Point II. 
Deadline - March 22, 2010

One year ago I was announcing a call to artists for Still Point Art Gallery's inaugural exhibition - Still Point I. I had great hope that the following year would be a success, and I would be announcing a call for Still Point II a year later. The past year has been wonderful, and here I am presenting the theme and calling artists for Still Point II.
One way of thinking about visual art is that the artist finds or discovers something - be it inside or outside of the artist - and, through art, holds it still. A photographer captures a moment in time with a click of the shutter and that moment is locked in stillness. A painter paints a scene using oils on canvas and that scene exists forever in a motionless state. A sculptor molds and shapes details of a human body, and that body stands frozen...never to age...never to change.
Still Point II is the second annual exhibition focused on exploring those things that artists, through art, hold still.

I looked back in my blog to an entry from last February in which I wrote about my thoughts related to the Still Point I exhibition. Those thoughts are of course relevant to Still Point II and are worth repeating.

As visual artists, most of us bring something to stillness through our art. As a photographer, I am very aware that this is happening. Landscapes, skyscapes, flora, portraits, street photography...a photo captures a moment in time. Whatever is before me when I take a picture, whatever is happening in that moment...is caught and held still. With the slight movement of my finger and the audible click of the shutter, I feel the action of capture. What I capture with my camera and later print on paper is literally a moment frozen in time...a moment brought to stillness.

The same is true of artists who draw, paint, weave, or sculpt...working plein air or in the studio, creating realistic, impressionistic, or abstract pieces. The pencil scratches on the paper, the brush glides over the canvas, or the hands work with the clay. No matter the medium, the end result is a work of art through which something is brought to stillness.
Perhaps because our lives are so often in motion, the artist has learned that his or her joy and contentment are found in being aware at some level of bringing moments to stillness.

Perhaps this is why an artist has no choice but to make art; that desire for joy and contentment is so strong. And why are so many drawn to look at art, enjoy it, own it, collect it? Can we say that both the artist and those drawn to art to enjoy it do so to seek and find the Still Point?

Wacker Drive #2 by John Luesing (from Still Point I)

Still Point Art Gallery
February 24, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Regina Davidson Named Artist of Distinction in Geometric Abstraction Exhibition

Regina Davidson contributed three pieces to Still Point Art Gallery's exhibition, Geometric Abstraction, for which she has been named an Artist of Distinction. Davidson's work is filled with geometric shapes - triangles, squares, rectangles, polygons, and circles. Her work, however, is filled with much more than geometric shapes. The composition of Davidson's work is so strong...composition being the combination of color, texture, line, space, shape, and more to form the whole...the composition is so strong that the geometric shapes do not and need not be flagrant. Geometric shape is not what Davidson's pieces are about. Yet they form a perfect basis or a surface or a podium for Davidson's stories and creations.

 Blue Wood, Miami, Circles

I asked Davidson some questions about her art and her life as an artist.

Christine Cote: What led you to become an artist?
Regina Davidson: I have no memories of becoming an artist.  It seems as if I drew and made marks in my earliest childhood memories. The decision was more about embracing the fact that I was an artist. After much soul searching, I decided that I had to be true to my calling in life and silence the art critic inside myself.

CC: Could you say something about the pieces you submitted for this show, giving, if you would, some mention of their connection to the theme of this exhibition?
RD: When I create, my inner child is let lose to do whatever she pleases with the paint for that particular day. My best pieces come about freely and without a deadline or a set agenda. Once a painting is finished, then it is my job to find the right audience, gallery, or venue for it. Once I find the right connection, then I am like a match maker that has made the perfect match. When I read about the Geometric Abstraction exhibit, I knew these pieces were perfect for it. It seemed as if they were painted just for this exhibition.

CC: I would certainly agree with that! How has your style developed or evolved over time?
RD: I make more of an effort now to be true to myself and to tap into what is in my subconscious state. Deep within myself there is no one telling me what to paint and how to paint it. There is no pressure to sell or be validated. There is just myself and the paint. When I can tap into that place within myself where there are no critics, I can create without effort or pressure. That is when I am free to be me. It sounds simple, but it is the hardest thing for me to do. I hope to get better at it with each painting.

CC: From where do you draw inspiration for your work? What inspired the pieces in this exhibition?
RD: I try to have the same philosophy Picasso had and to learn to paint freely like a child. I try to be fearless of color and use combinations as bold as Matisse. I strive to use bold strokes that are as simple and perfectly placed as in a painting by Kline. But, most of all I try to tap into what comes out naturally without being too cerebral about it.

CC: Is there anything you want people to know about you or your work?
RD: I have a very down to earth approach and hope to never write an artist statement in which some one reads it and asks, What the hell did that mean? Art is meant to be enjoyed by all and I want to remain approachable. I think that sometimes rather than speaking to people in our art, artists attempt to make their work speak only to the elite or the Mensa members of the world. What ever happened to people wanting to enjoy looking at a painting because it makes them happy?  ...Or just because they like it?

Biography - Regina Davidson

Regina Davidson has had murals on display in numerous Nashville show homes and has made five appearances on the Home and Garden Channel to demonstrate her painting abilities. Mrs. Davidson’s paintings and murals can be found in businesses throughout the middle Tennessee area, including Brinkman’s Wine and Spirits of Franklin, The Italian GrilleMappes Orthodontics of Bellevue. In addition, some of her newest works can be found at The Harpeth Art Center and Gallery of Pegram, Tennessee. Her life’s passion is learning new art techniques and avenues for creative expression. Regina was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1969.  She received a B.F.A. from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee In 1991. of Waynesboro, and

Blue Wood (19 x 24), acrylics on mixed materials, $350
Miami (26 x 26), acrylics on clay, $655
Circles (26 x 26), acrylics, $450

Still Point Art Gallery
February 10, 2010

Susan Farrar Parrish Named Artist of Distinction in Geometric Abstraction Exhibition

Still Point Art Gallery opened its latest exhibition Geometric Abstraction on February 10, 2010, and named Susan Farrar Parrish as one of its Artists of Distinction. Parrish is showing three wonderful pieces in this exhibition. The aspects of these pieces that engage and captivate are many. The perfect blend of warm reds and golds with the cool greens - hot and cold, fire and ice, day and night. The very present and solid central orb that is surrounded by smaller spheres, squares, and rectangles...no, not just surrounded, but made up of smaller spheres, circles, squares, lines, intersections, interruptions...a universe of patterns and broken patterns. The objects...the pictures...the words...the texture. There is so much in Parrish's work, all within the context of geometric shape.

Outer Space, Up in Smoke, Inner Spaces

I asked Parrish some questions about her work and her life as an artist.

Christine Cote: What led you to become an artist?
Susan Farrar Parrish: I never really considered being anything but an artist. When I was in the first grade, I won a blue ribbon in an art contest and in a childlike way, I decided that I would definitely be an artist. My parents insisted I study something in which I could make a living, therefore I studied graphic design and minored in painting.

CC: How has your style developed or evolved over time?
SFP: I did a lot of painting even before college, but in all of my early years I only painted realistically - mostly landscapes. A while after college, I got interested in clay and left painting for a long period. About 10 years ago, I changed my clay work totally from functional pottery to one of a kind handbuilt pieces with each piece painted with underglazes. Making this work reminded me how much I missed painting. Since coming back to painting in the last 10 years, I have little interest in realism, but am mainly interested in abstraction and painting in more of an experimental and responsive way.

CC: Could you say something about the pieces you submitted for this show?

SFP: My pieces in the Geometric Abstraction show are collage/paintings. The canvas is covered with pages from magazines, letting the wrinkles happen when applying the pages to the canvas before starting to paint. I add paint, and take away, and add more, finding hidden items and gems of texture and color from the collage or from my brushwork. I continue to add and subtract until the piece starts to work for me.

CC: From where do you draw inspiration for your work? What inspired the pieces in this exhibition?
SFP: In the last year and a half, my 3-D and my 2-D work have totally changed and started to tie together. My work has always referenced out natural environment. But with my mother dying and the election brewing in the fall of 2008, I began to feel strongly about conveying messages of social concern through my work - mainly, the environment. In my 3-D work, I use found objects, objects of little or no value to form my work and to speak for me. The collage/paintings are the same. I cover every canvas totally with pages from magazines. This utilizes otherwise thrown-away items, but also gives wonderful color and texture as the basis of my paintings. In the collage pieces from the show, I also use photographs from my 3-D pieces. The round shape conjures up so many images from our environment – the earth, the sun, the moon, and, from the bottom of the ocean, the brain coral.

CC: Is there anything you want people to know about you or your work?
SFP: I hope that my work in 3-D and 2-D makes people take a second look and hopefully a third - investigate. The public generally finds my work very engaging, which is great. But if it makes them realize what can be done with all the “stuff” we throw away everyday, that’s good too.

Artist Statement - Susan Farrar Parrish

In my new body of work, I express my growing concern and awareness of our symbiotic bond with the earth. My work, in paintings and in clay, has long been inspired by nature. At this time in my life, as an artist and as a person on this Earth, I am interested in expanding my relationship to the earth from not merely that of an admirer to that of a supporter. In words attributed to Chief Seattle (Seathl): We are part of the Earth and it is part of us...the Earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the Earth...Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

Biography - Susan Farrar Parrish

My earliest memories include an interest in the arts. While in the first grade, I was awarded a blue ribbon for a painting. Thus began a childlike belief that I would have a lifetime of working as an artist. I have spent my life working as an artist and craftsperson. Most of this time, my painting and 3-D work were separate. I concentrated on each during different phases. In the last year, my sculptural work, which continues, uses clay, but adds found objects, and my paintings/collages are starting to be a unified body of work. Photographs from my sculptural pieces show up in my paintings and some of my 3-D work has areas with collage and paint reminiscent of my paintings. The last year and a half have been very challenging, personally. But in art, unlike other professions, one's personal life and work life are closely related. During this challenging time my creative energy and thinking has really grown. I have a newfound energy and excitement about my work.

My work has been included in many shows around the United States. It has also been published in Ceramics Monthly, Clay Times, American Craft, and The Craft Report as well as a number of books. These include 500 Teapots, 500 Bowls, 500 Plates, and Surface Design for Ceramics. Several corporate collections, including Glaxo and SAS Institute, include my work. 

Outer Space (36 x 36), acrylic on canvas, with collage, $1200
Inner Spaces (36 x 36), acrylic on canvas, with collage, $1200
Up in Smoke (48 x 36), acrylic on canvas, with collage, $1500

Return to Still Point Art Gallery

Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
February 10, 2010

Isabelle Hope Grahm Named Artist of Distinction in Geometric Abstraction Exhibition

Still Point Art Gallery opened its Geometric Abstraction exhibition on February 10, 2010. Isabelle Hope Grahm was named an Artist of Distinction for her contributions to this show - Virtue Oz City and Some Sum More. Grahm's work is wondrous - intricate, sophisticated, inviting, and engaging. Virtue Oz City is a symphony of color and shape...layers and layers of colors and shapes that match and merge and harmonize to create a masterful composition. The colors of Some Sum More are pure delight, and the shapes...the geometric shapes (more or less)...offer such amusement as they seem to move and meander against the bright backdrop. 

Virtue Oz City, Some Sum More

Christine Cote: What led you to become an artist?
Isabelle Hope Grahm: I began before age 2, (really). I can only say I was born that way, the same way
the color of my eyes or other genetic predispositions were seemingly engineered without my involvement. I consider being born as an artist a GREAT gift. Sometimes, in addition to this immeasurable congenital gift, extremely lucky external circumstance can line up in such a way, one finds one's self able to nurture and cultivate this treasure.

CC:Could you say something about the pieces you are showing in this exhibition?
IHG: Some Sum More denotes an arithmetical equation. This also refers to the amount I usually want in any given circumstance. The abyss of desire as it were. I love the math of this piece and the whimsey of those cherry squares. It does dance ever so much more when viewed in person. There are subtle notes of blues, violets and other metallic pearl-essence that are impossible to photograph, as well as array of golds that we haven't found a way to convey in this computer medium of display. 

CC: How has your style evolved over time?
IHG: i will leave that up to the observers, collectors and critics to evaluate.

CC: From where do you draw inspiration? What inspired the pieces in this show?
IHG: Virtue Oz City is really anything the individual viewer decides it is. When I look at it, it seems to be an aerial view of an extraordinary city that may exist several thousand years in the future, and perhaps on another planet. The obvious pun in the title also gives one some clues as to what this quasi Utopian city may hold for its inhabitants. Again this painting truly must be seen in person to appreciate the nuance of the topography of this piece. The subtle arrangement of textural surface distinctions must be viewed up close with the human eyeballs.

CC: Is there anything you would like people to know about you or your art?
IHG: I consider it a noble privilege to be allowed to continue to paint. I continue to remain deeply appreciative for this life that allows me to create these works.

Artist Statement

Examining life’s flow, diverse shapes compel me to express them utilizing various lines and colors. Placing these elements on a canvas, displaying a visual representation of my own inner state at any given moment, as well as a slice of a view I have observed or experienced involving human interactions within the whole of our phenomenal manifestation.

Form and color being utilized as a language to translate these mysterious human behaviors and incidents. Sometimes these images conjure some sort of pattern in this seemingly random and chaotic reality. This appears to be pointing at some structure.

One common denominator in this highly subjective process does cross barriers in subject/object perspective. The viewer entering on an individual plane of subjectivity is also invited to transcend that individual subjectivity and experience the painting/tableau from a vantage point of pure and impersonal objectivity. Seeing and identifying this one thread can access of a ‘’third view’’ leading one to catch a glimpse of the lynch pin of our humanity, the very substratum of all that is.

Virtue Oz City (60 x 36), acrylic on canvas, $4000
Some Sum More (60 x 36), acrylic on canvas, $4000

Return to Still Point Art Gallery

Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
February 10, 2010

David Stelle Named Artist of Distinction in Geometric Abstraction Exhibition

David Stelle's three-dimensional compositions earned him the title Artist of Distinction in Still Point Art Gallery's Geometric Abstraction exhibition. His two submissions, Tetrahedron and Existence of Life, are amazing creations...stunning, captivating, and engaging.  Those among us who really have a mind and heart for geometry and geometric shape could spend a lot of time with these pieces appreciating the beauty of the mathematical precision of each composition. But we all can appreciate that the precision that we see is not the purpose...it is not the conclusion...it is not the final answer. The perfectly measured geometric shapes and the precise way of assembling or gathering these shapes leads the mind to experience orderliness and systematization. Here in this state the mind is free...yes, free to explore space, dimension, time, color, beauty. Stelle's pieces are made without boundaries...made to float in space. In Stelle's work, what we see...geometric shape and exacting precision...is a vehicle to what we can explore in our mind.

        Tetrahedron, Existence of Life

In Stelle's words...
I see art as a manifestation of insights. If you get something, feel it, explore it and make it so.

For me it began as the ability to patiently draw, in pencil...to depict light and shadow.  It continued into mathematics as I applied this to shapes that we learned in calculus while earning my degree in mathematics. As we learned them, I drew them and showed them to the rest of the class so they could visualize.

Formulae were fascinating to me. Ellipsoid, hyperbolic paraboloid, and the torus are some of my favorite forms. But just as powerful were concepts of velocity, the series, asymptotes and things parallel where entities can be so close yet never meet. Then I realized. Why not physically create these shapes? Why not toy with creating my own formulae and make shapes that I like to imagine? What do you get if you rotate a line in space with a wobble and a french curve thrown in? I wasn’t sure but I wanted to see it and thereby invent.

But beyond formulae, precision and numbers (although these are absolutely necessary for creating my work) is the importance of experience. As a kid growing up in New England, newness and interaction with my environment, both natural and artificial, filled my world. It was about taking and giving that calm powerful ride that pushed me to create art as a vehicle for others. It also resulted in a Masters in Landscape Architecture where my favorite design setting was the spiritual yet playful garden and where the path became a powerful concept unto itself.

As an artist, I felt the most attraction toward the pure, powerful expressions of minimal geometry and interactivity. Like an early Frank Stella come to 3D, but in motion and floating, I played with folding sheets of plywood and walked among parallel hanging newsprint. I suspended long series of little squares. And I depicted moments of a bird’s flight. With my personal discovery of fluorescent plastic developed during a 7-year stint in New Mexico, you see my current manifestation.

You cannot even achieve half the experience of my work from photographs. Panels are precisely suspended in space with a mirror above from which they hang freely. What you see is a glow that appears naturally from surrounding light due to the nature of the material. What you experience is motion and dimensionality that is ever present and rhythmic. Some flutter like a leaf, some sway like a pendulum, yet all are inescapably aligned in a kind of magical dance. For each change in viewing angle, whether at eye-level or from anywhere below, there is huge payoff in newness and wonder as vertexes, curves and lines meet, cross and part ways. And if you enjoy the feeling of containment and comfort as I do, examine the work with a calm focus to discover a poignant perception of inner space. 

Tetrahedron (17 x 30 x 14), acrylic, $2450
Existence of Life (14 x 34 x 18), acrylic, $2750

Return to Still Point Art Gallery

Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
February 10, 2010

Exhibition Opening - Geometric Abstraction - February 10 to April 6, 2010

Still Point Art Gallery announces the opening of Geometric Abstraction! This show is the largest we have had in our short history, and the work in this show represents a tremendous variety of media - painting, photography, digital art, mixed media, metal, glass, acrylic, fabric, clay, wood, and ceramic!

Artists responded with tremendous enthusiasm to the following request for art submissions:

Geometry - squares, triangles, circles, ellipses, cones, cubes, and polygons ... length, area, and volume. Geometry frames our world and shapes our world. It brings order, organization, balance, symmetry, and asymmetry to our surroundings. Geometry is used by carpenters and astronomers as well as theoretical mathematicians. The concept of geometry is so simple and appealing that even young children seem to intuitively draw squares and circles and rectangles. Yet the concept of geometry is so complex that mathematicians and physicists may spend years studying applications and theories of one tiny aspect of geometry. Then there is the artist. When an artist's unique view .. of the world, of the self ... incorporates geometric shapes or focuses on natural or man-made geometric shapes, the result may be an amazing display of shape and color. Geometric abstraction can be daring, imposing, powerful, stark, complex, bold, or rhythmic.

This online exhibition opens today, February 10, and continues as a featured exhibition through April 6, 2010. You will definitely enjoy this show! Use one of the links below to share it with your friends.

Boxes (36 x 24), Mani Narayan, acrylic on canvas, $4,000
Blue Moon (18 x 18), Peter Azrak, archival rag print, unframed, $720
Construction/Deconstruction, Elisa Burr, ceramic, $400
Motion (8 x 6), Shubhangi Kadhe, mixed media, $45
Untitled (10 x 8), Shubhangi Kadhe, mixed media, $60

Return to Still Point Art Gallery

Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
February 10, 2010

Monday, February 01, 2010

Final Week for The Serious and Playful Sides of Light

Still Point Art Gallery's current exhibition - The Serious and Playful Sides of Light - will close next week on February 9, 2010. In this, its final week, I encourage you to take another look...or perhaps your first look. There is much to see.

Every piece in the exhibition shows how an artist handles light...and there are many different pieces and many artists. But light doesn't exist by itself, so the exhibition also shows how artists handle the things that tend to accompany light...darkness, shadow, shade, silhouette, reflection, glow, radiance. All of these present great challenges for artists. So, as you browse the exhibition, think about light. Look at how each artist approached the depiction of light. I think you will be amazed!

Identity, by Angela Young

I have said before that I learn something from every exhibition. I spend a great deal of time with each image and a lot of time just thinking about the artwork and writing about some of the pieces. Eventually, I like to try to find the big picture...the gestalt. Sometimes it just comes to me, and at other times I have to think about it for a while. With this exhibition, I concluded something very early on when I was first looking at images. What I learned is that from the artist's perspective there is no serious side to light. It's all play.

For quite some time, I'd look at an image and ask myself, "Does this represent the serious or the playful side of light?" My answer was always, "playful." It doesn't matter where or when or under what circumstances, light dances and bounces, light shines and twinkles, light illuminates and reveals. Light itself is an artist as it draws shadows and causes colors to change. Light...it's all fun...it's all play.

Finally, do not leave this exhibition without seeing the three pieces by Robert Gilbert. We see light, glow, illumination, shadow, darkness...and a whole lot of playful fun! ...but then again perhaps Gilbert is shining light on some very serious subjects...

Shovel, Rope, Saw, by Robert Gilbert

Identify (22 x 16), Angela Young, Stone Lithography, $650
Shovel, Rope, Saw (18 x 24), Robert Gilbert, Digital Photo Print, $200 each

Return to Still Point Art Gallery

Christine Brooks Cote
February 1, 2010
Still Point Art Gallery