Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ann Salk Rosenberg: These Girls are Talkin'

Ann Salk Rosenberg's paintings made me stop...and say "WOW!" "Where did this come from?" Meaning...from where in a person do paintings like this come? Who is this artist and what lies behind these unbelievable paintings? Each one is full of vibrant color, accented with checkerboard, polka dots, and curlicues, and featuring a marvelous female persona that is most assertively speaking to you from its square domain. See the shape of the mouth, the expression in the eyes, the flip of the hair, and even the gestures of the hands...these girls are talkin' and they want you to listen! 

 I Do Nothing All Day                         Excuse Me a Moment
 [Enlarge]                         [Enlarge]

Rosenberg submitted this work for Still Point Art Gallery's show Still Point III, the Gallery's annual show dedicated to showing those things that artists choose to hold still with their art. Rosenberg was named an Artist of Distinction and will have the opportunity to show more of her work as a Gallery Artist for the next year. Rosenberg describes her paintings as large, bold narratives. She uses vibrant colors, geometric shapes and a touch of humor to reflect her joyous spirit, celebrate her creativity, and inhale the glorious fullness of life. In Rosenberg's words:
The inspiration for each painting comes from a place deep inside and gets channeled through my brush onto my canvas. The strokes come together and create a lyrical story. Sometimes the story is from my own history, but often it is simply one drawn from our collective consciousness. It is as if I start the process by accessing and then painting our universal memories, experiences and lessons. You, the viewer, then take up the story and it becomes your own.
My Drum, My Beat, My Reality

As a child, Ann Salk Rosenberg’s imagination took her to places she could only dream to go. Growing up down the street from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) provided an ironic metaphor—art was present but just out of reach. She settled for writing poetry and imagining being a painter living a life saturated with color, happiness, and freedom. School, work, marriage, family, and all the associated responsibilities necessitated that she push her dreams into a small forgotten corner of her being. It was as if she “was sitting on the shelf of life, like a coloring book unopened, with pages silently waiting to be filled with riotous color.”

In 1984, Rosenberg was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis; by 1994, she was completely disabled. In 1999, after sleeping, eating and watching TV for five years, she finally had enough strength to pick up a paint brush. She found that art was one of the few things she could do or find solace in, but because of health constraints, Rosenberg was frequently only able to paint for very short periods of time. In 2008, with the help of a new doctor, Rosenberg was correctly diagnosed with a severe gluten allergy; she did not have MS. With time, a gluten-free diet, and healing, art has become a more and more significant and central source of her physical, mental, artistic, and spiritual strength.

I Do Nothing All Day, 48 x 48 inches, acrylic and graphite on canvas, $50,000
Excuse Me a Moment, 48 x 48 inches, acrylic and graphite on canvas, $50,000
My Drum, My Beat, My Reality, 48 x 48 inches, acrylic and graphite on canvas, $50,000

Still Point Art Gallery
May 10, 2011

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Alison Hoornbeek: Tumultuous and Tranquil

It is not unusual for me to be stopped in my tracks by images, and I was certainly stopped by these images: Alison Hoornbeek's submission to Still Point Art Gallery's current Still Point III exhibition. But there was something that happened inside me when I looked at these photographs...a unique response. I felt something. I heard something. But then there was silence. It was an amazing experience. Thunderous, yet silent. THUNDEROUS, YET SILENT. I felt and heard the loud thunder that emerges from these images...but then I immediately...simultaneously...sensed  stillness and silence.

An artistic achievement? Most certainly, and one that earned Hoornbeek the title Artist of Distinction for this exhibition. For indeed Hoornbeek has created Art.

Art is something which, although produced by human hands, is not created by these hands alone, but something which wells up from a deeper source in our souls.
    --Vincent Van Gogh

Splash 1                                                   Splash 2                                                    Splash 3
[Enlarge]                                                [Enlarge]                                                 [Enlarge]

These images are from a body of new photographic work that Hoornbeek is still editing. The series, entitled Tumultuous and Tranquil, embodies the energy of nature, which is simultaneously both tumultuous and tranquil. The vibrant force of energy present in all things, also known as Supreme Consciousness, takes many shapes and forms. In Hoornbeek's words:
In the midst of dynamic movement, profound stillness can be found. These images express my experience of stillness in motion, and the tremendous power inherent in the awareness of Supreme Consciousness. 
To me, waves represent the state of perpetual becoming, without a final destination to achieve. A wave crashing on the shore, merges immediately back into the Ocean from which it came. The water is at once an individual drop and one with the entire Ocean. So it is with us in our lives, we are at once individuals and inseparable from our own divine nature. We may feel battered as we arrive as individual drops on the shore, but it is for us to merge back into the wholeness of our true identities.
Alison Hoornbeek studied photography and film at Hampshire College in Massachusetts. After graduating, she spent many years photographing for non-profit organizations. This led her to spend a great deal of time in the Far East. Here she began to study the traditions and philosophies of eastern cultures. Her immersion in the culture, traditions, and philosophies of the East has affected her view of the world and the images she makes. Pursuing the tradition of Equivalence, she creates images that communicate the transcendent while using the imminent. Her current photographic work is a visual articulation of her understanding and experience of the ancient teachings she has studied. 

Alison lives and works as a professional photographer in the New York metropolitan area. She is an active member of the National Association of Women Artists and Soho Photo Gallery in New York City.

Splash 1
. 18 x 12 inches, archival pigment print, not framed, $350.
Splash 2. 18 x 12 inches, archival pigment print, not framed, $350.
Splash 3. 18 x 12 inches, archival pigment print, not framed, $350.

Return to Still Point Art Gallery
Still Point Art Gallery
May 3, 2011