Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Artist Interviews from the “[context]Texture” exhibit

by Jacqueline Klene

Gallery view: "[context]Texture" exhibit at Art Saint Louis. Photo by Robin Hirsch.

Art Saint Louis’s latest exhibit, “[context]Texture,” features approximately 44 talented artists from the area. Of those, five artists were given Awards of Excellence. Once again, before the Awards had been given out, Robin Hirsch, ASL’s Artistic Director, asked me to look at the work in the exhibit and find the pieces that I thought were strong and clearly embraced the theme of “[context]Texture” and select ones that I believed had the potential to be awarded. From there, I interviewed the following artists: Bruce Broyles, Elizabeth Adams-Marks, Nicole Noronha, and Shanna Smith.

Pictured in back of Gallery view of "[context]Texture" is: Bruce Broyles. Lost in the Woods. 2010. String, Oil on Canvas, 80”x120”.

Bruce Broyles’s work, Lost in the Woods is certainly a force to be reckoned with. The sheer dominating size of the piece captures any visitor’s attention. The size alone though is not what keeps your interest, the fine use of color and string art captivate the viewer’s eye. Inspired by modern artists like Jackson Pollock and authors like Neil Gaiman, Broyles creates work that has a spiritual quality. He says, “No two individuals see color, expression… the same way. … it is an attempt at something spiritual, colorful, intelligent, interesting, and soulful.” By using intuitive design, Broyles captures that spiritual sense that he was striving for.

Elizabeth Adams-Marks. Sun Pans and Mica Drags. 2011.
Handmade Paper, Indigo & Walnut Dye, 17.5”x49”x3”.

Sun Pans and Mica Drags by Elizabeth Adams-Marks is truly a unique artwork. Inspired by the 19th century china clay mines from her husband’s native Cornwall, UK, the piece is clearly the product of a long and thought out process or reading, recording, drawings, painting, collecting, etc. Creating handmade paper in and of itself is a difficult undertaking, but Ms. Adams-Marks has created a piece that speaks strongly of the natural beauty and industrial history of Cornwall. Having been an illustrator for 25 years, Ms. Adams-Marks is now a proud fine artist, “driven by natural materials… making and meaning with focus on craftsmanship.”

Nicole Noronha. George. 2012. Wax, Oil on Wood Panel, 30”x40”.

Nicole Noronha’s piece, George, explored a very different interpretation of “[context]Texture”. Using encaustic methods, she is able to isolate the subject and add a blurred movement, addressing both the {context} and texture portions of the show. As an artist who favors the more narrative approach, Noronha finds the human figure easiest to connect with, while allowing the viewer to ponder the meaning behind the subject. Her goal in her works is to “achieve a sense of calm… escape reality.” However, as a narrative artist, she finds that capturing that is a difficult task while maintaining a vague, universal spirit. Clearly though, “George” represents all those qualities quite well.

Shanna Smith. Fat Daughters. 2012. Fibers, .5”x8.5”x10.5”.  

Finally, Shanna Smith has two works in “[context]Texture”: Fat Daughters and Tape. Her work is highly unique in the sense that the texture is meant to be felt and touched, bring the viewer closer to the meaning. Her pieces center around food and the side effects: “weight, over consumption, female form, criticism, relationships, and society’s view,” just to name a few. With such relatable subject matter, Smith addresses weight and the issues that surround it. This contemporary subject provides for two excellent pieces that have been created in a very original fashion.

Shanna Smith. Tape. 2012. Fibers, .6”x9.1”x9.1”.

Be sure to come see these fantastic works and many more at Art Saint Louis! There is an opening reception on Saturday, August 11 from 6-8 p.m.! Hope to see you there!

[context]Texture” is presented at Art Saint Louis August 13-October 4, 2012. Gallery is free & open to the public M & Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Tu-Fr 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Sundays & holidays. Art Saint Louis is located at 555 Washington Avenue, #150, St. Louis, MO. 314/241-4810. www.artstlouis.org 


Jacqueline Klene is currently serving as Summer 2012 Intern at Art Saint Louis. Jacqueline is a student at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in drawing with a minor in Spanish.

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