Wednesday, November 25, 2009

December Show - PHOTOGRAPHY!

Photography - The Other Artwork
While the gallery has mostly been focused on painting, there is some really incredible photography being made in our area. In addition to Sally Fanjoy and James Labrenz, who showed at the gallery earlier this summer, Diane Hughes, Andrea Brown, Alison Overton, Bruce Melkowits and Shannon Binns are all doing, what I think, is some really good work. Work that is being recognized by others, based on the degrees, awards, commisions and grants received by this group, not to mention residencies and gallery shows these artists have participated in.

The Opening and Ongoing Hours

The opening of this show will occur on December 3 from 6 pm to 9 pm at South End Home in Historic South End, located at 1710 Camden Road in South End. The Gallery will be open for the South End Gallery Crawl on December 4 from 6 pm to pm and throughout the month of December, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5:30
The Artists

Diane Hughes

Diane Hughes recently completed her eleventh-month Affiliate Artist residency at the McColl Center for Visual Art. Diane received a BFA in Graphic Design from Southampton College in New York. She has exhibited her work in North Carolina and New York and has had her photography published in Great Unknowns: An Exquisite Collection of Black and White Photography.

Diane’s Statement on her works in this show: The tree, by its form, represents evolution, for it begins with a root and spreads out into branches and twigs. Only as applied to the cosmos the root is conceived to be on high and the branches extend downwards. As a foundation, both literally and figuratively, the roots create the basis or groundwork of anything.

Andre Brown

Born in Asheville, Andrea Brown received a BFA from the University of Georgia. In 2009 she received an Emerging Artists Grant from the Arts and Science Council and served as an Artist-in-Residence at the McColl Center for Visual Art. She has also shown widely in Atlanta and was labeled an “artist to watch” in a photo exhibition juried by the curator of photography at the High Museum of Art.

Andrea’s Statement regarding her works in this show, entitled Mama Moshi: Mama Moshi knows no loss, Mama Moshi sings with her native accent, Mama Moshi laughs and jokes with all of us, Mama Moshi mother of no children, she sends out language for continuous years, Mama Moshi guides flocks, ages undefined, Mama Moshi keeps silent when speaking, internal prowess, Mama Moshi lives in lucid morphing resemblance, Mama Moshi is more educated then you and I, Mama Moshi passed away three years ago, cancer, and I never said goodbye. Mama Moshi wears patterns, emblems, icons, Mama Moshi brought police for protection, Mama Moshi preached acts of selflessness, dividing the war and sacrificing her brother.

Alison Overton

A native of North Carolina, Alison Overton is a 1982 graduate of North Carolina State University with a bachelor degree in environmental design. In 2009 she received the Sarah Everett Toy Memorial Scholarship to study photography at Penland School of Crafts. Overton was awarded Regional Artists Project Grants for 2002, 2004 and 2008 from the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County. Her work has been widely exhibited throughout the country, and is included in numerous public and private collections

Making art, in particular photographs that chronicle a moment in a changing landscape, is my passion. As a lifelong artist, I strive constantly to explore and expand my definition of the unique and mysterious in life and nature. I love to utilize simple, manual film cameras such as the Holga 120 S plastic toy camera (which I have used to make the art on display) to capture images that have an ethereal and timeless quality. My hope is, that when a person views my art work, he or she might feel as though peering into a dreamy world, with a sense of wonder.

Bruce Melkowits

Chapel Hill, North Carolina resident Bruce Melkowits photographs with large format cameras and prints images using antique formulas and processes. Bruce’s work has been featured in numerous local juried exhibitions and has been included in group shows nationally and internationally in China and Canada.

Melkowits is most attracted to organic forms, working slowly, deliberately, and intuitively. The kallitype method is well-suited to Melkowits’ style of work, as the equipment and process requires attention at every step. When creating images he values understatement, reducing his images to the barest essentials. Melkowits enjoys seeing how little is needed to create an image that resonates. Each image is the culmination of a slow construction in addition to the record of a given moment.

Shannon Binns

Shannon Binns, a recent arrival to Charlotte, has lived and traveled throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa, capturing the beauty that he discovers in the people and places he encounters. Shannon’s black and white photos in this show were taken during his recent visit to Paris. Shannon is active in the Light Factory in Charlotte and very involved in Charlotte’s emerging art scene. This is Shannon’s first gallery show.

tout existe à Paris [all exists in paris]

Shannon's Statement: Paris is a place of endless beauty, surprises, and forms. As I explored the City of Light I found the four elements repeatedly expressing themselves. The Greek philosopher Empedocles believed the nature of the universe could be explained through the interaction of two governing principles, Love and Strife, on four primary elements: Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water. I find something elegant yet moving about this simple explanation of our world, like the City of Paris itself.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Great Show - A Few Thoughts (Revised)

You've Got Questions - I've Got Answers (I Think)

Without fail, the most common question I receive during Gallery openings is "How do you go about selecting your artists?"

Most of my artists come on referral from another artist. Peer review is very important in the art world, and few people know better what or who is going on in the art world. So that's where I begin.

Sure, I get plenty of submissions from aspiring artists, and it's hard for me to even respond to all of the emails I get, but much like the business world, a personal reference is hard to beat. It also helps to have a lot of friends at the McColl Center for Visual Art and the Arts & Science Council.

Artists Have Resumes Too

Believe it or not, an artist's resume is just as important as a lawyer's or a banker's, as is graduate school, rewards and publication. One of the first things I ask of a new artist is a resume so that I can see where the artist has studied, whether the artist has an MFA (Masters of Fine Arts), in which galleries or museums the artist has shown, any awards the artist has won, and what critical review the artist has received. Sound familiar?

Just like the rest of us, an artist needs training, and innate talent can only go so far. Sure there are artistic geniuses, just as there are mathematical geniuses, but even the masters need training. Fortunately, North Carolina contains some really good arts schools and the McColl Center is one of the best residency programs in the country.

But It's Still Art

But just like anyone else, an artist can look good on paper, and I'm not talking art paper. Because I don't have any formal art training, I rely heavily on friends in the art community for their opinions, but I also draw on my personal experiences to determine what I think is quality art.

As an aside, when people ask me how they can learn more about art, I tell them to get out and see as much as they can. Whether it's a museum or a gallery or a personal collection, there is no replacement for getting out and actually seeing art. I've seen some amazing shows at the Whitney, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim lately, but I also read ArtNews and Art in America to find reviews on the latest gallery shows and try to get out and see as many as I can. If you have been around me lately, you know how excited I am about the Bechtler.

Back to the point. When I see a new artist, I immediately try to relate it to something else I have seen. This isn't always a conscious action. But I know I really have something when I feel like I have seen an artist's work before, even though I know I haven't. For example, it was only after talking with Ashlynn Browning on Thursday night and learning that more about her influences that I realized why I was drawn to her work.

The painting on the top is "Untitled XV" by Willem de Kooning and is set for auction tonight. It is expected to sell for $5,000,000—7,000,000. The second is "Growing Into Jubilation" by Ashlynn Browning. While there are many differences between these works, there are enough qualities of de Kooning's reflected in Ashlynn's work to reveal its quality.

Yet, it would be a disservice to call Ashlynn's work an attempt to copy de Kooning. What distinguishes Ashlynn's work is her focus on lines. While her painting involves many layers of paint, some times up to 16, that create a depth similar to that seen in de Kooning's, there is a clear intent to juxtapose purposefulness and randomness and intuition and calculation. There is learning and exploration in Ashlynn's work that shows both her appreciation of de Kooning and her intention to develop her own voice.

In the Words of the Experts

I found this passage from Peter Plagens in Art in America to be somewhat insightful. In describing his interests in art and his decision to judge a juried exhibit in Mississippi, Plagens wrote, "I'm interested in what might be called the 'beltline' of art: that large class of earnest, informed, reasonably talented and fairly principled artists...who inhabit a stratum above the thick layer of industrial amateurs and manufacturers of expensive decorative objects resembling paintings that are sold in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Naples, Fla., but below the thin top crust of artiststs who've had, say, four shows over 10 years in good galleries in Santa Monica or Chelsea....The work of 'beltline artists tells you more about a city's or a region's art culture than does the often-anomalous work of a handful of really prominent artists who are frequently prominent precisely because their work is anamolous."

Wish I Had All the Answers

It's never as clear as I have set it out above, but this exercise provides a little insight into my artist selection process. But above all things, art is an immensely personal experience, and I hope everyone will take the opportunity to develop their own interests, especially if that involves coming out to the next Pantone 278 show.

Remember: the Gallery remains open this month at South End Home at 1710 Camden Road. Their hours are Tues - Fri 10:00 am - 5:30 pm and Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm.