Floyd’s Jacksonville Center for the Arts will mount an exhibition of artistry from new and/or young creators in its Hayloft Gallery. The show opens April 4, 2014 and runs through May 31. A “Meet the Artists” reception will be held April 12 from 5PM to 8PM, which will celebrate not only these emerging artists, but also the Jacksonville Center’s talented instructors, whose works will be shown simultaneously, in the Breezeway Gallery.
The Center’s New Voices: Young Innovators Exhibition allows emerging artists to show a significant body of work (about 8 pieces from each exhibitor). The showcase allows young professionals to share their experiences and tips/techniques with the public and their peers, and to become inspired by other innovators. “This year, we have widened our pool of exhibitors,” says Leia Wood, Educational and Gallery Programming Director. “As a way to honor outstanding students, beginning their artistic careers, we’ve asked regional university professors to recommend current and former students. From that process, works from 11 New Voices have been selected to exhibit in this exciting showcase.”
2014 participating artists include:
Kyri Lorenz (Hollins U.) - About Kyri: Hailing from the mountains of Northern Colorado, Kyri Lorenz has a long history of meddling with concepts of nature, identity, and the whimsical. Illustrative and stylistic choices are large motivators for their usual content: chimera-like combinations of animals and people that are put in bizarre and humorous situations. By taking animals and putting them into human contexts, the boundaries between nature and civilization become blurred. Through that personification, the interactions society views as socially complex are deconstructed and proven to be just as basic as animal instinct. Kyri currently studies Studio Art at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia. Though they focus recently on block printing and watercolor, traditional and digital drawing, oil painting, photography, and ceramic sculpture are also part of their artistic repertoire. Their art has been shown in the local art show Exchange 81; included in the collection Quaking Aspen Volume 3, “The American Dream,” organized by Sue Johnson; and part of a collaborative print installation in the Williamson Road Public Library in Roanoke. They have also recently been commissioned by the local independent comic press Vendetta Comics for an image to display at conventions.
MaKayla Songer (Hollins U.) – About MaKayla Songer: She paints and studies in Roanoke, Virginia where she is currently working on her bachelor’s degree at Hollins University. Her work is focused on the way in which paint simultaneously divulges and restricts information, and the questions that arise in between.
Jonathan Murrill (Roanoke College) – From Jon: “As an artist it is important for me to represent the working class of Southwest Virginia through portraiture. During my time in manual labor the emotional kaleidoscope of the working class captivated me. In my concentrations of oil painting and charcoal drawing I now focus primarily on the human expression and personalities of the many Southwest Virginia workers I have met or have worked alongside. Through my co -workers I have gained a deeper understanding of the lifestyle, struggles, and the human spirit that each of these workers embodies. My intention in my own work is to provide a contemporary perspective on the human spirit of the working class through the use of expression. This use of expression provides a new perspective on the subjectivity of beauty and how beauty may be treated using unique subjects and contrasting techniques. In my own work with oils I have found that the techniques of scraping the paint into and out of the canvas allow for the rugged and tattered feel that these workers possess. In my paintings I work completely without a brush using palette knives or any other tool capable of scraping and degrading the canvas surface. My work in oils is complimented by my charcoal drawings which, through photorealism, provide a different context of reality from which to see and interact with each individual I represent. Overall, my work does not represent an idealistic beauty, but rather, it represents the spirit of working class individuals and depth of character that they each possess.”
Sean Hatter (Floyd) – From Sean: As a traditional painter I explore landscapes and portraiture. Actually, I think of my landscapes as portraits in and of themselves: portraits of the world through which we travel, work, and play–singular moments in time that reveal the beauty which surrounds us and take on personalities of their own. So also my portraits are kin to the landscapes. At home with both acrylic and oil, I search for the movement, rhythm, light, and shadow that work with each other to reveal the unique qualities of each person as expressed through their individual features. There is an intimacy within both the landscape and the portrait which I try to pursue–a certain quality in each which draws the viewer in to connect with the subject matter in a way that is much deeper than we ordinarily would in our busy everyday lives. In so doing, my hope is that I and the viewer will both cultivate a deeper appreciation for the natural world around us and take more interest in the well-being and experiences of the people we meet along our way.
Wesley Wenger (Floyd) -
Adam Lake (Floyd) – About Adam: Adam has been working with clay periodically for the last 16 years, includingseveral college classes and many seasons of independent work. A few years ago he realized his most inspired ideas were feasible via the slip casting process and has been pursuing that path ever since, while continuing wheel thrown work as well. At this time, the focus of his work is on high relief tiles in geometric patterns, particularly in the form of the mandala , a symmetric round design found in many spiritual traditions. The geometries are based on patterns found in nature such as fractals and the Golden Ratio. The development process, after the concept is arrived at, requires several steps. The design is created using computer aided drafting from which two dimensional patterns are printed for each tile type. Then 3D forms are hand sculpted on top of these patterns. These forms are used to make plaster molds from which the hollow tiles are caste. The caste pieces are bisque fired, glazed, and fired again. The smooth contours, the process, the tactility of the tiles, and the longevity and feel of stoneware ceramics are hugely appealing to Adam. He is looking forward to evolving the work—the possibilities are endless! His work strives to conjure the sacred, to merge the dual, the masculine and the feminine, science and magic, and arrive at something eternal. His intention when creating his pieces is to create something that feels fresh, ancient, and as if it is born from nature. The symmetry of the pieces is meant to convey balance. Each piece is intended as prayer.
David Troutman (Floyd) – From David: “I am a self-taught painter and sculptor. My paintings are abstract, acrylic on canvas; pouring on colors of paint and moving the canvas, to create the work. This method is direct and spontaneous. With my metal sculptures, I’m using the same idea I use for my painting, by using a direct metal approach; forming the metal as I go. This technique lets me have the freedom to transform my creative idea directly to the sculpture, while it’s fresh in mind. In this way, I then have a direct connection through the entire process
Abby Reczek (Floyd) – About Abby: Abby Reczek graduate from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA in 2012. She is originally from this area of Pennsylvania, but her love of pottery has brought her down to Virginia. Following graduation she started a 10 month long residency at the Cub Creek Foundation in Appomattox, VA where she learned extensively about wood firing. While at Cub Creek she learned more about the town of Floyd, its rich art culture, and the apprenticeship opportunities. Abby was awarded the position of apprentice to Silvie Granatelli and has been working with her since September of 2013. She has also been lucky enough to be working with someone who uses carving as a decoration technique because it has allowed her to begin refining the skill that she had started experimenting with at Cub Creek. Abby will be working with Silvie until next fall of 2015. Abby’s work is largely based off things she sees in nature and reinterprets through line drawings which she carves onto her pieces. The pieces are made of porcelain and are fired in a gas kiln in a reduction atmosphere.
Bonnie Catron (Radford U.) – From Bonnie: “I create landscape paintings/still life, and my medium is watercolor. My inspiration is derived from the textures of old tattered objects (weathered by time and the elements); these objects can be man-made or natural. The more texture and detail the object has the better. I attempt to capture the true essence of the old tattered objects by recreating the roughness, softness and uneven surfaces in fine detail. Detail and texture are the most important part of my creative process they drive me. I like to challenge myself at times by choosing the most textural and detailed compositions, just to see if I can recreate the old tattered and weathered look. I begin by photographing the objects and the landscape surrounding it, at more that one angle to achieve the composition that I want to incorporate into my painting. These photos are of old things like buildings, farm equipment, rusty vehicles and tools. Sometimes I will use more than one photo to achieve the composition that I desire. For example if I’m painting a picture of an old rusty tractor and I don’t like my landscape surrounding it I will choose a different landscape from a photo of a different location to get the composition that I want. I photo-shop my photos and tweak them to improve my references. I try to achieve the most interesting compositions to attract the viewer’s eye. I strive to be different than other artists, by having my own style in creating art.”
Karie Edwards (Radford U.) - About Purgatory’s Playground: It is a series of fantastical narrative portraits that render otherworldly beings, alternate realities, and supernatural phenomena. As a Catholic, purgatory is a very real place. It is a dark unadorned world between Heaven and Hell, a place of redemption, regret, and isolation. It is an atmosphere of hope that through unrelenting penances and prayer one will eventually get to Heaven. However, purgatory seems to be an environment for adults, not juveniles. Could a child be banished to purgatory? Moreover, are they allowed to play and have friends as carefree children are supposed to or are they required to atone for their sins like adults? This work consists of light painting through long exposure night photography. It combines characteristics commonly depicted throughout my artwork such as light and dark relationship, surrealism verses reality, and repetition. This body of work asks the dark question: What happens to the children in purgatory?
Aaron Forrester (Radford U.) - About The Boys series: “My intention for this series is to use imagery of children at play to rekindle the imagination and nostalgia of the viewer. With the content of the images always leaving the focus of the children’s imagination unseen, to create a sense of exploration. The idea for this work came from watching my children play with mundane objects but with such excitement. While I saw only common objects they saw whole other possibilities. Turning sticks into bows, and dirt clads into meteors. While watching them play, memories from childhood crept back to my minds eye. The wonderment that we all have felt at one time became the focus of the work, wanting people to feel like they have seen this before. The subject matter in most of the images focus on something not completely visible, to draw the viewer in and cause them to come to a conclusion of what’s happening. Hopefully to help stoke the memories and imagination of their own childhood. Along the lines of reaching back to our childhoods a wood transfer is used with a mixture of black and white and color images edited to have a hand painted feel. The combination of the wood and exaggerated color pallet creates the feeling of an older time. Regardless of the era of your childhood this hazy view and the wood canvas cause the viewer to look back.”
These artists have developed unique styles to give voice to their visions, using tools learned in school as well as in their professional and personal lives. The exhibit gives the community fresh inspiration and a view into the initiation of a professional artist’s growth and maturation.
The public will have the opportunity to meet these inspiring artists on April 12. The reception is free and open to the public, and will include demonstrations of artistry from a variety of the Center’s corps of instructors, including some performance art. The Breezeway Gallery is the perfect venue for the public to see the quality and diversity of techniques, mediums, and possibilities available to students who sign up for classes during the Center’s 2014 educational season. “We have about 70 scheduled classes just waiting for students to register,” says Wood. “In addition, we have an OnDemand program in which students can schedule their own classes. Discounts are available for Jax members, for Early Bird sign-ups, and for bringing a friend or family member along to take a class.”