Extra Ordinary Extraordinary
September 22, 2017 – January 29, 2018
Rebecca Gottsegen : “I try to infuse my people with humor exaggerating features and flaws in the body to let the viewer smile and recognize themselves in my work. My “friends” are proud of who they are and how they look and almost dare the viewer to find fault in their appearances. I love what I am doing and hope I am able to continue to grow for many more years.”
Becky Gottsegen grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and graduated from Baton Rouge High in 1970 but didn’t go to college until she was in her 30s, majoring in graphic design. She finished her college degree in 1989 and then went to work with an architect in a furniture design business where she thrived, winning an Alpha Award for Best New Talent. The following year she won the Alpha for an interior design project in the French Quarter in New Orleans. After selling her interest in the furniture business, she bought an historic building in the Warehouse District of New Orleans where she opened a high-end furniture gallery. She showed hand crafted home furnishings by over 30 Louisiana artists including her own original designs. After 5 years she closed the business and sold the building and worked on a number of construction and design projects in New Orleans. After several years of stressful work, she decided to retire from the construction and design business and pursue her interest in working in clay, which started in high school. In early August of 2005, Becky rented part of a ceramic artist’s studio, purchased 200 pounds of clay and looked forward to pursuing her dream. Hurricane Katrina changed all that when on August 29th that year it flooded the studio building with 6 feet of water. After a year of doing volunteer work feeding cats and helping friends rebuild their homes in New Orleans, Becky and her husband moved to Baton Rouge where Becky’s mother was still living and in declining health. They built a house and included a studio for Becky behind the garage and she then was able to focus on being an artist. Unfortunately there were no classes for wannabe ceramic artists in Baton Rouge but she was able to take a workshop each summer over the last 8 years with the top figurative ceramic artists in the country including Tip Toland, Christina West, Beth Cavener, Bruno Lucchessi, Dirk Staschke, Curt LaCross and Philippe Faraut. Whatever she couldn’t learn in a one-week workshop, she has learned by trial and error. Her dream was always to build close to life-size figures and in late 2012, that dream was realized with Lillian, her first. She is now experimenting with different size figurative work.
Davana Robedee : “My artwork is created and operates under the theory that all physical objects possess consciousness. Using theoretical physics and spiritualism as inspiration, I create definitions for the nature of the Universe. In that regard, I am the maker of pseudo-science. By leveling the hierarchy between human and object, I envision a Universe where the human mind and its surroundings are not disjointed entities, but integrated structures that support a more compassionate worldview.”
Davana Robedee is a sculptor living in Syracuse, New York. She received a B.A. from Southeastern Louisiana University and an M.F.A from Syracuse University. She has received numerous awards for her practice such as the Albert K. Murray Grant, a Creative Opportunity Grant, and the Gail Hood Endowed Scholarship. Taking inspiration from sci-fi novels and pseudo-science, Davana uses her artwork to explore the nature of consciousness. Her interests stem from the lightening quick speed of our scientific advances and the way that humanity integrates itself with technology. While researching these topics she has participated in residencies at Weissensee School of Art in Berlin and Kimmel Harding Nelson in Nebraska City. Her work has been shown in numerous group exhibitions such as: Transitive Flux in Syracuse NY, Modus Operandi in Berlin, Germany, and solo exhibitions at Thompson’s Point in Portland, Maine, View Arts Center in Old Forge, NY, and the AC Institute in New York, NY.
Diane Hanson of Miami, FL
July 3, 2017 – September 22, 2017
Angela Davis Johnson : “Looking for sister is a narrative poetic series inspired by the complexities and nuances of black women healing from the trauma of living in a society in which they are at large considered unknowable. These works are a call to self acknowledgement and signifies the presence of black women’s work, grief, love and power. Each piece us to be read and viewed like lines in a mythical story rooted in universal truths.”
Angela comes from generations of healers and creators. Informed by their wisdom, she created paintings, installations, and ritual performances to examine and archive the technologies of black people, in particular the spectrum of black women. Angela is known for her vibrant narrative paintings that investigate universal connections, identity, and historical occurrences through personal symbols. She was selected as the 2015 Joan Mitchell/Alternate Roots Visual Arts Scholar for her work as an artist and activist. Her pieces can be seen in cultural centers, galleries and private collections throughout the United States. The mother of two lives and maintains studio in Atlanta, Georgia.
Nathan Fiveash : Nathan is an oil painter originally from Slidell, Louisiana who specializes in a fusion of modern surrealism and classical art. His work is strongly influenced by artists such as Caravaggio and Salvador Dali. After studying at the Atlanta College of Art and Design for three years and later graduating from the Ringling School of Art and Design in 2003, he lived and worked from Atlanta, Baltimore, and Columbia, South Carolina. Before moving back to Madisonville, Louisiana in 2016, he sold and exhibited his work from his studio in historic downtown Columbia. He also participated in numerous local and state wide solo and group shows while living Columbia.
The Exploration of Line
April 10, 2017 – June 23, 2017
Line is an abstract concept within itself. Consider the use of line as the essential element or basis for all art, even abstract works which are defined by the lack of line. It can be used to illustrate a subject through drawing or a thought through writing. I use line in my work to illustrate figurative works through abstract expressionism in a body of work including: sculpture, mono-prints, embossing, linocut and painting. Whether through the use of a physical line in my wire sculpture which form a three dimensional object that projects a two dimensional shadow or through a painted line which defines the outline and boundaries of a subject line is prevalent.
Artist Steve Martin’s adventurous spirit, and zest for life comes from a vast pool of spirited ancestors, including bold and daring frontiersmen who were associated with the likes of Andrew Jackson and Jim Bowie of Alamo fame. Also wading is the gene pool is the talented 19th century architect David Weeks, who is credited with designing a large number of antebellum mansions along the banks of the Mississippi River and its Delta. Most famous perhaps is the Shadows on the Teche.
Born in the rural Louisiana town of Tioga, Martin was encouraged by his parents to develop his artistic talents. Completely self taught, Martin received formal recognition and art awards throughout his childhood and teenage years, his first at the early age of five. Despite the praise of his peers Martin set aside his dream of being an artist for seventeen years to pursue a career as a financial advisor. In 1993, a drawing of a clown by Martin’s oldest son Christian, rekindled his own artistic flame. Steve decided to branch out beyond stocks and bonds to resurrect his artistic vision and attain his goal of becoming an artist.
Showing regularly at respected galleries across the country, Martin’s work is now represented in over one thousand corporate, private and museum collections throughout the world. Through the confidence gained from his repeated sell-out shows, Steve has always kept his one location of Steve Martin Fine Art in New Orleans.
“I would like the public to see my work with the innocence and wonder as seen through a child’s eyes and from a child’s perspective. My goal is to create serious art that does not seem to be serious. Some artists spend their careers trying to capture what a child can accomplish freely and instinctively. I feel that art should uplift the soul and elevate the spirit and convey wonder to the viewer.” -Steve Martin
January 30, 2017 – April 7, 2017
Like the Futurists of the early 20th century, we live in a world immersed in technology, urban trappings, speed, information, connectivity and change. Viewing it through a southern lens, tinted by tradition, can result in modern dissonance. For many, the narrative of the American South, will be informed and confined by its history, but how is its future to be portrayed? This exhibition seeks to showcase contemporary artists’ depictions of the schism and reconciliation of what might be called the New Southern Futurism.
Jurors Kevin Harris, Director of the Museum of Public Art, Ann Connelly, Founder and Owner of Ann Connelly Fine Art, and Rodneyna Hart, Curator/Art Manager of The Healthcare Gallery have selected artworks that spotlight various futuristic interpretations of landscapes, portraits, vignettes and sculptures of American artists. Some works are a dystopian or post-apocalyptic future, others visions are of the world much like it is today, still, others have created dreamlike abstractions that give more of their overarching feel of the future.
Southern Futurism will run January 30 – April 7, 2017, with the reception held March 25, 2017, 6-9pm.
Arthur McViccar : “One of the functions of the artist is to communicate myth—of the environment and of the world. In my work I bring together the natural—wood—with the man-made application of paint as a way of exploring symbolism in mythological and cosmological images. Hence, my pieces are entitled with the language of these images. While I have much control over the form (wood), I have less control over the medium (paint). I look forward to the happy surprises that the marbling technique brings to the piece. I also find that the depth of color that is achieved when wood is marbled enhances the essence of the image that I wish to communicate to the viewer”.
Cynthia Frigon : “I create fine art from reused images and repurposed paper. With donated magazines and old calendars, scissors and glue, I create visual representations of places I’ve been, items I’ve seen, and abstract ideas I’ve had. By focusing on the interconnectedness of the patterns, colors, and shapes of each cut piece, I approach each collage as a puzzle designed to reveal slowly a larger message. Art judges and critics often point out that my collages look good both up close and at a distance and that they can be read and savored like a good book; if so, then I have been successful at presenting my view of life through my art”.
J. Michael Simpson : “Heraclitus of Ephesus suggested we could step in to the same river only once (Heraclites, Fragments, 530-470 BCE)). There is a physical truth to his metaphor about the “river of life” that links place and time. However, digital technology and in particular digital video has altered, expanded, and contracted our perception of place and time (Kweon, Sang-Hee, et al., 2011). A far away ‘place in time’ can be digitally experienced simultaneously with one’s own through a wide array of devices. We have grown accustomed to being in two places at once, though in fact it is a technological phenomenon that is Sublime in character. Even the images on a cell phone are experienced as simulacrum, more real than how the actual place would be experienced (Baudrillard, 1981; trans by Glaser, 1994). More, instead of the viewer mentally going to that imaged place, the place comes to the viewer. The dynamics of which are similar to a phenomenon in landscape painting that Edward S. Casey calls “re-implacement” (Casey, 2002). My work attempts to ‘re-implace’ a past moment and fuse it with the viewing moment; cerebrally creating the experience of being in two places at once. Using digital video technology images of the water turbulence of white water rivers, will be recorded, edited, fragmented and teased into art forms that interweave video with traditional media (Michael Rush, 2005). GPS coordinates and time stamps references are used to place and ‘re-implace’ sites along the river. All the works whether moving images in video or still image on panels of wood or canvas are or include drawings of specific sites along a river”.
Emily Grego : “Using jewelry as a carrier of history and identity, I explore different facets of my home region, the South, digging into my own perspectives and that of others. How does a person move through the spaces they live? How does an individual consciously or unconsciously reinforce boundaries in their community? Chickweed: Neighbors and Strangers are meditations on how hospitality and customs of welcome can be twisted into barriers and signs of warning. Rapid prototyping replicates weed’s swift propagation, and my 3D model’s mimicry of plants reflects false welcome. Weeds grow at borders, in neglected spaces, and are a sign of unclaimed or ignored land. Within my work, weeds are a signifier for the unexamined parts and attitudes of community, as I consider how communities often define themselves by what is kept out”.
Herb Roe : “My work focuses on depicting the relevance of traditional communal and community building events such as music, the boucherie and the Courir de Mardi Gras. The majority of this focus has been on the “courir”, the traditional pre-Lenten celebration of the Prairie Cajuns of southwest Louisiana, an entire day of masked revelry with its roots in the ancient Roman Lupercalia and Saturnalia. The participants don elaborate costumes drawn from medieval traditions, frontier era depictions of Native Americans and political and social commentary; costumes meant to simultaneously conceal ones identity and through the temporary repeal of societal inhibitions display their inner selves.
My most recent work is an exploration of the mythic qualities of the festival and its modern continuation. I search to portray the otherworldliness of the day by placing the participants into a dream like setting of spreading moss draped oaks and vibrant splashes of color. This lets me explore the psychological implications of the holiday from my status as an outsider; lending more of an impact to the brightly colored costumes by contrasting them against their background environments. More than just a likeness, my work is an interpretation of the Light and Darkness involved in the holiday, draped in symbolic layers meant to elicit thoughts and perceptions of its place in our modern world.
The system I use helps me to build detailed compositions on my canvas before the application of color, a technique heavily based in western classical realist traditions. I add drama and focus to my pieces with layering of light and color, built up through multiple layers of impasto and oil glazes, but built upon detailed graphite drawings and value studies before color is applied to the canvas. This technique allows me to determine the subject and mood for a piece at its inception; and then to focus on achieving that effectively through use of light and color without the distractions of rearranging my compositions in subsequent layers”.
Donté K. Haynes : “This series of artwork titled, Afrofuturist, is an exploration on the history and culture of the African diaspora through the conceptual subjects found in science fiction, and altered realities based on real and speculative history. The art references how history can be changed, shaped, and reinterpreted through one thought or action. My goal is for the art work to confront the viewer with topics of imagery, power, alienation, identity, and social politics. Through these themes, the art becomes a vehicle in addressing the past, present, and future issues facing people of color. Stylistically, I am interested in creating art with bold colors, geometric shapes, and strong graphic imagery. The images are intentionally composed in a variety of vacuous or dense backgrounds to further the tension and dynamics in the picture. I seek to engage the viewer in a humorous yet provocative manner. Therefore, the viewer is bringing his or her own interpretation and reflection to each piece of art”.
Elle Mouton : “In a world where luxury, wealth, beauty and trends are sometimes held in a higher regard than character, my goal when creating this collection was to diminish the worth society places on extravagance. To quote the ambassador, “In the end, it’s all bull**** compared to what’s really important”. #WhatIsItWorth?
Donald Matheson : “Painting is mostly for enjoyment. The current series of reinterpretation of classical art is a bit more important to me. All artists create art from their personal experiences and previous study of art history. An example would be Picasso reinterpreting Las Meninas, over 20 times. There are many examples of single works being reinterpreted with and without credit to the source. I am not aware of any artist developing a large body of work from selected classical pieces and, also giving credit to the original. This series has been ongoing since 2011. It now includes about fifty paintings. Credit is given the original in the title.
For many years, my art slowly developed through total abstraction and variations of the styles of certain abstract expressionist artists. As a matter of chance, one of these works reminded me of an important painting which I did identify. Since then, the art world has been scoured, looking for any specific work that could be an inspiration for a totally abstract work. Since about 2011, a series has developed into now over fifty pieces. The series is called “ Reinterpretation of classical art through geometric abstraction, color field, hard line, and symbolism”. Justification could be made that this follows the cliché, good artists borrow and great artists steal. I am borrowing composition, colors, symbolism, and in some way, narrative, from specific well known paintings. A reference to the original is given in the title”.
Therese Knowles : “As long as I can remember, I had a need to take things that were broken and put them together to create a balanced composition. It is a need in all of us, in whatever we do, to find a sense of stability, order and harmony”.