Our 5th Annul Juried Show opens this Saturday, April 1st from 6-9pm. Join us for a gallery talk with curator, Austin Thomas, and meet with the artists in attendance.
Congrats to those chosen for Otherworldliness: Frances Ashforth, Brianna Bass, Robert Fields, Gil Given, Carl Gombert, Kathia St. Hilaire, Amanda Joy Brown, Elysia Mann, Dusty Mitchell, Andrew O’Brien, Katherine Wagner, Mariel Zuchman.
“Otherworldliness” – Ground Floor Gallery, Nashville, Tennessee
March 27 – April 28, 2017, curated by Austin Thomas
This exhibition presents examples of many typologies with an emphasis on artists from Nashville, other parts of Tennessee and elsewhere with photography, painting, printmaking and sculpture. I have chosen painterly work with a focus on what I believe represents a feeling of otherworldliness. There is a painterly vibe in the exhibition. Some of the works are almost divine. And the overall choices are not devoid of political content.
Whether painterly or politically-titled, as in Robert Fields’ piece (“Let it be an arms race.” — Donald Trump), all of the participating artists are present in the timeless inner territory that is of the artist where one attempts to build upon understanding and knowledge to expand meaning.
Frances Ashforth affirms our desire for an inner landscape as she teaches us through her monotypes about water and its importance in our lives. Ashforth’s work, represented in this exhibition with a unique water-based monotype titled “Playa 7,” is bathed in blue, revealing to us the spirit of nature itself. Nature is powerful and we are its student.
As students, we take notes and have homework. Mariel Zuchman’s watercolor and pastel artwork is a lesson in the transformative power of thinking and making visual thoughts on paper. Zuchman may make art to visually understand her thoughts.
Small ideas render deeper meaning in Carl Gombert’s kaleidoscopic rubber-stamped drawings. His themes, motifs and symbols are set to repeat and his images reveal patterns with each color and stamp change.
Using one color and repurposing one material, black rubber, Dusty Mitchell’s piece cleverly hit the mark with our #MakeAmericaArtAgain call. His work serves as an awesome entrance into our “otherworld” as he has literally put out a welcome mat cut in the shape of the United States, but please don’t wipe your feet on your way in.
Gil Given’s three dimensional “sculptural painting” may challenge preconceived notions of traditional painting on canvas because his work of rainbow-colored acrylic paint on wood and canvas may propel itself off the wall, play a tune and dance out the room! Gil Given is an artist marching to his own drummer, as they say.
More quiet is Elysia Mann’s hand-printed rope ladder “Anteroom” which seems to hang over a wall intended to keep someone in rather than carry someone out to safety. Mann is also a poet and weaver unifying word and image together not unlike the centuries old Arabic practice of weaving the Koran into poems, called Iqtibas.
Kathia St. Hilaire’s relief print “Style,” weaves together a connectedness of personal history with communal memory into a powerful narrative reaffirming her rich present.
Andrew O’Brien’s untitled photograph from his curtain wall series reveals the appealing apparent transparency of glass. In O’Brien’s photograph the outside world seems so far away. His image is one of isolation. But we are not concerned for in this exhibition, organized around the theme of otherworldliness, we have some exuberant painting ¾ represented in the works of Brianna Bass, Amanda Brown and Katherine Wagner. This is a diversified collection of work demonstrating the mental labors of the discipline.
Brianna Bass’s painting “Hot Water” is so filled with different patterning that it feels like it is expanding and contracting at the same time. The colors Bass uses revive and restore the transformative power of art itself.
A similar feeling is garnered from Katherine Wagner’s painting which begins with patterned fabric that the artist then paints into therefore accentuating its pattern or creating a whole new experience.
The artist and the observer (sometimes one and the same) encounter each other at Ground Floor Gallery. Amanda Joy Brown, who has a studio near the exhibition space, has organized additional work in her studio leading us to the heart of this story in the central gallery where she is represented by her painting “Blueberry Snow” (a comforting title). The main story being; there is power in the individual voice of the artist where inner worlds strengthen the outer world and offer us not only hope but truth.