Virtuosity at Wash Park Art

August 26th, 2018  |  Published in July/August 2018

Holly Spraul’s Wash Park Art gallery came alive with an art exhibition expanding upon the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra’s MusikArt auction of 5 violins by 5 noted area artists.

Actual violins were ‘artified’ in the stylistic tendencies of each artist and exhibited as a highlighted wall assembly. The violin silent auction drew a supportive crowd who were also treated to an exhibit of the exemplary work by the artists: Cedric Cox, David Laug, Sara Pearce, Tom Towhey and Nicole Trimble.

“Judy Slays” plays on the biblical story of Judith and Holofernes with multi-layered symbolism stated in common parlance and vernacularisms. Trimble restates the episode of vengeful execution on a blood dripping checkerboard of pink and red, making the horrific decapitation the retaliatory endgame of sexual assault executed with a common kitchen knife. The contemporary youthfulness of the players barely distracts the viewer as the depiction of this horrendous episode is overwhelmingly scathing even in today’s violent environment.
“Among the Tall Grass,” also by Nicole Trimble, incorporates the best of her stylistic idiosyncrasies. The figures are caught in blurred movement, a gestural animation amid strongly stroked landscape elements. It is also a rethink of a classical figural theme stylized with contemporary brushwork.

Tom Towhey shows a super sized fantastic landscape experienced from the perspective of a wall lizard. “Yehudi’s Hallucination” is a colorful and highly imaginative landscape where purpled tree trunks staunchly anchor the compositional space in a “where’s Waldo” world. The natural elements weave and flow in a rainbow paradise animated with whimsical floral creations and occasional bird accents. Towhey’s landscape fantasies are extensions of the physical environment of his studio setting and his gardening mind.

Sara Pearce shows a refreshing approach to collage in her exhibited works. One entitled “Spring Garden Dress”, is a spring landscape in the shape of a simple flowing dress. Hovering robins add sprigs of vining florals enliven the upper bodice. The garden below is filled with varietal daffodils and iris blooms. A spectacular oversized orange tulip escapes the bonds of the dress folds and invites you into the illusional landscape.
Pearce also shows several additional mixed media collages on cradled wood and wood panel.

Cedric Cox’s hallmark stylings pay casual homage to deconstructionism while alluding to abstracted musical elements or musical notations. This rhythmic painting’s musical presence reverberates in southwest colors and is titled “Underwater Love #2”.
David Laug’s exhibit rallies interest in his painterly approach in pastel and acrylic. He shapes color with gentle simplicity in these small format pieces entitled “Down the Road” and “Early Calm”.

Exhibition at the WashPark Art through September 15, 2018.

–Marlene Steele

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