“Rise & Shine”, A Group Exhibit at Wash Park Art

June 1st, 2019  |  Published in *, May 2019

An interesting exhibit of the curated work of a number of artists is a good reason to drop into Holly Spraul’s Wash Park Art gallery this summer.

Nicole Trimble is continuing her series on women (how can one forget “Judy Slays”, Trimble’s update on the biblical story of Judith and Holofernes). Trimble’s piece in this exhibit is based on the Biblical story of the beautiful Susanna, resisting the salacious advances of the elders as depicted by Artemisia Gentileschi. A significant Baroque painter, Gentileschi’s hard won, rare female success in art was marred by betrayal, calumny and traducement in public litigation.

The beautiful nude is posed resisting a menacing deep red abstract, hovering overhead like a malignant cloud, dripping perilously close to her uncovered figure. A relevant discussion can be found in the comparison of the full nude female, visually pinned like a butterfly specimen while the multiple perpetrators are unidentifiable, facelessly melded together in an abstracted blurr that actually impacts the woman’s shoulder. The imagery can be seen as a visual interpretation of societal focus on the woman’s culpability in a rape case and the entrapment defense on the other side.

Another interesting twist in the image is that the woman is painted as having two right feet. The work is entitled “Susie Triumphs”.

Alison Shephard shows a painting entitled “Arise and Shine, For Your Light Has Come”, expanding the show’s title into Isaiah 60:1.

A nest of golden eaglets has been blown to the ground, yet amid the clearing storm, the protective parent descends to the frantic chicks. Shephard creates a visual reflecting the never-ending trials of life’s struggles and her belief in the eternal benevolence.

John Quigley has blended his love of printmaking with social activism and his religious life as a friar and priest. He maintains his studio in the St. Francis Seraph Friary in OTR on Liberty Street. I was drawn to his artist’s proof of a color silkscreen print entitled “Mahatma Gandhi”. Gandhi, a young lawyer turned social justice firebrand, inspired civil rights movements around the world as he espoused nonviolent civil disobedience in his quest for Indian independence against British colonial rule.

Patrice Trauth shows an encaustic and mixed media on wood panel work entitled “Transcript”. This small 12″ x 12″ work includes sacred texts from various world religions as textural experience. Embedded in the phrases is a collective prayer for peace. In its alignment both visually and thematically, it proves to be the perfect companion to Quigley’s “Gandhi” silkscreen.

A segment of the show can be categorized as landscape oriented.

Tom Towhey shows one of his square formatted landscape fantasies with whimsical floral creations and occasional bird accents.

This writer was drawn to “Camouflage” by Ivan Ivanov. A native Bulgarian, Ivanov studied art in the Fine Art Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria. Coming to the United States, he continued his studies at the Savannah Academy of Art and Design. This small acrylic is an intriguing example of Ivanov’s painting language, packed with high energy abstraction writhing in a painterly spatial illusion. It can be interpreted as a synthesis of the duality of his life experience, perhaps the unresolved blending of two distinct cultures. I enjoyed this artist’s pursuit of truth in visual language which I find to be courageous and unaffected.

Many of us who attend the Symphony enjoy the long career of the assistant principal bassist, Matt Zory. Three examples of his photography exhibited here visualize the specter of the solitary journey in beautifully abstracted yet extreme circumstances that can be encountered on our planet. Entitled “Dune Abstract I”, “Dune Abstract II”, and “Where My Heart Is”, these images document Zory’s recent journey in the Mesquite Flat Dunes found in Death Valley, California. Zory’s remarks reflect on his own human acts of solitary searching, realizing that they can be simultaneously experienced as a meditative act with artistic impact.

I hope my remarks encourage your investigation of several additional artists who are also featured in this exhibit which continues through
July 12, 2019

–Marlene Steele

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