Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Silvermine New Member Show

Silvermine Guild Arts Center in New Canaan, CT juries new artists twice a year. The following January, Silvermine hosts its New Member Show. I had the pleasure of attending the opening reception for the artists who juried in in 2010.

Actually, two other Silvermine artists and myself spent the reception guarding Connie Pfeiffer's pod/boat like copper installation to insure that no one tripped over it, walked into or through it or...gasp!...stepped on it.

Suspended from the ceiling by nearly invisible fine black wire, the sculptures swayed with the movement of air around them. 

The new members all exhibited two pieces. This is Connie's second installation. The shadow play held  me as spellbound as the work itself.

 Amy Bilden's installation involving knitting and rolled newspaper was another favorite. 

However, it was Amy's work combining nylons and concrete that had me fairly dancing in place with sheer joy and excitement at the idea of even working with such ordinary and contrasting materials.

Who would have thought nylon stockings with concrete poured in them could be so beautiful, so evocative? Not me certainly, but I must admit that this is my favorite piece in the show. Each time I've viewed it, something new has caught my eye - the stretch marks caused by the weight of the drying concrete are mysterious, yet remind me of batik marks where the smallest bit of dye crept inside the wax. 

If you follow the blog, you know that printmaking on fiber is a process that I enjoy dabbling in. I say dabbling because of not having been trained in it. Kerry Brock's monoprint is that of someone who knows what she is doing and is having a lot of fun in the process.

My photo does not do the piece justice. The layers of ink created a depth and texture that me wanting to reach inside the frame to touch what I knew must be organza. In conversation with Kerry, I learned that the white is not, nor was it created with, organza. Instead, she rolled ink on thin sheets of foam packaging and ran it through the press. The result is exquisite.

Anita Soos' simple charcoal lines on white paper stunning graphically and in its simplicity. I did find myself wondering what effect a black mat, rather than white, would have had on the piece. Too dark? Or would the white spaces have become that much more prominent? Either way, it is intriguing.

John Harris is an artist that I have had the pleasure of being in art shows with. While we never had booths next to each other, his water paintings were pieces that I always sought out in those few minutes before the show opened. As a person who loves water, it is safe to say that I can get lost in his paintings. Just standing in front of one for a few minutes before a show opened and the customers began their pursuit for art, was all that was needed to soothe my soul. 

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