Sunday, February 7, 2010

Being Part of Your Art Community

DeJaVu, A Backward Look, Acrylic Collage with photo images, 20x24." $400.

A Dynamic Art Community Needs You.

If you want to be part of an exciting art community, it is important to give of yourself. Take part in the events, and give it your best effort. What you offer will have an impact, large or small! Talking to other artists has the potential to affect the attitudes of the Area you live in.

Friday Night, I attended an art opening for the Greeley Art Association show, Art from the Heart, held at Showcase Art Center. The show will be up until Feb. 26.

I was very excited to see the wide range of styles, media and subjects shown in the exhibit, something different than other GAA shows I have participated in during the past five years. To me, the change meant that the community of artists here is becoming more dynamic and reflects a growth in ability as well as increased openness to new ideas. I believe it is partly because more artists have followed their own path toward individual styles and modes of expression. I talked with a few artists that I had not met before. It was quite exciting. A wall-to-wall crowd visited the open house reception.

I have been involved in many different artist’s groups, coops and communities since I began my full time art career in 1977. I think it is good to have a good variety of approaches offered by different artists. Another positive factor is to include pieces by artists who are at different stages of development, if there is space. What happens is stimulation between contributors, creating mutual cross-fertilization of ideas. When this happens, there is almost always a growth process for the community of artists as a whole. The influence of this process also tends to evolve in a kind of Regionalism for a particular city.

In the city where I previously was active, Kalamazoo, Mi, there had evolved a regional trend of Surrealism and or Symbolism. Abstractions also took their place among the Impressionistic Landscape images. Printmaking and Photography were also very strong.

I am not advocating any particular style of expression for Greeley. I am pleased to see an atmosphere of openness so that freedom of expression is encouraged through acceptance of a variety of approaches. I am hopeful that an increasing dialogue between artists will occur here. If a different regional character of art emerges in Greeley, the artists who work here and in the areas around Greeley will influence that. It will be exciting to be a part of it.

Creative Process

I had the pleasant surprise of being awarded two ribbons on pieces I entered. All three pieces represented the direction of work of the last year, which I feel is moving toward a synthesis of several different ways of working, which has evolved for the last thirty years. One piece includes faces integrated into an abstract composition, “DeJaVu”. The other is completely abstract, titled, ‘Shape Shifting, Unbeing Myself.” All three pieces were acrylic collage; using papers adhered to a gessoed panel. Two incorporated photographic imagery layered in Photoshop within an abstract background, printed with colorfast inks on acid-free paper. I attempted to interpret broad conceptual ideas using a montage of images. I used experimentally painted textural papers and layout papers also. The composition was adjusted in the collage process, including fading some areas, painting over, removing some, and adding geometric shapes. The third piece was titled “Dream Fragments.”

Writing and Image are the Copyright© of Ruth Zachary.

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