Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Out of Hand, Florida Craftsmen Gallery Juried Exhibition

Kim Radatz, several works

The Florida Craftsmen Gallery is having their 52nd yearly Members Juried Exhibition through June 30th.  There's a large variety of work being shown in this space and in many kinds of media showcasing the work of their members. Some of them are among the best in the area.

Kim Radatz, "Connecting the dots of a Long-Winded Conversation"

 Anyone who regularly reads AT is no stranger to the engaging work of Kim Radatz. Here is a series of work on fabric, on varying size hoop frames. The title suggests they are highlights from a long winded conversation. We see two figures of women in two of them, one as girls, the other as women, a single small girl is in one, a red cross, a rocket, hangman's noose, hand holding hand, a small version of Kim's "The Look", a Dress and more. The imagination ricochets among these images, constructing endless conversations within the viewer's mind. This makes one want to take them all home and keep them together.

Here is a closer view of one of the images to convey a better idea of the textural qualities of the work, and the details. Note how the girl on the right's dress is unraveling.

Kim Radatz, "She's Come Undone"

On the right above is Kim Radatz' "She's Come Undone". There is one of the artist's interesting tropes, a column of numbers on the right edge of the picture going from one to seven. A girl, about seven years of age, with a coltish body, gaze turned away poses weightlessly. Note in the detail on the left the barely visible text below the edge of the image. I'll be returning to this exhibit for many reasons, but also because I left my reading glasses home and couldn't make out a word!

Klawdia Proia, "Vessels"

 Three stoneware ceramic pieces titled "Vessel #1", 2 and three.
They are unpretentious and have varied, beautiful and complex designs on them.

Carol Drummond, "Black Madonna"

 Carol Drummond's "Black Madonna" is a luminous image of a Madonna and  Child art quilt in an African style reminiscent of Chris Offili [Link], sans the controversy. Drummond's Madonna has that shell-shocked look that so many medieval madonnas have. She has her hand over her heart. Her crown and halo pale before her royal star-studded purple shawl and heavenly blue dress designating her as the Queen of Heaven. A joyful moment for the Child, who bears an outsized cross pendant (we know what will happen in this story).


On the left, Susan O'Hara's "Readhead" is a coil-built ceramic head in an African style.  On the right, also by Ms. O'Hara, is " Golden Lady ", a slim Venus figure.

Elizabeth Hillman, "The Plant, The Well, and The Angel"

Elizabeth Hillman's "The Plant, The well and The Angel" started out as a found book, and with modifications involving thread, grahite, copper and shell has become a work of art and an unusual, beautiful contemplative object.

Bonnie Askowitz, "Miami on a Clear Day"

Bonnie Askowitz' "Miami on a Clear Day", a hanging art quilt, does bring to mind memories of many Miami days in memory, but it goes beyond that, into the dense evocative forest of forms that abstraction can be.             

Lucrezia Bieler, "Beauty and the Beast" is an unbelievably elaborate piece of black paper cut with scissors work. And it is almost dream-like in its cyclical, calendrical aspects and Floridian beauty.

Jane Jenning's "Two Peas in a Pod"

On the right is Jane Jenning's "Two Peas in a Pod", An abstract batik assemblage.

Mary Jane Lappin's "Memory of Autumn" is an exquisite object. Perhaps a little too precious, for its own good, but it dazzled.

Peter Kuentzel's "Hotel" was the "Best of Show" winner. It brought to mind the now somewhat cliche'd famous Art Deco South Beach Hotels in this ceramic sculpture.

Ruth Philipon, "Tribute to Icarus"

Ruth Philipon is a multi-talented artist. In this work, "Tribute to Icarus", she plays the stasis of a partially rigid symmetry via the counterpoint of the coiled etched copper strips.

There was also an exhibit of quality Jewelry & Metalsmithing from Blake High School.

Congratulations to Florida Craftsmen Gallery and their member artists on their Juried Show, and for the space given to the Blake students. This show runs through June 30th. The gallery is at 501 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg.

--- Luis

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