Friday, August 26, 2011

Cool Water: Joe Walles and Rebecca Skelton @ Arts Lofts

View of exhibition space

Two of the artists at the Arts Lofts above Florida Craftsmen gallery had a show in the lobby of the 2nd floor, where their (and many other) studios are situated.

View side gallery in Arts Lofts lobby.

The theme was "Cool Water", one that photographer Joe Walles and Rebecca Skelton, who works in several media, have explored in a variety of ways. Both artists have been featured in Art Taco before. In this exhibit, Rebecca showed her aqueous abstract paintings.

Rebecca Skelton,  "Lurk"

"Lurk", the oil painting pictured on left, is an example of this series. It's an Impressionistic mix of atmospherics and water, two things that one experiences often in our area. The works in this series are serene, contemplative, meditative works of unusual subtlety. Ms. Skelton's sense of color is highly developed, and here the interaction is modulated and integrated seamlessly into the work.

Rebecca Skelton, "Blue Stream"

On the right is "Blue Stream". This is an emotive, lyrical painting, one easy to wade into for the viewer. The obvious beauty of these works is not merely decorative, but a functional element of the gestalt of the work, communicating complex feelings to the viewer.

Joe Walles is the photo-editor for the St. Petersburg Times and a veteran photo-journalist and artist. He works in the classic manner of street photographers, with film (you remember the stuff) Leicas and a lens or two, making his own gorgeous prints in his studio/darkroom at the Artists Lofts.

Joe Walles, "Old Bridge, Florence"

"Old Bridge, FLorence" is a toned silver gelatin print, a romantic view taken probably from another bridge. The symmetry between the mostly silhouetted buildings on the banks (though there's details in those shadows) and bridge are sweetly broken by the position of the sun and clouds around it.

[Yes, that's my reflection in the river]

Joe Walles, "Float"

In "Float", a Fall leaf rests on a myriad smaller leaves (allacinates?) or bits of algae. Green on green here transduced into line, texture and tone. The effect makes the larger leaf float on its own. A simple and profound composition.

Congratulations to Joe Walles and Rebecca Skelton for a quality small-space show, and to Arts Lofts for hosting it. I think having a featured show in tandem with the open studios is an excellent idea.

--- Luis

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