Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Price is Right & Salon 30 @ Morean Arts Center.

From Salon 30 Exhibit
Morean Arts Center

The Morean Arts Center (MAC) has its "The Price is Right" , a show for members to display their work, and for the public to be able to buy it at reasonable prices. In this show, everything is below $500. There was a good ceramic sculpture of two pears priced at $30 (it was already sold or I would have taken it home).

Concurrently, the MAC is also showing their "Salon 30" show, an exhibit that turns over every thirty days. This time showing Jack Bond, Gregory Matthews, Pauli Maiville, and Doug Taylor.


The above is an outrageously beautiful glass work consisting of plates bowls and other sculptural forms, some looking like the anatomy of an orchid and/or sea fans. Many of these organic forms are nestled into each other. I have to go back to the MAC to ascertain who the artist is. My apologies. The labeling wasn't entirely clear to me.

A view of the back wall of the Salon 30 gallery. I'm a little unsure of whose work this is, but it's either Doug Taylor Jr. and/or Pauli Nelson Maiville (if anyone can clarify before I go back to MAC, please send a comment!).  The Hot Shop artists are turning out gorgeous work.

Glass can be such a dazzling, playful-with-light medium, and here the curator has done an excellent job. This is the kind of exhibit that you want to make time for and take someone to see and share the experience with.

Jack Bond, "Perception Mutation"

Jack Bond showed a series of collages of photographs sourced from magazines, based on the theme of identity and masking, the latter as a defense mechanism. The artist writes that this derived from his interests in Tribal Art, and that his interests are compositional when making these, and any associations are derived from his subconscious. In "Perception Mutation" we see levels of masking in ourselves and others, and how masks can sometimes seem to take on a life of their own.

Jack Bond, "Five Masks"

In "Five Masks", on the left, we see a model walking past five masks on the wall. Her face is in line with the fifth, and she walks past a faceless head. We all have and use masks, not solely for defensive purposes, and their sum is the range of our identities. We're one and the same person at one level, but at others, we're different people, say at work, with friends, loved ones, flirting with strangers, being authoritarian, or submissive. t's masks all the way down. This image alludes to that range.

There were beautiful scenic photographs by Gregory Matthews done at the golden hour (there's two, really, at dawn & dusk). The work has a slight tourist destination, romantic aura to it and was well-executed. You can see some of it here [Link]

The Price is Right exhibit involved a large amount of artists, far too many to go into here. A few highlights:

Kerry Didday, "1st Nigh Street Band"

First Night is St. Pete's New Year's Eve city-sponsored event. Kerry Didday's work has a documentary aura as a result of the title. The painting is minimal, the forms simplified to the point of being nearly abstracted. Gorgeous color, beautifully composed and the content comes through. It is more about the memory of the experience.

Rena Charles, "Family Tree"

This is a jewel-like small painting in a series of panels by Rena Charles. It reminds me of the azulejos  (tiles) one finds in Southwestern American Art. Delicate, yet strong, each panel an independent painting, and also a part of a greater whole, a perfect metaphor for a "Family Tree".

Rebecca Skelton "Morphology"

Rebecca Skelton's drawing, "Morphology" has aspects reminiscent of a recontextualized Cubism. It is drawn in a style reminiscent of neo-Classicism. There's something about the sum of the parts and the whole here, their proportion and relationship. Why do we see the body rearranged in different proportions? The head and eyes at the top are prominent, then a smaller representation of a bust-length image, with the right arm/hand in a rising gesture, then on the right side of the picture a left arm/hand pushing against a flat surface -- in support?. Then we see a lateral view of the lower torso and legs. This came across as a sensory totem. The size of the anatomical elements seems proportional to their perceived significance and function.

Elizabeth Fontaine-Barr, "Blue Tree 1"

Elizabeth Fontaine-Barr's "Blue Tree 1" is a dreamy, slightly surreal winter landscape with trees still sporting summery-looking foliage. the colors here are surreal, yet the kind one can walk into. Limbs reach out to one another, and beneath it all, s a substrate of living green.

Beth Morean's "Bowl and Platter", rendered in clay, have a sensuous, romantic form, and a sense of passion carefully modulated.

Sara McClarnon, "Guiding Thread"

Sara McClarnon's "A Guiding Thread", made of laser-cut plexiglass, in five sheets, is a stand-out contemplative abstract sculpture in this show. Translucent, luminous and mercurial while heavily geometric this rich bundle of contradictions excelled. It reminded me of Constructivist works recontextualized into the present.

Congratulations to the MAC and its Hot Shop for putting together two entertaining shows. The Morean Arts Center is at 719 Central Ave. St Pete. The Price is Right Show will be up until Sept. 25th.

--- Luis

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