Text Messages

Text Messages
A Spectrum Gallery Exhibit: March 25-May 15

Spectrum Gallery and Artisans Store presents Text Messages, March 25-May 15, an exhibit of regional and national artists who integrate text, foreign languages or calligraphy into their paintings, photographs, art books and mixed media collages to give deeper meaning to their work. Opening reception is at the Gallery, 61 Main Street, Centerbrook, CT on Friday, March 25 (6:30-9 pm). Exhibit special events include a Modern Pop Art Workshop on Sunday, April 24 (1-4pm) at the Gallery with New York artist Michael Albert. Participants create a pop art collage from various materials (Members and Donors free with a guest; $5 for non-members; drop-ins welcome.) On April 29, 2016 (6:30-8:30pm), Chloe Carlson and Bo Parish of GUSTO Dance Project will perform a free event of dance vignettes inspired by Text Messages and then invite audience input for the dancers to improvise movement to the visual art. Desserts and wine will be served.

Participants in Text Messages include painters and mixed media artists such as New York artist Glenn Fischer who works with vintage print materials including textbooks, album covers and magazines to construct geometric abstract collages. He extracts characters, text and illustrations from their original context recombining them to create new meaning by way of their interactions and interplay. Also from New York is artist Michael Albert (cited above) whose work has evolved from doodles and drawings to highly-detailed collages created from cereal boxes and other consumer brand packaging. NY monoprint artist, Aliza Tucker, through her vast variety of collaged imagery confronts issues of articulation, authorship, and codification created by our digital, networked society. Our colorful world is presented in new ways through the eyes of these adventurous artists!

Also exhibiting is award-winning Heidi Lewis Coleman, an abstract artist who explores the aesthetics of language in art as a visual design element. She combines her own invented languages, adding new characters and reconstructing the original text to create more complex and visually richer pieces. Artist Eva Dykas who works in oils, watercolor and ink is exhibiting “Kahlil’s Song,” a colorful collage inspired by the poem of Kahlil Gibran with the focus on our oneness with nature.

Kathleen Borkowski, a painter and calligraphic artist, draws from sources as diverse as Primo Levi, Mary Oliver, the Book of Job, and Sappho. She uses illuminated text integrated within her paintings to give her work the character of palimpsests. At times the calligraphy is rendered so abstractly, it becomes an energetic element in the composition. Maureen Squires, a painter and calligrapher living in the Washington D.C. area, is a student of Roman and other letter forms. She employs the words of writers and poets to express meaning via the appropriate alphabet in combination with color, illustration, or abstract gesture. Additional new artists to Spectrum Gallery are Meg Kennedy, a calligrapher and book artist, who works with the form and design of words and letters through style, color, shape, and size to create layers of meaning and rapport with her viewers, and Carol Dunn, a mixed media assemblage artist and watercolor artist Kelly McCarthy.


Mixed Media by Charlotte Hedlund

Charlotte Hedlund, a mixed media and book artist, is intrigued with how art connects us to both the old and the new. In Text Messages she presents The Sole Survivor series which incorporates collaged strips cut from an 1830’s New England Shoemaker’s journal (hence “sole” reference). Artist Kelly Taylor explores the line between realism and abstraction through the use of color, shape and elements found in nature. Painter Nan Runde returns to Spectrum presenting her dreamy images in egg tempera which increasingly incorporate text and letterforms influenced by ancient alphabets.

Photographers in the show include Derrick Burbul who explores our relationship to the environment through a wide range of processes such as pinhole photography, tintypes, digital manipulation with Photoshop, and the combination of historical and contemporary photographic processes. His current series, Diary of a Mad World, brings together images and words where they both compete and complement each other. Burbul is an Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska Department of Art and Art History.

Artists returning to Spectrum include Judith Barbour Osborne who creates works on paper that abstractly express the spirit of texts which she selects from poetry and spiritual writings. A major part of her process is “writing” abstractly the actual selected words, using a wide variety of mark-making instruments. Ashby Carlisle who selects alphabets and pictographs from different ancient cultures arranges and adheres letters and symbols on paper. Then dyed with luminous colors, they are combined with clay and metal to create sculptural landscapes. Amy Hannum, a versatile mixed media artist known for abstract imagery and use of vivid hues, is also exhibiting several of her intriguing pieces. Victoria Sivigny presents encaustic painted works combined with pigments, built up into multiple layers and fused with heat. Her kanji-like markings and symbols are created via wooden print-block impressions, stamps, and mark-making with ink. Also returning are Colleen Casner of East Haddam who shows one of her whimsical watercolors, and Regina Thomas who combines various painting mediums with textiles, old photographs, text and ephemera.

In addition to the Gallery, Spectrum includes the Artisan Store with a variety of distinctive pottery, serving ware, home decor, jewelry, cards and fine accessories to choose from this season. Spectrum Gallery and Store is open Wednesday-Friday (11am-6pm); Saturday (11:30-6pm) and Sunday (11:30am-5pm). Spectrum is an expansion of the non-profit Arts Center Killingworth, which in addition to offering classes, workshops and camps for all ages, provides opportunities for established and emerging artists to develop, display and sell their work. Spectrum Gallery (860) 767-0742. Arts Center Killingworth: (860) 663-5593, artscenterkillingworth.org.