Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Friday, June 16, 2017
A recent visit to Sperryville, Virginia led to a tip to stop by Haley Fine Art, just down the street from the Middle Street Gallery. Like much of Sperryville, what's inside the quaint, unassuming, historic architecture can be a real surprise, as is the case with local sculptor Alex Bay's "Untitled" exhibit. Upon entering the gallery's front door, Kris and I were greeted by a room showcasing an enormous, complex, horizontally configured rectangular structure called "Rudy's Garage". This giant kinetic masterpiece moves and makes sounds, even music, in a musique concrete sort of way. Seeing this magnificent and complex work was only the beginning of experiencing an exhibit that completely took my wife and I by surprise, as we had no idea what we were in for.
While "Rudy's Garage" was definitely the show stealer, Bay's smaller works had an intimate quality to them that was equally powerful and intricate, inviting the viewer to lean in and take a closer look around, and perhaps get lost a little.
I think of the inventiveness of Alexander Calder's work, and the resourceful approach Louise Nevelson took to sculpture, yet Bay's art stands in a world all it's own, utilizing found objects and sound, even, playing with light and shadow, each sculpture a universe unto itself.
Sperryville, as I have found, is a place where it's more than meets the eye, and Haley Fine Art, and the current Alex Bay exhibit is one fine example of such a claim. This is definitely a show not to miss!
Thursday, June 15, 2017
The Franklin Park Arts Center, located in Purcellville, Virginia continues to bring some of the finest in local talent to the public, this time with their current art exhibit, "Landscapes of the Mind". I'm happy to have a piece in this show, along with some of my favorite local artists, including Wayne Paige, Brian Kirk, and many more. It's such a beautiful and varied show, with so much to take in, with artists interpreting the theme in every way imaginable. Don't miss this exhibit if you're in the area!
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
wayne paige: around the edge, on exhibit at middle street gallery, sperryville, virginia through 6/18/2017
Last weekend, Kris and I trekked out to Sperryville, Virginia for the first time, mainly because I wanted to see Wayne Paige's solo art exhibit, "Around the Edge", currently on display at the Middle Street Gallery. Sperryville was a treat in itself, but that's for another post. Wayne's show, was a delight to see, in person, as the black and white pen and ink drawings had so much minute detail, so eloquently packed onto such small pieces of paper. Ever since finding out about Wayne's work on the 2014 Western Loudoun Artists' Studio Tour, I've made an effort to stay up to date with his shows and art.
Some words from Wayne, from the Middle Street site:
"Since 1997 I have retreated to a life inside the inkwell- a black and white world of duality sprinkled with social commentary and Dreamscape imagery. In the current exhibition “Around the edge” a three-dimensional format is explored with each pen and ink drawing wrapped around a canvas and secured in a shadow box frame. Portrayed within is an imaginary landscape of mountains, waterways and woodlands populated by featureless beings. Many are cliff dwellers seeking escape while others are just engaging in daily activities. Events unfold as a celestial armada encroaches their environment- causing consternation and portending everlasting change. All takes place under a moonlit sky around and over the edge.
The Digital Age has brought upon us a binary kaleidoscope fog and this fog has blanketed both perception and reality. I think of my art as beyond the fog evolving instead at the bottom of an inkwell. In only working with the traditional media of pencils, pens and paper, my inspiration derives from personal perceptions of contemporary life and the reality of encroachment. Conflict, dreams and humor are often woven within."
The gallery itself is located in a beautifully transformed house built in the 1800's, and features and array of exceptional local talent. Below the gallery, in the same building, is a wonderful coffee house and cafe - again, for another post.
In the meantime, don't hesitate to stop by Middle Street Gallery to see "Around the Edge", on exhibit only through Sunday, June 18. Also, Wayne will be doing an artist talk this Friday, on June 16, at the gallery!
Friday, June 9, 2017
Recently, my wife Kris and I visited Middleburg,Virginia to see some work by one of her favorite local artists. We ended up exploring the town, on what turned out to be a mild, slightly overcast afternoon, when we stumbled upon a little art gallery on South Madison Street. To our delight, the Gallery on Madison was open to the public, and there were no images of horses, foxes, or men on horses hunting foxes, to be found. Instead, we were greeted by an array of elegant, earthy yet thoroughly modern three-dimensional forms, from what looked to be visitors from another dimension. As otherworldly as these sculptures appeared to be, they were once tree branches and fallen sticks in a previous life, reborn as serene yet lively totemic figures, thanks to artist, designer and inventor Tim Maloney, who had collected the twigs, sticks and branches while hiking along the Tuscarora Trail in the mountains of northwestern Virginia.
Throughout the gallery, there were several paintings by Tim, all abstract in nature, much like the sculptures, and taking on an equally sublime presence. The paintings, whose imagery hinted at the presence of earthly lifeforms, also seemed to present the viewer with a glimpse into the artist's subconscious, and like the sculptures, seemed to have been confidently executed, simply saying what they need to say beyond the realm of verbal language.
What is always so fascinating about art of a more abstract nature, is how much it can be open to interpretation by the viewer. Upon walking into the gallery and getting an initial glimpse of Tim Maloney's work, I felt a sense of peace and calm, and was reminded of the more spiritually-influenced shapes, forms and symbolism found in the work of pioneering abstract painter Hilma af Klint, who felt her abstract paintings, created in the early 1900's, would not be ready for public consumption until forty years after she died. Strangely enough, the works shown at the Gallery on Madison by Tim Maloney, were his first to be presented to the public, in over four decades. And despite the peace and calm I felt upon viewing the works in "Totems to the Imagined and Unimagined World", there is an inventive, innovative and inquisitive burning fire within the artist that led to their creation, conceived of during the recent U.S. election, as the paintings and sculptures are infused with multiple layers of meaning, touching upon questions pertaining to our world's energy crisis and global warming, and concerns regarding who our land belongs to and how we go about claiming it and caring for it.
It's important to note that Kris and I were fortunate enough to talk with Mr. Maloney, who you'd never know played quite a prominent role in the creation of solar energy, or that he consulted the Lakota Sioux on energy efficient housing and education, or that he was is an award-winning architect whose work can be found regionally and nationally. Humble in demeanor and more than willing to take the time to talk with you, Tim Maloney and his highly prolific life work is the living embodiment of the current STEAM-based learning that is slowly but surely gaining momentum throughout the nation's public school systems.
Tim Maloney's "Totems to the Imagined and Unimagined World", presented by Un Stable Art, will be on display to the public at the Gallery on Madison, in Middleburg, Virginia, through June 29, 2017.