by Paula Fowler, Gallery Co-Director
The theme of our show this month is “Animals, Real and Imagined”. I suppose we all have buried in our subconscious memories and fantasies that fit in this category. Maybe there are from real experiences or from dreams and active imaginations. Some of these are our most cherished recollections. Others are unpleasant remembrances of something scary under our childhood bed. And then we have the images of animals that have morphed into characters that make us laugh out loud!
Our April show has examples of it all. There are cats and dogs, of course, and birds and fish and rabbits, meercats and butterflies…and the list goes on. There are also creatures straight from a creative mind…some daunting and others downright hilarious. This show is a joy. I hope you make time to stop by the gallery and see it in person.
Our judge was Josh Pazda, who is an art historian who lives and works in Houston. He got interested in art at an early age and was lucky to be able to take classes at Glassell and be a student at HSPVA. He received a BA and an M.A. in art history from the University of Houston and then returned to HSPVA as a consultant faculty member and teacher of the principles of art and design. He is currently a partner in Josh Pazda Hiram Butler, a contemporary art gallery with a cross-generational program that presents contemporary and historical artworks in a manner that focuses on connoisseurship and beauty. His essays have appeared in Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts, On Site: 50 Years of Public Art of the University of Houston System, as well as numerous exhibition catalogues for Pazda Butler gallery. His first book—about the American artist Tony Feher’s drawings—is being published this fall by Gregory R. Miller & Co.
Josh certainly made the preparation of this show a pleasure. We thank him so much for his time.
Below are his choices as winners and a few of his thoughts.
First Place – Mallard by Fontaine Jacobs
“This work harmoniously combines line, color, and form. The long brush strokes of rippling water compliment the short hatch marks of the Mallard’s body beautifully. The artist’s choice of Yupo paper as a support creates a unique surface quality. “
Second Place – Groundskeeper by Susan Giannantonio
“The interplay between abstraction and figuration in this work is very strong. The complexity of mark making and coloration is delightful, and calls to mind elements of nature that are both real and imagined. “
Third Place - Social Distancing Rebels by Alison Hendry
A masterful composition assembled from individual images that refuses to let your eye stay still. She used a limited palette to portray artfully depict the most delicate pink to the vibrant rose.
What The? by Mike Doan
A wary cat is painted in a minimalist way and just barely emerging from the darkness.
Turbulance by Jackie Liddell
Skillfully rendered Images of real fish turbulently swirling from real to abstract. They become new creatures altogether.
Thanks to our valuable volunteers:
Please join me is once again in thanking our volunteers, Patty Armstrong, Irene Sheytman, and Laura Mossman. They are essential in making our shows happen. Please give some thought to joining us in the process soon. If you are interested in joining in, sign up on the SignUpGenius on our homepage.