by Kathleen Church, WAS-H President
WAS-H’s premiere artists came out in full-force for our Signature/Signature Elite Show on January 4. The gallery has never looked more inviting with 64 remarkable pieces of art on display. Ellen Orseck curated the show and defined thirteen creative categories to discuss our artist’s work. Opting not to give traditional First, Second, Third place awards invited us to view and understand these works through a different set of lenses. Ellen challenged us to consider again how we approach our own work more thoughtfully. With each category Ellen chose two pieces of art by well known artists to expand her reflection on each Signature piece. What about attaching a checklist to your easel with key word reminders: composition, color, value, narrative, pattern, meaning, line, mystery? As Ellen reminded us artists at this level go beyond technique to deeper levels of meaning and purpose.
Following Ellen’s presentation Nancy Moody led a stimulating and entertaining panel discussion with five of our elite artists: Carla Gauthier, Carolyn Graham, Robin Avery, A. J.Schexnayder, and Eric Sprohge. The artists discussed their artistic processes, inspirations, development as artists and the relationship between their art and contemporary social life. I think her questions to the panelists are good ones for us to consider as well.
1. What are some of the aspects of your life experiences or cultural background that you can tie to your artwork and your evolution as an artist?
2. A lot of contemporary art seems tied to either political or social issues. Have you ever wanted to deepen your practice to explore substantial issues such as these, or have you considered other art world trends in the context of your own work?
3. How do you seek opportunities to display your work and cultivate a collector base?
4. A quote from artist Georg Baselitz, “I begin with an idea but as I work the picture takes over. Then there is the struggle between the idea that I preconceived in advance and the picture that fights for its own life”. Can you relate?
5. What was the first work of art that you were proud of?
The reception was packed and buzzed with lively conversation among artists and guests - all celebrating the magical and often wondrous gifts of so many of WAS-H’s members.
A special thank you to Beverly Aderholt, Jan Shrader, Susi Telage, Nancy Moody and Terry Baird for their efforts to produce this show! Stop by and visit the gallery this month! It is a gem.
Theresa Wilson. Sunrise, Sunset
Best “Example of 21st Century Life”
Barbara Jeffery Clay Galveston Summer. “Effective Use of Pattern”
Linda Southern Vanek. The New King. “Strongest Narrative”
Carol Slobin. Rocky. “Dynamic Use Of Perspective”
Caroline Graham. Ordimento of Heaven. “Evokes a Sense of Magic”
A.J. Schexnayder. Egg Shells. “Elegant Example of the Surreal”
Dale A Schmidt. In The Beginning. An Abstraction That Compares to Musical Rhythm
Tasmara Kontrimas. Undone. Most Innovative Composition
Kay Stern, Moment in Time, Dynamic Control of Value Range
Karen Lindeman. Irish Spring. Most effective use of transparency
Ann Erard. Night Sky Beach Hammock II. Bravado Color
Carla Gauthier. Reflections on Happy Hour. Most comprehensive merger of meaning and beauty
Les McDonald. Alaska Crab Traps. Most Skillful Use of Linear Elements