Stepping outside of your comfort zone always comes with challenges and opportunities for great success. The Spinning Plate Gallery challenged their artists for the upcoming August 5, Stretch show to create a work that is outside of their comfort zone. Stretch will feature 5 artists experimenting with new materials, subject, content, and form as a means to push the boundaries of comfort. Norman Brown, Lynne Feinberg, Bob Ziller, and Michel Demetria Tsouris are the artists showcased.
Norman Brown: The first featured artist, Norman Brown, experiments with a type of handmade paper called joomchi. He learned about this technic from local artist Rae Gold. “I am a self-taught artist and my works usually are figurative, fantasy oriented, and inspired by African and other primitive art,” said Brown when describing his works for Stretch.
Lynne Feinberg: After many years focusing on human and animal figures in her sculptures and drawings, Feinberg has recently moved her art in a different direction. By creating non-representational wood sculptures and drawings for Stretch, Feinberg had the freedom to explore more combinations of shape, color, pattern and texture in a much more focused manner. According to Feinberg, “To me there’s a sort of mad harmony to this work. There was always a storytelling element to my figurative pieces and these new abstract pieces tell their own stories. I want to give the viewer a lot to engage with and wonder at, layers to explore, an experience to take in.”
Bob Ziller: “It will be an artwork that literally sings,” is how Ziller describes his work for the upcoming show. Ziller will feature his “Sing It, Sister” piece for Stretch. “Sing It, Sister” will be a large assemblage composed of smaller paintings in a musical way, centered by an empty dress on a hanger. The unique feature about this piece is the QR codes inserted through the work. This feminist piece will allow viewers to become listeners by hearing the voices of female musicians such as Nina Simone, Erika Wennerstrom, Aretha Franklin, and Patti Smith. “It will be an artwork that literally sings.”-Ziller
Connie Merriman: ForStretch,Merriman displays her “Navigate” series of drawings. Merriman steps outside her comfort zone by utilizing various mediums including, the media of graphite, watercolor, paper, and sun. “The works explore methods to find a way across forests, oceans, solar systems, and personal challenges. The studies are of navigation tools, mazes, celestial maps and meditation marks that can be used to identify paths to destinations,” said Merriman when describing her featured works.
Michel Demetria Tsouris: The word “reparation” came to Tsouris’ mind when thinking of a place to start for Stretch. This led to further research about West Africa and the slave trade, where Tsouris found baobab trees as a form of interest. According to Tsouris, “as I read further I realized the baobab tree has a legend attached to it. The devil picked it up and turned it upside down and replanted the canopy in the earth and the roots in the air and so it felt like really the right image to work with so I started doing paintings and sculptures around that.” In addition to the baobab trees, Tsouris will also feature a piece called “trans/plantation,” where there are women moving from frame to frame. One frame is Africa, another frame is a cotton field, and the last frame is upside down boats in the water. Lastly, she will also have some sculptures of trees (not baobab), that either have complicated roots or no roots and various paintings of the same subject matter.
Stretch will take place at The Spinnng Plate Gallery in East Liberty. There will be music, light refreshments, along with lively conversation. The show opens August 5 from 5:00-8:00 pm and runs until August 31. Come enjoy an evening of art, music, and conversation.
Spinning Plate Gallery is on BAUM at N. EUCLID in EAST LIBERTY
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