After a lengthy process, GALLERY ONE ElllEVEN has installed its 8th Annual National Juried Exhibit, consisting of 28 artworks, narrowed down from 108 submissions.
Juror, Larrie King, Leesville native and assistant art professor at Kent State, decided which pieces were to be displayed in the exhibit, by viewing digitally submitted images.
King will select the winners tomorrow, when he arrives at the gallery. "The artwork looks very different in person," said Tony McDonald, gallery coordinator. Scale, texture, and color are just a few elements which can vary dramatically from computer screen to standing in front of an artwork.
The exhibit is a wide array of styles, techniques, and media coming together to form a diverse sample of contemporary art.
One, seemingly non-representational, piece by Harper Bell of Pineville, at first, appears to be a spontaneous application of color. But the title, which is often the hand that leads the mind to meaning, "Bloomtree," suddenly brings a context of landscape into focus. It is a tree form organically emerging upward, or blooming, as the title suggests.
From organically derived works, such as Bell's, created with an intuitive sense of color and mark-making, this exhibit spans to the other end of the spectrum with representational, black-and-white photographs. These include interiors demonstrating a strong contrast between light and shadow, by Peter Milder of Alexandria. His photos achieve a painterly appearance from a distance.
Also in black-and-white is a narrative style captured in the photographs taken by Rickie Smith of New Llano. Smith's images illuminate beauty in the rawness and vulnerability of the human experience. A moment frozen in time, "Mountain Music" hones in on a dirty, work-stained hand. Fingertips bear down upon strings on a fretboard. This, against a blurred background, further illustrates the dynamic movement of the scene.
Terri Stoval of Leesville, brings a comedic, carefree element to the gallery with her bright acrylic painting of a chicken on a bicycle. In her illustrative style, the chicken peddles the painting's namesake, "Cheep Eggs," in the bike's basket.
Of Shreveport, Linda Dixon's "I see many things, I see plans within plans" is a soothing geometric wax-resist painting. It creates an aesthetic experience indicative of watercolor, with its capriciousness. This, paired with concentric, loose squares in crayon, balances the chaotic and the controlled, in pale hues of pink and orange.
Adjacent to Dixon's painting hangs a mixed-media montage of fabric, stitching, and found objects, titled "Monochromatic human form missing 1, 3, 5, 7 to produce fruit" by Patrick Ramke, of Dayton, Ohio. The nuances of this work reference botanical illustration and biology, physics through electricity, geology, and mechanics. A long, thin, machine-cut stick, divides the space into an asymmetrical composition. The allusion to science is laid upon a backdrop of a blue textile circle. The stitching, traditionally considered a feminine task, along with the circle’s standard reading as a lifecycle, pushes the meaning to the title about human forms producing fruit. Recognizable objects, paired with the conceptual nature of this work, create an equilibrium of beauty and concept.
Further into the realm of three dimensions is the life-sized "Contemplation," by Matthew Stevenson, of Natchitoches. This human form, constructed of hollow steel cubes, eludes to Rodin's famous bronze sculpture, "The Thinker." Stevenson's work, in contrast, appears to have merged into a world of pixelation and, perhaps, dissipation.
McDonald is happy with how this exhibit turned out. "This is always a strong show with a variety of media and approaches, he stated. "Larrie did a great job in his selections, and it is always difficult to juror a show like this. Usually it is easy to select what should not be in the exhibit, but once that is done, the hard part is paring it down to a cohesive show. We have a lot of artists represented that have not been in the competition show before, but have submitted. I have to think that the process works towards improving everyone's work."
The opening reception, including award presentation, refreshments, and a talk by the juror, will begin at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, September 9, at GALLERY ONE ElllEVEN, 111 South 3rd Street.