I have great respect for not only the work of these artists, but also as individuals and friends of the gallery through their own accord. They share a mutual respect and approach to painting with our core artists, and admiration for each other’s work.
Typically, I identify the challenge when putting together an invitational exhibition as maintaining a flow and compatibility among work without sacrificing individuality. It was a bit surprising to me at how easy it was to identify this group of painters based strictly, at least on the surface, on the effortless way the work compliments each other on the walls. We have the power of paint application side by side with the sensitive power of drawing. The figure is equal to, but not competitive with the landscape. Compositions broken down to marks or shapes or colors. Day to day “observation” that challenge us to appreciate the obvious while allowing the abstraction to enter.
It was the statements collected from the artists that made me realize what allows this work to show so congruously. Literal art, done well, is beautiful in of its own. Sometimes just the composition and color, the purity of the painting itself can keep us engrossed. But once the artist puts themselves into their work, something special surfaces. Each of these artists relates to what they are observing by attaching a memory, an emotion, a search, or a feeling, a rhythm, an intimacy with a place thru all the seasons. Regardless of how it is defined individually in their own words, they share a common need to invest in finding a connection beyond the literal.
Invitational, by definition, is: open only to those invited. I submit that this invitational defies that definition. We are all invited to participate, to invest ourselves – find something within that goes beyond the observation of the literal.
Joyce Graham Heberlein, Gallery Director
featuring Patricia Bailey, Catherine Drabkin, Ying Li, Ro Lohin, Janice Nowinski & Paula Stark