B. J. Spoke Gallery Exhibition - Paperworks 2011
By Long Island
Published: August 24 2011
On the very back wall, a series of candy-colored cardboard tubes and cutouts spiral, wheel, and interlock to form three aptly-named sculptures: "Twilight", "Dreamtime", and "Mindplay". The sculptures, created by artist Elaine Greene from Guttenberg, ...
On the very back wall, a series of candy-colored cardboard tubes and cutouts spiral, wheel, and interlock to form three aptly-named sculptures: "Twilight", "Dreamtime", and "Mindplay". The sculptures, created by artist Elaine Greene from Guttenberg, New Jersey, are part of the forty-nine pieces on display as winners of the 2011 Juried Show Paperworks, held by the B.J. Spoke Gallery.
The other artworks on display are no less unique. On the wall to the left of the sculptures hangs a piece from Kathleen Thompson of Sebastopol, California, an abstract work of bright blue jagged checker squares sprawled atop a cardinal yellow backgroundâ€”made from egg tempera. Juxtaposed with the seeming simplicity of "Checkers", on the opposite wall, three pieces hang entitled "Bacteriophage Ballet", "Origins of Species", and "Complex Fluid, A Novel Surfactancy". The artist, Regina Valluzzi from Arlington, Massachusetts, uses tiny strokes of ink on paper to depict the abstract swirls of beauty hidden beneath a microscope, opening to viewers the alien world of the miniscule in staticky pinwheels of black and white.
While Valluzi takes a monochromatic approach on her subject, artist Kurt Markgraf from Dumont, NJ, also employs a technique reminiscent of pointillism, but saturates his work in colors. Titling his pieces with names such as "Backyard" and "Telephone Pole", Markgraf zooms in on mundane scenes and transforms them into striking works of art, compelling in the motion and aesthetics created by a scribbling pen-stroke and colors that border on toxic in brightness.
Other artists took the theme of "Paperworks" in another direction and created works using self-made paper, such as Georgie Cunningham, whose pieces are completely handcrafted. Weaving together homemade strips of colored paper, Cunningham created paper textiles reminiscent of indigenous artworks, which are properly given earthy titles such as "Awakening Sky", "Summer Solstice", "A Small Candle Glows", and "Earth Chant". Artist Freda Fairchild from Paducah, Kentucky, created a delicate paper dress with homemade paper printed using intaglio techniques, entitling the ingenuous garment "The Chosen Skin". The winner of the show, Donna A. Hoyle from Carroliton, Georgia, used foam board with acrylic to create a miniature piano nostalgically titled "Reminiscing", appropriate with its mottled surface and old-time parlor-perfect look. Spreading from the opposite ceiling corner, the fluttering sculpture "Multiplication" blossoms from above, created by artist Michelle Muzyka from Burlington, New Jersey. Made from pieces of handcrafted paper with beeswax, the piece glows from the light behind it, and seems to pour out from its corner in beautifully fragile leaves.
The Paperworks show, running through August 2011, is a display of the winners from the 2011 Paperworks National Art Competition, run by B.J. Spoke Gallery and juried by Gene McHugh, a Kress Fellow and member of the Whitney Museum of American Art. The competition required artists to use paper as the primary medium, and sought for innovation when judging the pieces. The spirit of creativity that the winners so well exemplify is an inherent part of the gallery itself. Seeking to foster innovation and to provide a venue for emerging local artists, B.J. Spoke is a non-profit run and supported by its twenty-eight members through a system unconventional for an art gallery. "Itâ€™s a democracy here", says manager Marilyn Lavi. "The members decide how we run things."
B.J. Spoke Gallery is located on 299 Main Street in Huntington. Its next national juried competition is entitled Expo 31 and will be juried by Margot Norton, Assistant Curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art. The deadline is October 25, 2011, and winners will by exhibited at B.J. Spoke in March, 2012. After the August exhibition, visitors may look forwards to displays of member artworks, local crafts, and a special showing of pottery made in the Japanese Raku style. For those who plan on visiting, make sure to ask for a peek at the secret wooden submarine, made by the Long Island Woodworkers Association, hidden in the back.
B.J. Spoke Gallery, incorporated and not-for-profit, is an artist-owned and run gallery of professional artists with a broad diversification of styles and media. Visit their website www.bjspokegallery.com, or call (631) 549-5106 for more information.
"Bacteriophage Ballet" image by Regina Valluzzi'