20/20 Optics: New Approaches
Sept 3-Oct 2, 2020
This exhibition features works by five regional artists Sheri Grube, Sharol Nau, Michael Ruth, Erika Terwilliger and Annie Young. The work in this exhibition showcases how each of these artists explore traditional methods and media with fresh perspectives and techniques.
Join us for a live, Virtual Reception to celebrate the artists on Thursday, September 17 from 6:30-7:30 pm. Attendees will be welcome to ask questions of the artists, and see a slideshow of artwork while hearing from each of the participating artists. Any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sheri is an acrylic artist, who loves to incorporate textures and colors into her art while delving into deep emotions. Her pieces are often vivid, imaginative, and expressive. Many who view her art feel her definitive passion. Art helps transfer her to another part of the world and sometimes the universe, as she draws reference from the natural world around her. Creating art takes her mind off of chronic pain and isolation. During the current isolation, Sheri has been painting more frequently because her art helps her remember happier experiences.
She has a rare neurological movement disorder called DYSTONIA, which affects her jaw, neck, shoulder and hand. Dystonia is a chronic, often painful, neurological disorder characterized by extreme muscle spasms that cause involuntary movements and postures in the body and limbs. She finds that while she is tremoring, picking up a paintbrush makes the tremor stop. While she is painting, she finds that it calms her soul as well as her body.
Sharol has been painting, printing, and sculpting since the 1970’s, and after attending Art & Math Conference in 1998, felt compelled to experiment with simple mathematical principles as a guide to further her artistic expression.
The particular idea of Book Folding came to her when she was helping sort books at an annual book sale that benefits a local hospital, and it occurred to her that a good portion of the books would be left unsold and possibly end up in a landfill. On the last day of the sale she bought some of these recycled books for experimentation.
Sharol creates these folded book sculptures by folding the individual pages based on mathematical principles, such as the parabola, the longest crease, and others to fuel her creative energy. The parabola is a curve with reflective symmetry in which each point on the curve is the same distance from a fixed focus point and a fixed line. This is one of Sharol’s favorites because it is quite versatile and gives her plenty of options for creative considerations. In each of her folded book sculptures, the wave-like forms resulting from the sequence of folds are varied and beautiful.
Sharol has also created mixed media pieces inspired by Goldbach’s conjecture – one of the oldest and best-known unsolved problems in number theory and all of mathematics. It states: every even integer greater than 2 can be expressed as the sum of two primes. This Goldbach Conjecture that had never been proven became the visual that Sharol discovered she could work with, inspiring many designs in this series.
Needless to say that the Coronavirus has greatly impacted the psyche of people all across the globe. One need not be an artist to see and feel the emotional change that has taken place. Being in this situation we find ourselves is that it does impact the creative structure of our minds. What we are creating now, may never be repeated once this pandemic is past. This could be viewed as one of the creative times in modern history.
Since late February I have been creating a series which I call “Pandemia”. The series is made up of digital visuals that are sequential representing, to me, the spread of COVID-19.
Through my practice I’m interested in taking stock of the mundane objects and materials that surround me. I want to care for these things, but in a way that eventually wears them into nothing. I want to work within systems that toe the line of absurdity, but still know when it’s time to shed their lining. Every year my family picks, peels, cans, and stores 40 quarts of pears. The fruit moves from tree to kitchen to jar to shelf to table to human to toilet. I’m interested in the evolving relationship between object and container, value and utility, and the labor required to move domestic objects through these progressing stages of use and value.
Currently I am building ceramic and plant-based sculptures inspired by roof vents. I planted a variety of cover crops like alfalfa and clover into the ceramic vessels, and over the course of the summer these pieces grew and changed as the plant roots took the shape of their ceramic container. At the end of the growing season I opened the molds on site in the gallery to reveal the sculptural plantings inside.
Through this work I consider how buildings like barns and houses can act like bodies, maintaining homeostasis through ventilation and moisture control for the organisms they contain.
Painting has always been a means for me to communicate what I am unable to say using words. I had looked forward to exhibiting in the year 2020 because as a person and artist living without the use of my eyesight, I was eager to ‘play’ on the idea of what 20/20 vision actually meant. And, in a way, this collection does just that. Maybe not in the way I envision it would (pun intended). I typically paint with bright, brilliant, bold colors. Lots of them. However, I found myself painting with merely two or three. Most often blues or greens. I reached for white to add contrast and from time to time orange if necessary, possibly yellow. Again, this is so unlike me. Very unusual.
My process is dictated by my dreams. I have no say really. And my dreams have been simple. Very simple. And I trust my process, my dreams. So I paint out what I dream and when I do, I am rewarded. I received this was of peace to my soul. A calming. It is my hope those who view will experience the same.