Spectrum Gallery and Artisans Store of Centerbrook presents Collage – It’s an Adventure, July 24-September 13, 2015. The seven-week show displays mixed media works by tri-state area artists in a variety of mediums including metal, paper, fabric, wood, acrylic, watercolor, gouache, colored pencil, photography and book design. The exhibit, located at 61 Main Street, Centerbrook, CT, includes an Open Reception on Friday, July 24 from 6:30-9 pm. Also at the Gallery on Sunday, August 2 (1-4pm) is the workshop, Pieces of Me: Self-Expression through a Collage Journal. Participants will learn book making skills and explore collage by combining decorative papers and personal memorabilia to create a unique cover for a journal to be filled with personal stories. Sunday, August 9 is a new Gallery Family Day (1-4pm) with storytelling, art projects and a scavenger hunt free for families! And on Sunday, August 23 (1-4pm) is another unique workshop, Explore Mixed Media Collage. Using different papers and media, as well as techniques you’ll learn about composition, textures, layers, and more.
“What’s exciting about this colorful and fun show is to see the variety of approaches to collage in the show. Collage is a broad heading, but can and does take many, many forms limited only by an artist’s imagination,” notes Barbara Nair, Director of Spectrum Gallery.
Artists participating in the show include artist, writer, illustrator and designer Jill Butler who presents four collage pieces of a series of 14 that incorporate paper, found objects, wood and newsprint. With materials gathered in Paris, Normandy and Connecticut, each collage is a story told through these elements and one’s imagination. An interesting use of text is seen in Heidi Lewis Coleman’s pieces which reflect her exploration of using language in art as a visual design element. Marco Gallotta, an Italian-born, New York City-based artist who works in the fashion industry presents several of his works consisting of paper-cutting techniques, drawing, painting, and printmaking.
Paul Zelanski, artist and Professor Emeritus from the University of Connecticut Art Department, who is showing several pieces calls collage a format that offers new life to things that have been discarded or given away, but are given meaning by the work at hand. Another artist with a similar approach is mixed media artist Kathy Johnson who creates art with recycled items she collects and found materials from daily life.
Other artists include Jean Swanson who presents vibrant acrylic painted paper works and through materials such as tree bark and twigs, fabric and string, demonstrates the variety of natural elements that can be incorporated into collage. Likewise, artists Jean Graustein highlights the beauty of the ginkgo leaf with ink leaf prints and rubber stamp prints, while artists Kelly Taylor and Diana Sartor use nature as inspiration for their mixed media pieces. Artist Diane Ward’s interest in the natural world is illustrated by her two seascapes created with acrylic paint and painted papers.
Artists who demonstrate the wide variety of mediums used in collage are Jill Vaughn, who incorporates watercolor, oil paint, pencil and photography into her work and Regina Thomas who combines different painting mediums with textiles, old photographs, text and ephemera. Artist Layne, whose pieces are less abstract, presents work with her signature use of shape, color, and strong compositions. Assemblage, a more sculptural form of collage, is evident in Frieda Howling’s work. Two of her pieces on display tell stories about Richard Nixon and Laurel and Hardy.
Artist Victoria Sivigny presents work created with the ancient process of Joomchi, a method of making textured and painted handmade paper. She fuses plant fibers in a felting and collage process to develop structures that may be delicate or leather-like with the forms finished with a layer of beeswax. Venezuelan-born artist and Corina Alvarezdelugo, who also often incorporates beeswax (via encaustic) into her work presents several mixed media pieces.
And to keep things adventurous Beverly Waters creates large and small sculptural wall pieces using pipes, hinges and a variety of metals. Cecil Emond documents her travels to exotic locales through collage with photographs, ticket receipts, hand-written notes and product labels. Charlotte Hedlund, a painter and mixed media book artist explores the concept of connections and poetry in her exquisitely designed collage books.
Photographer Barbara Hanson whose work includes her photographic images combined with other mixed media elements, creates compelling compositions.
In addition to the Gallery, Spectrum includes the Artisans Store which offers distinctive pottery, serving ware, home decor, jewelry and fine accessories. There are multiple fine artisans returning for this show with new ones including wood worker Steve Downs, felters Holly Bollier and Stephanie Jamieson, fabric artist Clara Nartey, and showing a variety of collaged framed mirrors is Lee Walthers.