The Bold and Beautiful
All of the artists included in this exhibition have chosen to take risks with their chosen medium of expression, from Connie Stancell's decision to verge on the point of abstraction and paint canyons in a wash of neon colors to Jocelyn Armstrong's reinterpretation of recognizable forms in nature with her sculptures. Viewed together, the artworks in this exhibition project an ethos of daring and self-assuredness not unlike that of the community fostered by the Women's Network.
Barbara McKie's art quilts are re-appropriations of the longtime traditions of quilting. McKie abandons the rigidity of piecework quilting in favor of quilts with individual blooms accented against a psychedelic tie-dye background. In a similar vein, Janet Saboor reinvigorates her quilts by incorporating modern shapes in chaotic patterns, at times seemingly eluding logic. Both women show courage in taking on the challenges of quilt making and exceed expectation. While many might regard quilting as too much of a craft or contentious medium for fine art exhibition, Saboor and McKie neutralize these potential dissents through their updated approaches to the medium.
The paintings in this exhibition cover a range of abstraction, from the very geometric in Paola Lazzaro’s work, to the amorphous and painterly in the work of Elizabeth Nagle. Despite representing different sides of a spectrum, the works of these two artists are similar in their treatment of negative space. Lazzaro and Nagle create areas of dense form and color in contrast to other more vacant areas on the same paper or canvas. The conscious choice to create these areas of spaciousness and crowding in such close proximity to each other gives way to a visual tension that keeps us engaged with the artworks.
"The Bold & Beautiful: Confident Expressions" incorporates a range of mediums being treated in a number of different ways. The distinctive qualities of these artworks are a direct result of the choices made by the artists and, as such, are representative of the unique personalities of the individuals behind the work. Vibrant palettes, experimental forms and fresh compositions signal a level of daring by the artists that equally asks us to accept challenge into our own lives. In doing so we open ourselves up to a range of experiences as widely varied as the artworks and individuals seen here.