Sunday, May 14, 2017

"Mom Likes It!" at Gallery 6000

"Carousel" by Joe Mayes

"8mm"  by Kendall Roudebush

"Traveling Memories" by Carol Blundell
Gallery 6000 has returned! A new and improved space welcomes it first show “Moms Like It!”  I have quoted the show announcement from the site to save time. Tom Wachunas curated the show so he says it best.

(Quote) Located in the Conference Center Dining Room on the Kent State University at Stark campus (6000 Frank Avenue NW, North Canton), Gallery 6000 is pleased to announce “Mom Likes It!” This exhibit, on view through Friday, June 9, 2017, features an eclectic gathering of new works by seven Kent Stark Fine Arts students working in Painting III and Painting IV. These artists have been developing their aesthetic concepts and techniques under the steady guidance of Associate Professor of Painting, Jack McWhorter, who writes:

  “Building on the technical, formal, and conceptual abilities students have accumulated in previous classes, Painting III & IV aims to assist students in developing strategies required to begin making work independently. Students are expected to participate in an extremely ambitious and self-directed manner, working on projects outside of class more than they do during scheduled class times. Painting concepts are developed through the practice of consistently gathering source materials and recording personal observations.  This includes literal collection through sketchbooks, photographs, journals, and found objects in addition to less tangible resources such as dreams and memories.  Students are required to work longer on each project, allowing their ideas and interests to fully develop through the process of painting.”

The participating artists are: Carol Blundell, Mitch Bonifay, Noah DiRuzza, Samuel Dorando, Joe Mayes, Kendall Roudebush, and Robert Shultz. (End Quote)

Okay, my turn. The show has 22 pieces overall and the first impression is big, bright and beautiful as the space is well suited to showcasing larger, bold pieces. Since there are 7 artists with anywhere from 1 to 8 entries each, I chose one from each person about which to say a few words. I must admit I am not sure why the show has the title it does, but fortunately it dovetails with a Mother’s Day posting!

8mm by Kendall Roudebush greets you first if one walks the perimeter of the room. This acrylic on canvas work is comprised of layers of marks in blues, grays and black that overlap and overlay each other creating a surprising depth of field not appreciated with a quick look. You need to consider the marks (probably doodles to some folks) and the order in which they appear. They do not necessarily connect but rather build up a surface, one that would make a dynamic fabric print.

Carousel by Joe Mayes is an oil of bright colored shapes that do connect and entwine and merge from one to another. Don’t look for horses or other animals per the title however. Think movement, mechanics and perhaps a bird’s eye view of the energy produced by a carousel. Yellow halos and actions marks aid the visual vibration. The more I looked at this piece, a feeling of carousel music also emanated from the canvas.

Traveling Memories by Carol Blundell is reminiscent of surrealism in that seemingly unrelated images work together as a dreamlike landscape. Within this piece I found the corners of papers tacked to the surface, stacks of boxes that hold mementoes, items collected as souvenirs, parts of landscape photographs and a complex but well balanced composition. She could have lost control of this image if not for the smart placement of shapes and colors held together by the use of proper scale.

Mitch Bonifay has 4 pieces in the show. Not traditional paint on stretched canvas per say, but canvas fabric stretched within frames by use of cording. The technique is well suited to his imagery, which is somewhat “dark”, upon closer inspection. This method of presentation could veer towards Pinterest if not for what he depicts and the rather haphazard (but obviously thought out) use of the cording to weave the frame and content together both literally and figuratively.  Crystalline Serpent was my pick because of how the sinuous serpent echoes the cording and his use of light, shadow and semi translucent painting technique make this a very powerful image.

Robert Shultz has 8 works on the walls showing a wide range of techniques exploring the placement of shapes in space. Precipice is a study in blacks, whites and grays, incorporating volume studies, cut and layered areas and the juxtaposition of curves to angles. It becomes more complex the longer one studies the piece. I viewed all of his works carefully before selecting this one because it had the greatest contrast but also there was something…….which I only realized now when reviewing the image on my phone. Turn it 90 degrees to the left and the whole piece suddenly becomes figurative.

Black X Confronts Freak Show by Samuel Dorando is one of two he has in the show. Being on the older side, I had difficulty relating to the imagery, but artistically, he works well with the elements of composition. Repetition of shape, use of scale, eye direction, depiction of volume and form, are all found in this work. The more he works in this genre the more comfortable he will become with the placement of figures to tell the story as shown by the comparison of his two pieces already.  

Noah DiRuzza has the most developed voice of the group. His vision and style is well formed and all 5 of his entries are sophisticated indicators of where is his work will go as he continues on with this series. I chose Acid Precipitation to highlight because it just yells out from across the room. All the pieces are both atmospheric and liquid at the same time allowing the viewer to ignore the title and decide where to go and what to see. To me, Acid Precipitation felt like the view from our explorer satellite as it plunged between the rings of Saturn. I am sure we will see more of his pieces in upcoming shows around our area.

Gallery hours vary but best to avoid the lunch times. Mornings and afternoons are usually fine, just stop at the desk and let them know you are there to see the Gallery 6000 show.

1 comment:

  1. Great job on this, Judi! I'm grateful, and will pass on to the artists. Always good to see your posts.