Sunday, July 15, 2012

July 14, 2012
American Dance Festival

The sets were simple and beautifully lit, the movements were fresh and the costumes beautiful.  There was never a moment that I wasn't mesmerized and involved.  I paid particular attention to how the costumes draped the body-some parts fitted and others flowing. Everything seemed to speak of community and the importance of relationships.  Spectacular evening!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Well I certainly have been away from this for a long time!
Last night I went to the opening at Hanes gallery at UNC for the first year grad students. I suspect it was for painting and sculpture. It was interesting to see this first show so soon after these artists have begun school. Process was so evident as an important part of their musings. The artists were there to talk and get feedback and I am sure it was helpful to them as it was to me. There was great energy and it will be fun to watch these young turks as they progress through the program.

Friday, January 7, 2011

I have not posted for a while and now I am determined to keep this up. There is the DAG juried show to talk about, Watermarks at the Horace Williams House and Seeing the Figure at Frank.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I Love Jane Filer!

Oh Man
Everything is Right

I really do! What I really love about Jane is her 
enthusiasm, her infectuous joy, and her love of shape and color.  Everyone wants to be around her to share in her love of painting and her love of life.  
I go into many artist's studios and see remnants of studies and small paintings and I immediately know this person has taken one of Jane's classes. There will be studies created with a pallete knife using Jane's bright Caribbean colors.  The Orange county Arts Commission has said that there are 700 artists living in Orange county and I jokingly say that Jane has taught 650 of them!
Her new show at Tyndall Gallery runs from April 7th to May 16th with a big opening on Saturday April 11th where the big heads return as well as live music by the "shed."  Jane's openings are always festive and fun!
This is a big and ambitious show; 37 new pieces have been created for this show in a variety of sizes.  I always love to look at them from a distance and concentrate on a color that I find appealing and move in on it and study it closely.  I try to remember this color so I can carry the information back to my studio and re-create it.  She definitely has an effect on my work!
A small painting that intrigues me and holds my attention is one of a head titled "Oh Man." There is a series of three on the wall and this one is at the bottom.   It appears she uses a knife to create the textures and the golden palette of paint colors holds my attention and makes me want it to study it for a long time. The colors are rich and the shape fills the whole canvas.  This is a canvas I can not get out of my mind and just may become part of my collection.
Don't miss this show!  It is worth a trip because the work is so good and because of the complexities of the pieces you will want to spend some time absorbing the festive lines and colors. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Di's Good Eye

Diane Amato-Images from France and Italy (Points of View Photography Gallery through April 25)
First, a disclaimer.  Diane Amato is my excellent friend.  We have known each other for years and have collaborated in many ways.  Together we've worked, made photography and cooked suppers.  Countless times we've laughed until we cried and cried until we've laughed.  I am not sure if it is possible to view a close friend's artwork without bias.  
But when it comes to talking about good art, what is so valuable about an unbiased perspective?  Either you get excited about what you're looking at or you don't.  Besides, the fact is that Diane Amato is a top notch photographer, something I knew long before making her acquaintance.  I loved her photography before we even met.

Traveling through France and Italy provide rich subject matter for an artist.  In general, Diane brings a fresh eye for the familiar.  Her images purposefully stay away from the cliche.  A study of Amato's photographs make clear her enthusiasm for recording an authentically personal experience.  She seeks the quiet ordinary and recognizes it as extraordinary.  In "Walking Home," an aproned woman ambles down a cobbled stone street underneath lines of laundry hung to dry; the freshly washed linens appear to be snapping to attention in tribute to the woman walking below.  "Roofs" is a study of pattern; traditional Parisian eaves are layered like playing cards set on end.  They are presented from a point of view that accentuates angles and diagonal lines.  A closer look reveals satellite dishes perched here and there among the old coal burning chimneys.  In "Window and Bird," a bird rests on the ledge underneath a window; the bird's rounded silhouette mimics that of the window's arch and accentuates its size.  It is no accident that Diane chooses to include a cross that hangs above the partnered bird and window.  The cross is a thoughtful element in the architecture that does not escape Amato's notice.  Without the inclusion of that cross, this would be a different, far less successful photograph.
Diane has a chair fetish.  This is evident in three photographs that are exhibited together, "Luxemborg Chair,"  "St. Sulpice Chairs," and "Chair Shadows."  Amato gives tender attention to empty chairs with seductive results.  Chairs are for rest and contemplation; Amato's chairs are ready to serve.  Mysteriously, Diane is able to capture the personality of the chairs.  It is impossible to look at these chairs and not think about who has sat in them and hear the collective echoes of each thought, prayer, wish and conversation had by those who sat there. Now they sit empty waiting for you to take part in the ongoing exchange. 
amato understands shadows and uses them with alacrity.  She allows them to inhabit space without apology; she controls the extent to which a shadow is important in hercomposition.  When Diane chooses to use shadows to emphasize angles and seen shapes, this lends a movement to her photography that invites sound or reverberation.  But she corrals the ghostlike quality of shadows equally well which gives a quiet meditation to other photographs. 
My favorite image in the exhibition is "Shrine."   It is a photograph taken in an alley in Venice.  A shrine takes center stage; it is as tall and narrow as a totem pole almost stretching the frame's full height.  The shrine's painted saint portrait appears to be gazing downward in delight, about to grasp a large bouquet of fresh flowers that anchors the shrine's base.  On the left side of the photograph, a woman walks away from us carrying a full shopping bag.  A stone wall banks the right side of the image.  Without being corny or contrived, this photograph reminds us that we are surrounded by small visual treasures in our everyday lives that are nothing less than holy.  It is a solid example of Amato's signature manner of effectively capturing the ubiquitous vocabulary of juxtapositions: old and new, history and present,motion and stillness.

Points of View Photography is a clean, bright space.  It is a perfect venue for photography.  The large front windows offer plenty of natural light to pour generously over the prints on display. Amato has a high standard when it comes to duplicating her images by pigment print - her white tones are crisp and the blacks own tone and richness.  Amato has made the deliberate intelligent choice to present these photographs in black and white.  This makes the photographs timeless and calls attention to shadows, architecture and patterns.
The prints are affordably priced.  And if you see a red dot next to a print that you'd like to buy, do not be discouraged.  Remember that it is possible to buy duplicate prints of an image from most photogrphy shows.  Because Amato's exhibited prints range in size, don't be shy to inquire about having your favorite images printed in a size that is not on display.

-Lisa Morten

Monday, April 6, 2009


Scrapel Hill Art show in Univerity Mall runs through June 30th and is located throughout the mall.  Sixteen artists are represented and basically the show is a disappointment!  Most of the work is very weak, and in some cases not well constructed.  
Peg Gignoux, Jim Kellough, Bryant Holsenbeck, Charron Andrews and Paul and Ginger Bauer are artists worth mentioning.  Jim has created two walls of wonderful cast offs which create an "A" frame house for a large Easter bunny flanked by paper carrots.  It is truly something you want to study and look at and is particularly interesting juxtaposed next to a collection of yard art from "The Last Unicorn".  Peg created many panels of sewn paper with added found objects.  Some pieces are attached in an awkward way but the over all effect is stunning. Bryant's stuffed crows are delightfully perched above two stores and look great over the logo of Radio Shack. Charron created a three piece altar- like collage with many found objects and photos.   Very nicely put together.  Paul and Ginger created a working clock from metal pieces.  The polar bears are great fun.  I think the rest of the art is such poor quality that it distracts from the intent of these accomplished artists.   
University Mall has put a lot of effort and money in advertising this show.  There are daily spots on the radio and extensive coverage in the newspaper.  I admire the effort and the idea; it is just that some pieces do not work.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mary Roundtree Moore

Mary Roundtree Moore is showing new paintings at Tyndall Gallery in University Mall through April 4th.  
"I strive to capture the feeling of those fleeting moments of the sublime, the vast beauty of nature, which humbles us all.  My images are derived from nature's innate abstractions, allowing the mind's eye to gather its own interpretations.  It is the memory of those undeniable visual experiences that gives me inspiration."
Mary Roundtree Moore's plein air and studio paintings are influenced by travels to the Caribbean, Europe, and the American Southwest, but she is always drawn back to the salt marshes of her native North Carolina.  "My intense love of colors found in nature is a driving force that compels me to paint.  I have a keen interest in the natural order found in the landscape., and am fascinated by the effect of the changing seasons.  I like to push the boundaries of realism into abstraction, as my compositions move from loose realism to abstraction."  -reproduced from Tyndall Galleries web-site.
What I like about Mary's paintings is the energy of her brushstrokes. She uses such an economy of line and color to produce beautiful paintings that make me want to return to them for a second look.  She is an accomplished painter and deserves a spot on every discerning collector's walls!