Friday, September 18, 2020

Grateful Again to be Included

 

Grateful Again to be Included 





By Tom Wachunas

 

   I’m thrilled and grateful that one of the fruits of my Covidian labors will soon be available for your in-person tasting. Writes of Passage, a mixed-media assemblage/collage I completed in May, was accepted into the upcoming annual Stark County Artists Exhibition. I originally wrote about this piece in an early June post at

http://artwach.blogspot.com/2020/06/writes-of-passage.html

 

    Here’s the shorter statement I submitted with my entry:

I’m feeling battered by media images of urban crowds on the march, waving protest signs scrawled across chunks of corrugated cardboard, brandishing angry words like so many swords raised high.

   Amidst such verbal chaos, I savor the transfixing experience of reading the Bible. The book of all books, God’s words. Books are codified rites of passage through time - accumulations of 2D planes imprinted with symbols of the writer’s intentions, desires, perceptions.

    In Writes of Passage, my appropriation of four of Michelangelo’s Sibyls  – females  from the Classical world who were thought to prophesy the coming of Christ – presents the figures in varying states of clarity. My incorporation of Biblical texts (in English and Greek) is a meditation on the  immutability of Scripture, and a consideration of Jesus’ words spoken in the book of Matthew, “Heaven and Earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

 

   And here’s the info (submitted by Massillon Museum) about the exhibit:

The Massillon Museum, 121 Lincoln Way E, will display the Stark County Artists Exhibition from Sept. 26, 2020, through Jan. 17, 2021, in the Aultman Health Foundation Gallery.

The exhibition will be displayed during regular museum hours from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and from 2 to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Stark County residents whose artwork will be exhibited include Seth Adam, Rodney Atwood, Diane Belfiglio, Jess Bennett, Todd Bergert, William Bogdan, Chris Borello, Lindsey Bryan, Heather Bullach, Therese Cook, Ann Cranor, Frank Dale, David Dingwell, Laura Donnelly, Drew Dudek, Kathleen Gray Farthing, Gerald Fox, Sharon Frank Mazgaj, Pamela Freday, Rob Gallik, Charity Hockenberry, Bruce Humbert, Judi Krew, Timothy Londeree, Priscilla Sally Lytle, Nicole Malcolm, Tina Myers, Patricia Zinsmeister Parker, Mark Pitocco, Kathy Pugh, Sydney Richardson, Priscilla Roggenkamp, Sari Sponhour, Mischief Tish, Stephen Tornero, Christopher Triner, Tom Wachunas, Jo Westfall, Gail Wetherell-Sack and Dyanne Williams.

A VIRTUAL RECEPTION will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 26 via Facebook Live. Exhibition award winners, including Best in Show, second place, third place and honorable mentions, will be announced during the event. The People’s Choice Award will be announced at the end of the exhibition.

Artwork submitted for consideration must have been created within the last two years. The panel of independent jurors selected 57 works by 40 artists from 164 works submitted by 66 artists.

The Stark County Artists Exhibition has been held at the museum since 1934.

For information: 330-833-4061

Monday, September 14, 2020

Mulligan's Curiouser Elsewhere

 

Mulligan’s Curiouser Elsewhere


Let Us Die Together


Intergalactic Creature Control


The Emperor


In the Skies Above Japan


Cumulus Ascension


Mother Nature

By Tom Wachunas

 

  “Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of marvels.”  - Francisco de Goya

 “Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory.”  - J. R. R. Tolkien

 “Everything you can imagine is real.” – Pablo Picasso

   “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

 

   EXHIBIT: Work by Erin Mulligan, at The Hub Art Factory, 336 Sixth Street NW, downtown Canton, THROUGH SEPTEMBER 22, 2020 / viewing hours on Tuesdays 7:30p.m. to 9:30p.m., or by appointment – contact email thehub@gmail.com / (330) 451-6823

   Erin Mulligan is an astonishing observer of… the world. She’s an ardent and prolific reporter on its animate and inanimate forces. The question is: What world is she reporting, and were exactly is it?  

   You could call her an ardent visual journalist, telling stories about places and circumstances where communing with heretofore preposterous creatures and circumstances is a way of life. In her hands, a paintbrush is practically a mythical tool - the proverbial sorcerer’s wand. With it, Mulligan doesn’t just render familiar realities, albeit with her remarkable command of Flemish technique. She calls the impossible into being. She deconstructs rational, common worldliness, and conjures spectral realities from the intoxicating ether of her robust imagination.

   Her paintings are often tiny windows with a view on large incongruities. In this place – call it Elsewhere - rabbits might have fangs, breathe fire, or morph into frogs. Cats might grow wings; fish swim in the air or parachute into fiery battles; humans could have spider legs, or birth alien parasites. Or they might even grow lichen on their faces in a symbiotic bonding with the natural world, as in Mulligan’s recent Mother Nature. The gently smiling woman cradles a cute brown bunny. Another eerie Elsewhere? Even the air itself in these locales can seem like equal parts sparkling fairy dust and smoky ash.

   And speaking of smoky, among the more recent pieces included in this compelling mix of old and new paintings are “pyrographs” – drawings on wood panels made with a heat pen, such as the lovely portrait, Let Us Die Together. The sheer manual skill required for carefully burning marks into the wood surface with such a device must be especially daunting. Mulligan’s remarkably sensitive handling of the tool produced exquisite, pastel-like subtleties of tone.  

   So now, let me dare to go down the rabbit hole of finding meaning and relevance. Is all the Baroque-ish, chimerical whimsicality in so many of the paintings here really a metaphor - an embrace of the dualities, the non-sequiturs, the absurdities (whether delightful or vexing) in our current world? In the end, Mulligan’s Elsewhere - even at its most uncanny - and our Here and Now, may well be one and the same. Curiouser and curiouser.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Changeable Weather in a Shifting World

 

Changeable Weather in a Shifting World


Tender Rescue


Eternal Management Program


Slumbering Monk


Hero Earth


Approaching the Shift


Aftermath

By Tom Wachunas

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”  - Albert Einstein

“If we surrendered to earth’s intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees.“ - Rainer Maria Rilke

“In order to make progress, there is only nature, and the eye is turned through contact with her.” - Paul Cezanne

“… Everything has a vibration, thoughts have a measured frequency and everything around us started as a thought. … We are connected to everything and everyone as a conscious part of nature. The shifting world of 2020 is flooding our conscious and unconscious lives…Ultimately, the work is my service to make known the natural world’s spiritual and energetic connections to us.”  - excerpted from the artist statement by Judith Brandon

 

   EXHIBIT: APPROACHING THE SHIFT- DRAWINGS BY JUDITH BRANDON /   THROUGH OCTOBER 25, 2020 / at the Canton Museum of Art / 1001 Market Avenue North, Canton, Ohio 44702 / 330.453.7666 /  Hours: Tues. – Thurs.  10:00am-8:00pm, Fri.-Sat. 10:00am-5:00pm., and Sun. 1:00pm-5:00pm /  Timed ticket reservations required in advance to visit the Museum.  Get your ticket reservations  at

  https://www.cantonart.org/reservetickets  

 

   Judith Brandon’s statement (excerpted above) that “…everything around us started as a thought…” speaks volumes about the arc of her aesthetic.  Her words brought me right back to Genesis, and the consideration that all of nature – earthbound and celestial - was thought, then spoken, into being: “Let there be…”

   There’s a palpable spirituality resonant in Brandon’s drawings, written, as it were, with ink, charcoal, and pastels on incised printmaking paper. These sprawling, dramatic panoramas are compelling visual meditations. On one level, they speak of dynamic energies and powers at work on land, in the sea, and across the sky, all caught up in spectacular states of variable light and weather. On another level, you could rightly think of that variability as a metaphor for the forces at work in the realm of human consciousness – and conscience. As nature is the sublime deliverer of forces that can afflict or heal, destroy or grow, so too the changeable weather of the human soul, particularly in this current season of societal tension and distress.

   The considerably large scale of these drawings effectively imbues them with an immersive, even transcendent lyricism. So yes, come close enough to read the Brandon’s written thoughts provided for each piece. Then come closer still to read, to connect with, all those marvelous subtleties of rendering – the earthy textures, the luminous hues, the rippled layers of  atmosphere, both transparent and opaque. Gravitas and grace, turbulence and calm, harmony and dissonance.

   All the visual elements in Brandon’s works seem to vibrate, as if possessing the mesmerizing tremolos of an operatic aria. You might even hear their stories as well as see them. I don’t believe they’re only drawings. They’re songs.  

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Process and Product: Feeding a Hunger

 

Process and Product: Feeding a Hunger

By Tom Wachunas

 

   “Instead of just looking at the finished product, I want people to have a look at the process…I selected artists where you can see the specific building blocks better.”  -exhibit curator Michele Waalkes, from an article by Dan Kane for The Canton Repository 

   EXHIBIT: Parts to the Whole – works by Jacques P. Jackson, Liz Maugans, Jennifer Omaitz, and Stephen Tornero – curated by Michele Waalkes / at The Hub Art Factory, 336 Sixth Street NW, downtown Canton, THROUGH August 28, 2020 / viewing hours on Tuesdays 7p.m. to 9p.m., or by appointment – contact email thehub@gmail.com / (330) 451-6823

Canton Repository article:

  https://www.cantonrep.com/news/20200806/hub-welcomes-masked-visitors-to-friday-opening?fbclid=IwAR2dg75c7Dz4P8QMkf6B-Ol7Ck6jw9orpdrkrwSclMu8jNOq5GKWBD1YkWg

"Hi" Split, by Jacques P. Jackson

The Sash, by Jacques P. Jackson

Miami Beach House, by Jennifer Omaitz

Forced, by Jennifer Omaitz

GLOW, by Stephen Tornero

Fruit Punch, by Stephen Tornero

Apathy Parade: Mediocrity, by Liz Maugans


https://www.facebook.com/TheHubArtFactory/

     Lately I’ve been starving. As in greatly missing what was once a lively art gallery scene in downtown Canton. While that scene was already experiencing a slow but sure diminishing long before the pall of COVID19 settled on us, the pandemic has only made matters worse in terms of regularly accessing what few art venues remain. In any case, THANK YOU to The Hub Art Factory for continuing to provide some aesthetic nourishment. My only regret is the lateness of this post, and for that I sincerely apologize.

   The artists in this eclectic gathering have provided written statements regarding the conceptual thrust and/or process involved in the making of their pieces, and in a few instances, framed shadowboxes containing samples of their raw working materials.

    Jacques Jackson makes his charming mosaics with various sorts of glass glued to plywood substrates. He’s interested in fashion design among other things, and often inserts bits of patterned fabric behind the glass shapes. The contours of the mosaics are cut to suggest figures with softly curving torsos, as if moving in an exotic dance.

   The mixed-media assemblages by Jennifer Omaitz, at once dense and airy, are examinations of stacked architectural structures. She tells us in her statement that they’re inspired by architects who “…address space constraints, refocusing the design of living environment to create a sense of community and reduce the environmental footprint.”  From this theoretical starting point, Omaitz’s constructions further explore “…questions surrounding climate change, and post-modern architecture, modular architecture, and psychological spaces.” Complex conditions indeed, these are intriguing maquettes – models of buildings precariously balanced or teetering in midair, and seemingly on the verge of tipping over.

     The hand-woven linen yarn weavings by Stephen Tornero are exquisitely crafted, shimmering abstractions that might be transparent organisms or perhaps shifting landscapes. “I am inspired by the colors I find in nature,” he says in his statement, “and how they interact with artificial colors of electric light.”  His mesmerizing pieces are a dynamic tour-de-force of myriad threads that seem to breathe through undulating hues and patterns.

   Liz Maugans’ “Apathy Parade” series of wood intaglio relief prints is her response to the extreme sociopolitical divisiveness that emerged during the 2016 elections, and which has certainly become even more intense these days. The banner-toting “people” in her images have been reduced to anonymous pixelated blurs – clusters of amorphous Ben-Day dots. What exactly they’re supporting or protesting isn’t all that clear either. Maugans explains the words on their signs this way: “…I lifted rants and responses from social media debates where people were clearly not doing their own research and co-opting others’ arguments that don’t stand up to credibility…”

   Maugan’s images are – pardon the pun – arresting and timely. They make me wonder about the identity of American society. Who are we really, and where are we going? Maybe we need to be concerned with a pandemic of another sort – the kind that has blurred us into a viral meme culture, entrenched in the scene-and-herd mentality of the social media masses.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Remote Yearning: Prompt and Circumstance




Remote Yearning: Prompt and Circumstance 



By Tom Wachunas 

 

"Drawing is putting a line (a)round an idea."  - Henri Matisse

 

          γρ σοφία το κόσμου τούτου μωρία παρ τ

       Θε στιν γέγραπται γάρ δρασσόμενος

       τος σοφος ν τ πανουργί ατν  - 1 Corinthians 3:19

 

    Here’s a new drawing of mine called Remote Yearning: Prompt and Circumstance (graphite and acrylic on sketchbook paper). At first, I regarded this return to a black-and-white dynamic as a possible starting point for a more elaborate work replete with lots of painterly textures, along with some robust color and collage elements, and not too unlike a few of my recent Summer pieces on wood panels. Some day, perhaps, but not yet.

    I’m satisfied at the moment to offer it simply as a work of abstract writing -  a codified reaction to the vexing challenges of designing an online version of the course I’ve been teaching at Kent Stark (“Art as a World Phenomenon”) for the past 13 years. For most of this Summer I’ve been reluctantly navigating the technological muck of tutorials and webinars on using digital media platforms and tools for remote teaching. Thanks to the necessary practices that Covid19 has wreaked upon our schools and universities, we’ve become dependent on the Internet, like never before, to facilitate education. I remain unenthused, even questioning the efficacy of “distance learning,” all the while missing the hallowed (and still wisest) traditions of  real, face- to- face teaching…teaching as a true performance art.

   So this drawing is by a complainer. He’s temporarily floating and aimless, cut, dragged, pasted and downloaded (or is it uploaded?) into a sea of infection connections - icons, tabs, hyperlinks and prompts, screens within screens within screens. In the end maybe it’s all just an exercise in remote yearning.


Thursday, July 23, 2020

Porcelain Parables


Porcelain Parables

A summer Breeze and a Golden Necklace

The Future Is Bright

These Are Barren Times

Our Collective Existential Crisis

The Taste of Fleeting Success

Black Bear Thoughts


By Tom Wachunas

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven… - Ecclesiastes 3:1

“I create narratives using personal experience combined with animal interactions and semiotics…I strive to reveal human realities by exposing both the light and shadow parts of life…”   -Taylor Robenalt

   EXHIBIT: SYMBOLIC NARRATIVE: CERAMICS BY TAYLOR ROBENALT / at The Canton Museum of Art (CMA), 1001 Market Avenue N. / THROUGH AUGUST 2, 2020 / Hours: Tuesdays-Fridays 10a.m. to 4p.m. / FREE ADMISSION THROUGH AUG.2 /  330.453.7666 / visitors should pre-schedule their viewing time and reserve tickets at


   From Merriam-Webster, definition of semiotics: a general philosophical theory of signs and symbols that deals especially with their function in both artificially constructed and natural languages and comprises syntactics, semantics, and pragmatics.

   Though I’m fairly certain that this exhibit was planned well before the onset of the Covid crisis, it nevertheless resonates with our time -  this protracted season of intense societal flux. We’re living in a complicated, dystopian era, poised at a volatile nexus of viral anguish and consuming desire for healing and redemption.

   Taylot Robenalt is a storyteller. Viewed collectively, her porcelain objects are a compelling sculptural treatise on the human experience of life’s dichotomies, life’s challenging dualities. Her exquisitely crafted pieces  merge figure, flora, and fauna into intriguing metaphors. These are codified narratives – symbols, totems, shrines, memorials. They’re emotive reflections on embracing the human spirit - at once fragile and robust, vulnerable and indomitable - as it navigates all manner of existential circumstances.

   To be fully alive is to be touched by the inevitability of cycles, of change - to experience a journey into light, into darkness, and back again.  There are stories here rendered in the dulled colors of mourning, of corruptibility and mortality, such as These Are Barren Times, or Our Collective Existential Crisis.

   There are also brighter episodes of purity, or hope, or joy, such as in A Summer Breeze and a Golden Necklace. Yet, look closely at the woman’s face (the artist’s self-portrait?). She appears about to cry. Is her golden crown on the verge of falling off? Even the graceful white swan looks like it’s snarling, as if to say this moment won’t last. Likewise, in The Future is Bright, there’s still an abiding sense of the temporary, of precarious balancing. The woman’s expression is subtly serious, even stern, locked in concentrated determination to savor all that delicate, beautiful fertility atop her head before it becomes...what? And so it goes, this circle, this yin and yang of being.

    Through all their intricate forms, sumptuous textures, and lustrous hues, Robenalt’s porcelain musings exude a strange charm, unsettling and disarming at the same time. Here are eloquent parables about the eternally changeable seasons of being alive.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Dazzling Devotions


Dazzling Devotions

Merv Corning, Ancient Warrior 

Merv Corning, Baker's Table with Brass and Silver 

Merv Corning, The Bath

Merv Corning, October - Wyeth Farm 

J.D. Titzel, Harmony Church 

J.D. Titzel, Nuthatch 

J.D. Titzel, Remnant Tractor 

J.D. Titzel, Orchard Truck


By Tom Wachunas

“Painting is possessed of divine power, for not only does it make the absent present, but also makes the dead almost alive.” - Leon Battista Alberti

   “There are no half measures when it comes to watercolour. Watercolour demands constant devotion.”  -Pierre Tougas

   EXHIBITS: Reflections: The Artistic Spirit of Merv Corning / Patient Work: Watercolors by J.D.Titzel / at The Canton Museum of Art (CMA), 1001 Market Avenue N. / THROUGH AUGUST 2, 2020 / Hours: Tuesdays-Fridays 10a.m. to 4p.m. / FREE ADMISSION THROUGH AUG.2 /  330.453.7666 / visitors should pre-schedule their viewing time and reserve tickets at


   The following two paragraphs are excerpted from CMA Exhibition statements:

   “… In fact, the NFL first contacted Corning (American, 1926-2006) in 1966-67 for watercolor illustration work; their relationship would span 30 years, with Corning becoming, as the NFL put it, "football's pre-eminent artist”…This major retrospective exhibition honors Merv Corning’s importance as an American master of art—particularly watercolor…Reflections showcases not only works from CMA's Merv Corning Collection, but also works from private collections and museums around the country…”

   “Largely self-taught watercolor artist, J.D. Titzel, has drawn and painted since high school. He began his college career as an art major at Wittenberg University but found he couldn’t connect with the largely popular abstract movement…When he paints in watercolor, Titzel builds color slowly in very thin layers of paint. Some areas are 2-3 layers while others are attained in 10 or more layers. This gives the painting more nuances and depth than a single color can achieve…”

   Once upon a time, in a confused mentality far, far away, I was often too cavalier in dismissing watercolorists in general as so many dabblers, casual amateurs, Sunday-painter hobbyists. Mea maxima culpa.

   Due largely to CMA’s ongoing and admirable commitment to collecting and exhibiting significant American watercolor works from the 19th century and forward, I’ve come to savor the medium’s unique character. Many painters, accomplished and otherwise, can attest to its unforgiving nature, its daunting technical demands, and the skills required to meet them effectively. In the disciplined hands of masterful painters such as Merv Corning and J.D.Titzel, the medium is magical.

   Their pictures are representational in nature, speaking a language most would categorize, understandably enough, as realism. But as with any language, there can be differing dialects, accents,  inflections. And that’s evident here. While both artists engage the same vocabulary and basic grammar – identifiable subjects from the visible world – there are subtle but distinct differences in the artists’ syntactic practices.

   Among the most captivating elements in the works by both of these painters is the uncanny illusionism of tactile surfaces. The precision of nuanced detail is at times astonishing.

   But those details can be rendered in different kinds of light. The way Corning laid in his crystalline illumination often gave his colors a surprising solidity and brilliance. The light in Titzel’s works tends to be a bit more diffused, though certainly no less captivating. His visions feel wrapped in a softness, a meditative quietude.

   Looking at these works induced in me the sensation of reading the artists’ personal narratives. Here are stories of their passionate devotions to closely observing their surrounds, their willingness to be immersed in what they were looking at. Here is the joyous eloquence of the practiced, indeed patient hand, and the unwavering eyes that can find profound poetry in even the simplest of things.

   So these aren’t just pictures. They’re vessels of transportation. They can take us to that spellbinding place where we too can be immersed in our own act of seeing.

Monday, July 6, 2020

BON APPETIT!


BON APPÉTIT!

Magic Circle Variation 6, by Rogan Brown (2015)

Heart of the Son, by Michael Buscemi (2016)

Tsunami-Oblivious, by Bovey Lee (1982)

Coringa, by Margaret Griffith (1981)

Collective Portrait #8..., by Amy Oates (1987)

(top) Cabron, (bottom) Untitled (Irises), by Gabriel Schama (2015)

Between the Lines, by Mounir Fatmi (2010)


By Tom Wachunas

   “With this exhibition we can see that the long history, tradition, and art of paper cutting now find a rich synergy with our contemporary art world. The process and art of cutting—complex, delicate, beautiful, tedious, consuming, frustrating, and awesome—can be seen as a metaphor for life itself and the acts of creating: in art, work, and family.”  - Excerpted from curatorial statement prepared by Carrie Lederer, Curator of Exhibitions and Programs at the Bedford Gallery.

   EXHIBIT: Cut Up / Cut Out, at Massillon Museum, in the Aultman Health Foundation Gallery / THROUGH AUGUST 23, 2020 / 121 Lincoln Way East in downtown Massillon, Ohio / Phone: 330-833-4061 / HOURS: Tuesday through Saturday 9:30am - 5:00pm and Sunday 2:00pm - 5:00pm

     More info at:      http://www.massillonmuseum.org/499
 
   These recent months of navigating the torrid seas of societal mayhem have radically disrupted my sense of time passing, of place and destination, of purpose and productivity, and otherwise my expectations of “normalcy.” It’s all been a rude reminder that expectations are often resentments waiting to happen.

   But enough with such frustrations. My experience of walking through the doors of Massillon Museum on the first day of its re-opening (June 26) was a therapeutic one. Healing, in fact. After such a protracted period of involuntary fasting, seeing actual art again - in real time, in an actual, physical place designed to exhibit it – viewing Cut Up/Cut Out was just like partaking of a lavish feast.   
  
   This travelling exhibition, featuring the work of more than 50 national and international artists, was organized in 2016 by Carrie Lederer, Curator of Exhibitions at the Bedford Gallery in the Lesher Center for the Arts, located in Walnut Creek, CA. Her inspiration for the exhibit came from her avid interest in the art of paper cutting, historically an often decorative practice with roots dating back to 6th century China, the birthplace of paper as we know it.

   The very eclectic range of content in this splendid exhibit transcends the immediacy of ornamentation - dazzling as it often is - into compelling symbols, narratives, and metaphors.  In the hands of these artists, the skilled act of cutting a tangible surface or plane (and not just paper here)of severing, penetrating, perforating, reshaping – is not simply a finely-crafted diminishment or removal of material for decoration’s sake. Rather, the cutting reveals things beyond the apparent. The entire exhibit is an exhilarating reminder that much of the power and beauty of art is in its capacity to transform worldly materials and mundane processes into metaphysical realities…to make the spiritual somehow tangible.  

   The sheer intricacy of minute detail in many of the works can induce a  hypnotic hold on your attention. Look long at the labyrinthine clusters of tiny shapes (hand and laser-cut paper) in Rogan Brown’s aptly titled Magic Circle Variation 6. There’s a practically microscopic intensity in the way the work evokes diving deep into a bleached coral reef.

   Equally mesmerizing and meditative is Michael Buscemi’s Heart of the Son (hand-cut archival paper). All those curvaceous foliate shapes seem to emit their own radiant light, bursting from the center like tongues of white flame.

   Tsunami-Oblivious (Chinese rice paper), by Bovey Lee, tells a riveting story about the power of churning wind and waves. [Please note: The photograph of the work I’ve included here is from the artist’s web site. The piece in the Massillon show is mounted under glass on a dark blue ground.]  Considering the chaotic nature of the disaster unfolded before us, the piece is rendered with an uncanny delicacy.

   Coringa is a commanding and mystical floor-to-ceiling installation by Margaret Griffith, made with all-black hand-cut paper. The piece suggests something at once architectural and floral, posing some intriguing associations. Is it a silhouetted scene from nature at night? Or the animated shadows of sculpted arabesques on an ancient gateway or temple? It dances in space.

    For her Collective Portrait #8: All the people I encounter each day (hand-cut paper hung with monofilament), Amy Oates constructed a fascinating crowd of seemingly transparent figures that appear to float in and out of their own shadows. It’s a delightfully spirited memory of real people, or maybe a fleeting encounter with friendly ghosts. 

   So let me return for a moment to my sense of this show being a feast. I came hungry. I savored the lavish menu for its wild variety of tastes – some savory and sweet, others packing a tangy wallop. I left gratefully nourished. It’s a grand table indeed, set to serve any famished soul.