Monday, March 05, 2012

March exhibits open at Silvermine this Sunday

Silvermine Guild Art Center
1037 Silvermine Rd., New Canaan, (203) 966-9700
Jocelyn Braxton Armstrong: I Am She
Stephanie Joyce: Unfolding
Ann Chernow: Annie's Soda Fountain
Marilyn Richeda: Whispered Warnings
Constance Kiermaier: Obsolete Elegance—A Tribute to JWK
Mar. 11—Apr. 22, 2012.
Opening Reception: Sun., Mar. 11, 2—4 p.m.

Press release

The new exhibits opening in March at the Silvermine Arts Center, located in New Canaan, CT bring together a diverse selection of Guild sculptors and printmakers. Topics will range from the feminist sculptures of Jocelyn Braxton Armstrong to the fantastical figures of Marilyn Richeda and the meditative prints of Ann Chernow, Stephanie Joyce and Constance Kiermaier. March is Women’s History Month and, in honor of this event celebration of the achievements of women past, present and future, we are excited to feature these very talented women artists of Silvermine Arts Center. The exhibit opens Mar. 11 and runs through Apr. 22. All are invited to the opening reception on Sun., Mar. 11, 2—4 p.m.

Modernist ceramic sculptor, Jocelyn Braxton Armstrong’s exhibition I AM SHE, features recent figurative sculpture and installations. In this exhibition she examines issues relating to feminism, exploring the causes of gender-based violence and inequality, from both a domestic and global perspective. Throughout the exhibition, she aims to inspire curiosity, thought and dialogue, to raise awareness and incite positive action that promotes feminism worldwide. Armstrong’s work is, for the most part, unglazed white porcelain. Her elegant figurative sculptures appear to be covered with delicate line drawings. These lines are used in an illustrative effect and sometimes the lines can express meaning. Her sculptures have a fresh sophistication and modern aesthetic that link fine art with craft. Of her work, Ms. Armstrong states, “Gesture is what interests me. Body language is beguiling. Gesture naturally conveys movement but can also be passive or submissive, playful or seductive, regal and proud. Gesture can tell a story. Some sculptures are motivated and methodically planned, while others are spontaneous and come from within. My most recent sculptures are more conceptual in nature, influenced by my life experiences now. I am exploring the emotions of relationships, conflict, love, and family, particularly how these emotions relate to women.”

Painter and printmaker Stephanie Joyce’s new exhibit Unfolding, is about sacred symbols of ancient tradition that takes the viewer to the very heart of what it is to be human. Even in today’s western culture, seemingly dominated by rationalism, consumerism, and constant visual innovation, shared symbols continue to shape our mental and emotional landscapes. The urge to articulate the connections of the universe, and our place within it, is an intrinsic human need that we share with our earliest ancestors. The body of work in this exhibit incorporates signs and symbols through painting, sculpture and printmaking. Joyce’s inspiration for her images were drawn from such sources as Carl Jung’s Man and his Symbols and poetry from Rumi to Mary Oliver, in particular, The Layers by Stanley Kunitz, which was instrumental in the ‘unfolding’ of this body of work; as well as the unconscious as explored through dream journaling, and materials found in the natural world. Of her work, Joyce comments, “Nature has been manipulated through a range of materials, all of which have been transformed and repurposed so that they transcend definitions and traditions. The outcome is an art experience which enters a mystical realm where ritual, genealogy and anthropological roots are explored.”

The exhibit of works by Ann Chernow Annie’s Soda Fountain, is based on impressions related to movies from the 1930’s and 1940’s, and the iconic drugstore soda fountain. Inspired by film publicity about stars being ‘discovered’ by a Hollywood scout and the image of a soda fountain that occurred in many movies of that genre, Chernow uses film characters and period settings as points of departure and then freely interprets. Who could forget the image of Lana Turner sipping an ice cream soda through a straw, having been discovered at Schwab's Drugstore, as legend would have it. The prints and drawings in this exhibit refer to actual films, studio publicity, fan magazines and other memorabilia of the golden era of Hollywood. Contemporary faces are added, but without altering the spirit of the chosen cinematic theme. “In blending past and present images, I try to create a sense of déjà vu, or nostalgia, without the sentimentality often associated with specific film references. Depicting a universal gesture and establishing dramatic moments are primary.” Chernow also states, “Once experienced, a movie is never totally forgotten. Memories from films can be channels, metaphor and private reverie through which an artist can address the human condition.”

Whispered Warnings is an exhibit of sculptural works by Marilyn Richeda of other worldly figures, creatures not found in forests, on the street or in encyclopedias. Some figures are robot-like, non-speaking, noiseless and still. Others stand confident, perhaps hiding something. Birds are portrayed as enchanting, but often showing a darker side such as feelings of loss, helplessness and being marooned. The combination of strangeness and familiarity reveal human concerns and behaviors as portrayed by the birds. “I rarely start to work with a clear visual image of what I will create. I do, however, have an idea of what I want to explore or a feeling I want to express and keep on working until I feel it’s right,” says Richeda of her work. “Like all my work, they explore pattern and color. In many ways, color is the most important part of every piece I make. Color is what seduces me. Even the names of the glazes affect which ones I select.” Richeda gets her inspiration for her colors from looking at painted cars and trucks on the road or from painters such as George Basselitz, Grau-Garriga and from folk art. What excites her most is the casualness and color which comes from the art of children. Her internal drive comes from the continuous process of discovery, drawing from her overall life experiences. “I see each piece as a fragment of what will eventually become a lifetime statement.”

Constance Kiermaier’s exhibit, Obsolete Elegance - a Tribute to JWK defines the life and times of her late husband, JWK, as he lived them. An exhibition of mixed media, Kiermaier uses a tie as the source material. The tie, which can be found in each of her works, serves as a metaphor for the man and his time. Quotes from JWK evoke his personality and response to a life lived with civility, honesty and promise that defined a different time. “Now that I am in the middle of my eighth decade, I still continue to think of art as magic, and myself as a kind of magician who through complex trickery can manipulate visual perceptions and create a dichotomy of the real and the unreal. In my lifelong exploration of this magic, as a painter and maker of boxes, collages and constructions, I find that I delight and surprise myself in the process of seeking to delight and surprise. This discovery is the ultimate enchantment.”

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