[Support Our Sponsors!] Sarasota Contemporary: Selby Gallery and Alfstad&

Selby Gallery

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Huguette Despault May, Umbilicals, 2009, 50″ X 38″

Ringling College’s Selby Gallery presents its newest exhibit Glass and Charcoal: The Art of Kathleen Elliot and Huguette Despault May through February 12.  The dual exhibition is an expert exercise in contrast using differences in medium and aesthetic to explore similar subject matter.  Artist Kathleen Elliot often works in glass depicting plant like structures.  She says of her work for the exhibition:

“Each imaginary botanical has its own story and its own meaning. Works in this series explore a wide range of subjects from female sexuality, to dancers and infants, to the idea of botanical life in alternate realities. Personal growth and development are continuing themes, and a number of pieces have arisen from imagining the emotional phenomena in our lives in botanical imagery.”

On the other hand, the work of Huguette Despault May is often found in two dimensions – elegant charcoal drawings.  Regarding her work and the exhibit, May comments:

“I chose imagery of knotted or twisted rope to help me describe the felt but unexpressed visceral world of the mind/body. These surrogate “bodies” seemed fitting metaphors for the tension, frayed nerves and entanglements that we inevitably experience as human beings. Use of distortion and exaggerated scale help evoke less pedestrian associations with my subject while enticing viewers to linger with the sensual qualities of surface and medium.” – Huguette May

Glass and Charcoal: The Art of Kathleen Elliot and Huguette Despault May will be on view through February 12.  Luncheon & Artist Talk with Preview: Thurs., Jan. 16, 11:30 am (Call 941.359.7563 for reservations.)  Opening reception Friday January 17, 5-7 pm.  Director’s Tour Monday, January 27, 11:30 am.  Selby Gallery is located on the Ringling College of Art and Design campus, one-half block east of 2700 N. Tamiami Trail on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way in Sarasota.  Hours are Monday – Saturday, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, and Tuesday, 10:00 Am – 7:00 PM.

allinthefamilyAlfstad&

Sarasota boasts another exciting venue for contemporary art with an exciting group exhibit: All in the Family at IceHouse.  The complexities and nuances of modern family life have been a rich subject matter for contemporary art.  However, curator Tim Jaeger tackles the subject with an interesting approach.  All in the Family explores the dynamics of familial relationships by actually bringing the family (of artists) into the gallery.  The artwork of fathers and their children will be exhibited alongside each other.  Specifically, the All in the Family will feature the work of Mark Anderson and his son Jarrod Anderson; Kevin Dean and his daughter and son, Molly Dean and Ian Dean; Patrick Lindhardt and his son Matthew Lindhardt; and Steve Strenk and his daughter Bianca Rylee.

It is easy to see the conceptual potential in such a show.  For example, artist Mark Anderson says, “In families, as in art, relations are activated by the spaces between us, how we touch, each of us balanced by the other.”  These similarities between family dynamics and the dynamics in art are an especially interesting territory that isn’t neglected by the artists.  participating artist Kevin Dean says, “So many children of artists become artists it suggests that artists are often born and not made.”

However, beyond investigating the inner workings of the family, children and parents also provide mutual inspiration for artwork.   “My relationship to my children has been influential to my love for playful, active art. Heck, toys are creative!”, artist Steve Strenk says, for example.

All in the Family will be on view January 10 through 19.  The exhibit is produced by Alfstad& – a Sarasota based production company with a special talent for artwork and art exhibits.  Explaining the ampersand in the name, the company says, “While Sam [Alfstad] represents the “Alfstad” part of Alfstad&, it is the “&” part of the name that is most important. That begins with Casey Alfstad and Keith Alvarado, who manage the studio and oversee day-to-day business operations. But & are also the artists, designers, producers, curators, fabricators, animators, technologists, videographers and writers who create Alfstad&-branded products. Each will be fully credited, and listed in on-piece documentation.

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