All in the Family: An Exploration of Familial Creativity

This year is off to an exciting start, in Sarasota, with an exhibition bringing together some of the most highly influential individuals within the Sarasota art community – both as artists and educators. All in the Family is exhibited in the newly established Ice House, located right down the street from the primary colored building that was once John Chamberlain’s Studio. The Ice House was established in 2013 by Alfstad& Productions, with an aim to explore new ways to engage with the art community by reimagining art, exhibition spaces, and the art market. [Disclosure: Alfstad& is a sponsor of ART AT BAY]

Tim Jaeger, who’s mission has been to foster and maintain the local arts community along with his own studio practice (so far he’s been doing an exceptional job), curated All in the Family with artistic familial relationships in mind.  All in the Family consists of Ringling College of Art & Design faculty, as well as, their sons and daughters whom are all accomplished artists – featuring installations, paintings, videos, sculptures, drawings, and prints.

Patrick Lindhardt, Untitled 2, Monotype

Patrick Lindhardt, Untitled 2, Monotype

Master printmaker Patrick Lindhardt and his son Matthew Lindhardt, whom works with photography, address landscape as subject matter, however they each approach land space in broadly differing ways. Patrick’s monochromatic Monotypes convey dramatic landscapes that poetically suggest the beginning or aftermath of environmental disturbances.  Matthew’s photographs are digitally manipulated into industrialized landscape spheres – bringing to mind the fragility and sheer power of our surroundings.

Steven Strenk and his daughter Bianca Rylee’s mixed media works exude a playful approach with colorful and energetic color pallets, inspired by the Floridian landscape. For me, Strenk’s most compelling pieces simultaneously appear to be modern kinetic sculptures and Children’s toys. Each piece looks as though they may come to life upon turning the hand crank, and similarly aesthetically pleasing as static objects. Bianca Rylee presents the viewer with a variety of artistic media including lovely embossed Monoprints with suggestive text, such as “THE ECSTASY OF INFLUENCE”.

Kevin Dean, his daughter Molly Dean, and his son Ian Dean each have a more disparate approach to art making, and yet they are equally arresting in their chosen medium. Kevin Dean’s multimedia assemblages and installations are laden with iconography and symbology – you could literally intellectually deconstruct these works for hours and you’re still left with plenty of questions. Molly’s masterfully executed paintings and illustrations inspire admiration for her highly skilled technical abilities and acute eye for design. Ian Dean’s photographs depict delightfully cluttered, colorful spaces as a clever way to describe the individual that inhabits each space, and in doing so, depicts aspects of the individual’s surroundings on a grander scale.

Mark Anderson, his son Jarrod Anderson, and his daughter Sörine Anderson are really good at creating psychologically probing pieces through their use of space, form, and material. Mark Anderson’s sculptures assert their power by the tension that is created from the details within each piece, as well as the negative space between one form and another. Jarrod Anderson creates beautifully intricate graphite drawings — fragments of his experiences and surroundings — to create visual narratives. In order to create each drawing, Jarrod coats paper with latex paint and carves into the paint with great care to reveal the underlying surface.

Sörine Anderson, If you let them, they'll destroy you, 18K gold cast finger nail shards

Sörine Anderson, If you let them, they’ll destroy you, 18K gold cast finger nail shards

With the use of metaphor, and historical and modern mythologies as a catalyst for creation, Sörine Anderson creates intriguing sculptures that look as though they could be an ancient artifact. In this exhibition Sörine’s pieces include a melted candle made of glass, a human jaw with lead teeth, and 18K gold cast finger nail clippings.

What a pleasure to experience a show that celebrates such important figures within the Sarasota art community and the gifts that have been passed down to their children, and shared to enrich the community as a whole. Furthermore, I am delighted by the fact that the Ice House makes available a beautiful  large space that proves to give artists’ the opportunity to utilize it to its full potential, as well as give artists the ability to get quite ambitious with their medium of choice – or offer enough space for quiet contemplation.  I’m looking forward to observing Ice House’s development and impact on the arts. Welcome to the neighborhood!

All in the Family runs through Sunday, January 19th from 12 pm – 6 pm. There will be a presentation by Kevin Dean entitled “The History of Artist Relationships”, January 15th, 7-8:30 pm and a panel discussion and Q&A session with the artists on January 16th, 7-8:30 pm (both not to be missed!). Curator Tim Jaeger will be the moderator.

The Ice House is located two blocks east of Tamiami Trail, 1314 10th Street, Sarasota, FL. For more information about All in the Family and upcoming exhibitions you can visit:

www.icehouseon10th.com

[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.