Nov 21 – Jan 04 2014
Laura Ahola-Young, Scott Mayberry, Nia Michaels, Elizabeth Reed Smith
Reception & Artist Talk:
Thursday December 12th, 6:00-7:30pm
ABOUT THIS EXHIBITION
In the gallery from November 19, 2013 – January 4, 2014, ArtsWest presents Regeneration, featuring artists Laura Ahola-Young, Scott Mayberry, Nia Michaels and Elizabeth Reed Smith. Please join us for the reception and artist talk on Thursday December 12th from 6:00-7:30pm!
Scott Mayberry describes wryly narrative scenes in richly textured paint using a color palette reminiscent of dark fairytales. Churches with rubber-like steeples double over themselves under moonlit stormy skies or steer ships on rocky seas. A figure in red jumps into an urban landscape of onion-domed, black and white striped buildings.
In her native England and present home in Indianola, WA, Elizabeth Reed Smith has found inspiration in natural forms, most often statuesque trees. Rendered with a crow quill, her drawings on paper are so devoted to their subject they seem to be breathing life forms in their own right. Smith writes, “I seek to blend the precision of the Victorian engraver with a contemporary appreciation of light, color and texture.”
Nia Michaels snips found decorative tins to create intimately small-scale assemblages that house Civil War-era tintype photos. Michaels writes, “I am fascinated with the seemingly endless possibilities and stories that I can coax from these small pieces of metal.” Her Patron Saints read as repurposed icons inviting a contemporary version of homage.
Laura Ahola-Young’s painting process is as much about scraping away and hiding as it is about uncovering and illuminating. Her subjects appear both macroscopic and microscopic, suggesting galaxies and cells. She writes, “My work reflects my desire for absolutes and claims none. For me, knowledge is always asking additional questions.”
The title for this show comes from the theme of interdependent creation and destruction that presents itself symbolically and/or materially in each of the four artists work: in the half-told stories in Scott Mayberry’s paintings that seem to hinge on matters of life and death; in Nia Michaels’ resurrected tin; in Elizabeth Reed Smith’s trees; in Laura Ahola-Young’s cellular, intra-body landscapes and the way she describes her process: “I am actively creating while simultaneously destroying… Cells and stars, the miniscule to vast, must experience destruction for life to exist as we know it.”