Artists contributing to the show include, in no particular order, Teri Rowan, Julia Wright, Kelly Green, Adriana Carlson, Joan MacDonald, Marica Hefti, Claudia Dimidik, Deborah Hager, Steve Becker, and Brianna Oliver. Here are some questions put to them by our regular blog writer, Leti Wesolowski.
As the juror and curator for “Through the Looking Glass”, Teri, what was your inspiration for the theme behind the show?
Teri Rowan: In addition to being an artist, I am an avid reader. I often get inspiration for a piece, or series of images, from a book. Some writers are very visual, and have the special gift of bringing their words to life in my mind, and from there the creative process takes off. I chose the title, “Through the Looking Glass”, not only as a play on “Alice in Wonderland” but because in taking a photograph one, quite literally, looks through a glass (lens). My images are inspired by myth and fairytale.
What did you envision when you applied for this show, “Through the Looking Glass”? How does your artwork fit in with the theme?
Julia Wright: I see dragons, fairies, and mythical creatures hiding in tree bark and rock formations that I capture in my nature photography when hiking. Often when I begin to manipulate them in Photoshop, they magically appear. I thought it would be fun to share these, mostly unseen creatures, with more people. A couple of years ago, when I began my journey into creating abstract images from my photos, I stated that I had fallen down the rabbit hole of creativity, which aligns with the theme of going through a Looking Glass into a world beyond our normal reality.
What books / authors have inspired your pieces?
Joan MacDonald: The fairytale images are based on the Cinderella story in Tales of Grimm and Andersen. It is a Grimm Brothers version of Cinderella that was used as a basis for my series of images and my book. I rewrote the Cinderella story with the twist that it was Cinderella’s talent that was noticed, not her beauty. I created etchings that illustrated the story, and called the book, “Cinderella Revisited”.
What type of work / media are you submitting for the show?
Adriana Carlson: My artwork in the show is photographic. I submitted the first few photos in my young adult fantasy novel, “The Story Weaver Chronicles - Penelope and the Hob King”. My novel is about a young women who crosses the North Sea to bring stories back to a world who has forgotten them. I was inspired by the Greek myth Prometheus.
Describe your artwork and the process you followed to design it? What is unique about it?
Julia Wright says: I take small sections of a nature photograph and manipulate it in Photoshop. When I see an image that intrigues me, I may stop after one bit of twisting and dive deeper and take another section to play with and see where that takes me. Most of these images appeared in the first transformation of a section of a photograph. Some have a bit of color manipulation added to the process.
Describe your artwork and the process you followed to design it? What is different/special/unique about it?
Steve Becker: I've been making pottery for the past 10 years. I've been dabbling in photography since college and in digital photography for about 10 years as well. When I took photos of my pottery, I was fascinated by the color variations and details that are visible in the glaze under bright light.
A few years ago, I started taking close-up photos of interesting glaze patterns on my pots and then playing with the images on the computer. I found I was able to enhance the color and contrast to get some interesting patterns. I invested in a macro lens and have since spent countless hours exploring the space where glazes meet, break, or run and even more time manipulating those images to get them to match my imagination.
For the image editing, I use freeware software tools like GIMP, Paint.NET and Picassa on my windows PC.
How long have you been creating this type of artwork?
Marica Hefti: (contributing her terracotta and bronzes as a 3D tie in with the theme)
I used to work with DAS to create the originals for my bronze sculpture. That means I have worked with it about 50 years! Inspired by the Chinese terracotta warriors and the Toltee clay vessels and sculpture, I’ve wanted to work in terracotta for even longer, but only started to do it about 25 years ago, when I got tired of bronze.
What effect/emotion/thoughts do you expect to achieve from the public?
Claudia Dimidik: To connect with the piece and to remember that we all, at one time, had story books come to life, dreams that seemed real and an imagination that allowed us to think the impossible was possible.
Kelly Green’s artwork follows the storybook/”Alice” theme very well.
Briana Oliver says: For the show I'm submitting a photograph. It was taken on Phantom Canyon Road in between Penrose and Colorado Springs on a hot summer day and the tunnel was a nice cool escape from The Heat.
I've been doing photography for over 10 years professionally but this show is definitely out of my comfort zone, meaning that I don't usually do imaginative things. I usually have straight-laced landscape photography so this was an adventure for me!
In 2008 I went back to school to finish my B.F.A. I took several photography and digital art classes, I really enjoyed learning Photoshop and working in layers and found that my ceramic subject matter and Photo Shop subjects influenced each other. In Photoshop, I worked in layers then erased areas meticulously to reveal what was beneath. In 2009 we went to Europe and I found the butterfly collection in Oxford, the batter from Greece and the arch form from London, I made several different collections using those photos from my travels. The picture of the boy and reflection is one of my favorites. The title is “Wonder”, to me that represents the hope that we all keep beside us as we age that amazing wonder that we had as children. For me the “Wonder” piece is how I feel about being an artist there is always a delight to discover something new and know that somehow you have channeled something deep within that is larger than you.
Other snippets from the creators…
Adriana Carlson says: I’m obsessed with stories, I love listening to them, I love creating them, I love the layers and the details. I love the richness of creating a world. I want to evoke wonder.
Steve Becker says: On books and authors that have inspired his art. Many years of reading heroic adventures by Tolkien, Moorcock, Asimov, Silverberg, McCaffrey, Cherryh, Herbert, Martin, Eddings, etc.
Teri Rowan says:
I’m not sure my artwork fits neatly into a little box. The colors I use tend towards the vivid and bold, these days. The landscapes I create are fantasy driven and surreal, as are my figurative pieces. But, I do have softer, quieter pieces that are usually nature-centric. For this show I leaned heavily on mythology and fantasy. I hope everyone enjoys what I’ve put together. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I put out the call for artists, with such a focused theme. I’m happy that I got an eclectic mix that blends well together.
Did you enjoy this post? Leave as a comment and let us know! We’d love to hear from you!
Want more local art news delivered to your inbox? Sign up for Commonwheel newsletter here.