1. Why is the show titled "New Vision"?
We wanted the title of our exhibit to reflect the originality, uniqueness, creativity of our art, especially with respect to trying new media, experimenting with unusual materials or connecting our roots, folk art traditions with modern, contemporary art. Our art, as different as it is, is a collective “New Vision.”
2. Who are all the participating artists? What media are represented?
Participants include Shanye Huang, Susan A. Lennon, Natalya B. Parris (coordinator), Charles Reiher, Ron Riley and Judy Wengrovitz. They work in acrylic paint and mixed media collage.
3. What are some highlights from this show?
This exhibit is a celebration of art with bright, vibrant colors and a bold, cool attitude of daring to take chances through experimentation and being brave enough to share the results with the world.
All show participants answered the following question:
Can you talk in detail about one of your pieces currently on exhibit and how you created it?
Each of us as an artist strives to bring our unique culture and roots into the contemporary art world.
I have included six pieces in this show. They are part of my "Hometown Love Song" series. In my hometown, Guangxi, people use symbols and metaphors in Zhuang ethnic love songs. March 3rd is especially significant. It marks the beginning of our "Love Song Festival," during which, people, particularly young people, go to the mountains and sing to each other. The love songs are very beautiful, meaningful, symbolic and poetic. The ritual can also be very humorous.
Using universal themes to connect East and West, I paint the story of the love songs in beautiful Chinese calligraphy with layers of vivid colors, lines, our ethnic symbols, metaphors and figures with mixed media on canvas.
Zhuang ethnic love songs call for an absolute, complete, deeper, blissful and heavenly joyful forever lasting commitment and connection. Love and blessings have always been the motifs of my art. I feel strongly that despite how much suffering and struggle we have gone through, the essence of human pursuit is love and happiness.
My piece "The Trees and Vines Intertwine #3" is featured here. Another piece in this series, "The Trees and Vines Intertwine #5," has won the Award of Excellence in an international juried art exhibition held at the National Museum of China in Beijing during Sept. 2012 and was collected by the Overseas Chinese History Museum in Beijing.
Susan A. Lennon
My favorite piece in the show is "Olive Tree & Stone Wall." It is the first of what I hope will be a series of work that was inspired by an equestrian vacation through Tuscany. This was a view that I passed on several of our rides, and also sought on my day off, when I went walking on foot through the countryside with my art supplies in my back pack. I sketched this often from memory but also took photos.
My process: I start with a piece of Mulberry Paper tissue and, using a lot of water and a matte acrylic medium, I adhere the paper to my work surface. Then, I use little pieces of torn paper to build up my image. In this piece, I used marble papers from Florence in addition to other papers in my collection. I collect papers based on color and texture and use them the way a painter uses paint. I also use pieces of old printed materials. In this work, I use pieces of the pages from a vintage, French copy of Emile Zola's Rome (from the Three Cities Trilogy).
Natalya B. Parris
For this particular exhibit, I selected my acrylics on canvas, which explore texture with paint, floral compositions/connections with nature, geometry, color and folk traditions. They are a spectrum of the series I have been working on – contemporary, modern interpretations of Russian Folk Art and "Running in Circles," which combines overlayed dot patterns with geometric constellations. “Clown in a Balloon Factory” is a happy, smiling and cheerful addition to the latter series.
I do not have an explanation for this phenomenon, but for every other artwork, my hand draws circles. Many artists go through certain periods, passages in their art life.I decided not to fight the circles. If they want to be born let them be born - let them live on their own.
By pouring paint and letting it flow, within constraints, I am letting nature participate in the creation of my works rather than trying to recreate nature in my paintings. The use of Yupo synthetic paper to create abstract acrylic paintings and creasing the paper to create a grid structure are things that I have discovered for myself.
My collage, "No-one In Sight," is an acrylic painting on watercolor paper with collaged pre-painted, torn pieces of rice paper, pre-painted, cut strips of watercolor paper and fabric scraps. I added acrylic paint on top to tie the elements together and scribbled a thick layer of liquid acrylic paint to lend dimensionality to the piece and tie the diverse elements into a single coherent painting. The result resembles an unpopulated landscape, hence the title.
I have been an artist in the DC area for a number of years. I am a painter (acrylics is my medium) and a printer of monoprints.
My favorite pieces in the show is "Cascading" Waves." I like to experiment with texture. Surfaces that are flat lack dimension and interest. In this piece, I was able to create the "lined" texture using the serated edge of a putty knife. I also strive to create a sense of depth in my work by building up layers of different textures.
I have been painting for over 70 years and have been teaching watercolor for 50. I have won many awards for my art. Although I paint in all mediums, my specialty is watercolor. Many of my paintings are of New York City and are painted realistically. Since I noticed that the other artists in the show do abstract work, I decided to include two city scenes painted on watercolor paper with a textured gesso underpainting, which lent the watercolor a different look. I also included some smaller abstracts painted with mixed media.