Jackson photographer Jon Stuart is the man behind the scenes of the Art Association’s (A.A.) Makarapa and Vuvuzela, opening March 4, 2011 in the Artspace Loft Gallery. On exhibition through April 28, it opens with a March 4th reception at 5:30 pm.
No end time! Stuart must be bringing good wine.
“Sixteen years after the end of apartheid this event represents a particularly important time in South African history, where South Africa was able to stage a massive “coming out” party for the rest of the world,” notes A.A. Images of football fields, fans, and all the colorful energy World Cup created are the show’s focus. Wild headgear, known as makarabas, were in great evidence during World Cup. Inspired by mining hard hats once synonymous with apartheid black migrant workers, these helmets are now symbols of joy and identity.
“I looked at some other work of Ian’s, but I knew he had been to South Africa for the World Cup. And this subject seemed so current,” says Curator of Photography Stuart. South African soccer fans are particularly “colorful” and are known for their trumpeting of Vuvuzelas and their outrageously adorned headgear. Today, these mining helmets have been transformed into colorful symbols of a uniquely South African national identity, and are now donned by blacks and whites.
You don’t see the word “wonky” often; but it popped out at me in an Art Association posting. Can’t ignore wonky. “Working Past the Wonky Stage in Clay” is a fine opportunity for those who love the clay, but the clay reserves its affections. Instructor Dean Stayner will help you get that pot centered, shaped and pulled, glazed and ready for its close-up. The class meets Tuesday evenings, April 12-May 24. Registration deadline is April 1; register by phone at (307) 733- 6379. www.artassociation.org
The Heather James Gallery currently features some way out, cool psychelic art.
Pioneering “way out master” Pablo Picasso is represented by painted vessels new to the gallery. Picasso’s work will influence art through eternity but the work of two artists, Carlos Betancourt and Robert Walker, caught my eye.
Gallery director Lyndsay McCandless notes “Robert Walker’s carved-acrylic paintings transport the viewer to a meditative, internal place of creativity. His repetitive patterns, lines and colors create an otherwordly atmosphere that falls somewhere between reality and dream. His work is very process-oriented, and the actual creation of it is a meditative experience in itself.”
I get a little dizzy looking Walker’s work–but I’m also transported. His colorful, tidal textures are evident even in images of the work, an unusual effect. Ribbon-like ocean vortexes; a million whirling hand-printed African skirts. We’re bound for a parallel universe.
Wikipedia describes C-prints (like Carlos Betancourt’s) as prints “that can be exposed using digital exposure systems such as the Durst Lambda, Océ LightJet and ZBE Chromira, yielding a digital C print (sometimes called a Lambda print or LightJet print). These are exposed using LEDs on light sensitive photographic paper and processed using traditional silver based chemistry.”
Kudos if you comprehend that technology. McCandless says Betancourt best describes his work.
“I explore selective recollection of images that generate feelings of happiness to create artworks that explore beauty,” says the artist. “I play with the forces of personal and collective memory all in a communion that can not be separated. The resulting artworks I consider magical ritualistic compositions empowered by the secrets and mysteries of their beauty.”
Here, in X-ray detail, are explosions of petals & pistols, sepals and stamens.