I hear ...an opening reception…
Ah, remember those days of exciting openings, with nervous artists flittering like hummingbirds as friends and fans admire the new art — and hit the free wine and cheese, of course.
While some galleries are returning to “business as usual,” others are warily staying online.
One Chandler gallery is splitting the difference: an in-person exhibit with an online opening event.
As Caroline Hudson-Naef, Visual Arts Assistant for the City of Chandler, puts it, the show “features sculptures and drawings that bend the lines between humans and animals.”
Indeed, these two artists will leave the viewer wondering about your own relationship with the natural world, however odd or wonderful that may be.
Christy Puetz creates eye-popping sculptures using beading and tactile material that form these fantastical, anthropomorphic creatures that lie somewhere between creepy and cute. “My work is best described as sculptural fiber art and/or mixed media sculpture,” she said.
Rebecca Blume Rothman’s collaged drawings (featured at top of story) bring human features to wild animals, creating a surreal aesthetic that blurs the line between man and beast. She has an eye trained on reality, as she told HV: “I had been working as a photographic artist for many years and in 2014 put down the camera and started drawing.”
Different artists … similar approaches.
As Puetz puts it, “The color, depth of meaning, and anthropomorphic qualities our art explores helped it all come together naturally. I believe the pieces Rebecca and I have on exhibit speak for each of us in a singular way. Complimentary but separate.”
Even though the two artists have known each other for years it was not until early last year they showed their work together. The timing turned out to be somewhere between “not-so-great” and “ug.”
“Our exhibit in March of 2020 was one of the art/event casualties of the pandemic in that very few people were able to see it. We literally installed it the week before the state shut down,” Rothman said. “We were so excited about how well the work went together that Christy sent it to Chandler in hopes that we would be able to expand and work together again. Fortunately for us, Chandler invited us to work with them and here we are.”
What inspires these artists?
“I am very focused on storytelling and the re-telling of history through the use of color, texture, symbolism, and research,” Puetz told HARK Valley.
As for Rothman, “The inspiration comes from many sources. I spend a lot of time reading about current events, most of which are not terribly uplifting if I'm being honest. Climate change, women's issues, and power struggle are particularly intriguing to me. On the other side of things, I love fashion and enjoy the beauty of adornment. When these two seemingly divergent interests come together, I found myself musing over the strange way that people present themselves in the world while trying to hide their animal nature.”
The Virtual Reception is hosted via Instagram Live @visiongalleryaz
To access the event, head to the Instagram page @visiongalleryaz at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct 9 and tap our profile picture.
The exhibit runs October 9 – November 13 at Vision Gallery, 10 E Chicago St
Chandler, AZ 85225; Phone: (480) 782-2695
Another great-looking online event:
On October 9th the Queer Poetry Salon will begin with workshops at 1pm and 3pm, an open mic at 6pm, and the featured readings at 6:30pm. Anyone who would like to attend can do so by registering here.
1-2:30 PM online writing workshop led by the Queer Poetry Salon's featured poet, Raquel Gutierrez.