The Un-limited Figure: Creating an Afterlife for Retail Mannequins
DECEMBER 14, 2018 – MARCH 3, 2019
Artists Lorie Amick and LaDonna Vohar were honored and excited about the opportunity to have an exhibit at the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette. After the initial excitement subsided, the quandary of a theme for the show set in. After tossing around a number of ideas the solution presented itself at the Tippecanoe Mall. The Limited was going out of business and all of their mannequins were for sale. They decided that these mannequins were the perfect starting point.
“While we began with typical female mannequins they have been altered and transformed into fine art sculpture. We have cut, drilled, sanded, added, taken away, and relocated parts. We have used them as molds to form partial figures. We have used copper, Styrofoam, wax, fabric, Venetian plaster, Epoxy clays and many other materials.The final results will be an exhibit of new creations. Some we will wall mount, some will be on pedestals, some free standing, and even a few that have been designed to be outdoor sculptures.Retail stores are at the crossroads of change and are having to reinvent themselves to remain relevant. These art pieces have been reinvented and therefore are relevant.”
Southern Roots-Revisited: Paintings by Sandra Bridges
DECEMBER 14, 2018 – MARCH 3, 2019
Artist Sandra Bridges is primarily an oil painter and is from Chicago, Illinois. Sandra is known for creating emotionally charged paintings - be it her ability to capture the energy of a jazz performance or the strength of character on a subjects face. In a sense Sandra's work serves as a social bridge. Her powerful work stands as an exploration of the past, present and future, revealing that we are all linked in some way.
Southern Roots - Revisited is a showing of oil paintings, a visual journey taking you into an African American experience and glimpses into a timeless connection. The artist describes this series by stating, “THIS IS….My sentimental journey, a déjà vu experience of the unexpected and of my reflections and memories revisited. It is a conjuring up and revitalizing story told by my parents and grandparents of a time unknown to me yet very familiar because of the visions that come before my eyes. These paintings are endearing and contemplative. They draw you into the deep experience of our human condition. My hope is that you feel it. I may not have been there physically but I can bring it to view as we ponder that experience together both mentally and spiritually. They are intended for you to go deep within.”
Narratives: Works from the Permanent Collection
DECEMBER 14, 2018 – JUNE 2, 2019
Many of the nearly 1,400 works of art in the Art Museum’s permanent collection have a story to tell and in this exhibition, we will explore some of those works and interpret the stories that they hold. A narrative may reveal itself when the viewer looks closely at a work of art, or they may be uncovered when we learn about the artist’s personal story. Curator, Michael Crowthers and Collections Committee chair, Mona Berg, have chosen many of the works for this show, because they have rarely been exhibited. This will create an opportunity for visitors to become engaged, not only visually, but also through narrative interpretation.
Blank Slate: New Thoughts, works by Sara Vanderkleed
October 5, 2018 - February 10, 2019
Sara Vanderkleed was born and raised in Morrison, Illinois and was artistic from a young age. She recalls loving crafts and would sometimes get in trouble for “wasting paper” with her drawings. She was also given a watercolor set as a child but never knew how to paint with them until she took a class in her thirties. Vanderkleed focussed on business in college, graduating from Trinity Christian College near Chicago with a degree in business administration, but it was during her time in college where she began to feel the need to formally explore her creativity. Vanderkleed found herself taking art classes between accounting and management courses.
Vanderkleed left school with these experiences in her back pocket as she moved to Lafayette, Indiana to raise a family. Upon seeing an ad for a watercolor class at a local community center, her artistic journey truly began. “I was a busy homeschooling mom of four at the time,” explains Vanderkleed. “Looking back, I’m not sure what came over me to take that class, but perhaps I needed an outlet that took me out of the house. I invited a friend to join me and we loved it!” She began painting watercolor landscapes and florals reminiscent of the Indiana countryside that surrounded her studio. Her growth over time led her back to an abstract style in acrylic, to which she always innately gravitated. She employs techniques that involve layering and scratching the acrylic paint. She builds paint up and then works back through the painting by taking paint away. She also utilizes both subtle and vivid colors, and loves how one mark could change the composition entirely.
Vanderkleed’s work has earned acclaim, reaching international and public collectors. She was awarded the 2001 Purchase Award at theHoosier Salon Annual Exhibit show, the 2007 WVWS third place award, and the Best of Category in the 2010 Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff. As a part of the Celebration of Hoosier Women Artists’, Vanderkleed’s work was chosen to hang in the office of the Indiana Lt. Governor’s’ Office for two separate years.
Vanderkleed remains dedicated and passionate about her artistic work.For her, it’s about inspiring others and getting people to stop and look.Vanderkleed’s work invites the viewer to take a moment out of life and time to get lost in a painting.“I think this quote by Paul Klee says it well,” explains Vanderkleed, “‘The painter should not paint what he sees, but what will be seen.’”
I’m pleased to share this new body of work with the Lafayette area. This is my first local exhibit since I left Artists’ Own in April 2017 to pursue other opportunities and spend time with my grandkids. Since then, I have begun exploring color to design a new palette. This exhibition features that lighter and fresher palette.
My process begins with building up a very light/neutral background with layers on the boards (blank slate) and then adding color a little at a time. Some titles are inspired by nature. The orange orb shapes in “The Sun Makes Its Circuit” reminds me of the motion of the sun throughout the day, and the warm glow of the morning or evening sun.
“New Thoughts” share some of my emotional and spiritual approach to living life. For example, “Faded Mercies” is about how I appreciate/recognize a mercy as a gift. A mercy might be a tangible or intangible generosity from God, a friend, or even a stranger. But over time the value of that mercy fades. I’d like to think I won’t forget or take it for granted, but I do.
I hope you enjoy the exhibit and thank you for coming.