Landscapes, Prints, 'Dolls' Highlight Faculty Art Show
Paintings, photographs and ceramic figures by three Alma College professors are featured in the Flora Kirsch Beck Gallery as part of the biennial Faculty Show.
The works of Carrie Anne Parks-Kirby, Sandy Lopez-Isnardi and Robert Rozier are on display through Dec. 16. Admission is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.
Three Blue Willow Teapots, Carrie Parks-Kirby
Rozier has taught at Alma College since 1983. Originally from rural Missouri, he says his transition to Michigan introduced him to new forms of urban art.
“I think all my work is motivated by what I look at and see,” he says. “I respond to my surroundings, and I am motivated by traveling to different places. When you leave Michigan and come back, the environment appears new.”
Rozier’s paintings feature landscapes that exhibit vivid colors and noticeable brush strokes.
“I love color, as well as the act of painting, and I try to demonstrate that in my work, especially by showing the strokes I use,” he says. “I’m concerned about color relationships, shape and using natural means to explore those things.”
Parks-Kirby has taught at Alma College since 1982. Her collection comprises a number of white clay doll-like figures covered with blue underglaze painting.
“My work in this exhibit was inspired by Chinese ‘doctor dolls,’” says Parks-Kirby. “During the 17th through 19th centuries, it was forbidden for any man who was not a family member to view a lady’s body, so the patient would describe her ailment by pointing to the place on her physician’s doll that corresponded to the site of her pain.”
Her artwork is a reflection of her continuing interest in “the relationship between architectural structures and their inhabitants,” says Parks-Kirby.
“These doll-like figures have become the architecture for the systems and anatomical structures enclosed by their bodies,” she says. “Painted to resemble traditional blue and white china, they have been rendered safely decorative and impervious to touch.”
Lopez-Isnardi joined the Alma College faculty in 1995. Her collection presents both her recent photography and negatives she saved from nearly 30 years ago.
“The negatives are taken in Tunisia, North Africa, from when I was still a freshman in college,” she says. “While I thought the images were ‘plain old boring portraits’ when I took them, I think they’re quite poetic now.”
The final images are a result of a “platinum-palladium” printing process, which emphasizes tonalities and shadows. Lopez-Isnardi is particularly proud of a picture she took in a market, featuring a young boy looking in a camera, a woman in a dress bending over, and a man in glasses looking aside.
“People were suspicious of the camera,” she says. “They thought it would rob them of their spirit. This was the most unbelievably different culture I’d ever experienced.”?
Two other exhibits feature Lopez-Isnardi’s work, including her “Spoils of an Era” series, which documents the end of the Industrial Revolution in Michigan, and her photography from Santa Fe.
The exhibit as a whole has given the artists much to reflect upon.
“One value of the show is it gives me a chance to reflect on my work and be more objective,” says Parks-Kirby. “Sometimes, it can be difficult to evaluate separate pieces when they’re sitting in the studio. I appreciate that I have this chance to put all my work together.”
“None of us are abstract artists,” says Rozier. “Our work is recognizable, but all three of us are very different.”
Posted: Mon, November 22nd, 2010 at 8:22AM