To curate "SHE," the current show at M2 Gallery, Ashley Murphy reached beyond state boundaries to create an intriguing group show of female artists who explore themes as varied as their artistic styles.
Along with Arkansas artists such as Melissa Wilkinson, V.L. Cox, Lisa Krannichfeld, Scinthya Edwards, Robin Parker and Alecia Walls-Barton, Murphy chose works by artists from Mississippi, California, Texas, Kentucky, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
The wide range of works include photography, ink washes, woodcuts, watercolor, mixed media, collage and more.
A few of the many head-turners that invite one to linger:
• Edwards' complex and rich mixed-media collages, particularly In Dialogue Read My Lips. She tells quite a story, one that can be intense, whimsical, very personal and richly rewarding. Her mix of Asian calligraphy, pop culture, African symbology and skillful use of color and writing engages the viewer.
• Murphy, who spends much of her time taking artful wedding and fashion photographs, steps out with three large new images. Life in Motion, London is lively, reflecting that city's energy and drive.
• Mississippi artist Cathy Hegman's intriguing acrylic on wood Telecommuters evokes a shapeshifter-like, vaguely ancient/futuristic figures with antenna-like protrusions from the back of their caps. Are they waiting to be beamed up? She also has three fascinating oil-on-paper works. One of them, Weight of Balance, Insomniacs V, also visits another realm of awareness shrouded in mystery.
• Brittany Loar, a graphite/mixed-media artist from Massachusetts, has one of the show's most arresting works. The intense Memories reveals a woman whose memories are either tearing her apart or, perhaps pulling her back together. The face is haunting, almost tormented, but a hard-won peace may be emerging.
• Krannichfeld's mixed-media portraits have shown us women who veil part of themselves from the viewer. In Undomesticated Interior 11, she places a woman in her home. Her gaze is confrontational; we may or may not be welcome to visit her domain. It's reinforced by a portrait of a growling bear above the fireplace and we'd advise you not to pet the cat sitting in the nearby chair. Strong? Yes. And exquisitely executed.
• Wilkinson's ink washes fracture space and seem to suspend time. Seemingly disconnected images -- wild animals, birds and more appear in Old World-like interiors -- appear to explore social decay, nature and, ultimately, our own refusal to deal with reality. Wonderful cultural/psychological expression in a sort of Twilight Zone/Stranger Things way.
• And finally, Sandra Sell's wood sculptures are magnetic. You want to touch their beauty, become enfolded by it -- especially the Georgia O'Keeffe-like Protective Gathering, carved from white oak.
It was especially cool to see work by a Little Rock high school student included by Murphy. Margaret Lane Maddison's drawings show real promise.
"SHE," through Nov. 18, M2 Gallery, 11525 Cantrell Road, Suite 918, Little Rock, (501) 225-6257. Gallery hours: noon-5 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and by appointment.
• Photographer Nathaniel Roe, who creates dry-plate tintypes, is showing new works at the Laman Library in North Little Rock. Roe, whose work has shown at the Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center, brings contemporary themes to a photographic process that first appeared in the 1850s. Tintypes are probably most familiar for images from the Civil War.
"Illitercy," through Dec. 1, Laman Library, 2801 Orange St., North Little Rock. Hours: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. (501) 758-1720, lamanlibrary.org
• Protest photography is the subject of "We Dissent," an exhibition that opens with a reception at 6 p.m. Nov. 17 at the New Deal Gallery in Little Rock.
Participating photographers are Brian Chilson, Rita Henry, Vincent Griffin, Brandon Markin and Sydney Rasch.
"We Dissent: An Exhibition of Protest Photography," Nov. 17-Dec. 1. The New Deal Gallery, 2003 S. Louisiana St., Little Rock, 501) 681-9916. Hours: noon-6 p.m. Nov. 18-19 and by appointment through Dec. 1.
Scinthya Edwards’ detailed and complex mixed media collage on canvas is titled In Dialogue Read My Lips.
Lisa Krannichfeld’s mixed media work utilizes watercolor, collage and resin.
Style on 11/07/2017
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