Mixed Media: Five new exhibitions at Wayne Art Center

January 17, 2019

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There’s a lot going on at Wayne Arts Center this month. Not one but five new exhibitions are on display. You should definitely pay a visit, and here’s why.

“Speechless” by Stephen Haigh part of the Geometry of Color exhibit

First exhibition to greet you in the foyer “Geometry In Color” offsets the bleak grey winter days of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Warm up and take in the large, playful paintings, vibrating with color. Wayne introduces us to four Philadelphia based artists in this exhibition: Paul Fabozzi, Karen Freedman, Stephen Haigh, and Cathleen Hughes.

Each artist approaches their canvas differently. Hughes brings her background working with the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia. A graduate of PAFA, Hughes continues to show in work and is in many permanent collections. She aspires to promote peace through her large scale paintings. I’d go out on a limb and say they have a very “mod” energy to them. The technicolor shapes overlap each other and seem to move at a consistent pace, in mind me, reminding me of a 1960s era movie intro sequence.

I’m not going to lie, I regularly bristle at the thought of incorporating text into painting, but Stephen Haigh brings these two elements together in such a complementary manner, that I hardly noticed, and then embraced the union. His gentle color palette deviates from the pop colors of the other artists in this exhibition. Lavenders, mustards, olives mingle with mixed media reminding me of another side of mid century art; abstract expressionism, Rauschenberg, Diebenkorn, Frankenthaler. He’s in good company, and his experiments in combining text and painting create successful final paintings.

Karen Freedman works in squares and rectangles. Her mesmerizing sequences appear robotic, yet remind me of patterns found in nature. She creates her palette with the intention of providing movement to her grid-like structures and it works! I stand in front of her paintings and feel as though I’m traveling through a benign, not scary wormhole. The patterns overlap gently, creating a meditative composition. Freedman is graduated from Tyler School of Art, as well as University of The Arts.

Paul Fabozzi, currently a professor of Fine Arts at St. John’s University in New York, creates paintings that read as three dimensional without evoking any sense of realism. I love this. By controlling shapes and color palette, Fabozzi’s work sometimes look like mobiles trapped in a canvas, and other times, they appear as sunbeams pouring through a prism. Fabozzi has studied both in Philadelphia as well as Italy, and is work is featured in many collections nationally and internationally. This is a strong exhibition and definitely worth a visit. “Geometry in Color” is on display through January 26th in the Vidinghoff Gallery.

The much-anticipated 24th Annual Craft Forms exhibition is also on display through January 26th at Wayne Art Museum. The preview party will be held this Friday, December 7th from 6 to 10 p.m. The Juror’s Lecture and Meet The Artists event will follow on December 8th from 1 to 4 p.m. This exhibition features myriad artists internationally and nationally, providing a platform for emerging and established artists focused on craft work.

The companion show to the Craft Forms show will feature work by several artists focusing around the book, “CAST: Art and Objects Made Using Humanity’s Most Transformational Process”. This exhibition will also feature historical and everyday objects. The exhibition party for this exhibition will line up with the preview party for Craft Forms, on December 7th from 6 to 10 p.m. Stop by for the Book Signing event on December 8th from 12 to 1 p.m. and the Meet the Artist and Curator’s Lecture from 1 to 4 p.m.

Wayne Arts will also feature a Small Works exhibition showcasing artwork from Wayne students and faculty, with a size restriction of 12” x12” and price limit of $300. Stop by to pick up a unique piece for the art lover in your circle. Artists featured include: Jan Wier, Abby Ober, Ona Hamilton, Judith Nentwig, Meredith Mustard, Cynthia Murray, Linda Corson, Nancy Wheeler, Janice Balson, Denise Sedor, Nancy McGivney, Georganna Lenssen, Rochelle Myers, Claudia Rilling, and Latha Sabbam.

Finally, a satellite show from Wayne at the Radnor Township building, “Marlene Adler Student Prints,” will feature work by students of printmaking at Wayne. This exhibition will continue through January 26th. That does it for this unusually one-location based article. Until next time!

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