Tuesday, May 10, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: "Refuge" at Studio Place Arts in Barre

In this fast paced, modern world filled with stress, panic, fear, and war, Studio Place Arts (SPA) presents Refuge, a refreshing new show celebrating peace, shelter, and safety. Comprised of mixed media work from 14 artists, Refuge reflects an array of diverse perspectives on the subject.

Among the 28 pieces on exhibit in the show are charcoal, oil and mixed media drawings and paintings, photographs, monotypes, assemblages, an unusual wearable Refuge Mask made of wood, metal and paint by Rob Millard-Mendez, 7 wood and copper or wood and wire house constructions by Axel Stohlberg, a glass, metal and wood sculpture, and a large, double-sided, narrative weaving installation by artist Bhakti Ziek.

Suspended from the ceiling, Ziek’s U-shaped textile installation, The Wheel of Life: The Passing on of Knowledge, refers to the Buddhist Wheel of Life, and features images of animals, and human figures intricately woven onto each side of the six-paneled piece. The interior images tell the story of sacred silk, from its mysterious natural origins, to its future of lucrative trade and industry. The opening of the piece faces the rear corner of the gallery, providing visitors with a solid, tangible sense of sanctuary.

A more abstract expression of refuge would be Tom Batey’s small sculpture of deep blue glass, enclosed within a frame of clear glass shards, a metal box and a larger black wooden box entitled Glass Haven. Artist Alla Lazebnik’s oil painting Hands consists of a series of 5 rows of 3 miniature paintings depicting intimate glimpses of a woman shielding her face with her hands.

Refuge offers a warm and welcoming respite from the trials and tribulations of life with its rich renderings of homes, gardens, parks, forests, sleep, and yoga on display at SPA through June 4.

Image: Refuge Mask by Rob Millard-Mendez (front center); Glass Haven by Tom Batey (on right); Devil's Den Series by Phil Whitman (on left)