Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Art Review: Ethan Azarian, Melissa Knight at Rose St co-op, Burlington

by Darby Parsons

Ethan Azarian and his wife Melissa Knight are showing simultaneously at the Rose Street Artist Gallery Co-op at 78 Rose St. in Burlington. An opening reception on Saturday October 2 included the artistic duo playing music live. Originally from Barre, Vermont Ethan Azarian and his wife, from Australia mainly reside in Austin, Texas but have kept close ties in the Vermont and Burlington community.

Ethan paints tiny wood blocks and large unstretched canvases in bright simple forms; city scapes that are very linear with a row of houses in the back slightly abstracted with a curve or slant. White Village is a large triptych of an off-white village that would disappear into the same shade of sky if it weren’t for the dark, impossibly simple lines that make the home’s roofs. Multiple wood block sets are filled with the skylines of Mexico and New York City. Many of the pieces have only been recently completed in and around Burlington. Ethan stresses his intent to get out into the community to create his art as part of his job as an artist. Melissa Knight’s fabric collages of birds, flowers and gardens hearken back to a folk craft except the brilliant colors are too vibrant and moving to speak of antiquity.

The couple pursue community as much as graphic arts and music; their home in Austin serves as a gallery and Ethan recently painted a 40ft mural in an old rail yard building near the tracks of Flynn Ave for the South End Art Hop. The small family returns to Austin at the end of October. The show will be on view at the Rose Street Gallery until then.