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WVAC artist talks, opening reception for Architecture and History

Meet-the-Artists reception Friday, Sept. 15, 6-8 p.m.

S. Lenz, In Box CCLXXVI, detail 2, large

WVAC Fall exhibition ‘Architecture and History’ — September marks the opening of three new exhibitions at Waterworks Visual Arts Center.

A Slice of History: Commemorating the LIFE and TIMES of Ben Martin

A retrospective of iconic images of world leaders, pop icons, and others, titled A Slice of History: Commemorating the LIFE and TIMES of Ben Martin, tie in with this year’s emphasis on regional history and its links to national and international events.  This exhibition pays tribute to Salisbury’s own renowned TIME/Life magazine photojournalist who passed away in February.

At age 26, Martin was hired as TIME Magazine’s first staff photographer.  His 33-year career at the magazine included groundbreaking coverage of both national and international events, including coverage of Martin Luther King’s Civil Rights March to Selma; Fidel Castro and Che Guevera; Malcolm X; Marilyn Monroe; Jack and Jacqueline Kennedy; Maria Callas and picture essays from some of the biggest news events of the 20th Century.

In Stitches

Columbia, SC based fiber and multimedia artist Susan Lenz returns to Waterworks this fall.  She will exhibit a new series of works, In Stitches, which she is creating especially for this exhibition. This body of work features large scale circular fiber pieces, of varying sizes, when hung, appear as if in conversation with one another.

Lenz received her BA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies from the Ohio State University. Her work has been exhibited nationally at a variety of venues including Arrowmont School of Crafts, Columbia Metropolitan Airport, SC, and the Greater Denton Arts Council, Denton, Texas, where she received a 2009 Juror’s Award.

Using layers of polyester velvet, metallic foiling, and recycled acrylic felt, Susan Lenz works reflects her passion for historic buildings, the colors of  stained glass windows and the eco-friendly ideals of Friedensreich Hundertwasser, a 20th c. Austrian artist and architect.  The work is the result of hand-guided, free-motion machine embroidery and melting techniques, a unique process that Susan developed herself.  Each piece builds on the last in an exploration of design motifs and stitched symbols.

For this exhibition, Lenz was challenged to create an installation of circular objects using the same basic technique as her framed artwork.  Over the past three months, Susan developed the field of celestial orbs using temporary walls at Columbia Music Festival Association.  This approach allowed Susan to stand back, consider the arrangement, determine the best hanging system, and contemplate how she might communicate the wonders of the sky.  She was inspired by the recent total solar eclipse but also the Milky Way nights experienced while at PLAYA, an art residency in the remote Oregon Outback.  This installation provided a unique opportunity to experiment with artist-grade epoxy.

Go To…Go By…

Ceramic works by Carolyn Ford in her ongoing Go To…Go By… series will be featured in the Osborne and Woodson Galleries. Ford states, “I work with clay as a cathartic response to my tangent-filled thoughts. Creating low relief carved disks acts as a form of communication. The physicality of working with clay, the risk and surprise, and flexibility of the medium are all part of the process.”

This series of carved is a form of storytelling for the artist, and expresses her wanderlust. After summer travels, she reflects on the importance of her experiences. Ford reveals, “To learn through experience surpasses all. We often are told that we must see what others call a “wonder of the world” yet I am just as impressed with culture, crafts, food, mythology, and landscape. Travel fills one with ideas as well as appreciation of home. My disks or tile works are unified by the use of the circle or tondo format: a portal, a cycle, a form, and a repeated pattern. I draw inspirations from southern traditions of storytelling as I exaggerate experiences and thoughts in works with images. This series depicts places I have been and modes of transportation. This is an unfinished series. As long as I live, I will need to see, taste, experience, and go. I will infuse all I learn in teaching my students.”

The public is invited to a Meet-the-Artists and opening reception on Friday, Sept. 15, 6-8 p.m.

Gallery hours Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 123 E. Liberty St., 704-636-1882, www.waterworks.org

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