Watercolor and Pastel Artists at CHAW

Five Wednesday Studio artists’ works chosen for art league exhibit

The Capitol Hill Art League just opened a new exhibit, with the very timely theme, “Meltdown.”

The juror, John Coppola, chose 29 works for the show, including five submitted by Wednesday Studio members. And our own Linda Norton won honorable mention for her collage, Quarantine is Crumby.

The entire exhibit is online at this link:

The juror asked for an artist statement for submissions. I have included those in the captions below, where available.

Linda Norton: Quarantine is Crumby. Photo collage.
Carolyn Rondthaler: In a Mood. Mixed media.
Tara Hamilton: Meet the Sun. Crayon on canvas paper.
Artist statement: “This piece is literally a meltdown. I used crayons and a hair dryer on a canvas board to create this glorious sunrise. The figure and some outlines in the water were done with a black marker.”
Vince Iannacchione: Burning a Hole in the Grip of the Familiar. Watercolor on Yupo synthetic paper.
Artist statement: “We are creatures of habit. We rely on the protection of the familiar as we go about our daily activities. Although the familiar fits neatly into our preconceptions, its grip may present an illusion of stability and a false sense of comfort. By burning a hole in the grip of the familiar, the confines of convention recede, and we can view a changed world in a new light.
This “digit-al” landscape was inspired by the music of Agnes Caroline Thaarup Obel who asks: Can you walk on the water, or do you keep your eyes on the road and live in the familiar? The beach and the island in this organic scene are depicted as toes that question the firmness of the earth we stand upon. The claw-like fingers protruding from the ground represent the grip of the old normal, while the soft fingers emerging from the water reach toward a new instability. This push-pull dynamic adds to our current sense of insecurity. The soot-covered rising sun, the focus of the piece, is still recovering from the grip of the burning process. But it will eventually shine anew. It must.”
Nancy Arbuthnot: White House Meltdown. Watercolor and ink.
Artist statement: ” My ink and watercolor piece, “White House Meltdown,” is inspired by the convergence of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic and the demonstrations against the recent deaths of African Americans by law enforcement officers. It also grows from a collage technique I developed during the early spring days of the pandemic when, taking the opportunity while sheltering in place to observe the myriad birds migrating through my neighborhood, I began to create realistic ink and watercolor depictions of individual birds which I then glued onto more abstract backgrounds. As my project with birds expanded over the weeks, I began to move towards symbolism as well as abstraction. This piece, a somewhat cartoonish portrait of a melting White House, is my most symbolic (or at least most suggestive) work to date, with references to James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the Beatles’ “Blackbird,” the murder of African Americans, and the retreat of Trump to the White House bunker. 
In all my art I seek to cross borders, fusing genres, media, form and function, thought and feeling, the individual and the community. While looking back to the past by echoing themes, forms, images and techniques of artists, I also want to speak deeply to a contemporary audience, in contemporary language and forms. Recently I have discovered that the expanded form of a series of works rather than individual artworks enables me to highlight isolated moments while also conveying broader experiences. (A major project in 2018, “Postcards from the Border,” was a series of 4×6-inch watercolor sketches combined with short poems exploring issues on the Arizona/Mexico border). Works in series also offer greater opportunities for the viewer to engage with my art, a participation that is integral to my work and in fact impacts how I create. I am not certain where “White House Meltdown” will lead me in terms of a new series—but maybe that direction will be inspired by audience response!”

About wisemarian

2 comments on “Five Wednesday Studio artists’ works chosen for art league exhibit

  1. ennashields
    June 29, 2020

    Great job, everyone.

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Eileen
    June 29, 2020

    Congratulations to all. Beautiful work by everyone!


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