The RiverArts 2017 Members’ Show, on exhibit through January 29, is a beautiful sampler of the diverse talents of our artists. Paintings, photographs, fiber art, pottery, driftwood sculpture, furniture, knitted and woven wearable art and wall hangings are all arranged in an exhibit to delight the viewer. This collection of work will lift your spirits.
There are 49 artists represented by 74 works of art. The viewer is first drawn in the gallery by The Wave, a very large, beautifully executed acrylic by Joann Scott. Just around the corner from Scott’s work, highlighting the diversity of artwork in this show is a small, delicate ink drawing, Selah, by Charlotte Lippincott. There is no theme, but in some cases a collection of works carry a theme – as in the large, nearly abstract acrylic painting, Allure, by Robyn Burckhardt sharing a wall with the small realistic photographs, Beach Abstract #1 and Beach Abstract #2, by Robert Taylor. They look as if they were always meant to be together.
The January People’s Choice Award, in which First Friday visitors vote for their favorite piece, was given to Christine O’Neill, for Wedding Day. Tied for runner-up were “Rooster,” a driftwood sculpture by Tim O’Brien, and “Samantha” a portrait by Annie Singer.
Displaying many pieces in close proximity without having strong colors dominate and overwhelm their lighter-hued neighbors is a challenge. Fortunately there are several wonderful woven and knitted pieces in addition to pottery wall hangings placed in a way that highlights each piece as well as providing a transition between paintings. For example, in the Studio Gallery, Christine Kamon’s bright, cheerful Hillside Poppies quilt pairs beautifully with the colors and the spirit of Michael Henry’s wood automata, Tiger and Sword Swallower.
A show which includes all mediums and no theme presents a special problem to the curator. How can each work be shown to its best advantage without effecting its neighbor? Surprisingly, all the entries manage to share the space in harmonious juxtaposition.
There are too many wonderful pieces to mention them all. Due to the variety and number of works, this show deserves more than one visit to the gallery to enjoy the talents of our members.