Voices of the Delta: Kevin O’Brien

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Beacon Content, Delta 61, Delta 61, Delta Exhibition, Exhibitions, Museum, Voices of the Delta

Kevin O’Brien, Pat Painting, 2019, oil on canvas, 11 x 14 x 2 inches

I view many of my paintings as intimate depictions of interiors with lush paint handling. Many of my favorite painters are Fairfield Porter, Richard Diebenkorn, Calvin “Cal” Schenkel, Wayne Thiebaud, Willem de Kooning and Philip Guston. 

– Kevin O’Brien

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Voices of the Delta: Laura Terry

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Beacon Content, Delta 61, Delta 61, Delta Exhibition, Exhibitions, Museum, Voices of the Delta

Laura Terry, A Book of Maps, 2018, monoprint collage with graphite and hand-stitching, 24 x 36 inches

My paintings idealize the landscape. I am not interested in the picturesque. I am interested in the patterns of nature, of seasons, and of human intervention. The landscapes I paint are a result of how those patterns shape the world I live in. Dualities are inherent in these cycles: dark and light, chaos and order, organic and synthetic. These dualities provide balance in my work. They shift the pendulum of my view near and distant, detailed and blurred. My eyes are cameras with lenses both microscopic and wide-angled. I record the landscape observant of these opposites. I paint, draw and print to measure the differences in the landscape. Each mark tells a different story of the same landscape. The landscape reveals another narrative I intend to capture.

– Laura Terry

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Voices of the Delta: Sherry Leedy

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Delta 61, Delta 61, Delta Exhibition, Exhibitions, Museum, Voices of the Delta

Sherry Leedy, Tilt, 2017, soft pastel on paper, 30 x 34 inches

My still life drawings are based on direct observation. I am interested in what is discovered and revealed during the process of slow looking and response over a long period of time, as the drawing evolves, creating itself, slowly, one mark at a time.

My intention is to convey my deeply felt connection to the world, beauty and life that is all around us. Seeing and feeling, observation, ideas, friendship, nature and day-to-day interactions inspire and sustain my art practice.

The tradition of Vanitas and the symbolic meaning of objects has a long and rich history in art, one with which I feel connected. The possibility that subject matter carries iconic meaning, in addition to visual power as form, pattern, color, light, and line, provokes and keeps me in the studio late at night.

Equally compelling is the pure visual challenge of seeing and striving to translate experience into a drawing that has a life of its own. Some of the objects that I draw have a personal significance. Other times, the chance meeting of unlikely objects catches me. There is a power in these artifacts of the recent past, in their human familiarity and strangeness.

Always, the work is about the relationship between form, light, color and space, often independent of any other meaning known to me. The stuff of the still life – apples and oranges, green glass and blue, mirrors and glass funnels – are activated by light and seem as though actors on stage in a familiar yet unknown performance.

Making mark after mark of pastel as soft as butter, I strive to make visible the everyday, unseen and overlooked, as I continue to explore my place in the world.

– Sherry Leedy

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Voices of the Delta: Scinthya Edwards

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Beacon Content, Delta 61, Delta 61, Delta Exhibition, Exhibitions, Museum, Voices of the Delta

Scinthya Edwards, Birds of a Feather…, 2019, diptych, paper collage on canvas, 20 x 32 inches

I believe it is true that you never forget your first time. It was a scrap book project in my middle school civics class that I was introduced to the creative process which allowed me to tell a story by simply collecting, cutting, pasting and using word calligraphy on a page I designed. This scrap book activity informed the collage methods and experience I use in my current journal books as well as art works which are often filled with numerous clippings and objects from my travels and life adventures.

Iconography, as a branch of art history, interests me as I study various types of traditional icon images, African symbols and Asian calligraphy to determine their use for my own personal interpretations of content and subjects. For Birds of a Feather… I apply both calligraphy and symbol drawings as a base foundation creating juxtaposed layering of pencil and marker mingled with a large cutout image of a 1908 Print selected from my personal collection titled “Black Birds” displaying black children sitting in a tree. Additional round, geometric-shaped images of eggs, birds and people surround and balance this tree of children. Stamps trail and dart over the entire canvas to help introduce and support a theme. The overall color of the canvas is determined by the images that are collaged.

One of the most significant aspects of my collage processes is the longevity or archival breadth of each art work which is anchored in a patient application of adhesive techniques to achieve a flat surface. Because I approach my work much similar to constructing and completing a puzzle, I am comfortable with the beginning and assemblage of my collage art work. However, the final question is when do I know to end or simply stop working on this art piece? 

This is an answer and approach I relied on as I meandered though my concept and dialogue that I used to create Birds of the Feather…  I finished this collage like eating a bowl of pot licker with a chunk of cornbread. I sopped the juice until the bread was gone then I stopped and drank the remaining juice. 

– Scinthya Edwards

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Voices of the Delta: Heather Christine Guenard

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Beacon Content, Delta 61, Delta 61, Delta Exhibition, Exhibitions, Museum, Voices of the Delta

Heather Christine Guenard, LV-426, 2018, collagraph plate & print, 27 1/8 x 33 1/4 x 3/4 inches

I am a process artist whose reward is the journey. My media of choice is printmaking, specifically collagraphs, created by the manipulation of matboard, trash, found objects, with the addition of a variety of acrylic paint and varnishes. Led by the unconscious and accidental texture, each composition is an exploration and celebration of texture and mark-making. I fell in love with this style of collagraph printmaking as each step is part of an ever expanding work of multiple layers and possibilities, from the development of the plate that becomes its own work of art, to the use of intaglio printmaking techniques where the textures within the plate are finally revealed through printing, and often further developed with the addition of mixed media.

I am greatly influenced by the grattage method created by surrealist Max Ernst, the biomorphic works of H.R. Giger, the action painting of Jackson Pollock, and the collagraph work of Peter Wray and Judy Collins.

– Heather Christine Guenard

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Voices of the Delta: Michael Warrick

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Beacon Content, Delta 61, Delta 61, Delta Exhibition, Exhibitions, Museum, Uncategorized, Voices of the Delta

Michael Warrick, Youth, 2017, bronze, cor-ten, 82 x 17 x 17 inches

Youth is number two in edition of five. The creation of this piece grew out my interest in creating a sculpture that portrays someone who is still growing and maturing. Its design approach is that of a wild Arkansas vine growing and developing as a young woman.  Nestled in the upper left side of the figure is the soul of the work – a small cast bronze songbird that has 23 karat gold leaf on the surface.

This work was developed through a basic drawing and then translated to a computer drawing using the 3-D Rhino computer program. From there the work was further developed into a more complex vine-oriented figure that could be 3-D printed in numerous sizes. The first 3-D print of the figure was at a small scale of 7 inches. When I saw the figure realized in this scale, I had a strong desire to have it scaled up to life-size. During the summer of 2017 I was able to secure funding for the life size 3-D print that would be in five pieces. These 3-D prints are created from a PLA plastic known as polylactic acid which is a biodegradable plastic that is derived from corn starch. Once printed the pieces were coated with a thin layer of sculpting wax and invested in a plaster and sand mold. From there the mold forms were put into a kiln and fired at 1000 degrees Fahrenheit for five days and then removed to have molten bronze poured into the cavity of the molds. Once the molds were cooled, the five pieces were cleaned, assembled, sanded, sandblasted, colored, gold leafed and placed on the cor-ten steel base.

– Michael Warrick

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Voices of the Delta: Mabry Turner

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Delta 61, Delta 61, Delta Exhibition, Exhibitions, Museum, Voices of the Delta

Mabry Turner, American Made: Greed, Lust, & Lost Love, 2018, oil, oak bark mosaic, moss, lichen, carved wood, beans, wasp nest, money on plywood, 74 x 32 x 5 inches, Grand Award

I describe my art as Contemporary Surrealism, readily identifiable images in thought-provoking contexts. I paint stories. My pieces often elicit a smile, for passionate as I am about subject matter, much of my art is whimsical, reflecting an irreverent sense of humor.

My current work, life-size cutouts called “Elementals,” explores the human condition. Certain constants, universal commonalities of environment and character (good and bad) determine man’s behavior. Using natural materials and familiar objects I try to portray the complex ideas and emotions, traits and flaws, that make us who we are.

– Mabry Turner

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