The three downtown art galleries and the Shircliff Gallery at the University of Vincennes will unveil a diverse set of exhibitions as part of tonight’s First Friday Art Walk.
Art Space Vincennes LLC, 521 Main St., will present “Ellipsis… Ellipses,” by Tom Dimond, who was originally scheduled to travel from his home in South Carolina in 2020 to showcase the mixed media works, but COVID-19 has closed the gallery doors.
Dimond, a retired Clemson University art professor, has been making art for over 50 years, but says it was his retirement from academia that allowed him to explore new processes and techniques.
“I wanted to do something more experimental and more personal,” he said of the collection.
The artist, who has exhibited his work in hundreds of galleries and museums across the United States, says this particular body of work was, in large part, inspired by the ellipse. . . the three dots used in a sentence to indicate an omission or incomplete thought in the writing without substantially altering the content.
“I started to think about how this might apply philosophically to the creation or visualization of art,” Dimond said.
Although he has his own take on his work, Dimond acknowledges that viewers will see something else in it, and it is this concept of leaving space for multiple readings of a text – written word or visual art – with which he was working in this collection.
That and the geometric oval shape of the ellipses.
“I had used circles. When I started using these shapes it was kind of a change, and I saw it as a change in space – if you turn a circle into space, it turns into an ellipse, ”he said. he declared.
In “Peeling,” for example, viewers could read the oval ellipses like eggs, perhaps – if studied closely – even eggs in a fragile nest.
Dimond’s work is also very textual and layered as he uses everything from watercolors and acrylic paints to monoprints and images printed on rice paper.
The artist says he even runs sandpaper over the collage towards the end of its process, removing chunks of material and, sometimes, scraping deeper cracks in some materials, like plasticine.
The painting and visual structures, including references to the Americana, are meant to create a sense of “visceral anxiety,” he says, reminiscent of abstract expressionists and pop artists of the 1950s and 1960s, while ” still reflecting the turmoil and frustrations of today. “
Art Space Vincennes co-owner and director Andrew Jendrzejewski said the gallery’s opening hours will be extended during the month of October to allow residents safe access to the exhibition.
Regular hours will be noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, Friday noon to 7 p.m. and Saturday noon to 5 p.m.
The Open Gallery, 329 Main St., will present “Squeaky Toy Variations,” by gallery co-owner Michael Mullen.
The collection – a series of photographs – is one Mullen describes as “full of symbolism,” conveyed by the clever arrangement of his vast collection of old, but still colorful, squeaky plastic toys.
“As I use limited language to explore a limited number of themes, I found it interesting to explore these questions by rearranging the language.
“So it’s not just a knock on the door, but a continuous banging on the door,” Mullen said of the job, which is meant to be fun but also provocative.
The Open Gallery will also host Irish music from the First Friday Players again this evening.
Members of the Northwest Territory Art Guild, 316 Main St., will host their annual Jury Show, with each member invited to submit up to three of their original works completed within the past three years and not previously entered into Jury Show. .
Visitors can expect to find a range of three-dimensional media, photographs, as well as two-dimensional works on paper and canvas.
The Shircliff Gallery is also reopening for the First Friday event, hosting works by Nathan Meltz titled: “It’s great, it starts with an earthquake / Birds, snakes and planes / And Lenny Bruce n is not afraid. “
The long title of Meltz’s exhibition for his collection of large screen prints and screen printed sculptures, comes from the popular 1987 REM song “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” and relates to the theme of artwork.
This collection, he says, explores the role of technology in the natural ecosystem and questions both how the artificial environment modifies the ecosystem, as well as who benefits from these changes.
All four galleries will be open for tonight’s art walk from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, people are required to wear masks inside participating galleries. Viewers are reminded that all galleries have weekday hours of operation, and the safety of seeing the work in small groups, rather than crowds, is a viable option.