Friday, October 1, 2010

Oct. Art Show at the Gopalan

So today is the First Friday of the month, which means that the shops downtown will be open late, and the restaurants will have specials, and the art galleries and museums will be having openings.  The Swope Art Museum, for example, has a talk/presentation on the Samara House by Frank Lloyd Wright called "Wright around the House." The Halcyon Gallery is opening the works of Andrew McAleese & Anna Lee Chalos-McAleese, and Andrew Maurer.  But the one that I'm going to review today is the opening for the Gopalan Contemporary Art Gallery.  I went early, so that I could type up a post, before you all go out for the evening to enjoy the many delights of a Friday evening.  October's show at the Gopalan has two halves, the paintings and constructions of Stephanie Doty in one room, and a bunch of fiber art by Cathie Laska, Zann Carter, and John Salamone in the other.

Now I can't say much about Doty's work one way or the other.  I quite liked a piece of hers called Glacial Bay, and the piece shown in the top half of the image above was pretty cool, but a lot of it just missed my tastes, and I was there more for the fiber arts anyway.  You see Cathie and Zann are friends of mine, and my wife assures me that I've met John Salamone (ah now that I've found some web images of him, I do know him), but I just haven't seen much of their fiber art before.  And it did impress.  John Salamone had a lot of careful, restrained craft pieces.  Hand woven scarves in many patterns.  Much like the alpaca scarves woven at the White Violet Center, but with far more vibrant colors and patterns, clearly emphasizing color over texture.  Then there is Cathie Laska's work.  Perhaps the most striking were the "fleece paintings," impressionistic images of landscapes or still lifes, or even abstracts, rendered with tufts of colored fleece behind glass rather than with oil paints or weavings.  She had a nice woven piece too, but you can't have it (my wife is driving to buy it for our house while I'm typing).  Actually since we were there shortly after open on the first day of the show, a few issues of labeling and placing were being finalized and I'm not certain who did the fabulous coat in the window.  Then we get to Zann Carter's work.  Airy, chaotic and bizarre.  Light-hearted romps at the edges of plausibility.  There were shawls woven to look like colorful patchworks or tatters even though they were whole and undamaged.  Woven hats with mysterious and playful extrusions.  Magic charms and wands.  Sometimes the lines between yarn and fleece would be intentionally obscured.  In several cases, Zann's fiber art would be displayed together with poetry by Zann (you may recall she is one of the founding poets for the 3rd Thursday Poetry Asylum which I reviewed), as with the following piece, where the shawl and the poem are both entitled "Mangoes for Breakfast by the Startling Bougainvillea" .
I said before that I'll have to tell the story of Sujata Gopalan, tornadoes, and my son one of these days. Certainly her gallery, and the whole idea of an "art corridor" of several galleries and museums near each other trying to co-ordinate events, is a treasure for our community.  And we do have an awful lot of creative fiber arts types hanging about Terre Haute.  When I started this blog, I figured food would be by far the main thing I talked about, I certainly did not guess that fiber arts would be my second most common topic.  So these great local fiber artists, and the gallery that sponsors them, and even the painter in the next room, branching over into mixed media are

Just a few more reasons I'm proud of Terre Haute 

1 comment:

  1. The fabulous coat in the window (woven with knitted cuffs, button band, collar) was by the late Barb Pirtle. Barb was a fabulous fiber person and a fabulous person & she passed away earlier this year. It was Cathie's idea to honor her by including one of her pieces in the show.