Each month, the Creative Gateways studios chooses a theme to inspire our work and act as a focus for our first Friday exhibition. Here is what’s coming up in April…
Life in all things
“Art for me is like breathing.” – Yoko Ono
The essence of life, in one way or another, is important to everyone. Life has existed before us and will exist after us. There is not a moment of the day when it does not flow through our bodies, minds, and spirits. We are reminded of its presence when we take in the beauty of nature, and are reminded of its fragility when we lose those close to us.
Artists constantly draw on the concept of life when creating their works. Some do so by expressing it directly in their pieces, while others are simply motivated by it. Birth, nature, history, and even death are just some of the themes drawn from the dauntingly large idea of life. But whatever the motivation, and whatever the outlet, artists try to embrace energy and avoid stagnation.
Meanings of Life
Illustrator Laura Hines and ceramic artist Sumati Colpitts bring life to their animal-based work through very similar techniques, despite their very different mediums. Posture and stance are incredibly important to both – neither are content with overly passive animals. Laura’s watercolor “Slender Loris” extends its hand out to you, while Sumati’s “Caped Mouse” looks up at you with a smile. Laura’s “Aye Aye” captures your attention, while Sumati’s “Black Bear” gives you the friendliest of waves. Equally important is an easily overlooked component: the eyes. It is this that gives the subject of an illustration or sculpture the ability to exist with the viewer, and thereby take on a true depth of life.
New life is also breathed into the Creative Gateways gallery in the form of our newest resident artist Gerry Quotskuyva. “Everyone at Creative Gateways is very excited to have Gerry join our family,” says Gallery Director Angela Palmer. “His experience, talent, and perspective are an invaluable addition and help accentuate the creative atmosphere we strive for.” Gerry, who lives and works in Rimrock, AZ, is a Hopi Tribesman of the Bear Strap Clan from the Second Mesa Village of Shungopavi, and grew up near the Hopi reservation just outside of Flagstaff, Arizona. Gerry’s Hopi katsinam/kachina dolls, which he has been creating since 1994, fit perfectly with the theme of breathing life into art. Katsinas are essentially the life spirit of everything in the world, something that informs Gerry’s work from the earliest stages. He starts with a block of cottonwood root not only for its technical convenience, but because the roots grow deep into the ground, signifying their connection to water. He carves the root into a doll, using various tools, eventually creating a beautiful piece that shows great attention to detail and a unique interpretation of traditional Hopi symbolism. “I try to bring the old together with the new,” he tells us, “to show the continuing circle of life.”
Join us at the Creative Gateways gallery as we celebrate the energy of life that is so vital for all of our artists, at the opening reception of “Breathing Life Into Art: First Friday Exhibition,” Friday, April 6th, from 5-8pm. Browse the gallery, meet the artists, and enjoy small bites and wine.