Monday, July 13, 2015

Local Art Seen: Abstractscapes at Washington Galleries

Games magazine used to have a regular feature in which readers would have to figure out what the photos were. The photographs would be taken from an unusual angle or close up to the degree that you couldn't tell what it was, but there was color, shape and form, and just enough of a clue to unravel it. This Games zine feature came to mind as I looked at Samantha Pranger's photography at the Washington Galleries Friday night.

The joint show also featured paintings by Jonathan Thunder in the inner gallery space. Thunder's artist statement explained that his paintings are like entries in a scrapbook, conceptual snapshots of events, characters, epiphanies and dreams that have shaped his life. The paintings, executed with skill, demonstrate the artist's control of the medium, his grasp of color and attention to detail.

Ice #12
Because Prangers photos have been enlarged their impact is strong. One of the pieces featuring Lake Superior ice reminded me of how many amazing ways this lake of ours can excite the eye.

"Wooden Boy"
If I have my facts straight Jonathan Thunder came here from the Twin Cities. He also spent time in the Southwest where he studied at the American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Visual Efects and Motion Graphics from the Art Institutes International Minnesota.

"Hand Drum Solo"
While discussing one of his smaller pieces I discovered that every single element in the painting was intentional, carried meanings that are not initially evident.

One of the recurring themes in his life, and all of our lives, deals with our struggle to break away from conformity and seek out our own identity rather than being what we're programmed to be. His art is a record of his own journey on this quest.
The owl is a messanger.
Detail shows how clothlike the owl's uniform appears.
Much more here than you would initially realize.

In short, Abstractscapes is another show I recommend to friends and followers of the local arts scene. There will be a closing July 31 from 7-10 p.m.  There are also showings during the month on Fridays from 4-9 p.m. and weekends noon to 6 p.m.

Meantime, art goes on all around you. Engage it.

No comments: