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November Issue 2003

Artspace in Raleigh, NC, Features Biennial Juried Exhibition

Artspace in Raleigh, NC, will present, Forecast, New Art for a New Era, in Gallery 1, featuring works by Paris Alexander, Anya Belkina and Wendy Savage. The exhibition juried by Dr. Larry Wheeler, Director of the North Carolina Museum of Art will be on view from Nov. 22 through Jan. 10, 2004.

Every two years, Artspace presents an exhibition of works by three Artspace member artists whose work has been selected by a prominent juror through a competitive jury process. This year's juror was Dr. Larry Wheeler, Director of the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC. Dr. Wheeler first reviewed all of the submitted slides, and from those slides selected the artists who would receive studio visits. From the studio visits, he selected the following three artists to exhibit this year: Paris Alexander, stone and plaster, Anya Belkina, charcoal and oil paints, and Wendy Savage, digital photography.

Paris Alexander creates sculptures that for the most part, are memorials, not to the extraordinary, but rather, for the unsung poets, the dreamers, and the martyrs, forgotten. Regardless of the media chosen, Alexander always focuses on the central commonality among all - the human form.

Alexander is a self-taught artist, born and raised in New York City. He moved to Raleigh ten years ago and has shown extensively throughout the state, including solo exhibitions at the Museum of World Cultures, UNC-Wilmington, Duke University, and the Fayetteville Museum of Art. Alexander has also shown in numerous commerical galleries, including: 21st Century Gallery, an affiliate of the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, in Williamsburg, VA; Somerhill Gallery, Chapel Hill; The Center of the Earth Gallery, Charlotte; Raleigh Contemporary Gallery, Raleigh and the Broadway Gallery, Alexandria, VA. He has frequently participated in juried and invitational group exhibitions and has received a number of awards. His public commissions can be found in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, and Granite Falls, NC. Alexander has taught anatomy and sculpture classes at the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Durham Arts Council, and Artspace.

Anya Belkina's ongoing series of monochromatic paintings explores various literal and metaphorical permutations of the tree. Together, the stark, sublimely vertical compositions form a copse of striking images, a grove of insights into the precarious state of human affairs. Here, the tree, "an archetypal image of life, of soul," undergoes a series of transfigurations that are both elegant and alarmist, some grim with foresight, some resonant with hope. The series' strong cautionary undercurrent touches on issues of deforestation, technological dependence, reckless consumerism and spiritual longing, while at the same time reminds us that its never too late to summon beauty and balance back into our lives.

Born in Russia, Belkina studied the disciplines of drawing, painting and design at the Moscow Art Institute In Memory of 1905. She received her BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA in Visual Arts from the University of California at San Diego. Her paintings are held in private and corporate collections throughout the United States. Belkina presently teaches drawing and design at Duke University. She is a member of College Art Association, Southeastern College Art Conference, Society of Children's Writers and Illustrators, and Artspace Artists Association. Belkina is represented by the City Art Gallery in Columbia, SC.

Wendy Savage digitally collages original photographs of artifacts, bones, and earth and water elements. The work is an extension of Savage's ongoing interests in cosmology, astronomy, life science, and nature. Each work is intended to express life's energy, movement, and growth. Savage is continually inspired by information about the Big Bang and the illuminating scientific discoveries explaining the origins of the Universe. This has been a compelling vantage point from which to work through her ideas about space and time. Savage poses thoughts and questions about our evolution by creating environments that mix human figures with bones of animals, connecting all matter and life within our vast and infinite Universe.

Savage holds a BA in Visual Arts from Florida Sate University 1982, and is presently working towards an MFA in Visual Arts from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. She owns and operates a photography and design studio working predominantly in portraiture, fine art photography, digital illustrations, photo-retouching, and graphic design. She is a visiting artist instructor teaching digital imaging workshops at Meredith College Art Department, Raleigh, NC. Since 1984, Savage has been employed as a medical photographer and digital imager at NC State College of Veterinary Medicine. Her work has been published in Double Exposure on-line magazine, Photoshop User Magazine and Digital Imaging Magazine. Savage is featured in an on-line exhibit at Photoworkshop.com. Her work is part of the permanent collection at The Gallery of Art and Design at NC State University. Her digital imagery has won several awards and she is a member of the Professional Photographers of America, The National Association of Photoshop Professionals, Photoworkshop.com, Artspace Artists Association, and the Durham Art Guild.

Exhibition juror, Dr. Lawrence J. Wheeler, was named director of the North Carolina Museum of Art in Oct. 1994. Since then, the Museum has become one of the most popular and dynamic centers for the visual and performing arts in the Southeast. During his tenure, Wheeler has greatly enhanced the Museum's collection of contemporary art while continuing to build on its renowned collection of European old master paintings. Wheeler ushered in the "era of the blockbuster shows" at the Museum with the record-breaking Rodin: Sculpture from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collection in 2000. The Rodin exhibition, which attracted over 300,000 people to the Museum, was the cornerstone of Festival Rodin, another of Wheeler's initiatives, which became the largest marketing effort for the arts in the history of North Carolina. In Dec. 2000, Wheeler was named Tar Heel of the Year by the Raleigh News and Observer, which called him "the godfather of the Triangle's cultural boom" and cited his skill at melding "arts, politics and commerce into a powerful new cultural force."

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the center at 919/821.2787 or on the web at (www.artspacenc.org).

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