Feature Articles

April 2013

Durham Arts Council in Durham, NC, Offers Several New Exhibits

The Durham Arts Council in Durham, NC, is presenting several exhibits including: Jeanne Heifetz: The Geometry of Hope, on view in the Allenton Gallery, through May 5, 2013; Resolving the Disquiet, featuring works by Jan-Ru Wan, Jody Cassell, Megan Bostic and Samantha Pell, on view in the Semans Gallery, through May 5, 2013; and Sauda Zahra: With These Hands: Quilting as a Spiritual Odyssey, on view in the Ella Fountain Pratt Legacy Gallery, through July 14, 2013.

The Geometry of Hope, by Brooklyn-based artist Jeanne Heifetz, is a series of works that pay tribute to a group of postwar Latin American artists whose art was shown together under the same title. Heifetz’s art is particularly inspired by Gego’s Drawing without Paper, a work which used wire constructions to “draw” images on the wall. Heifetz’s work is composed of delicate strands of glass which cast shadows that “reduce the work’s surface image to pure line.” Her process derives from traditional textile practice reinterpreted with industrial materials including stainless steel, glass, and wire. She is additionally inspired by scenes of random geometry: cultivated agricultural fields, Korean bojaji cloth, the cracked-ice motif of traditional Chinese woodwork, and the natural geometry of soap bubbles and mineral formations.

Heifetz states: “Although I establish geometric rules for each piece, within those rules each piece is an improvisation, starting with a single line of glass and building outward, never sketched in advance. The process of constructing the work, line by line, stands in for the perennial human search – whether a child’s inquiry or formal scientific investigation -- for comprehensible pattern in the natural world.”

Resolving the Disquiet is a group installation show centered on the themes of grief and loss. Together Jan Ru-Wan (DAC Emerging Artists Program, 2000-2001), Jody Cassell (DAC Emerging Artists Program 2010-2011), Samantha Bostic, and Megan Pell hope to confront their emotions and to resolve the disquiet within themselves in the wake of their losses.

The inspiration for this group show began four years ago when visual artist Jan-Ru Wan lost her beloved grandmother and her father the following year. Immersed in grief, she started using her art to understand the losses and to work through them. During this initial period of creation, Wan found herself in discussions with two graduate students and artists, Megan Bostic and Samantha Pell. Both were dealing with the aftermath of losing their mothers, and like Wan, were using their art to work through their grief. The idea for this exhibition started to form and further materialized last year when Jody Cassell, a dancing storyteller, joined their grieving community after losing her father.

Sauda Zahra is a Triangle-area quilter who received an Emerging Artist Grant from the Durham Arts Council in 2007. With These Hands: Quilting as a Spiritual Odyssey showcases artwork that stitches together a spiritual and meditative narrative for the artist, who uses quilting as a vehicle to express matters of the heart, mind, body and spirit. The artist seeks to explore her creative process and experience a more intimate relationship with her artwork. With These Hands is the beginning of a new path of the artist’s evolving journey as a fiber artist. Zahra’s work can be seen in the Ella Fountain Pratt Legacy Gallery, which features alumni artists of the Emerging Artists Grant Program.

The Durham Arts Council is a private nonprofit dedicated to supporting the arts in Durham and the entire Triangle Region in North Carolina and has served the community since 1954. Each year DAC serves over 300,000 visitors and program participants, over 600 artists, and more than 60 arts organizations through classes, artist residencies, exhibits, festivals, grants programs, technical support, arts advocacy and information services. By supporting the Durham Arts Council, you help DAC fulfill its mission of promoting excellence in and access to the creation, experience and active support of the arts for all the people of our community.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Council at 919/560-2787 or visit (www.durhamarts.org).

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