Feature Articles

May 2013

New Elements Gallery in Wilmington, NC, Features Works by Fritzi Huber and Scott James

New Elements Gallery in Wilmington, NC, is presenting Not what it seems..., featuring recent works of local artists Fritzi Huber and Scott James, on view through May 18, 2013.

Both artists draw inspiration from nature, yet present more than one way of perceiving an image, offering their own distinctive interpretations. To each the process of examination and observation is a very integral part of the creative endeavor, with multiple layers of information added and subtracted before the finished work is complete. This is where the beauty and wonder of discovery takes place and the artist’s vision takes hold.

Fritzi Huber has been an active artist and arts educator, conducting workshops in hand papermaking at locations such as Arrowmont School for Arts and Crafts, Savannah College of Art and Design, the San Antonio Center for Arts and Crafts, and Pyramid Atlantic in Baltimore, MD. Her work has been exhibited around the world from Switzerland’s Musee du Pays et Val de Charney, Gruyere, Suisse to Brazil’s Bienale International de Artes. In 2011 Huber had a one person exhibition here in Wilmington at the Cameron Art Museum.

Artist grants have come Huber’s way via the North Carolina Arts Council, NEA, California Arts Council and the Kenan Institute for the Arts where she received a combined grant to enable her to become a certified International Educator through the Lincoln Center Institute. Her local public commissions include the New Hanover County Library, the Aquarium at Fort Fisher and the Wilmington Children’s Museum. Huber is an artist-in residence at Dreams of Wilmington and has been affiliated with the organization for over 13 years. In 2009 she traveled to Cochin, India to create a dedication mural for the Home of Hope orphanage located there. She is also active in the film community as a specialty prop maker.

Huber’s fascination with the interaction of water and land is the subject of her new series “Where the Water Meets the Land.” As she notes, this has always been a place of transition, and handmade paper seems an ideal medium to express this phenomenon.

“In its formation it is liquid. Once formed it always contains a percentage of water,” says Huber. “Anything floating in the vat becomes part of the sheet. Anything the new sheet comes into direct contact with during the drying process becomes part of the sheet, either in the leaving of an impression, or in being included in the final surface. Sometimes these inclusions will partially emerge as would shells in the sand, or leaves through the frost.”

Scott James was born and raised in Columbia, SC. His roots, however, are less artistic than academic. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Maryland in 2005; in 2007, he joined the Philosophy and Religion Department at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where he is currently Associate Professor of Philosophy.

James’ photography career, on the other hand, began in 2006 with a trip to New Zealand (where he was scheduled to speak at a philosophy conference). As it happened, most of his time was spent traveling the countryside in pursuit of perfect lighting rather than philosophical insight. Such a background may encourage some to see his photographs as especially fraught with philosophical significance. That, according to James, would be “a happy coincidence.”

James states, “Photography tends to encourage a kind of complacency in the viewer. We tend to assume that the camera functions as little more than a window onto the world: what we see is what is.” James uses composite photography to force a new awareness of his subject, exploiting this complacency most viewers experience with classic photography. His process involves the use of traditional portraits combined with a series of foliage photos. Using digital post-processing techniques, two or three images are fused. When two or three objects occupy the same image, the mind reflexively positions these in the same represented space, but almost instantaneously the mind balks at this visual confusion, and inevitably fills in the gaps. Sometimes the artist’s choice of who was fused with what is deliberate, sometimes it is not.

Now celebrating 28 years in downtown Wilmington, New Elements Gallery is located on Princess Street.

For further information check our NC Commercial Gallery listings, call the gallery at 910/343-8997 or visit (www.newelementsgallery.com).

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