Feature Articles

June 2013

Waterworks Visual Arts Center in Salisbury, NC, Offers New Exhibits

The summer exhibition at Waterworks Visual Arts Center in Salisbury, NC, is Memory – Nature and Nurture, which brings together four female artists who examine the function and meaning of memory and its role in nature and nurture in shaping cultural norms for women. Through vastly different life experiences, creative process and inspiration are highlighted in a woman’s life through visual representation in various mediums. The exhibition is a feminine and delicate blend of memory and imagination. The exhibition will continue through Sept. 7, 2013.

Diana Greene (Winston-Salem, NC) is a multimedia artist who explores identity and story with a vivid eye, a curious mind, and an open heart. Her series begins with a question that opens the door to investigation. The answers arrive in many forms that blend together what’s written, recorded, captured, constructed, and found.

This exhibit was first envisioned when Greene discovered over a year ago that she unintentionally collects dresses. She asked herself why she kept the variety of dresses, and the exhibit seeks to answer that question. Dresses can be a touchstone or even a talisman for memory which inspired her to create her series and performance piece. It is part creative memoir, part dreamscape.

A Dozen Dresses: The ReCollection is a beautiful photographic narrative featuring photographs of different dresses from various stages of Greene’s life that she kept stored in an attic. “This series is unsentimental. A Dozen Dresses explores the theme of fashion as personality, clothes as symbols, dresses as conduits for dreams and mistakes, identity and loss. Clothes change you, please you, pull you down, sex you up or hide you. They are a force. This is my belief anyway, and surely a big reason I’ve kept more than a dozen dresses safely stored away all these years.”

Greene’s special performance piece, based on the photographs, will be shown in the Norvell Theatre on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013 (time to be determined). The show is moving, funny, and visually rich with images, video, and music.

Greene’s photographs have been exhibited at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (Winston-Salem), The Light Factory (Charlotte, NC), PhotoSPIVA, university and commercial galleries, and public libraries. She has earned numerous awards and fellowships, including the Weir Farm artist in residency fellowship and residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. In 2011, the University of Melbourne added several of her works to its permanent collection.

Greene works as a visiting artist in the schools, teaching students narrative writing and photography. She’s been awarded teaching grants from the Arts Councils of Arizona, NC, and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Arizona State University. She writes short stories, NPR commentaries, documentaries, and articles about art and artists.

Allison Luce (Mooresville, NC) is an artist and art historian whose work in ceramics, printmaking and sculpture has helped to define a new movement of contemporary artists. Working primarily in ceramics, her work is based upon the notion of the human body being a shelter for the soul.

Luce’s current body of work titled Primoris Ortus explores concerns about fragility and femininity and its relation to the concept of eternity. The idea comes from the story of the Garden of Eden and explores issues regarding the frailty of the body and the fallibility of man. From afar, her pieces seem to be beautiful flowers of different shapes and colors intertwined with each other, but on closer inspection, the intricate details and flowers begin to look more like snakes and vines. Using clay as a metaphor for the body, she creates hollow structures that are symbolic of the body and soul.

“These sculptures are about birth, growth and temptation,” says Luce. “It is this play between innocence and experience that forms the basis of my work. My life has been rooted in family issues and household concerns. These experiences are what shape my art making as I call into question embedded attitudes, opinions and beliefs regarding the value of woman’s work, the messages and myths regarding family, as well as how longing and nostalgia influence our memory.”

Luce graduated with dual BFA degrees in Painting and Art History from Ohio University, and holds her MFA from Hunter College, City University of New York. She currently lives in Charlotte, NC, where she is a studio artist and an adjunct art instructor. She has shown her work in solo and group exhibitions and her work is included in private collections.

Luce has been a resident artist at the International Ceramic Research Center in Skaelskør, Denmark, the Zentrum für Keramik-Berlin, Germany, and the Shaw International Centre for Contemporary Ceramics at the Medalta International Artists in Residence in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. She was awarded a Regional Artist Project Grant from the Arts and Science Council of Charlotte.

Kristi Ryba (John’s Island, SC) uses vintage family photographs to create paintings based on the iconography and the sacred hierarchical messages of Medieval and Renaissance altarpieces and illuminated manuscripts in her recent work, Significant Moments.

“My intention is to construct a new reality from personal memory combined with family history. Embedded attitudes, opinions and beliefs regarding the value of woman’s work, the ordinariness of daily life, the significance of memory, and the role of nature and nurture in shaping cultural norms are what interest me,” says Ryba.

Using gouache or egg tempera on vellum with gold leaf, Ryba creates her own framing. Studying the altarpiece predellas and illuminated manuscripts and infusing that manner of imagery with the photographs create the results seen in Significant Moments. The photographs used are those that document Ryba’s childhood and family life. She examines cultural roles, relationships, and common experiences such as growth, transition, and change and how the behaviors and roles we accept as natural have become embedded in our psyches and shape our identities. Religion, cultural messages, myths and iconography are combined with the imagery from the photographic collection to produce new works of art in the manner of the Medieval and Renaissance illuminations.

Ryba says, “I reconstruct a reality from a borrowed memory and combine personal memory with family history. It seems to me a special gift to use these photographs in this way. It is an honor to my parents’ memory and more importantly a way to examine and question the culture and ideals of that period of our collective history in which many of us were shaped.”

Ryba received her BA from College of Charleston, graduating Magna Cum Laude, and her MFA from Vermont College in Montpelier, VT. Her award-winning work has been widely exhibited nationally and is held in numerous private collection and corporate collections including the Medical University of South Carolina, Maryland Printmakers Society, and Southern Graphics Council.

Inspired by the people she meets, Kathy Sosa’s series of portraits titled Adornment and Identity is a celebration of women. With bold striking colors, Sosa creates powerful portraits of women portrayed in her own sense of style and color that is both traditional and modern. Her two series, Huipiles and Trees of Life are influenced by the rich cultural heritage of Mesoamerica.

The Huipiles series is inspired by the vintage textile patterns of the traditional blouses worn by the Mayan people. The women in this series are beautiful and proud in the colorful woven and embroidered huipiles against collaged fabric backgrounds.

In the Trees of Life series, Sosa reinterprets a popular Mexican folk art form, originally three-dimensional ceramic folk art forms. She interprets the Trees of Life two-dimensionally and with a contemporary edge. They depict female figures wearing elaborate headgear filled with symbols representing what the woman is thinking about at an imagined moment in time. Sosa creates a setting for each that reinforces and communicates their mood and personality. Limited edition prints of Sosa’s work have been sold in a national home decor retail chain. She has been commissioned by the Texas Conference of Women to paint design icon Martha Stewart.

Her creative work has earned numerous awards. Sosa holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in political science, both from St. Mary‚ University in San Antonio. This exhibition is organized through Katharine T. Carter & Associates.

In addition to the professional exhibitions, Waterworks will feature a selection of work in a solo exhibition from this year’s Dare to Imagine Award winner, Kaitlin Crouch. Now in its ninth year, the Dare to Imagine Award is given in recognition of the importance of art in the life of our community and to a graduating senior whose work most exemplifies the creative potential of the human spirit, heart, and hand. This $1,000 award is made possible by a gift from Susan and Edward Norvell.

Crouch is an art student of Stacey Rollins at East Rowan High School. She plans to attend Western Carolina University to study graphic design and marketing.

Waterworks Visual Arts Center is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Center at 704/636-1882 or visit (www.waterworks.org).

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