Monday, April 8, 2013

Amazing Wire and Screen Sculptures

R.H. Ballard Gallery's next art exhibition is exciting, unique work from artist Janet Brome, April 20 - May 12, 2013, with an Artist's Opening Reception on Saturday, April 20, 4:30-7:00pm. Rappahannock Cellars wine and light fare will be served.

Janet's show is comprised of amazing wire and screen sculptures and masks inspired by nature and wildlife. Her subject matter is wide-ranging - from undersea creatures to shamans and condors.The dramatic wire sculpture above is called "Unfolding", and is comprised of stainless and steel screen,  wire, on a painted panel.

Here is the artist's own words about the creation of this exhibit:

"As I thought about what I wanted to make for this show, the idea of masks popped into my head. I began working on my first mask, the Ram. 

There were parts I made for this piece that didn’t quite work, but held promise for another sculpture. I had made a sunburst shape to put behind his head, but it took away from the drama of the horns. However, as I played with that shape, the Scallop sculpture emerged.  This seems to be my modus operandi when creating a body of work. I need a starting point... an idea to explore, but I prefer not to be locked in to that idea as I work over a period of months.

I did want this show to represent the variety of sculptures I make at this point in my career. Thus there are abstract pieces, animal representations, a wire drawing, mobiles and works that are made as much with the shadows in mind as with the actual shapes that cast those shadows. These pieces vary depending upon the lighting, giving them a life of their own. 

I go into my studio to play. I want to see what the screen suggests, to explore its transparency, the moiré patterns it can make, the shadows it creates and the effects of various lighting set-ups. Of course, as in any endeavor, it is not all play. The making of these sculptures involves many tedious hours twisting little wires to connect screen shapes. I have tiny scars on my hands and arms for weeks after working on them. The problem-solving involved in figuring out how to create and connect the shapes that will result in a particular animal is a challenge, but one I enjoy. 

My work is the result of both intuitive, right-brained activity and figuring out mechanical solutions to realize the vision I have in mind. Some art critic could probably come up with philosophical musings and historical references to explain my art. As for me, I just do what comes naturally."

Janet grew up in San Diego. She majored in art in college and served in the Peace Corps in Bolivia. She then earned a Master of Teaching degree and worked in arts education.

In 1978 she became a mother and a potter. Her animal pots were sold in craft galleries throughout the country. She exhibited her pottery at the American Crafts Council Show in Baltimore. After 10 years as a potter, Janet returned to the field of education as a Gifted and Talented Resource Teacher. 

She has devoted full time to her artwork since the summer of 2000.  She has studied at the Maryland College of Art and Design, The Corcoran College of Art, The Art League in Virginia, and with Linda Benglis at Anderson Ranch.  She has been awarded several grants to continue her studies in art;one from the Front Royal Women's Resource Center, and one from the Marion Park Lewis Foundation for the Arts.  Janet has taught art at Lord Fairfax Community College, the regional Governor's School for the Arts, and regularly conducts workshops in the region.

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