August 1-October 25
The exhibit features evocative and atmospheric works by noted landscape artists Jean Blackburn, Deborah Brown, Heidi Edwards, Joyce Ely-Walker, Michele Harvey, Nancy Hellebrand, Susan Klein, Andrew Kuziak and William Nichols.
(Sarasota, FL) Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art gallery presents “Drawn From Nature,” featuring works by Jean Blackburn, Deborah Brown, Heidi Edwards, Joyce Ely-Walker, Michele Harvey, Nancy Hellebrand, Susan Klein, Andrew Kuziak and William Nichols, August 1-October 25. The gallery is at 1288 N. Palm Ave., in Sarasota. For more information about this exhibit, call 941-366-2454 or visit www.allyngallup.com.
A third-generation Florida native, Jean Blackburn is a painter, printmaker, photographer and naturalist who grew up on Anna Maria Island. She holds an MFA from the University of Oregon, a BA from the University of Florida, an AS in Biological Parks Technology from State College of Florida, Gainesville. Blackburn held teaching positions at Ringling College of Art and Design, University of Oregon and State College of Florida. Her art celebrates nature and the joys of human life and ranges from photorealist vignettes of the fractal intricacies of water to magical realist visions of a childhood in the relatively unspoiled Sunshine State. For more information, visit www.jeanblackburn.com.
Heidi Edwards’ works reveal a preoccupation with the profusion of color and form within the vastness of Florida’s flat topography. Edwards says that in the 40 years that she’s been painting landscapes, she never tires of the inspiration they provide. “I strive to portray the essence of these places through color and convey a mood that elevates the spirit of my viewers, much the same as these sustain and inspire me,” she says. For more information, visit www.heidiedwards.com.
Joyce Ely Walker lives and works in Palmetto. She received her B.S. degree in art education from Florida State University and continued graduate studies at the University of South Florida, Maryland Institute College of Art, and Rhode Island School of Design. Her work is included in the permanent collections of Poynter Institute for Media Studies, the Tampa Museum of Art, Merrill Lynch Corporation, St. Petersburg College, the State College of Florida, Rollins College, and the Pinellas County Center for the Arts. Residencies and fellowships, including Alfred Summer Place, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, and the Brush Creek Arts Foundation have provided a great variety of landscapes for this plein air painter to explore. “Each portfolio is unique in terms of media and scale,” says Ely Walker. “After visiting a place over and over, I respond to the scents, sounds and climate. The paintings and drawings are expressions of essential elements of each place.” For more information, visit www.joyceelywalker.com.
Michele Harvey has been hailed as one of the great new painters of the American landscape. Her work has been featured in Architectural Digest and chosen to grace some of the nation’s most important corporate collections. This acclaim is well-deserved; her technique in oils is superb, her romantic style haunting. The artist, who is from upper New York State, paints the tree-filled landscapes she has known from childhood, imbuing them with a nostalgic, dreamlike quality that renders them extraordinary. Harvey’s use of a muted, fairly restricted palette creates works of great subtlety, whether she is depicting trees heavy with the full leaf of summer or standing leafless and snowbound in the thrall of winter. Often, her landscapes are shrouded in mist. It is a testament to the artist’s consummate skill that light seems to emanate from her canvases. She notes that art never fully captures the ineffable quality of nature—and that’s precisely what makes it so captivating. “The best art is not passive,” says Harvey. “It’s an invitation for viewers to bring their own feeling, understanding and experience to the process, becoming one with it. This commingling breathes new life into an otherwise lifeless creation and assures its continuance. Art becomes shared experience or awareness looking at itself, from another of its infinite perspectives.” Harvey recently exhibited a series of works entitled, “Watermark: Michele Harvey & Gilmmerglass,” at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, NY. For more information, visit www.micheleharvey.com.
Nancy Hellebrand’s nature photographs have been exhibited internationally in museums and galleries since 1973. “Nature is full and rich without my taking pictures of it,” says the Sarasota-based artist. “Yet I’ve come to see trees, rocks, clouds and streams as raw material with which to see something new.” Her photography captures subtle correspondences and repeated patterns in the images of natural forms. Hellebrand accomplishes this with a range of old-school and cutting-edge techniques, from multiple exposure to digital manipulation, an media-savvy, eclectic approach capturing nature’s grandeur far better than traditionalism ever could. Hellebrand’s photographs are in public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Museum of the City of London, Princeton University Art Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, and Philadelphia Museum of Art. At the National Portrait Gallery, she had a solo exhibition where she was the first American artist and the first living woman to exhibit. Awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She taught photography at Yale University, Parsons The New School for Design, University of the Arts, and Bucks County Community College. Hellebrand’s work was featured last year at the James A Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, in the exhibition, “Learning to See.” For more information, visit www.nancyhellebrand.com.
The Sarasota-based artist Susan J. Klein is critically celebrated for her vibrant, acrylic paintings of wild and scenic landscapes from California to Florida, with a special emphasis on the Eden-like, arboreal and riparian vistas of Myakka River State Park. Her Myakka-themed painting, “Clay Gully Creek,” Her painting, “Clay Gully Creek,” was selected to be exhibited at the American Embassy in Rome, and her painting, “Resurrection Fern” was displayed in Sofia, Bulgaria as part of the United States Department of State Art-in-Embassies program. Other of her works are included in prestigious public and private collections, nationally and internationally. Klein shares that, “Nothing makes me feel so alive, so safe, and so at peace with myself as to be surrounded by and immersed in nature. I try to share my experience of place in my art. Each landscape is special and specific to a given place and time.” For more information, visit www.susanjkleinart.com.
Other painters are satisfied with creating the illusion of space in a landscape’s two-dimensional surface. The Sarasota-based artist Andrew Kuziak won’t be happy with anything less than the fourth-dimension—the illusion of movement in time. He says that, “My object is to allow my audience to experience that movement through the painting. That movement is especially clear in my landscapes. The earth is a living earth—each landscape is an endless dance of movement and activity, blending colors, lights and shadows. I aim to capture that flowing movement by offering different points of view simultaneously. My goal is to uplift the spirit of my audience, inviting the observer to see beyond static three-dimensional space to the eternal river of time itself.” For more information about Kuziak’s work, visit www.andrewkuziak.com.
Bill Nichols says that as a young painter, “I saw the landscape for its potential as both a conveyor of visual beauty and a messenger of meaningful experience. The difficulty was defining what was special about it for me and then finding a way of orchestrating the visual vocabulary to meet what I was seeing and feeling. It’s been over 40 years that I have been working with the landscape as a subject capable of acting as a mirror to so many experiential qualities. Whether it be the sensual qualities of colors, textures, and patterns or its ability to generate feelings of silence, intimacy, or being part of the world we inhabit, it is a rich theme to work with that continues to hold sway to my interests.” He adds that he gradually came to realize that his profound interest in painting landscapes came from his years as a young boy in upper Wisconsin “and the enduring memories of hiking, fishing and exploring that I did by myself. I hope that some of those experiences of mystery, wonder and time will be shared in my work.” Nichols was honored last year by a retrospective at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio. For more information, visit www.williamnicholsfineart.com.
Allyn Gallup, founder and president of Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art, says that these artists, “invite viewers to explore the world as it is rarely seen or described. Who knows—you may never see the landscape that surrounds us in same way again.”
About Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art
Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art was established in 1991. Since the beginning, its founder, Allyn Gallup, has been committed to providing serious art to the community. Through this commitment, the gallery has earned the reputation as the leading place in southwest Florida to view contemporary art. The gallery’s collection includes paintings, sculptures, mixed-media assemblages, works on paper and prints by mid-career artists with well-established exhibition records. The gallery also occasionally showcases works by promising emerging artists. Visit www.allyngallup.com.