April Exchange Gallery Featured Artists
opening reception: April 1st, 6-10pm
I am fascinated with the idea of stacking images in my work. I layer one image on another just as meaning and understanding is often revealed in layers. I follow the contemporary practice of mixing mediums. Collage and printmaking often enrich the layers. As subject matter, I remain intrigued with figurative pieces that address contemporary issues. Much of my work is about the role of females in our society and others, especially China.
My work has been described as a mosaic of images. It uses mixed media, memories, and messages. They are meant to provoke thought.
When I am expressing ideas about females, I often use textiles as well as domestic and decorative patterns.
My work is also a conscious reaction to the prevailing trend of the non-aesthetic or anti aesthetic that permeates much of contemporary art. I make no apologies for being decorative in my work.
As an art form, hand beading goes back for centuries to the cultures of Asia, Egypt, India, Russia, Native Americans and the Victorian era–to name just a few–when the art of hand beading was most prominent. Eric Ennis, a bead artist in Raleigh, North Carolina, brings this art form back to life again by painting with beads. After a long career as an ornate dress designer, he has established a reputation as a beading artist. Each bead is sewn by hand, one bead at a time, forming unique pieces of art. Only crystal and glass beads, never plastic, are used on the selected fabric.
His work has drawn in customers from around the world as well as attention from Our State Magazine, The Tar Heel Traveler, WRAL Television Station, and a full page article in the News and Observer.
Elizabeth Laul Healey
I paint with bright vibrant colors about topics that are often considered dark, or perhaps even too taboo to talk about. I paint portraits of women surrounded by complex emotions & subject matter such as human rights, women's rights, race, equality, politics & mental illness. I also create work about how the art world & pop culture world affects us all, even those who think they are adverse to their power. My work is often iconic and easily recognizable by my unique style of outlining my subjects both literally and figuratively. The best way for me to bring up atopic that is important to me such as race or equality without offending people is for them to decipher my work on their own so they can be the judge of what they think is moral or not. I want my work to be provocative and I'd rather someone have a viseral reaction to my work and at least remember it, than to confuse it with some other great artist they are indifferent to.
Can we successfully analyze everything in our world? Will we know something completely if we record and measure every quality? Or are there important characteristics that are beyond measurement? To understand how the world works, we try to measure everything. Is it even possible to know what data should be collected when trying to define something that is as abstract as a thought or a feeling or an individual?
Compositionally my work is inspired by the visual language of graphs, charts and writing. When I plan and lay out my work, I incorporate grids, consider margins, and arrange elements in rows or columns to represent the structure we impose on the world as we try to measure and understand it. I replace the words, numbers, and data of the structure with shapes and patterns to redirect the focus away from the data but toward the way data is presented. The materials I choose and the textures I create, represent those unclear characteristics that cannot be defined or quantified. They spread over the entire surface revealing the presence of these non quantifiables everywhere.
Because in today’s world everything and everyone is subject to this probing examination, it is possible that qualities that connect with you are visible throughout these compositions. Are you an odd shape rising from the surface as texture, or are you the measurements from which other elements can grow? Do you stand on the grid where the data predicts you should be or do you contradict that assumption?
I, DJ, artist and operator of ArtZjewels, design one of a kind wearable art that reflects individual personality. My pieces contain elements of color, style, beauty and adventure which are solidly constructed of mostly buttons.
Allow me to describe one. This piece was designed for a little girl named Lily. Lily loves boots, hats, flowers, cupcakes and ice cream and her necklace bouquet contains all these elements. She is also affectionately called “Lily Bug” by her family so of course there are lady bug buttons. The title of this necklace is “It’s My Party, Cowboy!”. This necklace tells the story of how Lily puts on her cowgirl boots and hat, takes Teddy by the hand and off to the rodeo they go. Then tomorrow Teddy will go on his on adventure with his lady bug friends; maybe even have a cupcake party!
Another piece with a cameo, vintage buttons and splashes of color scattered about, might lead the viewer on a garden stroll with a Victorian lady in a sweeping sun dress. Talk is quiet, laughter soft, as they meander about though the shafts of warm sunshine peeping between the canopies above.
Each design is a statement piece and fun to wear. As an accessory, they make any outfit POP!