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Sarah Shriver, Earthy Circus Necklace-3 bead detail
2015, 24" overall, polymer, glass & brass spacers

Two Spring Shows Sprout Polymer Art

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Posted in Exhibitons and Shows

With the coming of spring, two new gallery shows featuring polymer art will be on view.  One show is in winter-weary Philadelphia and the other one in sunny St. Petersburg, Florida, but both will present a diverse range of new pieces.

Kathleen Dustin, Fragments Necklace, 2015, 12" x 12" with 18" neckring, polymer, oxidized sterling silver, boar bristle, 22 k gold leaf

Kathleen Dustin, Fragments Necklace, 2015,  18″ diameter, polymer, oxidized sterling silver, boar bristle, 22 k gold leaf

On April 3, Snyderman-Works Galleries in Philadelphia, PA  debuts “Wearable Objet d’Art: Alternatives in Polymer”, a solo exhibition of Kathleen Dustin’s work.  The show will highlight a selection of Dustin’s recent work including brooches, neckpieces, cuffs and handbags.  One of Dustin’s current stylistic directions unites polymer with metal.  This grouping of her jewelry offers a look of stark modernity infused with elements of texture and abstraction.  Dustin’s use of color  ranges from almost monochromatic to saturated brights.

Kathleen Dustin, Tribal Brooch with Brush, 2014, 3 1/2" diameter, polymer, horsehair

Kathleen Dustin, Tribal Brooch with Brush, 2014, 3 1/2″ diameter, polymer, horse hair

Another collection of Dustin’s pieces explores combinations of color and texture with a more tribal ethos.  These pieces bring together overlays of raised and incised patterning, slightly quirky shapes, as well as the addition of bristle and small metal accents.  A third body of work consists of handbags, which Dustin regards as another kind of personal wearable art.  Small enough to be displayed as sculpture on one’s bedroom dresser,  but large enough to hold one’s phone, key and lipstick while simultaneously making a strong artistic statement, Dustin’s handbags follow both her modernistic and more ethnic stylistic modes.  The show runs through April 25, 2015.

On April 23rd, a second show, “In Living Color” will open at the Michele Tuegel Contemporary Gallery in St. Petersburg, FL  and be on view through May 30, 2015.  This show focuses on color in art and features five distinctive polymer artists:  Lindly Haunani, Loretta Lam, Sarah Shriver, Melanie West and Karen Woods.  Each of them use color confidently to enhance their style.

Lindly Haunani, Asymmetrical Asparagus Necklace, 2014, 28" L overall, polymer, wire cable, plastic tubing, photo: Greg Staley photo

Lindly Haunani, Asymmetrical Asparagus Necklace, 2014, 28″ overall, polymer, wire cable, plastic tubing, photo: Greg Staley photo

Lindly Haunani’s artwork is all about sumptuous color as evoked through tropical island vegetation and eye pleasing food.  One of Haunani’s signatures over the years has been multitudes of pieces inspired by the archetypal springtime vegetable, asparagus.  Haunani is at her best working in luscious ombre shifts of color and highly inventive organic forms.

Loretta Lam, The Red Pod, 22"l  x 3"w  x 3/4" d, 2013, polymer, coconut shell, wood beads, covered barrel clasp, photo: Doug Yaple

Loretta Lam, The Red Pod, 22″l x 3″w x 3/4″ d, 2013, polymer, coconut shell, wood beads, covered barrel clasp,  photo: Doug Yaple

Loretta Lam  tends towards working a more subdued, earthier palette, but nevertheless, a palette saturated with rich color.  Her work plays with modern mixes of shape and patterning. An affinity for large scaled beads, as well as Lam’s talent for asymmetric balance and dramatic flair makes for bold statements in art jewelry.

Sarah Shriver, Earthy Circus Necklace, 2015, 24" overall, polymer, glass & brass spacers

Sarah Shriver, Earthy Circus Necklace, 2015, 24″ overall, polymer, glass & brass spacers

Sarah Shriver is a well-recognized master of intricate cane work.  Her mesmerizing cane patterns and related secondary variations often riff off classic design concepts or favorite paintings.  Within the complexity of her cane work Shriver maintains clarity of hue within each component, thereby creating jewelry that seduces the eye with its dance of color-coordinated rhythm and sensuously smooth finish.

Melanie West, Nidiflounder Vessel, polymer

Melanie West, Nidiflounder Vessel, polymer

Melanie West’s fascination with the microscopic world of cell structure permeates her art.  Contrasting combinations of organic patterning repeat over the entirety of a given piece.  West’s vessels and jewelry are always supple in line and suggestive of some nature inspired fantasy.  Within her realm of strange bio-forms, West frequently adds unexpected flashes of strong color, which is part of what uniquely defines her work.

Karen Woods, Vestments Series Brooch, c. 2012, 3" h x 2 1/2" w, polymer, acrylic pigment

Karen Woods, Vestments Series Brooch, c. 2012, 3″ h x 2 1/2″ w, polymer, acrylic pigment

And finally, Karen Woods’ blended compositions reference her experience with baskets and textiles.  In fusing various silk- screened “twigs” of polymer into an abstract shape, she constructs designs that seem reflective of contemporary basket forms or imaginative clothing.  Woods’ use of color tends to be subtle and explores the wide potential within a limited selection of hues.

With such a diversity of creativity and color, this pair of Spring shows ought to bloom nicely in their respective gardens.