The Ottumwa Courier

January 7, 2014

Winners of Canvas Art Exhibit announced by FAA


Ottumwa Courier

---- — FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield Art Association announces the four award winners of the current 12x12 Canvas Membership Exhibit.

Judge Ann Klingensmith selected the following artists from among a show of close to 50 participants: Dietrich Bonhoeffer Bappe for "Hatching from a Starry Egg", an entry in ink and watercolor; Mark Shafer for "Bow & Eros," an acrylic painting; Gin Lammert for "Single with Character," a work in oil; and Catherine Aalto for "First Snow," an oil.

These works will remain on display in the Main Gallery at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center through February, and all are available for purchase. In addition, the public is invited to vote for "People's Choice" until Friday. This award will get the winning artist two tickets to the Tracy Lawrence Show at the FACC.

The judge's comments about each piece are below:

Dietrich Bonhoeffer Bappe: "Hatching from a Starry Egg." The first thing that struck me about "Hatching from a Starry Egg" was the artist’s use of line as a contour to create both form and shape. The color washes help create the composition. I think that without the color washes, the piece would appear to be disconnected and more about individual thoughts. Mr. Bappe pulled the whimsy of the line and subjects together with the color. The color is muted and rather than pulling down the energy of the linear elements it allows me to focus. Well done.

Mark Shafer: "Bow and Eros." This painting, "Bow and Eros," is an intellectual puzzle of a well-known story –with well-known outcomes except this one has twists. The artist, Mark Shafer, uses the curve of the bow in the lower left corner to pull the eye directly to Cupid. Cupid is standing on the string of the bow – walking and balancing, as if on a tightwire. And indeed it is a tightwire over the sharp heads of arrows also pointing upward, directionally at Cupid. His hands cover his eyes – balanced on a string preforming a death-defying feat. If he [was] to fall on one of his own arrows — it will not be a gentle poke — it would be the end of Cupid. The lace creates an interesting background that shifts in and out of focus. On one reading, it reminds me of handmade lace and, oddly enough, the intricate engineering of a computer’s motherboard. Hard circuits — hard-wired for these kinds of games. The twist isn’t just on one level.

Gin Lammert: "Single with Character." Gin Lammert's painting "Single with Character" is a richly surfaced painting fixed atop a possible preparatory painting in reds of yet another pear. I like the physical layering of the smaller canvas on top of the 12-inch by 12-inch canvas. In a world of Photoshop layers, it is refreshing to see this. There is no blending between the two paintings but rather the bottom image serves as a foundation but also a reference to the subject of the pear. The surface of the top painting is well-“painted.” That may seem like an obvious statement, but there is no mistake that the artist built the surface and the form of the pear with paint. By the way the artist handled the paint and the blending of it, she also explored the space behind the pear with paint. She left bits of cadmium red at the edge of the composition so the viewer won’t wander too far. The space itself is ambiguous; it is both close and far. I enjoyed the play between the two canvases.

Catherine Aalto: "First Snow." I kept coming back to "First Snow" again and again. The title seems simple enough, a description of an event that happens every year, and every year it is a bit exciting to be in the first snow. Titles are usually something that can be both an invitation and a description. The composition is almost a symmetrical – quadrant arrangement. Often this can be deadly because of its static, unmoving nature. This little painting defies that age-old composition rule. While the composition seems to solidly rest, it is the color that asked and creates visual questions such as, why this green? What is my relationship to the house? It is the cool, muted color of the horizontal structure a barrier. What is the space? Near or far? The green as almost an acrid color is the focal point not only of the composition but of the questions. I enjoy the challenge that Aalto provided.