Kate MacDowell states that the “…romantic ideal of our relationship to the natural world conflicts with the reality of our current impact on the environment. My pieces are in part responses to environmental threats…and also borrow from myth, art history, figures of speech and other cultural touchstones.” MacDowell hand-sculpts each piece out of porcelain, chosen for its “ghostly qualities,” often building a solid form and then hollowing it. Smaller forms are built petal by petal, branch by branch, and allow the artist (and the viewer) to become immersed in close study of each structure. Porcelain highlights both the impermanence and fragility of natural forms in a dying ecosystem, while paradoxically being a material that can last for thousands of years, historically associated with high status and value. The artist “sees each piece as a captured and preserved specimen, a painstaking record of endangered natural forms and a commentary on our own culpability.”
Christina West sculpts realistically rendered human figures that exist at a strange scale and exhibit bold, unnatural colors. The figures are frozen mid-gesture, inviting our gazes and encouraging projection about the nature of their actions. West lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where she teaches at Georgia State University. She received a BFA from Siena Heights University in 2003, and an MFA from Alfred University in 2006. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Archie Bray Foundation, The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, and The Clay Studio in Philadelphia. Her work has been supported additiona lly by a grants and fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the George Sugarman Foundation, the Mary L. Nohl Artist Fund, and the Southeastern College Art Conference.
Berlin-based artist Christopher Winter‘s singular paintings remind us that, once upon a time, art and magic emerged simultaneously, and indeed were one and the same. He leads viewers on a “darkly magical mystery tour” with himself, the artist-magician, as ther guide. Winter exults in the subliminal: “the weightless borderline between innocence and experience, the pastoral and the eldritch, the familiar and the uncanny, the perceiver and the perceived.” He utilizes the unique aesthetic relationship of painting to American pop art and comics to challenge the audience in every respect. If representational painting seems to have gone largely to its limits, then there is a painter like Winter who challenges this assumption with smart references to art history and an almost brazen naivety in inventing bizarre situations.