Home | Drawings, 2-D | Sculpture, 3-D

‘Looking Out’ exhibition
at the Cody Center at Laity Lodge

JUNE – AUGUST, 2010

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overview Three works Charmed Into Nature Charmed Into Nature closeup Sculpture and paintings Above It All Airing Out and Three Looking Out Pods in Winter Airing Out Eight small works Pods in Love and Wren with Pods

By Ginger Geyer
Exhibition curator and Art Consultant for the Cody Center

''This exhibition is drawn from the work of four artists from Texas and one from Tennessee, all of whom have taught art workshops at Laity Lodge. The title, “Looking Out” is derived from two paintings which show animals expectantly looking out the door or looking at you. What do we observe when we look beyond ourselves? And, do we see “out there” with hope or with dread, with acceptance or with judgmentalism?

''The artists here show us that looking out is mission-related, i.e., it engages us with the world. But the introspection that art always entails tells us to also value looking within.

''In this exhibit, you’ll find Kim Alexander looking realistically and compassionately at the painful yet poignant lives of her immigrant students, rendering their stories with the precision of a botanical illustrator. She offers us redemptive beauty alongside brutality, reminding us that hospitality must be extended to angels unaware.

''Anita Horton humorously juxtaposes high and low—astroturf for Marie Antoinette’s lawn? Trailer houses in the gardens of Versailles? What does that mean in a society that overlooks the gap between the rich and the poor ? In a display to reveal her creative process, Anita lays out the mundane and fancy items that inspire her designs, from brocade fabrics to European iron work, and even uses unconventional art media—sumi ink mixed with bubble soap!

''Does “Looking Out” refer only to looking toward the future? What about looking back, as these artists seem to do. References to art history abound.

''Fran Patterson imagines the joyful world of the circus where people and animals float, like in scenes from Marc Chagall. Her fabrics and paintings are bright and playful, bringing Alexander Calder to mind.

''Debbie Taylor’s pair of blackbirds share a wedding band, evoking Magritte -- but with a sweet gentleness rather than surreal irony. In her small painting of Adam and Eve, we find a medieval manuscript illustration rendered in 21st century style.

''Liz Hunt takes us into the mysterious world of loss and promise inherent in seed pods, viruses and flowers, layer upon layer. In one clay sculpture she melds the figure with the earth in a way that evokes the ceramics of Paul Gauguin.

''All five artists have used images of gardens and animals—things from the outdoors. When installing the show, we discovered that all five artists include birds. The term “looking out” evokes watchful warnings, preparing the way, sudden alerts, and looking beyond one’s own circle. With birds, the looking inevitably becomes action, as once they look out, they fly.''