Artist 916 presents Soul of America

Artist 916 presents Soul of America

November 13-December 12, 2020

Central Gallery

Artist Talk:

Rebecca Bennett, Values Held, 38"x64", Acrylic, wood, paper, tape, nails, on 15 cradled wood panels

Rebecca Bennett

“Values Held” speaks to the artist’s belief that the soul of America lies in core shared values of equality, liberty, justice, and inclusion. Depicted in the piece are these values being held hostage.

Purple Majesty IV is part of the artist’s “This land is your land, this land is my land” series. Purple Majesty refers to the lyric in “America the Beautiful." It speaks to the artist’s optimism that our American collective soul will be healed when red and blue are recombined.

Carl Smith, 1120, 24"x18", acrylic on canvas

Carl Smith

My paintings of tax forms attempt to turn something that is not creative (tax forms) into something creative (a painting) and also celebrate, in a strange wa

y, one of our vital civic duties (paying taxes). Hopefully, the contrast in these two things highlights what I want to say in my work.

Chun Hui Pak

Ode to O’Keeffe: Zen Black Iris, I, and III. Georgia O’Keeffe is a pioneering female artist of the American Abstraction art movement in the early 20th century. O’Keeffe’s paintings began as the artist, intrigued by inner structures of things, created various enlarged flower paintings, including iris flowers at large scale, to examine and reveal their underlying patterns and mystery emanating from those underlying structures. O’Keeffe’s pioneering effort with her art projects her “can do” spirit and her vision of America’s soul, which has been a continuing inspiration in making my art.

My Zen Black Iris origami paintings look closely at the hidden internal structure of origami folds, in this case inspired O’Keeffe’s Black Iris paintings and her revelations on hidden geometry as an abstraction device that features strong black coloration contrasted by softer, warmer colorations of dusty pink and blue in the patterns revealed by the iris origami flower folds. Each Zen Black Iris artwork is 5’ high x 5’ wide oil on linen, and both paintings are often displayed as a set to showcase the progression of the concept.

Emily Galusha, Returning, 5”x5”, Charcoal on archival paper, wood frame

Emily Galusha

The bison, or American Buffalo, has given us many gifts from food and protection to spiritual strength and guidance. It has managed to go from near extinction to become the “National Mammal of the US.” Does it take this cycle of destruction and resurrection for us to realize our impact on the natural world? To realize it is all interconnected?

“Bizarre, isn’t it, that the most intellectual creature surely that’s ever lived on the planet is destroying its only home. And I always believe it’s because there’s a disconnect between that clever, clever brain and the human heart, love, and compassion. I truly believe when head and heart work in harmony, can we attain our true human potential.” -Jane Goodall, On Being Interview with Krista Tippett, Aug 6, 2020

Gert Johan Manschot

Dutch by origin, now living in the US, meditation teacher and artist using his meditation skills to create his art: capturing energy on canvas.

About the painting Soul and Man. We individually have a soul and so has our nation.

Keva Richardson

Keva Richardson’s layered collages derive from cutting and mixing images so that one piece is truly indistinguishable from the other; she then reforms those pieces into new patterns. She breaks apart and reassembles not just paper, drawings, and images but also ideas about place, religion, race, and what it means to be an American. Her abstractions acknowledge our differences while highlighting that strength is when we band together for the greater good and emphasize the humanity inside us.

Maura Schaffer, Fox News, 12"x16", Acrylic on Panel

Maura Schaffer

For Maura Schaffer, the dining table and all it embodies are pivotal to our shared psyche and experience. The dining table is more than an ordinary domestic object—it functions as a sustenance tool, conversation, and ultimately unification. The table is a bridge between family members, between communities, and within ourselves. It can help us reach out and create acceptance across race, class, politics, and geography.

NJ Weaver

NJ Weaver is an abstract mixed media artist in Austin, Texas. NJ’s encaustic and mixed media paintings reflect America’s past, present, and future, testaments to sacrifice, the uniting and repair of needless divisions, and the yearning for a more unified and strengthened nation.

Stephen Paul Connor

My artwork for Soul of America is based on our mutual shared invention of a polarized duality, represented by the colors blue and red. The use of the word “invention” in the title suggests that we can invent other ways of being.

Vera Smiley, Lady News, 65"x18"x18", Clay, paper collage, acrylic, wood, rope.

Vera Smiley

As a world traveler, Vera Smiley believes that the soul of each country is the people. Her figurative sculpture is an examination of humankind through the female form. Understanding of interconnection between the human condition and the internal struggles is essential for her work. In this show, she is presenting sculptures she created on American soil to describe the American soul.