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February 13, 2018 > Equilibrium shows distinct perspectives and balanced elements

Equilibrium shows distinct perspectives and balanced elements

Submitted By Seema Gupta

Wikipedia describes equilibrium as ?the condition of a system in which all competing influences are balanced.? In all forms of physical, life, and psychological sciences, it?s a state of balance that is fundamental, the lack of which would lead to agitation or chaos. For the world to function in order and harmony, equilibrium is essential and inherent.

Fremont's Olive Hyde Art Gallery opens its new exhibit, ?Equilibrium: Kim Thoman, Donna Fenstermaker, and Carol Ladewig,? with an Artists? Reception on Friday, February 16. The exhibit will run through Saturday, March 18.

The displayed works demonstrate distinct perspectives through a variety of mediums such as metal, oil, acrylic, and watercolor to achieve an equilibrium of elements reflecting the natural order. All three artists have been making art for over three decades and have exhibited extensively in the Bay Area and around the nation.

Carol Ladewig?s work focuses on the abstract concept of time, exploring how we structure and experience time. In one of her series, she layers colors and sometimes images to reflect memories and the passage of time. It is her belief that color is a visual language that everyone perceives and responds to differently, particularly when colors are juxtaposed against each other. As she remarks, ?color is fascinating to [her] as it is one of the most variable elements: it changes with light and context, as one color impacts our perception of the others around it.?

The ?Year in Color? project focuses on giving a literal and visual shape to the great abstraction of time. In her daily color paintings from the past few years, Ladewig finds ?a continuation of the serial, accumulative nature? of artwork that she began during her graduate study.

Her new work, however, investigates painting as a process and is driven by the experience itself. In this new series of paintings she ?explores a range of formal possibilities to create spaces that are expansive and meditative.? A sense of time and rhythm permeates her work, developing from the ?exploration of color, the physicality of paint, and the process of painting.?

Ladewig has been teaching art at Diablo Valley College since 2001.

Donna Fenstermaker?s work combines abstraction with a realist sensibility in her depiction of the natural world she encounters. Her paintings in oil or watercolor move back and forth, on the continuum of landscape painting and pure abstraction. She focuses on light, texture, and structure of this world.

"Simply put, I am a landscape painter,? says Fenstermaker, ?but deeper than that fact, I am also an abstract painter and I reference nature.? She is inspired by form, light, color and composition in the surrounding landscapes. Her small format oil paintings done on panel, sometimes with silk or linen applied to the surface, are like intimate windows into the landscape. Fenstermaker also paints in watercolor, because of its meditative quality. ?Watercolor almost paints itself,? she says.

In the summer of 2014, Fenstermaker visited the Noguchi Museum in New York. The marks on the surface of his stone sculptures appeared to her as drawings. During this trip, she also viewed some of Paul Klee?s work. His transfer print drawings are printing ink mixed with watercolor on a laid paper. Inspired by Klee?s minimalism and the strike marks in the stonework of Noguchi, Fenstermaker came up with her IN series, named after Isamu Noguchi.

Fenstermaker currently teaches at the Contra Costa College in San Pablo and Los Medanos College in Pittsburg and Brentwood.

Kim Thoman?s work uses the depiction and abstraction of plant forms as a metaphor to explore the processes of change and growth. Using a combination of materials, she poses questions about the dualities of nature and life.

Pursuing an early interest in art, Thoman studied ceramics at University of California at Davis, followed by painting and drawing at Berkeley, and received her BA in 1972. Graduate work at San Francisco State University culminated in an MFA in ceramic sculpture in 1979. Thoman taught in the Art Department at Peralta Community College until she retired in 2012. About four years ago, she discovered 3D printing, which ignited her ?long-dormant interest in exploring sculptural dimension.? Today, she continues with painting and sculpture to expand her core beliefs that duality exists in everything.

?Duality feeds my creativity,? says Thoman. Her ?They Series? is an abstracted figurative form that references the Crucifixion as a metaphor for duality ? human vs. deity or body vs. soul. The feet, made from metal, could be perceived as nailed or tied together, or as feminine pointy toes. The body is the painting, where ?forms of nature and plant life hatch out during the process, representing the regenerative and life affirming,? again reinforcing the feminine aspect. These works reference the duality of male energy vs. female energy.

The ?Shortstop Tangle Series? was created to accompany the ?They Series.? These works provided opportunities for compositions and ideas to be tried out before committing to a final product. In her own words, Thoman?s ?artwork aims to bring the duality of contrasting energy forces into balance.? She strives to ?present opposite sides of any truth in order to see the real picture.?


Equilibrium: Kim Thoman, Donna Fenstermaker, Carol Ladewig
Friday, Feb 16 ? Saturday, Mar 17
Thursday ? Sunday, noon ? 5 p.m.

Artists? Reception
Friday, Feb 16
7 p.m. ? 9 p.m.

Olive Hyde Art Gallery
123 Washington Blvd, Fremont
(510)791-4357
http://olivehydeartguild.org/

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