Rick Araluce amazes us with his miniature constructions of solitary moments in time. Initially, Arluce pursued a career as a painter and illustrator, but his early love of model making drove him toward building miniatures. Look closely to see the contents of his isolated rooms - light bulbs, wiring, nails, all of which Araluce meticulously builds and fabricates by hand.
Araluce, who builds sets for the Seattle Opera by day, creates tiny, and slightly more disturbing, scenery in his own artwork. He wants us to participate in the worlds he creates so gives us just enough of the story or a riddle to spark our own imaginations. His narratives are emotionally charged snapshots of deeper stories that leave us wondering – “what went on here?” There are precedents for this type of art – Joseph Cornell, Michael McMillan, but there are few that bring the level of quality, imagination and sensitivity that Araluce brings to his wonderful little worlds.
The work in this exhibit, three of which were inspired by Araluce’s first visit to Sanibel in 2009, are an interesting juxtaposition between work and play; adult and childhood. And while Araluce’s creations are always devoid of people, several of his new pieces are occupied by objects that he anthropomorphizes – the garden tools in “The Laborers” feel like they have just come in from a hard day’s work and the oil cans in “The Secret Meeting” do seem like they are conspiring – but about what? Araluce spares no detail to amaze and delight us, as he tells a story. The discovery of these details is what keeps us enthralled and engaged in Araluce’s World.
Born in Los Angels, Araluce created art all his life. After graduating from Orange Coast Community College, he pursued a career as an illustrator, sculptor and most recently constructed scenery at the Seattle Opera House. But his love is creating his little worlds for which he was honored with both the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Award and Adolph and Ester Gottlieb Award in 2008.
Araluce regularly exhibits at OK Harris Gallery in NYC and Travers Gallery in Seattle. His work is collected by Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams and other Hollywood notables. In 2011 Araluce will be in an exhibition at The Art and Design Museum in NYC. As a semi-finalist in the audition for Bravo’s Reality Show, The Next Great Artist, you may see him on television in 2011, as well. Araluce currently lives and works in Seattle, Washington with his wife, Kitty Cavanaugh.
The Audition (sold)
The Hours (sold)
The Laborers (sold) mixed media construction
The Tears of Memory (sold) mixed media construction
The Vigil (sold) mixed media construction
The Difficult Lesson (sold) mixed media construction
Len Cowgill Gallery
This Was Albert Einstein. "The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits." bottle drawing; ink, graphite, white charcoal on handmade paper, glass bottle, wool
"This Was Albert Einstein..." ink, graphite, white charcoal on handmade paper, glass bottle, wool
This is Jonas...It Wasn't Him! bottle drawing; ink, graphite, white charcoal on handmade paper, glass bottle, wool
This is Toni — Nobody is Doing What She Wants! bottle drawing; ink, graphite, white charcoal on handmade paper, glass bottle, wool
bottle drawing; ink, graphite, white charcoal on handmade paper, glass bottle, wool
This is Mariel Playing a Part bottle drawing; ink, graphite, white charcoal on handmade paper, glass bottle, wool
This is Natalie and Beau...They're Exhausted. bottle drawing; ink, graphite, white charcoal on handmade paper, glass bottle, wool
This is Randi — She has no idea what's going on. bottle drawing; ink, graphite, white charcoal on handmade paper, glass bottle, wool
This is Garrett, Not Sure of His Next Move bottle drawing; ink, graphite, white charcoal on handmade paper, glass bottle, wool
This is Gordon...Losing His Patience bottle drawing; ink, graphite, white charcoal on handmade paper, glass bottle, wool
bottle drawing; ink, graphite, white charcoal on handmade paper, glass bottle, wool
Sondra Dorn Gallery
Deconstructed Series: Precarious 2 mixed media
Deconstructed Series: Precarious 3 mixed media
Wall in Tuscany with Orange Lichen mixed media, 10" x 10"
Wall in Tuscany with Purple Berries mixed media, 8" x 10"
Linda Green Gallery
Linda Green combines two folk traditions - quilting and storytelling in her work. Using fabric, beading and intricate hand stitching, seasoned with a quirky sense of humor Green creates whimsical storied art quilts. The bold, vibrant colors of the work hit us immediately, but it is the detail and intricate stitching that amaze us and show us the amount of time and love that went into each piece.
Green’s women are of particular interest. Their irregular Picasso-esque features juxtaposed with the embellishment of their wildlife head dresses make for interesting contemporary art. Coupled with a visual narrative this work could be called Cubist Folk.
The work in this exhibit shows a more fanciful side to the artist than last year’s and demonstrates her growth with this medium. The formal aspects of art making – space, form, flow are present while still maintaining the folksiness of the tradition.
In Green’s own words she tells us of her journey in making this wonderful art.
“Art has many forms; mine is textured and shaped with color, fabric and thread. Quilting has been a large part of my life of expression for the past nine years. I started by learning how to create baby quilts for grandchildren and others. My venture into art quilts began about a year ago when I joined a group of art quilters…the Fort Myers Art Quilters Unlimited group, a very talented cadre of artists who encouraged me to expand my “voice” of artistic expression”
Green has shown and sold her popular quilts for many years. This is her second exhibit at Watson MacRae. Green will have her first solo exhibit this summer at the Center Gallery in Glen Arbor, Michigan. Originally from Chicago, Green spent many years in Northern Michigan and now lives and sews on Sanibel Island, Florida with her husband Rich.
Amy Gross Gallery
Amy Gross’s work is exuberant – bursting with life. Like the Nature that inspires her, every inch of her fiber sculptures are teeming with beads, birds and embroidery. Through the use of photography, textiles, painting and stitchery, Gross gives us an ant’s-eye-view of the worlds where her imagination roams.
Gross studied painting at the prestigious Cooper Union Institute in New York City where she received a BFA. After taking a year off she decided to start her own children’s product, surface and textile design company, Amy Designs, Inc., which she continues to run. It wasn’t until she moved to Florida in 1999 that she began to sew. Amazed by the “hysterical speed” of plant growth here, as Gross explains “it was only through fiber and sewing and embellishing, the merging and transforming of one material with another, that I felt I could describe the natural world I was witnessing.”
The work in this exhibit provides us examples of Gross’s artistic progress as she expanded into beaded, painted and embroidered canvases, then three-dimensional embellished objects and now sculptural pieces. We are amazed as we look at the work and astonished, as we look closer. Gross captures the experience of the wild, entangled, enmeshed world of nature, beautifully. As Gross explains:
“I love the small and the overlooked... I love the process of looking close, of finding things underfoot that fast times force you to miss. And I love the illusion of stopping time, of making a leaf or a mushroom or bird that will last much longer than the eye-blink that nature allows them. There’s a comfort in using basic, accessible craft materials to try to grab hold of what cannot be grabbed, a strange reassurance in reaching into the back of a closet or bottom drawer and making out of what you find there your own versions of the meeting of your mind and your eye. It turns out the transformation is all.”
Gross, who began showing her work in 2003 has won several awards most recently at the national New Fibers Invitational where she received second place. Gross has been published in Fibers Magazine and Visual Overtures Magazine and has been invited to contribute to a new Lark Books publication, “Design Inspiration Guide: Plants.”
Amy Gross resides and works in Delray Beach, FL.
Jane Jaskevich Gallery
Mira Lehr Gallery
Cathy Rose Gallery
Cathy Rose grew up in Central Florida and although she lives and has her studio in New Orleans, she still heads to Mt. Dora, Florida when she is in search of unusual pieces for her mixed media sculptures.
Smooth porcelain faces and figures mixed with textured found objects are the signature of Rose's sculptures. The juxtaposition lends tension and interest to the work and allows for more open interpretation of the emotional content. The work in this exhibit is about transitions and "Beginnings" is a good example.
"You don't go through things; you grow through them," Rose says of difficult times.
"I don't know the direction the work will take, I never seem to know until I've found myself on the other side of completing the sculptures," Rose says of her process. "I begin, which is the hardest, and find my way, which most compelling, to learn the lesson, which is often painful, to realize clarity brought about in no easier way."
Rose attended the University of Central Florida where she earned her BFA and MFA. Rose has been exhibiting her work since 1994 in premier art fairs around the country. Most recently she has been again invited to SOFA Chicago and the Philadelphia Museum Craft Show.
Akiko Sugiyama Gallery
It is hard to fathom that Akiko Sugiyama's intricate, complex and delicate sculptures are made almost entirely of paper. Even when she explains how she rolls, twists, paints, textures, stripes, sews, wraps and spins the paper she collects from all over the world, we still say, "paper?!"
It is however, not only her technical abilities, but her design, aesthetic and imagination that have made her an annual participant in the most prestigious craft shows in the country - the Smithsonian and Philadelphia Museum for almost 20 years.
Since 1984 when she first began showing her work, Sugiyama has been honored with over 60 Best in Show Awards, Awards of Excellence and in 2011 the Smithsonian Craft Show, Gold Award. We are not surprised.
Sugiyama, who studied painting in her native Japan, lives and creates in Ormond Beach, Florida with her husanbd, Richard.