"swim" was an exhibit of new paintings and etchings by Noël Ashby.
Non - heroic historical paintings could describe Ms. Ashby's work. During her days she constantly found and brought to her studio interesting objects and thoughts from the detritus of other people's everyday life. Likewise, she brought memories of fragments of people's conversations and reactions. Laying out these items and thought randomly, she arranged and rearranged until an idea that had personal meaning emerged. Painting is how she kept history. "At any given moment, we make choices as to who we will be and what we will have define us. These decisions, based upon societal standards as well as personal experiences, direct how one moves through life."
Ms. Ashby's abstract paintings are strong in both color and composition. Bold shapes are supported by rich and unusual color choices. The paint surface is thick and has been worked and reworked. Fine scratchy markings go through many layers offering a counterpoint to the heavily applied paint.
Noël Ashby grew up and was educated in Kansas City and at the time lived in Chicago, Illinois. She has exhibited extensively in Kansas City and Chicago. A graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute she has also studied art at Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia and had done graduate work at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.
"Siren" was an installation and video by Cara Walz.
The installation consisted of several jewel-like light boxes showing stills of celebrity T.V. actresses in poses of extreme emotion. Ms. Walz chose one frame in a performance. The effect was very unsettling - "I freeze moments of their performances. These moments were never meant to function as static images, and because of that, they become entangled in questions about banality, popular culture, and sexual stereotypes." These images also recall historic and religious iconography and present interesting questions about the depth of impressions left by popular culture versus "high culture."
The light boxes were accompanied by a video with a singular image and sound. It acted as a central director controlling the grouping and beckoning the viewer.
Cara Walz grew up and at the time lived in Kansas City. She had exhibited extensively in the midwest, nationally and in Europe. She received a BFA in painting from the University of Kansas, Lawrence and an MFA in performance art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. She was an art instructor at Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas and wrote about art locally.