Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Melt - The Mercurial Gallery - Danbury, CT

This winter provided plenty of precip and polar temps. As the end of March nears, the weather will soon be showing its fleecier side. On the cusp of the great thaw, The Mercurial Gallery hosted a juried exhibit called "The Melt." The opening reception on February 23rd drew a big crowd at the cozy gallery in downtown Danbury, Connecticut. I returned this past weekend to get a closer look at the work and to visit one of my pieces.
The Mercurial Magazine & Gallery - Danbury, CT
The Melt
On view until March 22nd
John O'Sullivan - Layer 6
I really enjoyed meeting Marko Susla of Edison, New Jersey when I popped by the gallery on Saturday. Marko's passion for night time photography lead him through an iron gate, down a snowy path, and into a Connecticut orchard one winter's evening. He captured a row of stunning, snow-covered trees contrasted by a stormy sky. "Nicholas Orchard #1" won Marko "Best in Show" and he has been awarded a solo exhibition at the Mercurial in 2014. Visit Marko's website to view more of his work, including his Silent Witness series, which captures the beauty and decay of the abandoned homes at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
Marko Susla - photographer
Nicholas Orchard #1 (Night Photograph) - lower right
Text, acrylic paint, and India ink are intricately layered in Karin Mansberg's piece called "Greed." I was really drawn to Karin's emotionally-charged, collaged work at the show. This Danbury artist, originally from Estonia explores personal experiences and connections through her illustrations, prints, collages, and sketches. I've had the pleasure of looking through many pieces in Karin's portfolio and adore her "Ink on Old Book Page Project" where she creates new images using parts of existing book illustrations. Karin is a recent M.F.A. graduate from WCSU and a freelance artist. Visit Karin's website to see more artwork and read about her creative process.
Karin Mansberg - Greed
When The Melt was announced, I decided to make a new piece for the show. Last year, I started creating necklaces out of pinback buttons from the early 1900's to the 1970's. After digging through my supplies, I zeroed in on a pile of 1960's Mr. Softee Safety Club pins. I attached them to vintage plastic game chips and buttons. The bib structure was achieved by using clear cross-shaped components, chain, jump rings, wire, and aquarium tubing. Clear plastic drop beads added the finishing melting touch. The linear connections within the necklace reminded me of molecular bonds and the final piece had a cartoony, superhero feel to it. "Safety in Numbers" is by far the biggest necklace I've made to date and it's quite giggle-worthy when worn. 
Safety in Numbers - upcycled bib necklace
1960's Mr. Softee Safety Club pinback buttons
You can catch The Melt through March 22nd. Many other wonderful shows are coming to The Mercurial this spring. Follow The Mercurial on Facebook and visit their website often for news, art, and interesting goings-on in the area.

Craft show season is around the corner. Here is what's on tap so far. Check back soon for more dates.

Craftopia - Pawtucket, RI - Sunday, April 28th
Arts Fest Beverly - Beverly, MA - Saturday, June 15th
Greenway Open Market - Boston, MA - summer dates TBD

Visit Twitch and Whiskers on Etsy and FB for new pieces each month.

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