Maryellen Hains Artist - Glass Fiber


Inspired by Flowers

Invitational Mixed Media Exhibition
back to exhibit

Carnegie Art Center, Three Rivers, MI
June – August 2006

Each summer the Carnegie Art Center hosted a series of Fontana musical events. The theme of Inspired by Flowers was chosen with the music of the 2006 series in mind. Twenty artists from ten disciplines were invited to participate in an image-response format to the theme. Artists were encouraged to think broadly—to approach the topic from their own idiosyncratic point of view.

Twenty-two artists were invited to participate in this exhibit. Two each from eleven disciplines: painting, printmaking, photography, glass, clay, sculpture, jewelry, metalsmithing, weaving, quilting, and papermaking. Twenty-two letters were sent out; twenty artists responded to take the challenge.

The first ten artists had a mid-February deadline. Everyone met at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts print studio for wine and salsa, and the second group of ten artists received their "inspiration" piece. In lottery fashion, artists drew numbers for random pairings. The only "rule" was you should not take a piece that was in your medium. Each of these ten artists took a work to his/her studio to respond to. The results of this activity have been intriguing.

The Show
A mixed media exhibit is always a challenge to present. How do you make it cohesive? Will the use of a common theme tie the pieces together? ... Intellectually? Emotionally? Aesthetically? . . . Each individual artist's approach to the original theme was colored by his/her voice. And the responding piece had that same quality, but responding to someone else's interpretation of the theme required a different level of engagement. Some of the artists took a literal approach to the subject, some an imaginative one. Paul Mergen's piece is filled with his personal iconography, Elaine Seaman's with her love and respect of traditional quilting, and Larry Galdes' work is an innovative blending of traditional and contemporary glass techniques.

Paul Flickenger looked to history for his inspiration and the preciousness of the black tulip in the economic marketplace for a period of time. His cast tulip bulbs are nestled in a velvet lined lacquered box with 24K gold overlay. In responding to Paul's sculpture, jeweler, Amy Culp, reflected on notion of "what is valuable." Her brooch also pairs the black tulip with 24K gold, and she adds a cluster of raw diamonds in her layers of mixed materials and imagery.

Line and color seemed to be the echoing theme and response in the work of June Belitz and Eve Reid. Tone and rhythm also play in harmony. Each pairing is its own dialogue. Some conversations are easier to understand – all are insightful and intriguing.

Invited artists: Susan Badger, June Belitz, Mark Cassino, Amy Culp, Liz Faust, Holly Fisher, Paul Flickingoer, Larry Galdes, Maryellen Hains, Lestra Hazel, Brian Hirt, Gretchen Huggett, Marilyn Johnson, Denise Lisiecki, Paul Mergen, TC Neihart, Nancy Payne, Eve Reid, Elaine Seaman, Nancy Stroupe

Maryellen Hains, Curator