Art NotesArts & Culture

“Ornament” and “Bang” Offer Embellished and Bold Artwork

ORNAMENT: In an effort to lighten up the winter blues, “Ornament,” currently on display at the Gallery@Hotel Indigo, is a group exhibition featuring works exploring embellishment. Though exclusively black-and-white, the delicate ink illustrations of Laura Bell best embody this effort. Bell, who holds an MFA in printmaking from the Tyler School at Temple University and is currently a professor at Kennesaw State University, creates small portraits of wild animals—a star-nosed mole, wolf, bear, swan and a pair of intertwined snakes—entangled within lush floral scenes. Gazing more deeply into the densely rooted plants, which drip around the animals as if hyperactively expanding, you begin to notice little lashed eyes gazing back, transcending the animals into a more alien terrain. 

Inspired by atoms, flowers and planetary systems, Atlanta painter and printmaker Terri Dilling creates colorful, abstracted landscapes that contemplate the dynamic between micro and macro environments through a balance of geometric spinographs with loose, hand-drawn shapes. Cassidy Russell’s assemblages incorporate dyed paper, embroidered roses and strips of stitched lace to reflect the process of hiding or patching over something through a process of embellishment and beautification. 

The show also includes the works of three artists who have graduated from or are currently enrolled in MFA programs at the Lamar Dodd School of Art. Photography graduate Brittainy Lauback contributes large images of a feather and a block of petrified wood seemingly suspended in air. The graphite drawings of jewelry and metalwork candidate Cameron Lyden collage manmade structures like a lamp post, window and chair with organic tree branches by connecting them through architectural molding and a swirling ribbon. Mixed media works by printmaking candidate Jessica Machacek similarly represent home interior details by incorporating materials typically used in construction or renovation projects.

“Ornament” will remain on view through Saturday, Mar. 28.

BANG: Adding bold splashes of tropical colors to the GlassCube@Hotel Indigo, the aquarium-like exhibit space located outside the hotel’s main doors, “BANG” presents large pop art paintings by Carol John. Small, speech bubble-shaped petals radiate from the center of her signature chrysanthemum-esque designs, the majority of which include playful ice cream cones in summery hues. Trained at the School of Visual Arts in New York, John has been working as a studio artist in Athens for over two decades and is a co-partner and owner at architectural design-build firm DOC Unlimited. She intends to rotate pieces throughout the duration of the exhibit, which will remain on view through the end of June. 

ATHENS ART CROWD: Both exhibit spaces at Hotel Indigo are accessible around-the-clock, but an ideal time to visit if you’re looking to run into others is during the Athens Art Crowd gathering on Wednesday, Feb. 11 from 5:30–7:30 p.m. Launched last December by Michael Lachowski, this bimonthly event is an informal opportunity for socializing and networking among all with an interest in the arts. Athens Art Crowd will meet the second Wednesday of every other month. 

LUNCH AND LEARN: As part of “Celebrating 40 Years of Art” at the Lyndon House Arts Center, the Athens Area Arts Council (AAAC) is hosting a string of monthly educational lectures for local artists. The series kicks off on Wednesday, Feb. 18 with a discussion led by Nuçi Space’s executive director Bob Sleppy on crowd-funding for creative projects. On Wednesday, Mar. 18, Lachowski will share tips on utilizing social media and building an online portfolio, drawing from his experience as a musician, artist and public relations specialist at the Georgia Museum of Art. On Wednesday, Apr. 15, arts educator and chair of the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission Marilyn Wolf-Ragatz will explain how to design successful proposals for public art grants. Each talk will be held from 12–1 p.m., and attendance is free for AAAC members (with a $25 yearly fee) or $15 for non-members.