Eli Saragoussi in "You Are Here"
LOSS, LOST, FOUND: On view at the University of North Georgia’s Oconee Art Gallery, “loss, lost, found” investigates the interior lives of women through a series of portraits by painter Cameron Bliss. Often surrounded by potted plants or in the company of animal companions—perhaps a nod to the traditional role of woman as nurturer—her subjects seem pensive, as if lost in thought. A collection of smaller canvases focus on the subtleties of facial expression. Though appearing beautiful and strong, heavy eyes, pouty lips and deadpan looks suggest the women may be experiencing feelings of seriousness or weariness.
Bliss received the honor of a solo exhibition after winning the Best in Show prize at last year’s juried exhibition, “Reciprocal: OCAF Members at UNG.” She will lead a walkthrough of her works during a closing reception on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 4 p.m.
In addition to the Oconee campus, the UNG Art Galleries are presenting exhibitions at two other locations this month. On the Dahlonega campus, Zipporah Thompson’s show of textile constructions, “Rootwork,” opens Monday, Feb. 25. On the Gainesville campus, “Drops and Drizzles” shares sculptural paintings from hand-cut forms by Mantey Dey, who will offer a closing talk on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 3 p.m.
THE LOVE SHOW: K.A. Artist Shop’s fifth annual “Love Show” is a true testament to how many locals love making art—specifically, art about love—with an impressive lineup of 70 artists. On the cover of Flagpole this week, Hana Chaney’s “Box of Chocolates” pays homage to traditional Valentine’s Day imagery with polymer clay candies that look good enough to eat.
Some artists felt inspired by romantic love, like Robert Clements, who painted couples spending quality time together in parks, while others, like Rosie Coleman, were moved to capture the bond between parents and children. Lucy Calhoun’s “Desert Birth,” a portrait of a woman pregnant with a picturesque, cacti-dwelling landscape in her belly, celebrates motherhood and, on a more cosmic level, the role of humanity in stewardship of the earth. Several artists recognize unconditional love received from pets, such as Phoebe Graham’s cute linoleum prints. Other artists with interesting interpretations to look out for include Susan Pelham, Sarah Moon, Margeaux Konzelman, Isa Romero, Julia Wynn Safer and Christopher Ingham.
An opening reception will be held Thursday, Feb. 14 from 5–7 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring a dish they love for a potluck, and the favorite recipe will receive a $100 gift card to the shop. Works will remain on view through another day we all love: Saturday, Apr. 20.
YOU ARE HERE: Timed perfectly so you don’t have to choose between parties, the gallery at Hotel Indigo is hosting an opening reception for “You Are Here” on Feb. 14 from 6:30–8:30 p.m. Investigating domestic spaces and their inhabitants, the artists’ works collectively reflect figures and objects familiar to homes. Eli Saragoussi, who also performs in Baby Tony and the Teenies, creates fun, felted sculptures of boldly colored animals in cartoonish frames, while Amana Jane Burk, whom many may recognize from the Lyndon House Arts Center’s studios, shares a new screen-print series. The cosmic portraits of Los Angeles-based artist Tae Lee contemplate human consciousness and convey a sense of connectedness with the universe. A current MFA candidate at the Lamar Dodd School of Art from Tampa, FL, Chasity Williams creates interesting paintings where surfaces are populated with people performing a variety of activities.
BARBETTE HOUSER: The new season of WUGA’s creative fundraising series, Artists in Residence, kicks off at the home of textile artist and interior designer Barbette Houser. On Saturday, Feb. 16 from 3–5 p.m., visitors will be welcomed into her house, a 1920s cottage in Five Points that she has beautifully restored and expanded. Lyndon House program supervisor Didi Dunphy will speak on Houser’s work, while guests are free to enjoy hors d’oeuvres, wine and a rare insider look into the artist’s personal collection and living space.
A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, Houser taught art for several years and is a Flagpole contributor who covers the local art scene. During the past two decades, she has gathered an impressive collection of mid-century Scandinavian furniture, vintage textiles and artwork created by Athenians. Her own quilted pieces vibrate with bright colors, and the meditative nature of hand-stitching has served as a way to process grief over the years.
The radio station will broadcast Michael Cardin's interview with Houser prior to the event. Admission is $15 for Friends of WUGA (memberships run $30 per year) and $20 for non-members. Reservations can be made by calling 706-542-9842 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet the artists of the exhibition "The Love Show." See Art Notes on p. 14.