A chance conversation with artist Claire Clements inspired Hope Hilton to put together "In Bloom," a group exhibition currently on display at Ciné through Sunday, Mar. 15. “She told me about her latest work. Just the idea of how she was working set my wheels turning,” the curator, artist and educator said. “[She] inspired me to visit the studios of several other artists I admire in hopes that they might have something different to exhibit than what we’re used to seeing.”
Inspired by nature, growth and the idea of brightening “the January grays,” the works on display are fresh or new in some way. The local artists, creatives and tastemakers involved are working out of their comfort level, or at least showing us something we haven’t seen from them before. René Shoemaker shows a work on paper instead of silk; Susan Hable Smith offers a collage instead of textile work.
Clements’ "Thistle" is a good example. Much larger in scale than most of her work, it also has a looseness that is not typical of other pieces. This watercolor, gouache and Cray-Pas piece depicts flowers she found blooming at the end of Barnett Shoals Road late last spring. It combines lovely color with frenetic mark making.
“She kidnapped my picture,” Maureen Beall said about Hilton at the exhibit's opening reception. Beall contributes a small photograph of an older woman on a porch framed by potato vines. The faded colors in the image evoke a sense of the past, while the contrasting textures of the leaves, grass and tin roof add interest. Beall never intended to put it in a show.
At the opening for "In Bloom," a large crowd gathered to enjoy the exhibit and congratulate the makers. Due to the narrowness of the space and the great attendance that night, it wasn’t always easy to see the work. This is excusable, but the lighting used to illuminate the work on display isn’t. While the criss-crossed string lights may add brightness to the rather anemic track lighting, the shadows cast by them made it difficult to view the art.
The curator hopes people will stop by Ciné regularly to check out one piece in particular in the exhibit. Photographer Rinne Allen contributes a floral installation that will change weekly. Made from local flora, it will evolve with the season, depending on what is in bloom.
"In Bloom" also presents works by Wayne Bellamy, Katherine Dunlap, Alejandro Galeana-Salinas, Moon Jung Jang, Taylor Kuzia, Jess Machacek, Malissa Ryder, Zipporah Camille Thompson and Maddie Zerkel.