THELMA SADOFF CENTER FOR THE ARTS

Event Calendar

Nov
18
Thu
Denise Presnell: The Sweet Spot Between Chaos and Control
Nov 18 2021 – Jan 22 2022 all-day

Exhibition will be on display from November 18, 2021 –  January 22, 2022

“I am a painter/mixed media/pastel artist living and working in western Wisconsin. My work is driven by an intuitive desire to explore a personal archeology. Shapes and marks unite to display a map of my creative process. The tools and mediums I use to explore this imagery are also intuitively chosen for their unique effect on the composition. The range of mediums I use is vast and includes oil, pastel, acrylic, cold wax, charcoal, graphite, oil pigment sticks, color pencil and iridescent powders on paper, canvas and panel. My artist tools include traditional brushes, shape makers, palette knives, squeegees and odds and ends of packing materials, cups – you name it. If an object looks like it will create a unique effect or texture while transferring paint onto a surface – I’ll try it.

I speculate that my current work is a form of visual game playing. There is a juxtaposition of random and decisive choices throughout my painting process so that both the conscious and subconscious have an opportunity to interact on the surface of the picture plane. My work involves as much tearing down as it does the building up of visual elements. I won’t allow any section of the surface to be so precious that I wouldn’t risk removing it or covering it over with paint in order to unify the whole. And as in any good game, risk is necessary for the reward. My process involves working on 2 – 3 pieces at a time.

Currently, I shift between working with acrylic on canvas and oil, cold wax and mixed media on paper or panel. With each medium, I concentrate on one piece and begin the additional work or two with the extra paint left on my palette. This results in a miniseries based on the palette, but not necessarily on the composition. Composition is unique to each piece as it is developed intuitively during the process of each piece. I find that shifting from acrylic to the cold wax medium informs the textures and tool methods used between the two mediums. I’ve discovered ways to make the acrylic work like cold wax and vice versa. The layering process is very similar between the two mediums as well. I try to leave at least some areas of all my works with a glimpse of each step of the work process – a sort of visual mapping of my decision making.” – Denise Presnell

For more information about the artist click HERE!

 

 

Galleries are free to view:
Monday: 10 – 5 pm
Tuesday: 10 – 5 pm
Wednesday: 10 – 5 pm
Thursday: 10 – 5 pm
Friday: 10 – 5 pm
Open Saturdays 10 – 3 pm
Closed on Sundays.

Emily Mcllroy: The Lilies How They Grow
Nov 18 2021 – Jan 22 2022 all-day

Exhibition will be on display from November 18, 2021 –  January 22, 2022

“I use the practice of drawing and painting as a means of connecting the grace, power, violence, and complexity found in nature, with internal landscapes of thoughts, memories, and emotions. My large-scale works on paper explore forces and elements of the natural world as metaphors for human experiences of love, loss, grief, and transformation. Densely layered and detailed, the nine panels that make up the series “The Lilies How They Grow,” are composed of organic shapes, colors, and textures reminiscent of underwater caverns, glaciers, or the delicate features of animals and plants.

Since the sudden deaths of my twin brother and mother, I have come to see our own inner worlds as “wildernesses” -spaces that harbor great dangers, as well as potential for incredible wonder and discovery. “The Lilies How They Grow” is an attempt to navigate the forces and features of this territory. It is an attempt to understand and accept an existence that is at once breathtakingly beautiful, unendurably painful, infinitely fragile, and prodigiously resilient. Created as prayers for a passageway out of all the has held me back, these pieces look towards hope and faith in the capacity to love, and for the possibility of a life aligned with presence, openness, and joy.!

The title of the series comes from a dream I had a month after the death of my twin. As I was walking along the edge of a cliff at night I slipped, and while falling, saw two small lilies that I grabbed and used to pull myself back up and out of the blackness. Now, whenever traction becomes weak, when I don’t remember who I am, I consider the lilies. I search for the handholds in the dark. I take the seeds of those life-sustaining flowers and try to grow them, not in little pairs, but in full, feracious fields.” – Emily Mcllroy

For more information about the artist click HERE!

 

 

Galleries are free to view:
Monday: 10 – 5 pm
Tuesday: 10 – 5 pm
Wednesday: 10 – 5 pm
Thursday: 10 – 5 pm
Friday: 10 – 5 pm
Open Saturdays 10 – 3 pm
Closed on Sundays.

Feb
7
Mon
THELMA Book Club
Feb 7 @ 5:30 pm
Get ready for the next meeting of the THELMA Book Club on February 7 at 5:30 pm! The book for this month’s meeting is Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. You do not need to have the book read. Books are available at the Thelma front desk.
Join the THELMA Book Club! It’s free and open to the public!
***We will meet in person at THELMA***

 

About the Book:

In SMALL GREAT THINGS, Jodi tackles the profoundly challenging yet essential con­cerns of our time: prejudice, race, and justice.

“SMALL GREAT THINGS is the most important novel Jodi Picoult has ever written. Frank, uncomfortably introspective and right on the day’s headlines, it will challenge her readers…The difficult self awareness is what sustains this book…forcing engaged readers to meditate on their own beliefs and actions along with these characters….It’s also exciting to have a high-profile writer like Picoult take an earnest risk to expand our cultural conversation about race and prejudice.” – Washington Post

 

Mar
17
Thu
Craig Clifford: Normally There
Mar 17 – Apr 30 all-day

Exhibition will be on display from March 17, 2022 –  April 30, 2022.

“As an artist I am interested in where high and low culture intersects and how images carry meaning within a society that consumes a huge amount of visual information. My creative practice is an exercise in the transformation of common objects and an investigation into how context, expectation and gaze affect our experience with the things we live with. I use the technique of casting to transform found objects and forms into rich tableaus that use color and texture to alter the perception of space and draw the viewer into a complex experience.

My pieces are made by the assemblage of hundreds of press molded, kitsch forms to create texture that at first glance seems to be a mere surface but then draws the viewer in with slices of recognizable imagery. I could use anything to create texture, but choose to use the trite, sentimentalized images that come from commercial plaster molds. In fine art, ceramics is often considered low art and within ceramics commercial molds are the lowest form of clay as they require no skill or creativity and represent images and clichés as crass novelty items. I transform these hollow, commercial reproductions of ‘art’ to create my work. The forms themselves are cast from found objects like refined teacups and serving pieces from cast off china sets. For myself, these objects are images of refinement and wealth and act as a contrast to the surface imagery.

The pieces show themselves in layers of information that take time to reveal themselves to the viewer. I utilize color as another layer for the work, both hiding and accenting the texture and form. I work in assemblage and use material culture to create works that recontextualize the familiar until it is transformed and unrecognizable.”

For more information about the artist click HERE!

 

Galleries are free to view:

Monday: 10 – 5 pm
Tuesday: 10 – 5 pm
Wednesday: 10 – 5 pm
Thursday: 10 – 5 pm
Friday: 10 – 5 pm
Saturday: 10 – 3 pm
Closed on Sundays

Mark Mcleod: Worn but Warm
Mar 17 – Apr 30 all-day

Exhibition will be on display from March 17, 2022 –  April 30, 2022.

Mark Mcleod is an Associate Professor of Art at Middle Tennessee State University currently living and working near Nashville. He’s been in numerous exhibitions and has organized on campus artist residencies for the past 6 years. Most of his work deals with issues of memory, with some forays into systems of power and identity.

His primary focus for the past 10 years has been the ever-changing and erroneous nature of memory.

“Memory is a fallible, persistently shifting, exploitable thing. My interest in memory stems from our inability to store and retrieve some long- and short-term events. I remember few events from my childhood and very little from my recent past. This deficiency has forced me to rely on secondary storage and retrieval methods. Video has become a backup for incomplete memories, and photography has become my proof of moments. My life has been subsequently organized into little blue digital folders by year, month, and event. This shortcoming makes me question my limited recollection of the past and what I have come to understand as reality.” – Mark Mcleod

For more information about the artist click HERE!

 

Galleries are free to view:

Monday: 10 – 5 pm
Tuesday: 10 – 5 pm
Wednesday: 10 – 5 pm
Thursday: 10 – 5 pm
Friday: 10 – 5 pm
Saturday: 10 – 3 pm
Closed on Sundays

 

May
5
Thu
Kenny Nyguen: Intertwined
May 5 – Jun 18 all-day

Exhibition will be on display from May 5, 2022 –  June 18, 2022

“My work explores the concept of cultural identity, integration, and displacement. My studio practice is influenced by Vietnamese cultural heritage and background in fashion design. I use silk, a cultural-rich material, as a metaphor for my personal identity. Silk has an important role in Vietnamese culture as well as the traditional art. After I’ve moved to the U.S, my research has shifted from traditional silk painting techniques to deconstruction and reconstruction of the textile itself. I used the material as a medium to paint and build a new structure for each installation. It’s a repeated process of destroying and recreating. Cutting, tearing, beating, sanding. Sewing, weaving, attaching, layering. Silk has becomes the connector that tied both cultures together.

My Silk Piece installations were constructed in the way garment would be made. I sculpted them based on an imagination body. Each fold and drape was secured temporarily with a push pin and constantly changed during the installation process. The forms are not permanent. When I reinstall the piece in a new space this process will be repeated but the result will never turn out the same. The transformation of silk from a delicate to sculptural material was reminiscent of my identity transformation. I see silk as my second skin, borrow it to reconstruct my own self and recapturing memories.” 

For more information about the artist click HERE!

Galleries are free to view:

Monday: 10 – 5 pm
Tuesday: 10 – 5 pm
Wednesday: 10 – 5 pm
Thursday: 10 – 5 pm
Friday: 10 – 5 pm
Saturday: 10 – 3 pm
Closed on Sundays

 

Reni Gower: GEOmatrix: a Perfect Proof
May 5 – Jun 18 all-day

Exhibition will be on display from May 5, 2022 –  June 18, 2022

Reni Gower has over 40 years of professional experience in the fine arts. Her work has been showcased internationally in Qatar, UAE, Australia, Italy, Peru, Korea, Israel, Belgium, England, Moldova, and Moscow. Additional national venues include the Mesa Contemporary Art Museum, AZ; Zukerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw, GA; Muskegon Museum of Art, MI; Rawls, Museum, Courtland, VA; Taubman, Museum, Roanoke, VA; Kimball Art Center, Park City, UT; McLean Project for the Arts, McLean, VA; Erie Museum of Art, Erie, PA; Villa Terrace Decorative Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI; South Carolina State Museum, Columbia, SC; Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC; Virginia Museum of Art, Richmond, VA; Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, NY; Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY; Tweed Museum of Art, Duluth, MN; The McKinney Avenue Contemporary, Dallas, TX; Tinney Contemporary, Nashville, TN; and Chroma Projects, Charlottesville, VA.

“My work is inspired by sacred geometry, which is thought to convey sacred and universal truths by reflecting the fractal interconnections of the natural world.  By reiterating these patterns and ratios, my work unlocks the language of abstraction through the collective recognition of geometric perfection that is evident in ethnic patterns all around the world.  This commonality creates connections.   As such, my work is a perfect conduit for cross-cultural conversations that embrace our shared humanity through mindfulness and mutual respect.”

For more information about the artist click HERE!

 

Galleries are free to view:

Monday: 10 – 5 pm
Tuesday: 10 – 5 pm
Wednesday: 10 – 5 pm
Thursday: 10 – 5 pm
Friday: 10 – 5 pm
Saturday: 10 – 3 pm
Closed on Sundays

Jun
23
Thu
Tom Lundquist: SciFi Jumbo
Jun 23 – Aug 6 all-day

Exhibition will be on display from June 23, 2022 –  August 6, 2022

“Science fiction can be a great source of fun for people who make pictures. Though the subjects need to be reasonably rendered, all requirements for recognizable environments, scaling, or any object’s reason for being may be tossed over your shoulder.

I watched a set of interviews with the actors and FX artists who were bringing Dr Who into the contemporary world in 2005. When they explained that it was a children’s show, I realized that this genre could be exciting (even alarming) without being vicious or horrifying. That was intriguing and a dozen ideas grew out of it.

Why do they need to so big? I had just finished doing a 96 image print series where everything was “poster size.” Changing the scale would prevent me from just repeating those posters with a different set of characters. Since I owned a big printer, I decided to let it roar.

Everything in this exhibit is produced through some form of digital modeling and/or digital painting. I turned to computer imagery after spending much of my youth making elaborately detailed drawings. The ability to create much more complex images was an irresistible enticement and I was willing to put aside traditional drawing values to do it.
I live in Los Angeles, California and teach part time at Santa Monica College.”

For more information about the artist click HERE!

 

Galleries are free to view:

Monday – Friday: 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 3 pm
Closed on Sundays

 

Aug
11
Thu
Mayuko Ono Gray: 諸行無常_This Too, Shall Pass
Aug 11 – Sep 24 all-day

Exhibition will be on display from August 11, 2022 – September 24, 2022.

“Reflecting a life which is both culturally Japanese and American, my graphite drawings hybridize influences from traditional Japanese calligraphy combined with Western drawing practices and aesthetics. Ejected out of Japan at the age of 18 with full of curiosity and no fear, swallowed by America, nearly dead, my works emerge from my experiences of displacement, immigration, deportation, love, trauma, the crush of motherhood, failed relationships and other meaningful encounters with the unknowable. My current works investigate and examine the unknowable through both images and proverbs.

Growing up in Japan, every Saturday afternoon was spent with my Sensei, a calligraphy master who would assign words for each of us to practice. We would spend hours producing copies of the Sensei’s sample. The goal was to imitate the sample, paying attention to the line quality, the varying speed, the pressure and angle of the brush movement. The handling of the brush had to become rhythmic and graceful.

At high school age, in preparation to entrance exam to art university in Japan, I had to take private lessons to learn drawing with graphite and charcoal practicing techniques such as chiaroscuro and sfumato. Saturday afternoons were then spent at a Western style art studio with pedestals, still lifes, and white marble copies of Roman busts instead of tatami mat calligraphy studio sitting on the floor. The fluid ink was replaced with malleable graphite and ephemeral charcoal. The wet immediacy of calligraphic line was replaced with illusionistic volumes meticulously rendered. Instead of going through dozens of rice papers in a session, one sheet of high-quality cotton paper was given to work on. But I never applied to college there.

 

Traditional Asian art-forms have often integrated word and image, and my interest and practice also follow the path in my unique way. In my current works, I mostly use images of persons, animals, and still lifes captured in my banal daily experiences. A Japanese proverb accompanies each work, spelling out the hiragana and kanji, characters intertwine to create a single line which has only one entrance and one exit. The calligraphic line begins at the top right and ends toward the bottom left of the page, following traditional Asian writing. The single line going through a pictorial plane is a metaphor of a life: one entrance as birth of physical body, and one exit as death and loss of physical body, and all the complicated experiences during existence between these two.”

For more information about the artist click HERE!

Galleries are free to view:

Monday – Friday: 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 3 pm
Closed on Sundays

Sep
29
Thu
Lizz Stringfield: Cognitive Environment
Sep 29 – Nov 12 all-day

Exhibition will be on display from September 29 – November 12, 2022.

“Blending the vernacular of snapshot, landscape, and scientific photography, my work uses perceptual trickery to subvert visual expectations. By manipulating the readable information through unique lighting conditions, digital collage, and elements of drawing, an image remains open– familiar yet new.

Environmental Cognition, Cognitive Environment, and Coruscate are segments of a collection of photographs focused on human and environmental interactions as collaborations. Balance in nature is maintained through ever-moving relationships between biotic components (living) and abiotic components (nonliving). Psychically, humans are transitioning from a man-dominates-nature perspective to a person(s)-as-part-of nature approach to the world around us.”

For more information about the artist click HERE!

 

 

Galleries are free to view:

Monday – Friday: 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 3 pm
Closed on Sundays