We’ve all said the words “Good Luck” at some point in our lives, whether is it because we truly believe in it or because it’s simply a habit. But we all understand the concept. In some ways, luck is a way to have hope in a potential outcome. When there’s something we hope will happen, we want luck to be on our side. In a new art exhibition entitled “Luck of the Draw”, the Foundry Art Centre has asked artist to delve into this concept of luck and translate it into their chosen medium.
On display now through April 21, “Luck of the Draw” is an exhibit exploring the many ways that luck finds its way into our lives, be it through humor, drama, or superstition…. or perhaps a lack of it.
Upon entering the main exhibit hall at the Foundry, visitors are met with the piece that was chosen by the juror to receive the “Going Solo” award. The piece, create by Sarah Ferguson from Oregon, introduces us to the exhibit nicely. Titled “What is Luck”, the artist lays it out in ink and gouache for us not only in imagery, but in text, elaborating on the imagery of crossed fingers side by side with a diagram depicting a ladder you really should not venture under. The verbiage surrounding it includes phrases such as “opportunity”, “lucky circumstance”, “accident of birth”, and ‘misfortune” …because obviously, luck can go both ways.
Some pieces, like “One Scoop…Cookies in a Cone” capture a moment that occurs so quickly that the happenstance is the ability to see it at all. Looking down on a very happy canine, artist Michelle Streiff creates a beautiful moment where happiness flows through the eyes of a dog being offered a treat. The treat for us is the color in color used in the oil on canvas and the movement in the way it is painted…you can just see the dog vibrating in sheer anticipation and joy.
Now I must admit that despite examining the exhibit and looking for how each piece ties in with the exhibit, some of my own choice pieces that reminded me of my own joy in viewing art…. were completely nonrepresentational – pieces that drew me in and made want to get too close (I swear I didn’t touch them – but wanted to!). “Celebration”, a painting by Stephanie Holznecht, is abstract and so bold and colorful. It has a movement to it that makes you think the paint is still wet and you swear it is moving of its own volition. The movement reminds me of the course of a ribbon dancer. Weaving in and out. In her statement, Holznecht refers to her work being inspired by emotion. Her painting breathes celebration, you can feel it at first glance, as in a sudden surprise, an unexpected revelation and cause for commotion.
There were several works that drew me in with their use of texture and color, but since I don’t want to describe the entire exhibit, I’ll mention just one more. Undoubtedly one of my favorites was “Seaweed” by Bruce Broyles of Alton, IL. The first impact is from the scale and vibrant color of the painting. Created with incredible texture (this is my love of fibers and everything fiber-like showing), this vibrant green oil on large canvas (maybe 4’ x4’?) draws the viewer in to explore the texture. In his artist statement, Broyles refers to the spiritual journey of art and how he hopes “that the images are uplifting, inspiring, beautiful, engaging, joyous, and memorable; like an engaging mathematical solution or a musical composition that is a riot in musical colors, varying tempo, and profuse musical statements that are mind-engaging”. The four pieces I chose to mention here had that flow for me. They drew me in and explored the topic from different angles and with different momentums; the last of these being a personal crescendo for me.
Detail of “Seaweed” by Bruce Broyles of Alton, IL
Now, of course, art is always to some degree in the eye of the beholder. I can tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed this exhibit, featuring artists from across the country. I will urge you to find time to visit the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles. In addition to this wonderful exhibit in Galleries I & II, there are two more exhibits that also are on display through April 21, 2017. In addition to that, there are the artist studios upstairs and an enormous variety of programming available through the facility.
The Foundry Art Centre is located at 520 North Main Center in St. Charles, MO 63301. For more information about their exhibits and events, visit their website at www.foundryartcentre.org or call 636.255.0270.
An Art Intersection with Sarah Merideth