Feb. 22, 2009 -- Mango Tango Seaside Art Gallery at Yacht Haven Grande unveils Raising the Bar, February 27, from 5:30 to 8:30pm.
On view are the paintings of Kathy Carlson and Dana Wylder and wood creations of turner and sculptor Holland Van Gores. Carlson has earned a loyal client base for her figurative paintings which honor the rich West Indian culture. Her painting of a scratch band was featured on the cover of last year's telephone directory.
Carlson continues to work in the traditional style, while looking to other avenues of expression. She also creates paintings with spiritual themes from mythology, and folklore. The former math teacher sometimes incorporates number systems in her creations. She feels that personal experience is the core of any artist's work. Whether it is a representational work, or a free exploratory one, she incorporates lines, shape, space, form, and light and texture. Texture has become very important. She sagely adds, "I have not changed styles. I have added a new one."
"My favorite Carlson grouping in the show," comments gallery co-owner, Jane Coombes, "is created in yet another mode. The subject is children playing steel pan, painted in a stylized fashion. When I asked her about this, she explained that she took three dimensional oil drum sculptures from Haiti that she had acquired from Mango Tango and gave them life in the paintings. I think most viewers will be intrigued by sculpture inspiring paintings."
A passionate sailor, Wylder has always painted winning seascapes, and does so for this show. Yet her first exhibit in St. Thomas, about 30 years ago in L'Esgargot Restaurant, at a time when there were no galleries on island. Because she lived on a boat, her ideal medium at that time was watercolor. Her site specific paintings of downtown's lacy balconies, lively domino games on waterfront, and colorful fruit and vegetable stands were snapped up by collectors. When Mango Tango opened two decades ago many local customers asked, "Are you going to carry Dana Wylder's work?" Mango Tango's first show in the gallery was for Dana Wylder.
The current show includes two years of work by Wylder. She is a master oil painter and watercolorist and presents works in both media. A great lover of music, on her last visit she took in music venues at Latitude 18, Betsy's Bar, and Bottoms Up. Included in her watercolors, are dynamic watercolors of her music experience . To add to the gaiety of her music night memories, she painted the works on yupo, a compelling and unique alternative to traditional art papers. It's a synthetic paper, machine-made in the USA of 100 percent polypropylene.
Van Gores looks for fallen and discarded wood for his turnings and sculpture. He changes the indigenous woods into something innovative, while bringing out the natural beauty of the wood. He is an established artist who seeks to redefine purpose, ornamentation and sculptural form..
While the lathe helps him create lovely vessels, he adds sculpting to some wood pieces. Working with a special part of the mahogany tree, inspired him to make an engaging sculpture. He says that special part of the tree is " where the branch joins the trunk, the crotch, where for stability the tree makes an intricate interlocking. I focused on the beauty of the patterns in the interlocking grain for my sculpture."
Gallery co-owner Smokey Pratt notes that "when we opened just half of the packages containing Dana's oil paintings and those of Kathy, and looked at Holland's unbelievable wood sculptures, I said that the name of the show should describe the caliber of art to be shown. These three artists are definitely 'raising the bar' for all artists exhibiting in the Virgin Islands."
Artist Dana Wylder, who gave up her sailboat for snow skis, lives in Idaho. She will be at the opening to see old friends and discuss her artwork with viewers. Holland Van Gores of St. Thomas will be on hand to discuss his evolution as a maestro of wood. Carlson,who always says that she likes her art to do the talking is going to let her stellar works do just that, as she is due for surgery on her knees.
The band 2 Blue Shoes will play interpretations of the music of Taj Mahal, Randy Newman, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, as well as a few original tunes during the champagne reception.
The show continues for one month. For more information call 715-2789.