Mango Tango Art Gallery will hold an opening reception for the latest Jessica Rosenberg show from 5:30-8 :30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 23. The ceramicist will be joining the gallery for her fourth major exhibition.
The artist communicates through a variety of mediums, but she finds clay helps her best express her connection to nature.
When asked about her current work she gave a detailed account of her thought process.
“Shapes can be very expressive. Operating on this idea, I set out to explore the oval. What is the feeling of an oval? We live on a sphere, but when observing the horizon, it feels rather ovoid. Walking around in a circle feels different than walking around an oval track. Why? The lack of sharp angles makes an oval more serene. The outer line is continuous on an oval; it doesn’t come to end and then abruptly change directions, as in a square, rectangle, etc. It is a calm shape, peaceful.
I thought, this is a wonderful shape… let’s go with it and see where it takes me. The first oval looked like a rock. A beautiful rock, but still, a rock that had been buffeted by wind or water. The next piece became very sensuous, and lovely to caress. Then the oval became my canvas. The next three pieces became landscapes, as the combination of sky, land and sea fit perfectly on the shape. The curves of the oval, with a bit of carving, suggest the gentle shapes of the mountains running down to the sea.
Then came hurricanes Irma and Maria. The next two pieces are aptly named “After Irma” and “After Maria” and are a reaction to the devastation the Virgin Islands suffered during these two Category 5 back-to-back storms in September 2017.
Perhaps the oval is not the right shape for post-hurricane sculpture, I wondered. But, we are still a community, we can be reborn, like a phoenix, so the egg-shape is right. The destruction is within the confines of the shape, but the suggestion of continuity exists in the oval shape.
All the pieces are ceramic. I used stoneware for all but one piece, the brown piece, which is earthenware. The brown clay seemed appropriate our world was
brown and gray for weeks after the two catastrophic storms. The lack of green in the Virgin Islands is depressing. Shape and color contribute greatly to how we feel.”
Meet the artist at the rum punch reception. There will be music by virtuoso harpist Jesus Zamora.
The show will continue for one month.
Also, Mango Tango will open a highly anticipated show by Mel McCuddin from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 23. He has been exhibiting his paintings at the art gallery on the last Friday of February for many years, traveling from Washington for the show.
McCuddin calls himself a figurative expressionist. The foreground of each painting features an animal, a bird or a human, while the background presents abstract color and form. The abstract element belongs to his beginnings as an artist.
His painting begins by pouring different colors in layers on the canvas. Using rags, brushes and his hands, McCuddin wipes off a middle section of the paint from which he will find a form that suggests a figure. He likens this method to discovering a figure in the clouds. He continues painting until he has created figures which convey a statement on the human condition.
The final oil painting often creates an image that seems like an apparition in a reverie.
Perhaps journalist Carrie Scozzard best describes his work: “The images don’t just sit on the canvas; they emerge as if from the subconscious and hover there, like a weird and compelling dream.”
McCuddin has shown his work throughout the United States, and in American Samoa and Japan. Mango Tango Art Gallery has developed an avid client base for the artist.
The evening will include a rum punch reception and music by virtuoso harpist Jesus Zamora.
The show will continue for one month.