Mango Tango Art Gallery will unveil two new shows from 5:30-8:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 25. W.B. Thompson will present mixed-media paintings on paper and on canvas. Jessica Rosenberg will display ceramic works that explore color and patterns.
Thompson calls his exhibition “New Growth (after pruning) and Rosenberg calls hers “Quilted Clay Series.”
Thompson has been successfully working with the gallery for almost two decades. His invitation to participate in an Absolute Vodka Art Project has added to his international reputation. He is also represented in art venues in Ojai, Calif.; San Antonio, Texas; and Stamford, Conn. and Key West, Fla.
Thompson said, “The new recent works are predominantly based on memories and recollections that have been sketched and developed over time into paintings. I did a series of five 24 x 36 (and one 24 x 24) horizontal beach paintings depicting the various activities and times of the day and imposing various figurative studies within the tableaux.
I am beginning a series of multiple figurative works and these works are the vanguard pieces of that series… so I expect that in the years to come there will be more of these explorations. In a related vein, for the past twenty years, I have been exploring florals with a continuing series of hollyhock, and I [will] be adding several studies on paper as well as some larger hollyhocks on canvas, either joined on multiple canvases or larger singular scaled pieces.
Finally, I will also include at least one or two nighttime studies on canvas that focus on the dense topography of the landscape as it relates to the sky and sea. Over the years I have made many works related to the enchanting evenings here in the Caribbean… I try to encapsulate the rich mixture of land, sea, sky and architecture, along with various logistical features we see on the island, such as transportation mechanisms, containers, trucks and ships. In the aftermath of last year’s storms, I have a heightened sense of these logistical features and have been introducing them more and more into my works.”
Rosenberg began her artistic journey mastering lithography and glass blowing. She then worked successfully as a freelance illustrator. Later she became an accomplished painter and photographer. However, gallery owner Jane Coombes notes that Rosenberg’s ceramic creations “speak to me. This is a medium she constantly explores to have a visually compelling conversation with the viewer.”
Rosenberg entitled her new works: “Quilted Clay Series, A Study in Color and Patterns.”
She said, “This work started long ago. As a child, I’d piece together leftover bits of fabric and make small textile pictures. Periodically, I’d return to this through the years. Then, after IrmMaria, I found myself making improv quilts again, finding it rewarding and therapeutic.
The point of the story is that I discovered my clay work and quilts were similar in process, color and design. The concept of quilted clay emerged, and I began pairing the two techniques into a body of work. Just as I color my white clay with pigments, I dyed cottons, linens and silks with natural pigments: indigo, madder, osage, cochineal, iron, weld, henna. The fabrics were dyed in the summer of 2018 before I started the ceramic pieces. Fabric stashed, I started working on the vessels in August. Months later, I realized the color palettes of the fabrics and the vessels were the same.
The vessels are made by piecing bits of colored clay together in the nerikomi technique I’ve been working with for the past six years. It is the same concept as a pieced quilt: small bits of color “stitched” together to form a design. There are numerous processes involved, and much time spent. Each piece is the culmination of many months of work. Some of the patterns reflect traditional quilting design, others are geometric, organic or random.”
Both artists will attend the rum punch reception and look forward to discussing their art process to viewers. There will be music by guitar virtuoso John Shaffer.
The show continues for one month.