Author Archives: daveatcra

Photo abstraction at Collington

inner_harborThere is some fascinating new art work hanging in the corridor outside the Auditorium.  The works are by resident Dave Montgomery, and many residents will likely enjoy the subjects and their colors and presentation.   Here’s what Dave says about his work:

I have hung a show of photo abstraction in the auditorium corridor.

For many years I have been interested in the artistic line between abstraction and reality. How much is necessary within an abstraction to allow a viewer to identify some reality? And is the identification necessary? In other words, why worry about reality if the strength of the picture is its composition or ordering or color or any other criterion applied to an abstraction?

Back to basics, what determines the success of an abstraction if (in the usual case) there is no attempt to connect with reality? My conversations with abstract artists plus attempts at academic analysis lead me to suggest that a significant approach to an abstraction is to view it as a whole. Do not, according to this approach, overly analyze interrelationships nor positions within the picture; just look with open eyes at the whole picture.

However, when I introduce the possibility of a connection with reality, additional options add to the mix in analysis and appreciation. With any positive chance in viewing the result, the observer is able to see the original reality and how that is displayed. The depiction is in itself an artistic endeavor giving more options. I propose that reality within abstraction adds to the possibility for appreciation.

If you visit the third-floor meting room (next to apartment 351), you can see a similar effect with different execution. Look for the building front in Cairo, Illinois.

Other styles and directions are on my website .

Show by Arnold Hurley

IMG_2801dWorks by Arnold Hurley are on display in the auditorium corridor.

A native of Boston, Arnold is a graduate of Tufts University where he received both his Bachelors degree in education and his Masters of Fine Arts as a painting major, He also took courses at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. For twelve years he taught painting on the college level in the Boston area. Institutions included Emerson College, Wesleyan University, Lowell University, and Milton Academy, He received more than 30 awards for his painting and drawings. His work appeared in group exhibitions in Massachusetts, New York, and other states.

Arnold has now lived in Maryland for 33 years.  He is known at Collington as he has taught a mixed media art course on Tuesdays through the SAGE program.  He has also taught in Prince George’s County Public Schools.

He appreciates the style of realism and the challenges it brings. He likes the works of Rembrandt and Ingres as well as Andrew Wyeth. He enjoys all subjects related to color, form, and the human face. His Collington exhibition includes oil paintings, watercolors, and pencil drawings, with subjects varying from still-life to portraiture.

Arnold’s show will be up through the end of May.

 

Productive and Active

The theme at Collington for this year’s Black History Month is “Productive and Active.” Arts and crafts are now on display showing many products of being active. The glass cases in the Clock Tower contain work of residents including stained glass and needle point. Other products organized by Delores Hawkins are hung in the auditorium corridor. They include a jigsaw puzzle completed by Ron Hawkins and the picture, Fields to Factory, loaned by the Hawkinses. Students of SAGE classes may recognize work of the teacher, Albert Hurley, whose portraits are in the corridor. Pictures created by resident Madeline Wilson are scheduled for the exhibit. Von Willingham loaned her picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. The general effect of the displays is a demonstration of production contributed by the Collington community.

A Long Love of Art

The work of Ruth Schrock now on display in the library corridor is distinctive for several reasons. For one, she shows her work in both painting and photography. That her photography is film-based is significant in this day of digital work. The pieces now displayed come from her work while a student, and most of the subjects resulted from course assignments as she majored in fine arts. Painting and photography were favorite media, and both required seeing and interpreting.

The painting “Space Form Puzzle III” was inspired by a particularly interesting tree bark and was part of a three-part series. The first two were totally abstract, and the third evolved into this more representational form. “After Braque” and “After Pollack” came after studies of their work then selecting stylistic elements for interpretation in her own painting. The photographic series “Passages, as Metaphors for Life” resulted from a semester-long study on a singular subject. Doorways, hallways, and windows all speak to the mystery and unknowns we experience as humans. During the 70’s and 80’s she was included in juried exhibitions in Indiana, Michigan, and Virginia.

While Ruth’s career path was circuitous, from early childhood on she enjoyed visual stimulation, long before she knew what “fine arts” meant. She first received a BS in Nursing and spent several years in psychiatric nursing before becoming a “stay at home mom.” It was during that time that she began her art studies. After completion of her fine arts program, she worked as a free-lance photographer for a time, but found long hours in the dark room too isolating. She then found her way into the interior design field, which she has enjoyed for the last 30 years. In her interior design, she sees rooms as giant canvases waiting to be filled with form and color.

Ruth’s show will be up through February.

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Still-life photography at Collington

contributed by David Montgomery

frog8

Still life has been an accepted approach in painting for many years. Subtle variations within the approach included attempts at symbolism; e.g., “vanitas still life” painting took on a life of its own. (During the 16th and 17th centuries in Flanders and the Netherlands, skulls, watches, and musical instruments evoked thoughts of brevity and the ephemeral nature of life.)

Photographic still life is relatively uncommon, but a photography exhibit entitled “Calm Life” is now hanging in the library corridor, scheduled to remain through December. It presents still life for its own sake. It should be pleasing as a combination of form and color, and any symbolism is accidental.

Still life is an attractive approach within photography for some of the same reasons it is attractive in painting, in particular, the ability to control lighting and placement. Photography, however, adds degrees of freedom to the art form. For one, we can combine elements in the computer. This ability is critical for some depictions, e.g., the frog in one picture would not have cooperated in placing additional elements around it. Digital photography further allows manipulation of the image through artistic effects. Control of light extends beyond the initial position of lights; the degree of lightness and darkness can be varied after the fact. As you review the current show, note that much of the work includes an emphasis on background and the position of shadows can be critical.