Pamela Skinner Gallery

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Exhibitions June 2009


Sculpture & Paintings

Thursday, June 11, 2009 from 5-8 pm

Saturday, June 13, 2009 from 6-9 pm

June 13 - July 3, 2009

Wednesday - Saturday 12 - 5pm
And by appointment

Friday 12-5pm

Left: Laura Parker, Equilibrium,
Forged steel, H19" x W55" x D16", 2009
Right: Jack Alvarez, On a Wire,
Acrylic and Graphite on Canvas, 36" x 48", 2009

Laura Parker

I am passionate about the creative potential of metal. What attracts me to the working of steel is the exploration of its plastic qualities through direct process; bending, twisting, riveting, joining, etc. There is something sustaining and true about shaping hot metal in much the same way as it was done centuries ago. My work is an exploration of movement or motion. The immediacy and directness of the process encourage spontaneity in my idea development. The forge fire is my "inner center".

My work is usually personal in nature, and emulates my own trials and tribulations as well as my responses to the fragility of human interaction and relationships. Even so, I have been surprised how many of my "musings" are universal. Often as artists we feel we are somehow more sensitive than the rest of the world. In reality, we all have soft underbellies. Some of us just choose to express those thoughts and feelings through art.

I am a tenured professor in the Art Department at American River College in Sacramento, Ca. I find that teaching helps my own work. Conveying my work process and thoughts in an educational environment keeps things fresh.

The Journey
Forged steel & wood
H11" x W18" x D7"
How the idea evolved: Recently my husband's elderly employee passed away from cancer. He had been such a part of our lives that I wanted to document his death. The wings represent that he became freed from the body that ailed him. The vessel represents his spirit.

Growth Spurt
Forged steel, Damascus & wood
H11" x W19" x D7"
How the idea evolved: Since I teach full time my summer vacations truly feel like a sabbatical. I am able to focus on sculpture for three months uninterrupted. The wood represents my job. Although it is mentally satisfying it often puts time restrictions on my creativity. The flower represents the opportunity to create.usually restricted under life's daily obligations until it can grow unfettered.

Crossing The Bridge
Forged steel & wood
H13.5" x W21" x D5.5"
How the idea evolved: After my summer vacation I began to realize that I had no copping mechanism to go back to work! I could drive to work blindfolded I knew the road so well. But I began to visualize the road as something similar to a screen shot in the science fiction movie. The one side of the bridge represented leaving the other side represented trying to return.

The Road Less Traveled
Forged steel
H6.5" x W19" x D7"
How the idea evolved: A fellow blacksmith confided in me that he had a new love relationship. He was concerned with how different their life styles were. I was impressed with the dedication and compromises he had made to lead a true artist/blacksmith existence and was concerned that he would be forced to make all the sacrifices. As I drove away from his shop I was struck with the thought that he had truly taken the road less traveled.

Jack Alvarez

Just over 3 years ago I woke in the middle of the night, to discover I was having a mild stroke. Afterwards, my friends would ask, did it change my art? My answer was no. It kind of confirmed what I was doing, at the time. Well, it did change my art, how could it not? When most people hear the word stroke, they think, physical change, this is true, I had to learn to walk again, what most people don't realize, is the mental shifts that can occur as well. Altered brain processing becomes a reality. In my case, the altered perspective on my common, daily occurrences and routine became different; it occurred softly, without my "permission". As a artist, what I had viewed in my art, as abstract, watered down symbolism, now started to become increasingly minimal; as a visual thinking person, detail mattered even less. The language I used to say the same things, now seem to say more, "with less." In physical therapy, I learned about things like, proprioception; our built-in sense of physical space and distance between body and things. I gained better insight on how we view, and translate objects into a manageable world or language.

In this show of new works, I explore visual language and space in different size and composition, using color as a accent, i.e., "On the other Side", a predominately green work, consists of various nondescript objects in a minimal landscape. hoping to portray a peaceful place; the grass is greener, "on the other side". When one views it, the stark green begins to ease, as it seems to relax the senses.

It has always been my passion to dwell in the world of my cultural ancestry. Using iconography of the ancient indigenous peoples of the Americas has always allowed me to explore their mystical ways. Although all my work will have the sense of the Native American past running through it, I now feel the need to take it further into my personal subconscious.

On the Wire
Acrylic, Graphite on Canvas
36" x 48" 2009

Primavera (springtime)
Acrylic, Graphite on inside old Book Cover
H5.5" x W8.5"

Red Wall 1
Acrylic, Graphite on Canvas
H54.25" x W63.5"

Prayer Feathers
Acrylic, Graphite on Wood Panel
H48" x W60"