Monday, November 10, 2008
Loren Schwerd and Sarah Hobbs at the Sumter Gallery of Art
I returned from the six weeks artist residency at the MacNamara Foundation in Maine to a pile of waiting mail. Fiberarts Magazine caught my eye first. The cover featured an incredible work by Loren Schwerd. Next to draw my attention was an invitation to the Sumter Gallery of Art...with yet another amazing piece by Loren Schwerd! OMG! I almost couldn't believe it...but it was true...the exhibition gracing the cover of my favorite fiber publication was opening within driving distance! I marked my calendar for last Friday night.
(Click on image to enlarge.)
I found the work intricate, perfect craftsmanship...a blend of concept, sculpture, fibers and a deep emotional response to the victims and loss after Hurricane Katrina. The exhibition was arranged beautifully. The lighting clearly enhanced the viewing. Thumbnail photographs of the buildings on which each structure was based hung near the work. Pedestals included interesting floral arrangements made mostly of synthetic hair. The references to 18th and 19th century mourning through the use of hair was obvious to me. I've framed many such antiques....wreathes, brooches, watch fobs, etc. Yet, even without knowing of this bygone tradition, the sense of memorializing a death/loss through a human element was quite clear.
(Click on image to enlarge. This is a thumbnail photograph of the building, damaged by Hurricane Katrina, that became the model for Loren Schwerd's sculptural fiber art.)
(Click on image to enlarge. Detail of one of the pieces.)
One of the best parts of the evening, however, was the fact that Sumter Gallery of Art's exhibition space nicely breaks into two halves. Mourning Portraits by Loren Schwerd only occupied the smaller side of the building. The other half was an excellent fine art photography exhibition by Sarah Hobbs called Modern Angst. The artist attended the opening and presented an excellent slide presentation about her life and work. Her images were massive and outstanding. Listening to her talk, however, made each work more special. As she talked about her creative growth and manner of working, I felt a kindred spirit. This served to make me think about my own approaches....happily similiar to such a well respected artist currently listed as one of the top 100 emerging photographers in America!
(Click on image above to enlarge. Sarah Hobbs presenting her work through a slide show at the Sumter Gallery of Art.)
Note: Ordinarily I don't snap photos at exhibitions....but lots of others were doing it and there was no sign against it....so I snapped!
Posted by Susan Lenz at 9:43 AM