The Arts Council of Martin County presented “An Abstract View,” featuring the artwork of Jean Banas, Mary Lou Gibson, Jill Lavetsky, Jane Lincoln, Roberta Marks, Gail McCarthy, Hanne Niederhausen, Lee Passarella, Carol Staub, Leslie Stokes, Terry Thommes, and Bill Ward. The exhibition was held February 13 – April 10, 2015 at the Court House Cultural Center, 80 East Ocean Boulevard, downtown Stuart.
Behind the Scenes of An Abstract View
by Roni BartoliniRottner
When you visted An Abstract View, you were greeted by dynamic, interesting and thought-provoking images. This is just what the curators of this exhibition had in mind. While it is anticipated that you will be intrigued by the art on display, the development of this unique show has a back story of its own.
Creating an exhibition, from original concept to hanging the work on gallery walls at the Court House Cultural Center, home of the Arts Council of Martin County, can take over a year of research, planning and discovery.
The Arts Council’s 16-18 member Gallery Committee is comprised of artists, designers, collectors and community members with training and interest in the visual arts. Once the idea of an all-abstract exhibition was proposed and then approved by the committee, a small group — in this case 5 co-chairs — took over the responsibility to research and produce the show. This has entailed locating talented Florida abstract artists, viewing their work, visiting some in their studios, and curating a selection of their works to be exhibited.
The most challenging and by far the most satisfying co-chair task is saved for last: hanging the show. On take-in day, when artists deliver their work, the gallery suddenly comes alive with images and objects placed on the floor, ringing the gallery walls. Our challenge: how to make meaningful order of total visual chaos.
It is comparable to solving a big puzzle, this one made up of around 50-some disparate pieces, and placing them together to make a cohesive whole. We arrange, rearrange, take another look, replace one piece with another to determine which work compliments another. We work to develop a rhythm and visual flow between our two galleries, and to show each work to its best advantage. It is a tireless effort to “get it right” filled with esprit de corps because we each love what we do.
The co-chairs have high expectations. We hope this show makes a dramatic statement with its focus on abstract work and, by extension, promotes lively dialogue, challenges existing attitudes regarding non-representational and non-figurative work and stimulates the public’s interest in an array of powerful images and sculpture from twelve outstanding artists.
The committee includes Cheryl Ritland, Chair , Petey Cox, Maggie Griner, Jane Kiehart and Roni Bartolini Rottner