Tumbling Down the Rabbit Hole of DFAC’s Student / Member / Faculty Show
The ears stood out from across the room. On approach, the hare’s blue eyes draw you in even closer only to find that the creature is also well dressed in a bunny print. Student Andrea Dixon received a merit award for the clay piece. It is indeed, “A Good Hare Day.”
On the topic of animals, Christine Sansbury’s acrylic “Red-Shouldered Hawk” demands your attention while award-winner Judy Heady’s “Can-Can Pelicans” are putting on a show. Kim Michelle Coakley’s “Roseate Love” is a romance in every sense. There are dogs and other species along with Patricia Delano’s “Mischievous Squirrel” scurrying about. And there’s a penguin, some cats and other creatures masquerading as Matryoshka Dolls in Diane V. Radel’s playful “Two’s Company, Twenty-Three’s a Crowd.”
Making a scene of her own in the Gamble Family Gallery, you’ll want to meet Peggy Reineking’s “Madame Zha Zha” of papier mache.
The statues and busts silently speak for themselves. If they could talk, they would probably woo us with a sexy, raspy, come-hither type voice. They are all interesting to behold.
“Having staged over fifteen #SMF exhibits in my 23-year tenure at DFAC, I am always bowled over by the skillful and expressive creations of our students and members,” Curator Catherine Bergmann says. “This year, the awards selected by our Judge Caroline Mathers, Director of the Smith Stirling Museum in Dunedin’s Sister City, Stirling, Scotland–shone a light on the diverse media taught and practiced @ DFAC–from papier mache sculpture to wood-turning, jewelry, printmaking, watercolor, fiber arts, pastels, clay and beyond.”
Of the many gasp-worthy moments one might experience throughout the #SMF Show, Carol Davis’ “Girl with Watermelon” will take your breath away and might not give it back. It will also make you crave watermelon and a perfect beach day.
Intimate encounters occur at every turn with other captivating portraits including oils “The Spanish Dancer” by Markissia Touliatos and “Dreaming” by Linda Vice, and “Irene”— a pastel by Glen Carlin. Then there’s “Grandma” by Dacota Maphis—digital photo revised art on aluminum. It is purely fascinating and before seeing the title, it somehow emitted the feeling of sitting with grandmother.
Catherine shares her response to this year’s show…
“My global reaction is elation that we were able to gather again to celebrate everyone’s gifts and accomplishments in our first full-scale reception since March 2020! Nathan and I appreciated the opportunity to install the student and member artworks more spaciously this year vs. the salon-style presentation of past #SMF shows. This is a direct reflection of the pandemic’s impact on DFAC’s class registration and participation we hope will be restored going forward. #SMF is an expression of community, above all else, and we should be heartened by the vitality and creative excellence on view this year–created, in some instances, under isolation and uncertainty.”
She hopes visitors of the show experience, “Creative courage, comfort and inspiration to embrace Life!”
Story and Photography by Leslie Joy Ickowitz