Alternate Realities- Artist Listing
Even if you aren’t able to travel to a parallel universe with this year’s artist listing, you will be transported nevertheless. The 30 artists showcased on the following pages invite viewers into a world of dreams or into the depths of memory by conveying emotion or a certain mood rather than depicting factual details.
Some artists focus on the natural landscape, while others explore human relationships. Most of the work is abstract, but even those that are representational are not realistic. For example, Steven Baines’s whimsical Love from Outer Space is exquisitely rendered in a realistic style, but the imagery it depicts, a UFO suspended in midair, isn’t something you’d come across on an ordinary day. Similarly, in Toni Jo Coppa’s Slight Breeze a lion roars ferociously at a woman. Responding to domestic violence, Coppa uses fantastical imagery to convey the strong emotions inherent in such a situation.
The abstract works in this listing focus on color, form, and texture to depict particular moments in time or examine complex ideas and feelings. In Sunlit Patterns Echo Lake, Terry Hilt captures ever-changing natural elements in a colorful, energetic composition. Stew Henderson and Daniel Anselmi balance color and line with the geometric mixed-media piece FAMILY and the textural, multilayered collage Untitled (10-B),respectively.
Many artists use technique as means of expression. For example, MaJo Keleshian emphasizes the process of creation to form a visual “dialogue among the materials, the artist, and the experience of a place and time.” Scott Minzy’s labyrinthine prints composed of razor-sharp lines express “fear, regret, and longing.” His linocut Cassandra Complex employs stark contrast and crisp detail to evoke the feeling of being lost in a maze.
While the imagery may not always be familiar, all of the works in this year’s listing touch on universal themes such as love, loss, pain, and joy. Come with an open mind, and enjoy the journey.
My work is inspired by weather phenomena and climate change, reflecting what is above and below ground. I am often in my car traveling to Maine, Wyoming, and other places with extreme and beautiful landscapes. Looking out from my rearview mirror inspired the title of Drive By.
My video Passenger evolved out of a 10-year photographic exploration of abandoned cars in the woods and junkyards of rural Maine. I am drawn to the intersections where personal and popular narratives meet with the detritus of American capital.
The beauty, humor, and lightness in my work draw viewers in, but there is the possibility for deeper thought and complex emotions. There is this tension between sincerity and the absurd in my oil paintings, whether it is through landscape, seascape, abstract, or figurative elements such as bubbles, birds, or UFOs.
My paintings express my fascination with aspects of life that are both visible and invisible, knowable and unknowable, in time and timeless. A lifelong interest in dreams, along with years of meditation practice, has created my ongoing exploration of the forces that shape our experience.
I work in both the encaustic medium and in cold wax and oil, as in this piece. Building up layers then incising, scraping, and dissolving away portions leaves a textural surface, a subtlety of color, and a depth that greatly appeal to me.
Intrigued by various elements in the landscape and the interplay of water, land, and sky, my paintings are developed by removing paint as much as by applying it. This layered history, the give-and-take of paint, yields a rich and varied surface, transforming an image inspired by a specific place into a sense of place.
A few years ago I left my partnership in an architectural firm to make painting my career. In this world of increasing complexity, painting allows me to slow the pace and to find meaning and beauty. My paintings explore the way in which the external world is reflected in my inner landscape, inviting the viewer to experience the mix of the two in a way that is both personal and universal.
Cloudscape and Sea #5 is one of the most recent works in an ongoing obsession with exploring the introspective aspect created by the illusion of distance and space through brushstroke. Vacillating between the abstract and the illusionistic, I’ve worked with other media, such as joint compound, cement, and pine pollen, but always revert back to oil.
My paintings express my connection with, curiosity about, and concern for the natural world. The paintings develop organically through multiple revisions as I work toward expressing a moment, a place, or a memory.
My work is the result of nearly three decades of dedication to photographic and meditational practices, along with a fascination with watercolor. The paintings, intimate works created to express longing and emotion, are part of an ongoing series entitled Love, Passion, and Prayer.
I am captivated by the constant motion and force of the landscape: the physics of gravity, velocity, and electricity. These create continual movement within the sea, fields, and sky. In the studio I paint the kinesthetic memories of these shifting elements in an abstracted, energized landscape.
ELIZABETH B. HOY
My interest lies in the intersection of the natural and built environments—tropical plants thriving in a greenhouse in February, the artificial color of a plastic chair against the darkness of the woods, ocean-flooded pit mines, or the sky dominating a city.
I make large-scale abstract paintings and large-scale digital prints that are derived from Old Master depictions of bacchanals, interiors, and figures in the landscape. The paintings I work after are distant mirrors that I interpret through the lens of contemporary practice.
The exploration of spatial relationships through layers of rich transparent colors best describes the visual characteristics of my work. I am drawn to abstraction and the interaction of color and design.
I use painted paper as one would handle a brush to elicit brushstrokes on canvas. Never using the new, I enjoy the felt quality of the discarded. The paint I apply to these various materials (whether in large, cut pieces or intimate fragments) and affix to already created surfaces offers countless opportunities to express color, line, and form.
I construct my paper collages in the same way that I construct my threedimensional mixed-media works: piece by piece, designing with shape and geometry and balancing color with texture. I am interested in abstraction, visual tension, and texture in our daily lives and the emotional balance between risk and safety.
Family combines different materials with color and line to emulate the genetic pattern within a small group of living things.
My work primarily encompasses Maine landscapes, New York City, and the desert Southwest. I’m drawn to not-quite-explicable yet beautiful images that are mercurial and often moody. For me a photograph is both disclosure and deception, and I seek out patterns of light, shadow, movement, color, and space to conjure up that alchemy.
I have an ongoing interest in the visual and emotional contrasts within one piece. This vase is a container that cannot contain and is composed of free-spirited, lively, twisting coils compressed within the confines of a static, rigid form.
Keeping things spare, simplifying form, and focusing on what the brush can accomplish are the concerns driving my paintings.
My work is not representational. It is grounded in the most basic forms of nature: sky, sea, sand, and rock. The paintings are like icons suggesting a feeling of meditation. They are a composite of several eroded compositions. Traces or fragments from these compositions suggest a passage of time, like memory.
My work is an ongoing response to where and how I’ve lived for the past 40 years in the woods of Maine. Process has always been the focus: applying color and markings, blending, layering, wiping down, rotating the image, building the surface, and looking for a possible resolution. My work is a dialogue among the materials, the artist, and the experience of a place and time.
My art reflects a strong sense of place and connection to the people who have lived and worked there. I see “work” as the greatest expression of our humanity and how we occupy the majority of waking life. Drawing on remnants of the past and our collective history, I seek to bridge the gap between distant memory and the world of tomorrow.
I use vintage ephemera and assemblage to embrace the idea of memory and the passage of time. I create diverse pieces through colorful, multilayered collages filled with coincidences and synchronistic repeating elements. These tiny worlds are meant to bring new life into once-forgotten material and encourage the viewer to reflect on the random quality of life.
I create art that tells a story. In the process of creating a piece, usually in encaustic wax, I fall into the story and then try to step back and become the viewer rather than the maker. I’ve come to realize I love simplicity and often seem to be against adding too much.
When I look at the world in terms of paint, everything is material. Cooperating with material requires disregarding rationality and receiving what occurs peripherally, to the right or left of intention.
LILIAN DAY THORPE
I created Soft House during my artist residency in Laugarvatn, Iceland, in September of 2014. It is a photomontage, meaning I took all of the component images myself and then composited them in Photoshop to create a new, fictional landscape; I photographed the house in Maine and the cliffs in the distance in Iceland. All of my work aims to evoke a strong sense of quietness.
I research the remnants and patterns in our landscape that reflect contemporary strategies of survival. Through strata of observation, technology, subjectivity, and my surroundings, I investigate geography and its impact on our perceived ability to survive. I use traditional, historic, and digital photographic media to investigate our present condition.
My work deals with the universal themes of fear, regret, and longing. In my prints these feelings are made manifest with an intricate maze of anatomical lines that are subtle, wiry, and twisted.
TONI JO COPPA
I make things that address the human condition through symbolism, fantasy, and process driven expressions to help me understand the world and my place in it. The emotional catalyst for this piece was domestic violence.