Anyone who remembers Imprint, a 2013 exhibit at the Gallery at Avalon Island, will be familiar with this group of experimental artists. Under the swaybacked architecture and beetled brow of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, the J.K. and Sarah Galloway Foundation Community Gallery presents Martha Lent, Dina Mack, Brittany Metz, Patricia Lois Nuss, Dawn Roe and Rachel Simmons, recombined and expanded to produce a thoughtful new exhibit. Here these artists continue what they started in 2013, with a subtle and thought-provoking investigation into the way ideas flow in contemporary art.
Within this tiny room the artists present a couple dozen small, polished works that not only dialogue with their previous group show, they dialogue with other shows, and eerily, they talk to each other.
A poetic blue-lettered memorial poem is spaced on a series of white-on-white vellum sheets, across from which a series of white-lettered notes are handwritten on a blue background. The former, "A Poem for My Father" by Rachel Simmons, echoes the latter, called "Just a Picture" by Brittany Metz, in rhythm and even in some subject matter.
Diagonally across, Metz and photographer Patricia Lois Nuss continue mining their inspiration from the Transit Interpretation Project in "Can You Please Give Me a Lift," presenting emulsion lifts from Polaroids that they took on their bus trips. They transferred the Polaroids onto glass plates clustered on three horizontal panels. Staccato-rhythm poetry: faces, a blue sky, familiar scenes from Orlando rise and fall like musical notes.
The glass-plate blue sky takes us to Martha Lent's "Spaces in Between," seven vertical glass panels like sprocket holes through which Lent invites the viewer to capture the passage of time. The aqua-and-vermilion motif of her images uplifts the viewer deep in the gallery, where it is needed the most.
Dawn Roe's untitled single tree, thrice imaged, fractures its sky accompanied by a Virginia Woolf quote. The mood and the focus here is sharper than a knife, in contrast to Metz and Nuss' more impressionistic, freeform Polaroids.
Her piece, authoritatively black, contrasts also with Dina Mack's "but I digress, which is all I've ever done," white and tentative. Mack's diminutive, roseate compositions transfer some of the other visual goings-on into her own special realm; a bit of fishnet here, a pushpin there, and you have a microscopic world that is fuller than some people's whole lives.
Seeing this group develop from its initial yawp in 2013 to a more serene, sure-handed grasp on ideas today is exciting. At once exquisitely complex and uniquely specific to our locale, the works document a long, interesting conversation that hasn't ended yet.
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