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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 22, 2014

12 X 12 Canvas Exhibit winners announced

Voting for the People's Choice award continues until Friday.
Jan 08, 2014
PHOTO SUBMITTED The four winners in the Fairfield Art Association’s 12 X 12 Canvas Membership Exhibit were Gin Lammert and Mark Shafer holding their entries, with the works by Dietrich Bonhoeffer Bappe on the left and Catherine Aalto on the right behind them.

The Fairfield Art Association has announced the four award winners of its 12 X 12 Canvas Membership Exhibit.

Judge Ann Klingensmith selected the following artists from among a show of close to 50 participants: Dietrich Bonhoeffer Bappe for “Hatching from a Starry Egg,” an entry in ink and watercolor: Mark Shafer for “Bow & Eros,” an acrylic painting; Gin Lammert for “Single with Character,” a work in oil; and Catherine Aalto for “First Snow,” an oil.

These works will remain on display in the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center’s Main Gallery through February, and all are available for purchase.

In addition, the public is invited to vote for People’s Choice until Friday. This award will get the winning artist two tickets to the Tracy Lawerence show at the convention center’s Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts.

Klingensmith said the first thing that struck her about Bappe’s “Hatching from a Starry Egg” was the use of line as a contour to create both form and shape; the color washes help create the composition. “I think that without the color washes, the piece would appear to be disconnected and more about individual thoughts,” commented Klingensmith. “Mr. Bappe pulled the whimsy of the line and subjects together with the color. The color is muted and rather than pulling down the energy of the linear elements it allows me to focus.”

Klingensmith said Shafer’s “Bow and Eros” painting “is an intellectual puzzle of a well-known story — with well-known outcomes except this one has twists. ... Shafer uses the curve of the bow in the lower left corner to pull the eye directly to Cupid. Cupid is standing on the string of the bow — walking and balancing, as if on a tight wire. And indeed it is a tight wire over the sharp heads of arrows also pointing upward, directionally at Cupid. His hands cover his eyes — balanced on a string preforming a death-defying feat. Is he to fall on one of his own arrows — it will not be a gentle poke — it would be the end of Cupid.”

Klingensmith said the lace creates an interesting background that shifts in and out of focus.

“On one reading it reminds me of handmade lace and oddly enough the intricate engineering of a computer’s motherboard. Hard circuits — hard wired for these kinds of games,” she said. “The twist isn’t just on one level.”

Lammert painting “Single with Character” is a “richly surfaced painting fixed atop a possible preparatory painting in reds of yet another pear,” commented Klingensmith. “I like the physical layering of the smaller canvas on top of the 12 X 12 inch canvas. In a world of Photoshop layers, it is refreshing to see this. There is no blending between the two paintings, but rather the bottom image serves as a foundation, but also a reference to the subject of the pear.”

“The surface of the top painting is well ‘painted,’” continued Klingensmith. “That may seem like an obvious statement, but there is no mistake that the artist built the surface and the form of the pear with paint. By the way the artist handled the paint and the blending of it, she also explored the space behind the pear with paint. She left bits of cadmium red at the edge of the composition so the viewer won’t wander too far. The space itself is ambiguous; it is both close and far. I enjoyed the play between the two canvases.”

Klingensmith said she kept coming back to Aalto’s “First Snow” again and again.

“The title seems simple enough, a description of an event that happens every year, and every year it is a bit exciting to be in the first snow,” commented Klingensmith. “Titles are usually something that can be both an invitation, and a description.”

According to Klingensmith, the composition is almost a symmetrical quadrant arrangement.

“Often this can be deadly because of its static, unmoving nature,” she said. “This little painting defies that age old composition rule. While the composition seems to solidly rest, it is the color that asked and creates visual questions, such as why this green? What is my relationship to the house? It is the cool, muted color of the horizontal structure a barrier. What is the space? Near or far? The green as almost an acrid color is the focal point not only of the composition, but of the questions. I enjoy the challenge that Aalto provided.”

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