Metamorphosis-A Five Artist Invitational Exhibition
The Art Association of Harrisburg is pleased to present Metamorphosis, a five-artist invitational exhibition featuring the artwork of Candy Delaney, Joanne Landis, Thomas J. Norulak, Samantha Sanders, and Barbara Passeri-Warfel. The show, sponsored by David Volkman, runs from October 20th – November 22nd, 2017 with an opening reception on Friday, October 20th, from 5:00 to 8:00pm, hosted by Cynthia Graeff, with music by John Catalano. The five artists’ works are held together by the common thread of change, found either directly in the subject matter depicted, the artist’s life which has inspired a shift in style, or the evolution of a narrative within a work of art itself.
Conceptual self-portrait fine art photographer, Candy Delaney, is both the photographer and model in her work. She works professionally as a middle school science teacher. Her journey as a photographer emerged from her desire to model what being involved in a ‘passion project’ looks like for her students. Photography was the perfect passion as it merged Delany’s teenage past as a model, her love of fashion and the beauty of decay, and her acceptance as a NASA Citizen Journalist for the Antares Rocket Launch. As Delaney explains, “Photography has allowed me to actualize creative energy waiting to be tapped all of my life.” Delany begins her creative process by identifying a location, which is often linked to her love of abandoned spaces. “I start to conceptualize a story I want to tell… my photography passion embodies the importance of the story,” she explains. Once on location Delany constructs and photographs scenes that illustrate her preconceived narrative. However, the process does not end with Delany’s constructed story. Driven by her belief that the art is found in the journey, Delany allows the photographed locations to speak to her and photographs other potential storylines, as well as, documentary photographs of the abandoned locations.
Joanne Landis, story-teller and narrative painter, describes her paintings as developing much like dreams. Originally from New York, where she worked as a professional fashion illustrator, her artistic practice shifted to painting after moving to Pennsylvania. Each of Landis’ pieces are worlds in-and-of themselves that develop, change and evolve as she paints. It could be said that the figures Landis paints, tell her who they are. As she continues to paint, Landis solidifies the meaning and identity of the figures by discovering qualities in the figures she did not immediately notice. Landis describes this process when recalling her painting, How Women Become Birds: “I decide that although I have given them [the figures] yellow hair, it’s cropped in such a way that they seem Egyptian. They become Egyptian.” Women are often the subject matter of Landis’ work, in which the figures tend to be meditations on archetypes, myth or personal experience. Ultimately, each painting is a multifaceted and layered piece both aesthetically and conceptually, as Landis reflects inward on her own life while also connecting to universal paradigms.
Thomas J. Norulak, who obtained his BFA from Carnegie Mellon University, has been an active printmaker in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for 25 years. In the 1980’s Norulak began a successful commercial screen printing business, and started exhibiting his prints in art shows a decade later. In addition, Norulak has also taught printmaking at Pittsburg Center for the Arts, Seton Hill University, Carnegie Mellon University Pre-College program, and Carnegie Museum of Art. Norulak’s style varies from vibrant landscape screen prints, to monochromatic etchings depicting the effects of time on nature and manmade structures. His latest work focuses on the Mayan ruins of Tulum, Mexico and Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, Georgia.
Barbara Passeri-Warfel studied painting with AAH’s own late curator and expressionist painter, Charles ‘Li’ Hidley. With a BA in Art Education from Rowin University, Passeri-Warfel has both an extensive teaching and exhibiting career. The major body of Passeri-Warfel’s work that will be shown in Metamorphosis was created after January 2017. As circumstances in her personal life have changed, so has Passeri-Warfel’s approach to painting. Her style post-January 2017 holds a more expressive quality, free from the confines of strict representation. This aesthetic liberation, in turn, “…freed me from myself,” Passeri-Warfel explains. The process in which she works also expresses the over-arching of metamorphosis as Passeri-Warfel starts a painting with little preconceived ideas. She allows the work to grow organically as she responds and reacts to the emerging image, not knowing what the end product will be. The spontaneity of the layered paint and stencils not only renders freshness to Passeri-Warfel’s work, but is therapeutic in raising her spirit.
Samantha Sanders, MFA candidate at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, brings her ongoing series, Plant Studies, to this five-artist invitational exhibition. These watercolor and pen pieces, that blur the line between representation and abstraction, are rendered from flowerbeds around Sander’s home. With an overabundance of plant matter, each study is a specific space chosen from the whole. Sander’s commands order to what could be a chaotic scene, by focusing on color, form and line to create a layered and balanced body of work. The intent of Plant Studies is for, ““…the viewer to experience the natural world through a different lens, and to reflect on the cultivated spaces they have created.”