Visual arts

New exhibitions at Laney Contemporary and at the RO3 gallery: Low Country Passion & The Vastness of One’s Life | Visual arts | Savannah News, Events, Restaurants, Music

I am always excited when the state-of-the-art Laney Contemporary Gallery hangs a new exhibition. But when it’s a show created by a nationally renowned artist who happens to be a friend, I get more than excited! Don’t miss “The Nature of Not Knowing” by Betsy Cain, on display this Friday, January 7th.

A native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Cain received his BA and MA in Fine Arts from the University of Alabama, and did undergraduate studies at Auburn University and the Instituto Allende de San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. After the culmination of a nationwide grant from the Roswell Museum and Art Center in New Mexico in 1981, Betsy and her photographer husband David Kaminsky moved to Savannah where she maintained an independent studio for four decades. It’s fun to look back on my studio tours over the years – everything from a gorgeous space overlooking the holm oak canopy on Wright Square to the rather spooky former slaughterhouse, Meddin Meat Packing Company, on Louisville Road.

One of our city’s most accomplished contemporary artists, Cain’s multimedia paintings can be found in many corporate collections and at public institutions such as the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Macon Museum of Arts and Sciences. , Telfair Museums’ Jepson Center for the Arts, Savannah and Roswell Museum and Art Center, Roswell, NM. She received the Macon Museum’s Bowen Prize in 2018 for artistic excellence and the Georgia Women in the Visual Arts, Governor’s Award in 1997.

Cain describes his show as a “pandemic body of work with most of the pieces completed in 2020 and 2021. We could have called the show ‘Sequestered!’ As I work alone in my studio, my studio practice didn’t change much with the onset of the virus and the shutdown that followed, except that I had so many fewer distractions from an eclipsed social life. However, “The generalized anxiety that we all felt permeated my work. I think of the two paintings in “the eye of the storm”, which seem to reflect some kind of uproar or vortex of energy. The Covid storm we are all experiencing is anything but calm. “

She continues: “I continue with paintings, works on paper and cutouts, all exploring an essence of form and the suggestion of both figure and landscape. As I don’t work from nature (with the exception of drawing / painting on Ossabaw Island), I distill relationships and images from what I perceive and experience. I am very attached to the low-altitude landscape, tidal estuaries, maritime forest, drops of Spanish moss, rich textures and saturated hues …

“My husband and I live in the swamp and we see the dramatic changes with the tide, light and storms. It’s an endless inspiration to me. As well as the color indigo, which I use in abundance in many of these works. I like the fact that a pigment can be associated with a place, with this place.

In contrast to the plethora of colors she employs and the preponderance of indigo, Cain says, “Many of the cutouts in the series are painted with the blackest black (Black 3.0). I use these pieces in the famous gallery mirror room and am excited about the context. A dualism is established with all the refractory light and the deep darkness of the cutouts ”

As I wrote last month, I consider Laney Contemporary, located at 1810 Mills B. Lane Blvd., to be the sexiest gallery in town; an incredible space housed inside a brutalist concrete bunker of a building that more people need to experience for themselves. Here is your chance.

The following Friday (January 14) is your opportunity to check out our city’s newest gallery, Rule of Three, or RO3, a beautiful little space, located on the edge of the historic district at 915 Montgomery. RO3 was founded by Stephanie Forbes, originally from Augusta, Georgia, with the distinction of being SCAD’s first “dual heritage” graduate. Associated with Atelier SCAD, she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Painting (2019) and is a multidisciplinary artist who uses mediums such as sculpture, photography and jewelry, who despite her youth has a solid curriculum vitae in art gallery management. .

The name Rule of Three is a nod to both the classic yet pleasing composition of works of art and the fact that she and her parents are artists. The space, presented to Forbes by Anthony Koncul of JAK Homes, who previously transformed the Cedar House Gallery, was originally a barber shop and cafe. After the renovation, the two-room gallery was breathtaking in its crisp white simplicity when I visited for the opening last month. Forbes also has plans (which may morph before they actually come to fruition in Q3) for the adjacent space. The current concept is a relaxed beer and wine bar with offerings of alcohol-free cocktails to create a sort of ‘gallery bar’ vibe, which she hopes will be perfect for a romantic night out, in. solo or with friends.

On January 14, Rule of Three presents “Tilting at Windmills”, a compilation of serigraphs and paintings by Savannah artist Debora Oden, award-winning printmaker and SCAD professor with a BFA and MFA in art of the University. of Nebraska-Lincoln. The curated exhibition will be Oden’s first solo exhibition here and represents a look at the historical context of his life.

The Forbes press release explains: “Much like a resurfaced memory, these works highlight defining moments in Oden’s life as a mother, artist and teacher, as most of these works were created sporadically. , rather than collectively, along the artist’s life timeline. life … many of these works are almost like an obsessive hope and a call to tap into the depths of our pivotal moments in life, which we should sit with but only for a moment, taking the time necessary to draw this out. that we need in order to move gracefully in this life.

The title of the exhibition derives from “Don Quixote”, one of Oden’s centerpieces in the exhibition consisting of over 20 small paintings and presented as a single large image. Bowing against windmills, of course, means attacking imaginary enemies and, specifically for this exhibit, derives from Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote where Quixote imagines himself fighting giants as he attacks windmills. wind. Forbes tells me, “It’s a bit of a ‘madman on a knight’s mission’ kind of story; The one where the hero remains with the mission to save what may not need to be saved, or to keep stories in his mind that just don’t exist. To compact this compared to Oden, he can be distilled with the idea that creating art to replicate the vastness of his life can sometimes seem overwhelming, an honor difficult to make tangible; but as an artist we have to do it.

Laney Contemporary, 1810 Mills B. Lane Blvd., is open Tuesday through Friday 11-5 and Saturday 11-12 and by appointment. (912) 438.4442. “The Nature of Not Knowing” runs from Jan.7 to March 19 with the opening reception postponed (due to Covid issues) to Friday, Feb.4, but check for updates.

The Rule of Three Gallery, 915 Montgomery Street between Gwinnett and Park, is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment. (706) 373-9905. The opening reception for “Tilting at Windmills” will take place on Friday January 14 from 5 to 9 pm and the show will run until February 18. Covid protocols respected.