December’s Gallery Walk invited a variety of artists to showcase their works across Bloomington’s multitude of art spaces Friday.
Three of the galleries participating, The Venue Fine Art & Gifts, The Blueline, and Gather handmade shoppe & co. displayed artists using different mediums, some three-dimensional and others on flat canvas.
The Venue Fine Art & Gifts featured a sculpture show, with metal pieces created by artist Bert Gilbert, an IU alumnus with a Bachelor of Arts in sculpture and painting.
“I didn’t really use my degree for many, many years because I have an old house and I have a family, I have a business that I run, Gilbert Construction,” Gilbert said. “When my son left for school at Yale, I suddenly had time, so I went back and started doing art. That’s kind of my mid-life crisis — doing art rather than a convertible or a girlfriend.”
The works Gilbert included at the show came from across the seven years he has been practicing and cross lines of technique.
Hesaid to make the pieces exhibited in this show, he used many techniques, including direct burnout, which incorporates the physical object in making a mold for the metal, as well as hot wax, which is a multi-step process involving the creation of a few more molds.
“I’ve tried to show the textural qualities of the material, you can see the stitching on the boot and the thread on the boot, as well as the broader texture, like this piece where you have a little bit more of a visual imagery that’s formed by the gases burning out of the material,” Gilbert said.
The Blueline continued its RIOT series with RIOT 2, a collection of works by more than 10 local artists working across mediums. The works are smaller and can be purchased as holiday gifts.
Artists featured in this show include Benjamin Pines, Jessica Newlin, Erik Probst and many others.
The space was set up in the style of a living room, with couches and coffee tables on each end of the gallery, and paintings of a variety of sizes and forms dotting each of the surrounding walls. The subject matter ranged from self-portraiture to abstract forms.
Gather, in its gallery space, presented the work of artist Elizabeth Busey, who works in fine art printmaking.
In the show, Busey included both traditional prints, a few printed on a non-traditional material, silk, and collages made from pieces that did not register correctly.
The pieces all made by using linoleum blocks to transfer the prints onto the material in a style Busey said is known as reduction linocuts.
“It’s easier in some ways because you don’t have to worry about carving in the wrong place on different blocks, on the other hand, you can’t go backward,” Busey said. “If you’ve made a decision to carve something away, you’re pretty committed to that, which I think makes it more exciting.”
Busey also created collages from pieces of linocuts that were not as successful as full pieces, which she said was a therapeutic experience.
“There are always linocuts that are either test ones or ones that didn’t quite line up,” Busey said. “In printmaking you need to register something, meaning the block prints the same place every time. When it’s misregistered, it’s almost like your newspaper when the comic page is blurry.”
Busey said she is currently inspired by natural patterns such as clouds and topography, and also by the mathematical sequences found in up-close views of nature.
One of the pieces on display is references the appearance of a sunflower she grew, though Busey said she tries to allow audiences the chance to decide what they are seeing when they examine her work.
“I try to title things so it’s a bit ambiguous, so people have their own interpretations of what they’re seeing,” Busey said. “They might see something completely different, and I don’t want to change that experience for them.”
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