Volume 96, Issue 78
Tuesday, February 18, 2003

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Strangers tell their stories through art

Exhibit: What's Your Story?
Artists: Various
Location: McIntosh Gallery

By Lori Mastronardi
Gazette Staff

Allen Chen/Gazette
HOPEFULLY THIS LAMP WILL SHED SOME LIGHT ON THESE ARTISTS. The MacIntosh gallery plays host to the What's Your Story? exhibit.

If the complexities of university life fill you with feelings of tension, then perhaps the perfect treatment is a casual stroll through the easily accessible McIntosh Gallery. By merely stepping through the vibrant red doors, you expose yourself to the visual marvels the gallery boasts.

The current feature, What's Your Story?, reveals distinctly different lives through the creative visions of six female artists: Marilyn Conklin, Roberta Cory, Linda Fried, Amanda Rowe, Laurie Seaman and Rosemary Sloot.

Although one cannot quickly draw comparisons between the works, the underlying theme of the exhibit is implied by the simplistic title. The artists intend to portray the lifestyles of various individuals and communities, as well as to inspire viewers to apply their own personal experiences, or their own stories, to these works.

The women contributing their talents to the exhibit have each chosen a dramatic piece by another artist to accompany their work. In addition to the art, short essays explain the parallels between the pieces, and reveal the roots of inspiration.

Laurie Seaman, a London native, is eager to portray the lives of seemingly simplistic individuals, because she recognizes the complexities that reside below their surfaces. She illustrates the spirit of the individual through pieces such as "Teresa," "Prostitute," "Gerry," "Butcher" and "Chambermaids."

Rosemary Sloot blends hair, feathers, shells and bones with oil on canvas to convey memorable and compelling images. She strives to seamlessly integrate images of the natural environment with pictures of humankind through her collection of paintings entitled "The Idea of Evolution." Her use of shadows across rippling turquoise waters is particularly appealing, offering a mesmerizing quality.

Arguably the most dramatic pieces are found in "Proxemics and Body Language On Stage," consisting of a plethora of related paintings by Amanda Rowe. Her works convey a striking contrast of creams and peaches on dark backgrounds, which present the stories of romantic interludes and casual conversations. Rowe intends for the viewer to question what is real, and what has been created or perceived through the interaction of mannequin-like figures across smooth surfaces.

If academic stress has consumed you, seize a distraction by immersing yourself in the depicted lives of strangers, conveyed by six talented women. So rather than arriving early for the bus that is destined to be late, spare a few minutes, and treat yourself to the creativity that these artists have to offer.

The What's Your Story? exhibition will be featured at McIntosh Gallery until Apr. 6.


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