Muse and Motivation: Paintings by Ava Richey; Carved Gourds by Sunny Kudo
Name: Muse and Motivation: Paintings by Ava Richey; Carved Gourds by Sunny Kudo
Date: August 1, 2018 - September 30, 2018
After an absence from the Library Art Gallery of several years, we are pleased to welcome painter Ava Richey back. Working in oil, acrylic, various collage techniques and—unusually for a visual artist—language, she brings us a collection of poetry and paintings that contemplate the world. In works both abstract and representational, she observes and describes both inner and outer landscapes. Her world is a mostly quiet place, realized with paint, pastels, and textured collage in gentle colors, though there are occasional break-outs into more intense explorations. Ava is also a gifted poet, whose spare and simple language is firmly in its point, whether reflecting on the beauty and power of the natural world, or the process of making art (or trying to understand it). Take the time to absorb her images and read her words; hers is a journey to share. Sunny Kudo returns with a collection of carved gourds to take one's breath away. Half of them are a celebration of fish and sea life and, as always, her brilliantly colored creatures are vigorously alive, as though she's snatched them from the sea, mid-swim. Sunny uses the curves of the gourd's neck to give them extra movement, which also allows the metallic paints to catch extra light. It is these details that give the work such energy and beauty beyond what is expected. She has added masks to her repertoire, and these invoke their tribal origins while being entirely original. Birds, butterflies, and moths are depicted, too, yet are not merely decorative. Like her fish, her winged creatures seem only to have paused in their flitting long enough for her to capture them. Her sculptural use of the twisting, turning gourds themselves to guide her makes these pieces visually arresting, and altogether unique.