“Conversations and Story Lines” opens Nov. 14 at Carriage Factory Art Gallery
Three women artists combine their creative talents to offer a colorful new exhibit debuting Saturday, November 14, 7 p.m., at Carriage Factory Art Gallery, 128 E. Sixth St., Newton. The opening reception for “Conversations and Story Lines” begins at 7 p.m., with artist talks at approximately 7:40. The event is free and open to the public.
Featured are the works of Mary Werner in oil, Rachel Epp Buller in monotype and pochoir print, and Brenda Jones in clay. The storylines in the exhibit include issues of gender, worldview through the window of dress, and artifacts of family and cultural heritage, real and imagined.”
Dr. Rachel Epp Buller, associate professor of visual arts and design at Bethel College, explores creative and critical paths in her dual practice as printmaker and art historian. Much of her recent art and scholarship focuses on intersections of art and the maternal.
“Family stories and practical skills are passed down from parent to child, yet much is lost between generations,” said Epp Buller. “My prints incorporate references to the traditions of fine handwork that were often the purview of mothers and daughters, such as sewing, crochet and cut-paper work known as ‘Scherenschnitte.'” My most recent work is really honing in on the cut paper shapes that have previously shown up in my work, which I’m especially interested in as a passing on of a tradition — often from mother or grandmother to child.”
Mary Werner, director of visual arts at Newman University, says that her current work is part of a continued investigation of her own peculiar view of the world through the window of dress, one of self-respect and humor.
“Clothing as subject continues to be a recurring theme not only in my own investigation but also by artists around the world,”
said Werner. “The use of clothing to tell a story, document an important event or make a political statement continues to stir my thoughts and interests in exploring this theme from my own sensibility.
“I collect clothing items like one hires a model, and keep fabric samples as part of my resource file. The finished work is often colorful and makes a unique connection to its title.”
Werner’s dress paintings are an expression of how strong the connection is in the dialogue of social image and personal message.
Artist Brenda Jones works in clay and lives in Evergreen, Colo.
She holds a master’s of art and education from Wichita State University and currently teaches ceramics and special needs art at a high school. Her work reflects an interest in issues of domesticity as well as how women, including young girls, are viewed and considered in society.
“For example,” Jones said, “little girls are often talked to in terms of how they look. ‘You have such pretty hair’ or ‘Aren’t you cute in that dress?’ are phrases that little girls hear. And while women are assertive and take larger and larger roles in society, they can lose, or have often lost, identity. Sometimes they are left out of the story in traditional literature.”
Jones has received several awards for her work and teaching, including a feature of a Kansas Flint Hills performance arts piece in Smithsonian Magazine.
The works of Jones, Werner and Epp Buller will be on display in “Conversations and Story Lines” through January 6 at Carriage Factory Art Gallery. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 316-284-2749.