A first glance provides a view, yet it is a moment’s pondering that opens up the mind to new meaning, after which another discovery is made…and then another.
These layers of realization are apropos for within a collage many an artist has painstakingly assembled elements upon elements creating a cohesive whole full of quiet significance.
A wellspring of such expression comes to life in small works of GREAT ART, the current exhibit at Towns Burr Gallery in Burbank. This juried member exhibition of the Collage Artists of America, which includes more than 70 collage and assemblage art works by 33 CAA members, gives rise to limitless creativity.
From uncontained whimsy to poignant social issues, this show is more than mere collage–but rather it is a patchwork of personas that determinedly encapsulates the passions of these artists point-blank.
It’s the freedom for artists to put all the pieces in place.
(“small works of GREAT ART” continues through November 28, 2015. Admission is free. Towns Burr Gallery is located at 3609 West Magnolia Blvd. Burbank 91505. For additional information call: (818) 845-7144.)
“The Shape of Things” by Carolann Watterson is one of the award-winning artworks in “small works of GREAT ART”.
Carolann Watterson is among the award winners in this exhibition for her work entitled “The Shape of Things”. Yet she may as well have won a special award for her pioneering efforts as a founding member of CAA, which was originally known as California Collagists, when it was founded in 1988. Watterson, along with eight other Los Angeles-area women artists, found a niche in the art world. As they served to bring collage and assemblage to the forefront, they elevated the genre far beyond what many lay people think of when they hear the word “collage”. Now in her 90s, Watterson continues to be a positive force in the arts.
As CAA’s membership has grown across the entire country, its status as a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization was recognized in 2012. One of the ways that the organization works to promote the study of collage is through the establishment of an annual scholarship fund. This year’s recipient: Victor Brazeau of California State University, Northridge.
“Upstairs and Down” an assemblage by Marian Devney is on exhibit at Towns Burr Gallery.
“More often than not, I simply want to make you smile,” says Marian Devney.
And that she does, with her paper collages, mixed-media work, and assemblages. This “self-taught” artist finds a way to create something extraordinary with the ordinary, oftentimes, combining found objects with those that have special meaning for her and uniting them in her artwork.
It’s whimsy at its best.
Pieces combine to make the whole, as in this collage of works by artists Shawn K. Riley and Robert Zimdahl.
Collage can give the artist a unique freedom, as he delves into endless possibilities utilizing not only a range of objects and media, but also a variety of collage techniques. Speaking in layman’s terms, some techniques are the picture pile, grid, mosaic, paper collage, decoupage and three-dimensional, amongst others.
Pictured is a collage of the work of artists Shawn K. Riley and Robert Zimdahl. In her pieces, Riley has dissected actual books only to rearrange their parts—and parts of those parts—into sublime artifacts; while Zimdahl created his assemblages around a dragon theme.
Artist Erella Teitler was inspired by her Jewish heritage in the creation of her mixed media collages.
You must flee your home, never to return. You can take with you only the things that will fit into two suitcases…
What would you take?
Such was the plight of many Jews who fled from Arab and Muslim countries in the mid-twentieth century. Their exodus translated into uncertainty, as families were oftentimes separated, and there was no choice but to leave much of their wealth and possessions behind.
For artist Erella Teitler the theme of Jewish refugees has become central to her artwork. Her own ancestors were among those who arrived in Israel ready to face the inherent challenges, yet at same time, eager and hopeful for a future in their new homeland.
Growing up in Israel, Teitler was surrounded by people who had experienced struggle and strife first-hand.
The impact it left on her was the impetus that got her started working on a project to tell the story of those Sephardic and Mizrahi refugees. For the past five years, she has painstakingly amassed related elements that she incorporates into her collages.
Layer upon layer she unites them, binding together a history she is determined will not go untold.
In the telling, she remembers those she knew who are now gone.
“You wish you had asked more questions,” she said.