The Box Factory for the Arts opens the Robert Williams, Heartha Whitlow and the Riverwalk Galleries with four new artist exhibits that display the diversity of art in our region. Join us on Friday, October 3rd from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. for the gallery opening which is free and open to the public, light refreshments will be served. The gallery shows will run through November 15.
Opening reception on Friday, October 3rd from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. is free and open to the public.
In the Robert Williams Gallery – The Sculpture of Dora Natella. Dora was born in Venezuela and was raised and educated in Italy. She studied figurative sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples. Having artistic roots in both Europe and the New World has also been a key element of her identity as an artist. Dora earned an MFA in sculpture at Western Michigan University, in Kalamazoo; MI. Dora currently is the head of the sculpture department at IU South Bend. She exhibits locally, nationally, and internationally. Dora’s artwork is included in various public and private collections in the U.S. and abroad.
Dora ideas for sculpture come from both historical and contemporary figurative traditions. Her vocabulary draws from disciplines, artists and movements across the arts. They span from the Italian Renaissance to contemporary artist.
Also in the Robert Williams Gallery is Photographer Marc Ullom. Marc is a professional photographer and educator who lives and works in Michigan. Marc earned his MFA in photography from the Academy of Art University and is currently teaching full time at Andrews University.
His body of work uses representations of the human form and visual cues such as bottles, twigs and seeds, or string to visually reconstruct fragmented memory. His intent is to create images that cause the viewer to pause and ask questions about the elements in the work and then to create relationships between the elements that have no singular interconnection, but that allows each viewer to project their own experience onto each piece.
In the Heartha Whitlow Gallery Sara Sokol. Sara is a 2004 graduate of Southwestern Michigan College and has won multiple scholarships for her work. Over the years she has taken on several drawing and painting commissions and has participated in many local group shows.
Sara is a multi-media artist currently working in the Arts District of Benton Harbor at 210 Water Street. Sara's paintings are inspired by Paleolithic art and are rich with texture created from the use of recycled paper. This is a technique she began using after studying hand paper-making at Ox-bow School of Art in Saugatuck MI, a satellite program from the Art Institute of Chicago.
In the Riverwalk Gallery the Fractal Art of Kevin Gross. Born in South Dakota, Kevin J. Gross is a self-taught artist living in Goshen, Indiana. His fractal artwork is the interface between two worlds. Gross says, “One world is calculated, logical, objective. Fractals are mathematically based and created with computers. The other world is emotional, soul-stirring, and subjective. What fascinated me about my first fractals were their beautiful, organic patterns and luxurious colors. I found them emotionally and spiritually exhilarating!”
Ginger Bread Holiday Display in Robert R. Williams Gallery, Watercolors by Dori Josimovich in the Whitlow Gallery; Berrien Artist Guild members show in the Riverwalk Gallery.
The Box Factory celebrates summer with new exhibits that display the wide variety of talent in our region. The opening reception for the new gallery shows is on Friday, August 15 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. The opening is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. The gallery shows will run through September 27
Opening reception on August 15 from 5:30-7:30 pm is free and open to the public.
In the Robert Williams Gallery – David Jay Spyker will present, At the Water’s Edge. David Jay Spyker is a self-taught artist who has been working in acrylics since the early to mid-nineties, and has taken up watercolors as well in the last few years. His paintings are in the permanent collections of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Grand Rapids Art Museum, South Bend Museum of Art, Art Center of Battle Creek, Carnegie Center for the Arts in Three Rivers, Michigan, as well in private collections around the country. He has also won numerous awards at competitions over the years.
Over the years, his style with acrylics has developed into something that could be described as a hybrid of techniques one would see used in oils and tempera - a mix of many weavings of smaller strokes combined with multiple layers of brushing and glazing over larger passages. It is all of these semi-transparent layers that give his acrylic paintings a characteristic glow and inner depth.
In the Heartha Whitlow Gallery - Splashes of Chicago watercolors by Kathy Los-Rathburn. Her love for art and watercolor in particular, started when she was quite young. It has now become one of her passions. She loves the challenges of the medium and the happy accidents that can become surprises. In this show, she features well-known Chicago landmarks and everyday life in the Windy City
In the Riverwalk Gallery – The Melondy: Issues of Adolescence sculptures by Jacqueline Baerwald, pose a series of unspoken questions and unanswered issues experienced in the lives of teenage girls. Enchanting children as well as adults, the painted book stacks elicit pondering, reflection, and consideration of the compendium of high school hiccups, hurdles, and heartbreaks one may have experienced or observed.
Each book was specifically selected for its title and meticulously stacked to create a thought-provoking’ found poem annotating the struggles, uncertainties, and consequences of growing up; of being human. The whimsically painted character, “Melondy,” stands in for the average teenage girl imprisoned by insecurities, frustrations, and fears -- her own, or those inflicted on her. Titles for each piece were chosen that play off childhood nursery rhymes or playground sayings, eliciting the innocence (or absence thereof) of days gone by. Each book stack reveals a story behind the teenage (often unconscious or unspoken) plea for meaning, maturity, and love.
The themes encompass everything from being frivolously twitter pated and worried about fitting in, to dealing with academic pressures and wondering “what should I be when I grow up?,” to the more serious consequential issues of terminal illness, abuse, addictions, suicide, and more. As part of this exhibit, the artist has chosen to address the monstrous nightmare of human trafficking. “Unfortunately, many, as I was, are unaware how rampant it is growing right under our noses -- hiding in plain sight.”
Through all this I, as the artist, aspire to break myself and the viewer out of the all too pervasively entrenched bystander apathy, to awaken compassion, to be mindful of the deeper (tragically often darker) realities of fragile humans around us, and to make a difference. You can’t simply judge a book by its cover, it pays to dig deeper.
The Berrien Artist Guild member’s gallery show featuring self-portraits will open on Friday August 15 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Box Factory for the Arts. Our members were asked to simply to do an exploration of self. Driven by the idea of becoming your own subject, self-portraits is an exciting challenge to improve your skills and creativity as an artist.
Lobby Gallery “The Winners’ Showcase” of Fashion on the Shore will feature mannequins displaying the winning fashion designs by student designers from colleges and design schools in Chicago, Northwest Indiana and Southwest Michigan area. The showcase is sponsored by Shore Magazine, and Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council.