Patterns of Memory at Block Gallery, Opens Tonight

September, 25, 2008, by David

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Showcasing work in three disparate genres—mixed-media paintings, hand-tinted photographs and assemblage sculpture – “Patterns of Memory” examines memories both unique and universal.  Whether it is the letter-writing of a grandparent, the statuary that evokes an ancient landscape, or the layers that represent a home present or past, “Patterns of Memory” provides a look into the details and images that are held dear.

Marty Baird, working primarily in mixed-media painting for this exhibition, uses texture, layer and pattern in her art to “hide and reveal.”  She integrates materials and imagery as diverse as dangerous plants, wallpapers, tattoos, soils, and paint to explore life’s troubles, such as natural disasters, war, and the loss of family members and friends. Vital to these paintings is layering, which depicts “the marks of human habitation” and “implied stories and dangers.”  Ms. Baird received a bachelor’s in fine arts degree from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, and a master’s in fine arts in painting from Catholic University. She has exhibited throughout the world, notably at Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, Longview Gallery in Raleigh, and the Paço Imperial Center for Contemporary Art in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Alison Overton’s hand-tinted photographs—captured with medium format film cameras—evoke a far-away time and place, depicting gardens, castles, abbeys and statuary in a diaphanous, softly-focused style.  Ms. Overton likens viewing these images to “peering through a looking glass into a dreamy parallel plane of existence.”  An artist at Artspace in Raleigh, Ms. Overton holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental design from North Carolina State University.  She has exhibited at the Collectors Gallery and Flanders Art Gallery, both in Raleigh; the Mims Gallery at North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount; and the Horace Williams House in Chapel Hill.  Ms. Overton has received grants from the United Arts Council of Wake County.

Scott Renk, an artist and arts educator for at-risk youth, presents his Spirit Shrines at “Patterns of Memory.”  Created in memory of his ancestors, these assemblages combine photos, letters, and artifacts from his family members inside rustic bird cages, which symbolically hold the artist’s memories. Mr. Renk has exhibited frequently in Raleigh, including at Visual Art Exchange, Artspace, and Litmus Gallery. He holds a bachelor’s of fine arts degree in art education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He teaches at Mary E. Phillips High School in Raleigh.

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Marty BairdAlison OvertonBlock GalleryScott Renk


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