“Kaleidoscope: Approaching Nature” to open at Williams Tower GalleryHouston, Texas – Work by four artists includes photography, drawing and painting will be on display at the Williams Tower Gallery September 15-October 21, 2016. Viewing hours are 8 a.m to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.Artists: Penny Cerling, Janice Freeman, Dixie Friend Gay, Allison HunterThe exhibition’s premise explores four artists’ engagement with nature in distinctly different ways. All are mid-career, all profoundly influenced by the relationship between human beings and the natural world.
Penny Cerling first became known in Houston as a collaborative etching printer at Little Egypt Enterprises in 1990, and later established two subsequent collaborative studios in the 2000’s. Her work with Texas artists is in many museum collections. Her own work is mainly pen and ink and sometimes pastel on paper or wood and reflects her interest in how things work: “the underlying composition of vegetative forms, the continuing evolution and pathways of genetics, the structure of the Uni- verse……...”Selected here are exquisitely rendered plant forms that are anything but pedantic. The drawings range from delicate monochromatic works to those that are more loose, some with color-all animated with Cerling’s love and enormous knowledge of her subject matter. Her exhibition history in galleries and institutions reflects a long relationship with the Houston community, and her work is in the col- lections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Art Museum of South Texas and Texas Tech University.
Janice Freeman, a native Texan, spent much of her of her early youth growing up along the Texas-Mexican border. She and her husband, Geoff Winningham have a house and maintain studios in Mineral de Pozos, a small town in the Mexican moun- tains. Inspired by the everyday life, culture and landscape of Mexico she has created with multiple materials-oil and acrylic paint, encaustic, stone, fabric, water- color, ink-a broad range of work. Exhibited widely in Mexico as well as in Dallas, San Antonio and Houston, Freeman mounted a retrospective of her work at the Lone Star-Kingwood Fine Arts Gallery in 2014. In “Kaleidoscope” she departs radically from her densely populated, energetic work. She has appropriated her husband’s Buffalo Bayou images from his Along Forgotten River photographic series and painted into them. Quite transformed, they are warmed with color, rapt meditations on nature.
Dixie Friend Gay is a prolific artist whose long practice has encompassed sculpture, painting and drawing.She has become well known for her numerous public art commissions, including those of George Bush Intercontinental Airport, the Port of Miami, the Indianapolis International Airport. Friend Gay’s public art has been recognized by many organizations, and she was selected as a Texas Artist of the Year in 2003 by the Texas Commission for the Arts “In public art my approach is to fuse the constraints of the space and the needs of the client so seamlessly with my own vision that the resulting project feels as though nothing could have existed alone”. Her studio art can be found in many collections, including the Huntington Museum of Art, West Virginia and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Shown here are Friend Gay’s large, lush landscapes, acrylics on canvas. She describes the newer work as reflecting “the elation of nature distorted through the psyche……..”
Allison Hunter is a visual artist who over the past two decades has worked in photography, video, drawing, sculpture and installation. She has participated in res- idencies in Canada and the Czech Republic. Her installation project, SIGNMAKERS (1998-2003) was commissioned by three European sculpture centers and by the 2003 Kingston Sculpture Biennial in New York. Hunter’s photographs are collected by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the University Art Museum at SUNY, among others. She has exhibited widely in Europe and the U.S. Hunter has been Humanities Artist-in-Residence in the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts at Rice University since 2012. Her photographs in this exhibition are from a series on bees, divided into works that evoke drawn still lifes and others that are charged with drama and motion. This work reflects her abiding interest in and empathy for other species that are vulnerable to human domination and neglect.