Monday, August 07, 2006

1708 Gallery's September Exhibition

CONTACT: Aimee Koch, Gallery Administrator,

EXHIBITION: Symbiosis: Sue Papa & Paula Owen September 1-29, 2006
OPENING: Friday, September 1, 2006 from 7-10pm

Artists Paula Owen and Sue Papa please, provoke, confuse and challenge the viewer’s visceral connection to their work. The work draws viewers into a deeper, questioning relationship with texture, beauty, mystery and meaning.

Paula Owen’s alluring, multi-panel pieces comment on the multiple realities of our time, corresponding with an incongruity that details a tumultuous world. The paintings reflect a keen awareness of the pieces and whole, navigating through disparate elements to create a full picture. The rich textures and detail acknowledge an exotic material beauty but allude to a mysterious inter-connectedness. Curator Deborah McLeod notes that Owen has “always been interested in the perceptions that awake and function in, and ultimately undermine, seductive material culture, that incongruous interface between a finely crafted thing of perfect form and convention and the confusing position of an interpretive belief or idea that resounds with some other kind of sensual or cerebral finish. In the construction of the dual planes of her paintings, Owen discloses something of this curious rising and falling correspondence.” Poet Naomi Shihab Nye asks viewers to consider “What if a mind could be as charged yet calm as the undulant shapes and textures Owen paints into Irresistible dialogue?”

Owen received a MFA in Painting and Printmaking from VCU and a MS in Art Education from Minnesota State University. Owen most recently exhibited her work at Joan Grona Gallery in San Antonio Texas and the McLean Project for the Arts. Owen is an active art professional, having served as Executive Director of the Visual Art Center of Richmond for eleven years. She currently lives in San Antonio, TX and serves as President and CEO of the Southwest School of Art and Craft.

Sue Papa’s ceramic sculptures are also both enticing and unnerving. An initial beauty provokes the viewer into a world of obscure meaning, blurring the lines between the familiar and the unknown. Papa creates alluring and sensual organic forms that feed off each other through tubes, cables, circus of energy that are intentionally mysterious and often nonsensical. Papa says “I like to think of them as little metaphors for human behavior. There is always a sexual undertone in my work, and again, though I find it a humorous one; the metaphor is the lovely yet clumsy nature of sex, our fumbling passion to make parts fit together.”

Papa is a former artist member of 1708 who now resides in East Hampton, NY. She holds a BA in Art History from Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio. Her work has been exhibited nationally including at the McLean Project for the Arts and the Peninsula Fine Arts Center, and is in public and private collections including those of Media General, Virginia Commonwealth University Special Collections & Archives, and Owens & Minor.

1708 Gallery is a non-profit exhibition and performance space committed to expanding the understanding, development, and appreciation of contemporary art. This exhibition has been generously sponsored by
Laura Leigh & Jake Savage and Cindy Neuschwander & Jay Barrows.

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