In My Busby Berkeley Dreams
The vernacular of pleasure - the issue of beauty (detail)
oil pastels, graphite, acrylic gel, house paint, collage on panel / 24 x 24 inches
April 23 - May 23, 2010
Some of us dream of a time and place where we can be who we really are, do what brings us most joy, and say what we want in our own clear voice. When I was twelve years old, I found that place in the Culpeper Art Group and today I am finding it again in my studio. Much of my recent work reminds me of my beginnings with the Culpeper Art Group and Dorothy Skelton. Dorothy wore hats wherever she went and dressed in bright flashy patterns. She was exotic to me because I had never left rural Virginia and she had lived all over the world. She was a wonderful batik and watercolor artist. In rural Culpeper where I grew up, she was The Other. I donít know whether she intuited my sexuality; I certainly never told her about it. However, she certainly accepted me as The Other and supported my dreams to be an artist. I stayed in contact with her until her untimely death in 1999. Lately, as I have been making my new work, I often think of her. Maybe it is the polka dots, which might come from a pattern on one of her dresses or from a ribbon on one of her hats. Maybe it is her embracing of difference and her creative spirit. She is there with me in my studio as it fades to black and becomes a huge pencil-eraser-pink Hollywood soundstage filled with hundreds of scantily-clad men marching and dancing in formation while cute little pastel colored bunnies hop around in fields of pansies and on swirling stages painted with giant polka dots, as text from art criticism and the Bible is projected over it all, floating and scrolling across the screen to the rhythm of The Magnetic Fields. Yes, lately I can see Dorothy in my Busby Berkeley dreams.
Opening Reception Fourth Friday
Free and Open to the Public