Grant Ave Gallery Presents “Fiber, Glass and Clay”.
Opening March 11, 7pm
Bill Geller is besotted with glass. He defends it against other artistic media with the fervor of a man upholding the reputation of his inamorata. “With painting, your materials are the canvas and the paint,” says Geller, “with glass, you can paint on glass, you can melt it, you can manipulate it, and the only limitations are your ability with your hands and this thing called creativity.” He adds a “how do I love thee” list of the virtues of glass: “You have a solid object that you can see through. Its colors change with the weather and the time of day. It can be sandblasted; it can be carved; it can be etched with acid; it can be painted.” Geller’s love affair with the medium has lasted three decades. When you see what Geller has learned to do with glass, you can understand the attraction.
Elinor Geller’s art is infused with her vitality, creativity and love of life. Her vibrant spirit is evident in each colorful detail of her mixed-media pieces. Drawing from talents inherited from her grandmother and mother, both accomplished seamstresses and painters, her intricately detailed works reflect a whimsical nostalgia, an intrinsic eye for design and her desire to challenge and expand her artistic repertoire. Considering the creative process to be somewhat magical and mysterious, she incorporated into her work found items that evoked a memory, a smile, or a laugh and allowed them to guide her design. Something old/something new, a broken dish, a high-heeled shoe: with her free-spirited vision and design aesthetic, her work reveals the hidden treasure in common objects. In her artwork, as in her life, Elinor was masterful at recognizing the beautiful bits and pieces around her, fusing them together to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.
“After dabbling in several areas of the art world through the years, I finally found my niche. Many years ago I was celebrating Thanksgiving dinner with my family and friends. We had just moved to our current home and I was proudly displaying my newly remodeled kitchen. My mother had given me a magnificent set of very old Tiffany Spode china, which I loved more than life itself. As I was putting the clean dishes back in the cabinet the prongs that support the shelf came out and my precious dishes fell to the floor and lay in a million pieces. With twenty-two people looking on in disbelief I calmly shrugged and said through a broken heart, ‘Oh well, they’re just dishes.’ I stored the broken pieces for many years until one day I saw some beautiful mosaic artifacts in a local gift store. To make a long story short, the owner of the store put me in contact with the artist. I began taking classes at her home, and have been happily cutting dishes, tiles, sheets of glass and whatever else I can get my hands on ever since.”
Shari Werner, originally from West Deal, is a quilter living and creating her art in New York City She studied fiber arts and quilting at Penland School of Crafts and Crow Timber Frame Barn. Her work has been shown in the City Quilter Group Show at the Williams Club in NYC.