LYNN — “The human form has always been a subject of art, so a show based on that theme is no surprise,” said Annette Sykes, president of Galleries at LynnArts.
Sykes, however, was surprised by the different and nontraditional methods employed by local artists who are part of GALA’s upcoming “bodyART” exhibition. The free show opens in the main gallery with a reception on Friday, 5:30–7:30 p.m., at 25 Exchange St. It continues through June 15.
A second show, “Through Different Lenses,” a two-person show featuring the works of Elizabeth Hall and Nicole Werth, opens in the adjacent community gallery that night.
Haig Demarjian, a professor of Art + Design at Salem State University and curator of the “bodyART” exhibit, said he, too, was bowled over by the artists’ submissions. He had no idea what to expect in this age of selfies and videos where images our ourselves and our friends are omnipresent.
“At a time like this I find it fascinating and a little terrifying to consider just what kind of art will turn up when the call is put out to be included in a figurative show such as this one. … I was immediately relieved by the quantity and impressed by the variety of work submitted,” he said. Sykes said the question posed to artists was “What is the figure in art today?” It turns out, there is no black-and-white answer.
“How encouraging it is to see a wide range of approaches and media that vary from artist to artist. There is no singular North Shore ‘style’ evident in this work and what a great testament that is to the inherent courage and individuality of the artists represented,” said Demarjian.
Media used include watercolors, oils and acrylics on canvas and wood, charcoal on paper, carved and painted wood, cyanotype and embroidery, digital photography, and Magic Markers. A mannequin is made of papier mache, wire, and naturally shed cat’s whiskers.
Local artists participating in the “bodyART” exhibition include Anselmo Vasquez Paez, Chris Whitlock, Chrissa Markos, Elizabeth Hall, Emmanuelle Le Gal, Erik Warn, Gabriella Marshall, Jada Gardner, Jeanne Carey, Jessica Jordan, Leslie Fahn Rosenberg, Maris Prost, Matt Bernson, Michelle Brown, Nicole Werth, Olga Gernivski, Patty Klibansky, Richard Yukins, Sally Jacobson, Sarah Comins, Sheila Golden, Stephanie Timmermann, Susan Schrader, Tamara Wolfson, Thomas Politano, and Tia Cole.
Sykes said there will also be a live component to the opening with performance art and interactive pieces. Belly dancer Amy Sinatra from The Wicked Isabelle troupe will perform, and Mike Grimaldi will paint a model’s body. A living sculpture will interact with the crowd and face painters will offer their services to attendees.
Down the hall, in the light-splashed smaller gallery, Hall and Werth will present “Through Different Lenses,” which explores how a photographer (Hall) and artist (Werth) approach the same subject.
Werth said the two took on 17 similar locales and themes, pairing pieces that show how shifting time, seasons, or vantage point can greatly change how an object or space is perceived.
“Perception is your own private understanding of the world. Through art, creators are able to share their viewpoint of the world around us, and encourage the viewer to look at the world around them in a new way,” said Werth.