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Stone, glass artists in the Second Saturday ArtWalk spotlight

Bill DeYoung



By Shelley Muzylowski Allen: The Red Gazelle, 2014 blown and hand-sculpted glass, steel, Arizona rock

The first Second Saturday ArtWalk of 2019 is upon us, and there are several new exhibitions from local artists that aficionados will want to investigate on their walkabouts or trolley stops.

The date, of course, is Saturday, Jan. 12; studios and galleries (approximately 40 of them) stay open late and welcome visitors from 5 to 9 p.m. The ground covered: The EDGE District, Central Arts District, the Grand Central District, Warehouse Arts District and Waterfront Arts District associations.

Download the official gallery map, including all trolley info, here.

Work by Christina Bertsos of Dunedin

Galleries often use the Second Saturday ArtWalk as an occasion to open new exhibitions. Making its debut Saturday at the Tully-Levine Gallery at the Arts Xchange (in the Warehouse Arts District) is Coaxing Beauty: A Sculptor’s Discovery with Stone, spotlighting the works of Dunedin sculptor Christina Bertsos.

From her Artist Statement: “The stone and I are basically made of the same molecules with our co-evolution occurring simultaneously to the very specific moment in time that we meet. There is something mystical happening in that moment. For me, It’s a kind of a sacred dance or union … As there are no two stones that are the same, none of them can be duplicated to exactness.”

Coaxing Beauty will run through Feb. 3.

At the Duncan McClellan Gallery (also in the Warehouse Arts District), the new one is Biome, with works by the Seattle-based glass sculptors Shelley Muzylowski Allen and Rik Allen. The couple will conduct a glassblowing demonstration at approximately 6:15 p.m. Saturday.

“Glass,” says Muzylowski Allen in her Artist Statement, “is a medium that keeps me in the moment. Striving to bring a painterly quality to this dynamic medium, I layer color to add depth to the sculpture being made. The textures and patterns have the fluidity and gesture of brushwork and enrich the strong, three-dimensional form.”

Her work focuses on animals and their role in myths and legends. “As symbols and icons of eras and cultures around the world, it is important that I capture the inherent nature of these creatures in my work reflecting not just my own insights but inspiring an emotional experience and connection in the viewer.”

By Rik Allen: Kepler Optima O, 2015; blown glass, silver, steel, mixed media

Her husband’s glasswork reaches for a different effect. His statement reads, in part: “My work is as much about outer space as inner space. At first glance, the work may seem to be all about the exploration of the cosmos, but a closer look reveals more humble elements that speak of memory and transparency, revealing inner and outward perspectives.

“By incorporating elements that appear worn and experienced, as well as vestiges of an earlier era,  I hope to give the work a sense of experimentation, invention, and exploration. My intent is to open up the imaginations of viewers whose own narratives shift as their minds move from exterior perspective of these vessels to inner possibilities.”

  • Opening at the Mirella Cimato Gallery is a show of acrylics by St. Petersburg’s Elaine Anagnos, and by Czech artist Miro Sedlar, who has wintered in the area since 1976. The gallery, which is on the ArtWalk map, is located AT Opera Central, 2145 1st Avenue S.
  • New at the Morean Arts Center: Rules of Engagement (seven artists from across the country challenge expectations of social and gender norms) and Princess Smith: The Evolution of Self (drawings and paintings that are mostly narrations, observations and critiques of a perceived black female culture).

Left, Seattle glass artists Rik and Shelley Muzylowski Allen; Right, Dunedin sculptor Christina Bertsos

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