Newsletter Jan 15

January 2, 2015  |  By  | 

WEST SIDE ARTS COALITION NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2015 Sonia Barnett Dammika D. Ranasinghe Emily Rich Dimuthu RanasingheLula Ladson Free Expression 2014 (Continued from Page 1) A visitor to this WSAC show is greeted by "Floral Beauty" a saucy flower demanding to be admired, one of Dammika D. Ranasinghe 's three bold flower paintings. "Blowing Rose" presents a linear view of roses seemingly ready to march out of the frame. "Water Lilies" confronts us with a seductive violet beauty. Ranasinghe works in acrylic on either canvas or canvas paper. In "Free Expression,” a modern woman's face is cleverly assembled with collage and pastel by Dimuthu Ranasinghe on a vivid background of orange and yellow. This artist then startles the viewer with something entirely different with acrylic on paper. Two abstrac t paintings, "Sparkling Light" and “Kite," all but jump off the walls with their explosive energy. Emily Rich has been a long-time favorite among WSAC's artists. "Movement " and "Abstraction" are two small paintings large with color an d verve. "Collage on Yellow" brings various unrelated shapes and color into symmetry on a vivid yellow background. "Where or When ", a semi- abstract, engages the viewer in the rendering of a peaceful view through a window. Because yellow plays such a prominent role i n all four paintings, the pieces co-exist harmoniously. “Oasis," Lula Ladson 's oil on canvas, depicts a dark landscape and its bounty of purple flowers. It would be a delight to walk into "The Garden" (oil on canvas) on a summer afternoon to dream awhile. Ladson gives us another verdant landscape, an acrylic on canvas, "Hudson View,” where the majestic river flows under a yellow sky. Then, the charming surprise: “China," a portrait in oil on canvas of a most regal feline. Curator Sonia Barnett brings us two small but glowing abstracts to savor. Each mixed media embodies the shimmering russet colors of autumn foliage as in "Autumn Comes" and "To God Be the Glory". Both paintings are alive with the winds of this particular seaso n and are further enhanced by the interesting patterns and movement resulting from intersecting dark lines. By mounting the pieces on sta rk black backgrounds, Barnett brings another element of drama to the work. Herbert Evans gives us a mixed media of high drama with "Night Bloomers,” capturing the luminosity of flowers protected under a blanket of darkness. "Jewels" is an acrylic (reproduction) of a strangely peaceful yet vibrant, paint-splashed canvas. Going in a very dif ferent direction, this artist explores the world of pastel with a lovely rendering of a lush forest and soft ground cover in "Outback". The visitor cannot help be startled by the size and subjects presented by Deborah Holcombe . The paintings, oil on canvas, of life's most ordinary items, pack a wallop of mystery. "Cognac with Pills" hardly needs an explanation but one admires the artistic renderin g of these subjects. "Glass with Windex Bottle" is a dramatic vision of two commonplace staples found in any home. As for "Broken Wine Gla ss With Knife" - well, this viewer concocted her own mini drama while standing in front of this haunting work. Ida Marx gives us a city at night in her oils on canvas. "Blues in Crown Heights" evokes a lonely sax moaning in the wee hours. In "Nig ht Stories" dark silhouettes of buildings pique our imagination with soft light coming from the windows. A street lamp did little to dismiss the sense of loneliness. The desolate rain-washed streets of "Walk in the Rain" furthers the story of aloneness in a city of millio ns of people. "Night Escape" offers the escape route of bridges but one wonders - to where? "East Side View of the Empire State" isn' t the tourist view of this iconic building but a night view of a city hopeful for a new day. A glorious spasm of color infuses Todd Merchant 's “Teapot," a mixed media of acrylic, ink and oil. This intriguing abstract is alive with the energy of a whirlpool. Showing enormous versatility, we then come upon "Seff", an acrylic on canvas. Who is this enchanting cre ature shown from the back? Dressed exotically and posed just a bit off center on the canvas, Merchant's "Seff" is mesmerizing. Nate Ladson brings just one oil on canvas (reproduction) to the Mall, but when it's "Mystical" we have a whole world of color and content before us. This large painting depicts the raw beauty of nature. It is as though the world is suddenly exploding. Is that lava? Is there not one but a few moons in the darkening sky? Are we in space? Is this the end of everything? Or the beginning? The viewer enjoys the p uzzle! Congratulations to every artist in this thought-provoking show. It's a huge responsibility to hang a show with so many diverse styles and subjects. Madame Curator, Sonia Barnett, take a very large bow! Nate Ladson Herbert Evans Ida Marx Deborah HolcombeTodd Merchant West Side Federation Holiday Party - December 1, 2014 Held at the Dallas BBQ on West 72nd Street, participants, including many community groups and politicians from across the city, enjoyed food, speeches, music, and the opportunity to socialize. (Pictured Above, Left to Right) Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; Sonia Barnett, Linda Lessner, Anne Rudder; WSAC Landlady Miriam Febus and City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal; Miriam Febus; Carole Barlowe Photos © Jean Prytyskacz

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