Maui News’ Art In View – July 2012





Maui News Art In View writes:

“Maui has its fair share of galleries specializing in art that showcases the beauty of our island paradise. Realistic depictions of splashing humpback whales, sunsets, tropical flowers and other island scenes are abundant and well represented. Abstract art is not nearly as well represented.

One gallery that specializes in abstract contemporary art is Paia Contemporary Gallery at 83 Hana Highway. Created by a core group of Hawaii artists, alongside national, and international established talents, will present a new show with an artist reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday.

The featured artists are Jessica Drenk, abstract sculptor from South Carolina; Joseph Segal, abstract sculptor from Florida; and Al Schwartz, a Maui abstract artist who has turned to contemporary painting after a long history in ceramics.

For the last 15 years, Schwartz has collected certain minerals from the clays on the island. He has now found a way to incorporate those same minerals into his paintings, giving an earthly sheen to these modern color fields.

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Drenk works with everyday items, objects of modern society, and turns them into something iconic. Pencils, toilet paper, books, ear buds, PVC pipe these are some of the elements Drenk masterfully transforms, to gracefully enter the realm of fine art.

“By transforming familiar objects into nature-inspired forms and patterns, I examine how we classify the world around us,” says Drenk. “Manufactured goods appear as natural objects, something functional becomes something decorative, a simple material is made complex, and the commonplace becomes unique.”

Segal’s honors include the Historic Preservation Award from the City of Jacksonville, multiple Artistic Enhancement Grants from the State of Florida and multiple Fostering Vitality in the Arts Grants from the Jacksonville Community Foundation. His work has been featured in over 150 solo and group exhibitions in public buildings and national galleries since 1993.

“I impose a geometric composition on natural materials to examine our relationship with the environment,” says Segal. “A need for order is balanced with a desire for deeper understanding of the essence of the elements that I work with. I use processes and finishes that either obscure or illuminate the nature of these materials to reiterate the divergence within these concepts.”

The show runs through Aug. 22.”


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