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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Aullwood: Bronfenbrenner, LaSalle and Fazzini

Liese Bronfenbrenner, "Good Earth," 22" x 31". 
It is hard to believe that the Aullwood Audubon Center's Art Quilt show will come to and end tomorrow (Sunday) evening.  Things have been so busy, that it seems like it just opened yesterday!

Liese Bronfenbrenner is another one of the artists who used "The Good Earth" as a title for their piece.  Liese is setting the tone tonight for simplified works.  By "simplified", I mean expression of realistic forms or scenes using smoothed, or simplified lines.  This doesn't necessarily indicate that it is unsophisticated or not rich....Indeed, there is an elegance to Liese's piece.  The lettering in the background says "Our School Good Earth Exhibit."  Her artist statement is simple:  
"How does the younger generation percieve the "Good Earth" a globe in nature's colors, or as a shiny , glowing ball, or as a seedling sprouting from the dark soil."

I found the connection with school interesting in Liese's case...Liese's husband, Urie, was a co-founder of the  Head Start program  and promoted a holistic approach to human development.  While it is probably co-incidental, Liese portrays 5 figures....and Urie's  Ecological Systems Theory which greatly influenced how psychologists and other social scientists analyzed and approached human beings and their environments, is based upon 5 environmental systems.   I am walking a thin line here as generally, I think that people often read too much into images supposing the artist's intent....which can result in wild suppositions and an almost rude imposition of the viewer or reviewer's thoughts onto the artist's view....  At any rate, Liese's choice of colors and the elements in this piece are certainly pleasing.

Liese Bronfenbrenner resides in Ithaca, New York and has a long history of working with fiber, particularly in quilts and soft sculptures.  She is a repeat exhibitor at Aullwood.  You can see her pieces from 2009 and 2011 on my blog.

Fran LaSalle, "Lunchtime", 20" x 22", $250.
Another repeat exhibitor is my friend and fellow Miami Valley Art Quilt Network and SAQA member, Fran LaSalle.  To my mind, the pieces that Fran entered here are a bit more restrained and simple than many of her other pieces.  At left you see "Lunchtime."  In her pieces Fran uses a combination of tools...thread painting, Inktense pencils, fabric paint and markers.

This year Fran has two pieces in the show, and of the two, I enjoy this second one the most.  "Apologies to Grandma Moses".  Fran spent a lot of time on this one adding little details...I think some of which must have driven her crazy.

Fran LaSalle, "Apologies to Grandma Moses," 20" x 26" NFS. 
I love the birdseye view, common to Grandma Moses' work as well as the map manufacturers of the 19th century.  When I was speaking with a local newspaper writer about the show, she commented that this piece reminded her of Charles Wysocki's work.

Anne Fazzini, "Vineyard View," 22.5" x 24"  $250.00
Concept of laying out sections of land in patchwork is a rather common one.  In this one, Anne Fazzini from Hamilton, Ohio has used commercially printed fabric to construct a montage.  Anne was using this to highlight Ohio's wine industry, both in a historic sense as well as the current resurgence in wineries in the state since 1965, even though the prints are showing Tuscan fields. Anne refers to this as her vision of a "perfect Ohio farm."

Ann Fazzini, "Contour Plowing," 41" x 35.5" $250.00
In her second piece, "Contour Plowing",  she combines randomly pieced segments in a grid pattern to create sections shading from green to brown.  She utilizes the color scheme to indicate a transition from eroded soils to restored, fertile soils.  She notes that on her family farm in west Central Ohio in the 1950s, contour plowing, where one follows the line of the grade of the soil (that is, you plow AROUND a hill so that the furrows don't create a straight line down the hill which leads to erosion as water runs straight off the hill down the plow lines).  This was often more time consuming, but it did preserve the land.

I know that my dad commented to me that he was one of the early ones to use contour plowing on our farm in south central Michigan, as well as cover crops, which was foreign to the old timers who laughed at first....but in later years adopted it as they saw what a difference it made in preserving the land.

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