Exhibition Duration: March 3, 2020 – April 25, 2020
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 12 @ 5:00 pm
Alfa Art Gallery invites you to “LIFE DISTILLED”, a three-person show with Meredeth Turshen, Betty Jacobsen, and Yvonne Skaggs, featuring representative works from their numerous explorations in watercolor, drawing, collage, and mixed media.
The three artists have shown their work in a variety of exhibition venues around New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania since the 1980s. Through the years that Betty, Meredeth and Yvonne have known, worked and exhibited together, they have influenced each other in many subtle ways, especially with their commitment and dedication to express their feelings and visions artistically.
Meredeth Turshen is an artist, teacher and writer who lives in Hoboken and taught at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, for more than 25 years. Her art studies began at age ten at the Art Students League in New York and continued, after majoring in studio art at Oberlin College, in workshops and residencies at Pratt, the Printmaking Council of NJ, the Rutgers Center for Innovative Printmaking, Vermont Studio Center, and Moulin à Nef (VCCA France). She exhibits regularly in the New York metropolitan region and with Viridian Gallery in Chelsea. For this exhibition, she was inspired by the challenge of incorporating images of household décor, floral arrangements and potted plants into collages that are simultaneously representational and non-figurative. The collages reveal familiar objects through the lens of a modern artist, giving quotidian scenes a new twist.
Meredeth’s art turns combines scenes from nature, landscapes and interior features to create abstract compositions. Her collages present recognizable objects and the perspective of a modern artist. In this exhibition she shares with viewers the challenge of creating a non-figurative image with familiar items such as flowers and household décor. The result is an overlapping of textures, pops of color and geometry that pull your gaze across the entire image to investigate further ad recognize the features in each panel.
Betty Jacobsen, an artist and educator, trained at NYU and Montclair State University. She teaches advanced art classes at Hunterdon Central Regional High School. Her passions are art and nature, coupled with education, with nature serving as a personal metaphor for the cycles of life. Starting from observations of nature, her work flows from the unconscious; it is quietly intimate in size. Her small works can stand individually yet create a larger visual statement when viewed together. The repetition and relationship among parts is exciting, as each series explores an idea through consistency of size and media. Humble materials such as paper, watercolor, sewing thread, feathers and pen have worked their way into three-dimensional pieces through folding. For the work shown here, called The Walk, Jacobsen used tiny bird feathers to create 100 paper triptychs.
Betty is inspired by nature. For her, nature serves as a personal metaphor for lifecycles. With this in mind, and a longing to bring viewers into a private world with the work, she creates small artworks with soft strokes of watercolors, thread, feathers and pen. The result is a piece that can almost be felt by viewers. And, in a way, can be. Betty’s works can be held by viewers, an interaction she hopes is like reading a book.
Yvonne Skaggs,an artist who exhibits two- and three-dimensional work in various venues in New York and New Jersey,studied at the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History and the Art Students League in New York. Her varied career includes producing maps and technical drawings and designing and preparing exhibits for small history and art organizations. With traditional artifacts being destroyed around the world by man and nature, she has been considering what we mean when we preserve objects, paintings, and artifacts of all kinds. With the abstracted still life images shown here, she thinks about the definition of style and culture and the objects we choose to save to record our time. She uses the technique of collage, reassembling elements to sculpt, build and construct images. The papers and fabrics come from many sources – magazines, newspapers, photographs and paper and fabric.
Yvonne’s art is inspired by themes of preservation and culture. Her art seeks to sculpt still life images with familiarity, but are not replications. The materials used in her collages come from a variety of sources, she utilizes magazines and newspapers, her own photographs, and paper and fabric she textured and colored.