Exhibition Duration: September 1, 2020 – October 23, 2020
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 16 @ 4:00 pm
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 18 @ 4:00 pm
Alfa Art Gallery invites you to “LATITUDES/LONGITUDES/MERIDIANS,” a three-person show with Betty Jacobsen, Yvonne Skaggs and Meredeth Turshen, featuring representative works from their numerous explorations in oil, watercolor, drawing, collage, ceramics 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, Yvonne and Meredeth 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.
Betty Jacobsen, an artist and educator, trained at Syracuse, NYU and Montclair State University. She taught advanced art classes at Hunterdon Central Regional High School. Her passions are art and nature, coupled with education. Nature serves as a personal metaphor for the cycles of life. Quietly intimate in size, her work starts from observations of the outside world and flows from the unconscious. Her small works can stand individually yet create a larger visual statement when viewed together.
Betty manipulates clay slabs and assembles them into land/sea forms in this new series of artworks. In her hands, bowls, which are a traditional ceramic form, become interior landscapes, relating to a personal spiritual journey of the past few years. Linoleum relief blocks are carved, pressed into clay, cut out, and added to the clay forms, creating movement and rhythm. In ceramics, the combination of earth and fire equals transformation.
J. 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. 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 landscape 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 creates needlework images from plein-air drawings and paintings, framing them in painted mats. The work incorporates painting drop cloths, which provide energetic images of tempest and fury, and contrast with the stitched serenity of a simple tree, flower or path in the woods. Aware that the earth is being changed, reshaped and destroyed, Yvonne’s artwork illustrates the conflict between the stark beauty of this life and the death struggles of a planet fighting to survive.
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 rendering remembered landscapes in oil and collage. The work is simultaneously representational and non-figurative.
Meredeth revisits storied landscapes viewed on her research trips through Africa, Asia and Europe, remembering and reimagining the environments that stamped her life. Working in oil paint and paper collage, she searches for telling details that reveal place, establish ambience, and recall the experiences of being an amazed and observant visitor.