WINTER TRANSITIONS; SPRING STORMS is R. Roberts Gallery’s celebration of the transition from the grey, dreary days of winter into the fresh bloom of spring. The show features the work of three very different artists, mixed media artist Madeline Peck-Wagner, sculptor James Oleson and encaustic painter Kathleen Wobie.
As you enter the gallery, you may almost miss James Oleson’s tiny bust sculpture. This diminutive piece, made of repurposed metal, will definitely make you stop and take the time to really check it out. I couldn’t believe I walked right by it when I first came in! Beyond the bust is one of Oleson’s horse sculptures. With its stilt-like legs and flowing tail, this equine could be right out of a Tim Burton movie. Oleson also has some much larger scale sculptures that are interesting in their own right.
Speaking of equines, Madeline Peck-Wagner’s mixed media works were defnitely, for me, the star of this show. She takes subject matter that could be trite and cringe-worthy ( think cheesy Southwestern art ), but treats it in a unique, contemporary and elegant way.
These are delicate line drawings possessing an intense presence and power, much like the impressive animals depicted. The cross-hatching & precision of the lines are reminiscent of architectural drafting, giving the figures depicted a strutctural, landscaped quality. Conversely, blots and washes of brightly colored paints call to the spiritual significance such animals, both living and decayed possess.
Just as the delicate, bare branches of winter transition into the full, heady blooms of spring, so we move from Madeline Peck-Wagner’s graceful lines into Kathleen Wobie’s encaustics, thick with wax, paint & color. Kathleen’s pieces, in the context of this show, seem to depict spring at its height– full of pastel tones and sunshiney warmth.
For me personally, I found the larger, abstract piece below to be Wobie’s most successful of this show. This piece, rather than being the literal translation of winter to spring that the piece above is, instead represents more the feeling of spring– of rebirth, renewal and the joy of being alive.
As we in North Florida transition into spring ( though some days lately, it feels as if summer is already upon us! ), take the time to drop by R. Roberts to see how these artists make the switch and enjoy this last show in the gallery’s current space. R. Roberts is doing some transitioning of their own, can’t wait to see the bountiful blooming that is sure to be in store!
R. Roberts Gallery is located at 3606 St. Johns Ave in historic Avondale, in Jacksonville.
Winter Transitions; Spring Storms will be on display through April 23rd, the gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-6pm.