It’s a Surreal World opened on Friday, April 4, 2008, at the Progress Energy Art Gallery in New Port Richey, Florida. The featured artist of the evening was Patrick Stickney who explores dreams, meditations, and myths in his paintings. He works in various media depending on what fits the subject matter and his inspiration of the moment – acrylics, tempera, charcoal, ink, colored pencil, paper collage, photo montage, and even enamel spray paints.
The exhibit also included three soft pastel paintings featuring my new goddess series: Polyhymnia, Summoning Brigit, and Mari, Goddess of Dreams. This series explores various archetypes from the religious to creative muses with dreamlike imagery. Polyhymnia features a nude transposed against a guitar with little cute goldfish swimming around. Summoning Brigit is another goddess posing nude this time with a long flowing piece of silk amidst a colorful background with a hidden light bulb. And finally, Mari, Goddess of Dreams, has a nude cradled by heavenly wings against a full moon and imagery of transformation symbolism with the butterflies against a stark ocean view with deep red poppies.
The exhibit also featured a new mixed media painting created just for the exhibit entitled, It’s a Surreal World.
[Featured in the photo: Polyhymnia, It's a Surreal World, Summoning Brigit, Mari, Goddess of Dreams, Shakti, & Chaos Theory]
Along with these new paintings, the exhibit also features three large scale metallic prints of original paintings that have sold in prior exhibits and on my online Etsy store, Surrealmuse Studios: Shakti, Chaos Theory & Original Desire.
Other exhibiting artists include Eva Diana Berman who was born in Germany and grew up in Bavaria. For this featured exhibit, she selected works from her portfolio that explore the discrimination, aggression, and violence that impact women, and explains:
Today, on a regular basis we are reminded of the fate of some of these unfortunate women. Some are scarred forever, some go missing, and some become pioneers to stand up for women’s rights.
It is these facts that prompted me to create the “Fractured Roses” series. Through the use of slashes and breaking up the planes of the canvas I intend to invoke feelings of uneasiness in the viewer as a reminder of the vulnerability of women.
Another exhibiting artist, Melissa Fiorentino, who’s influences range from Michelangelo to Piet Mondrian, strives to bring a convergence of the human passions, emotional thrills, despairing nightmares and the conquest of dreams together to the conscious and unconscious level of the human aspirations. A variety of color schemes, intense and sometimes risky subject matter help Fiorentino’s work to project a very shocking and different motive . She tends to have a unique style bringing a representational piece, abstract and a portrait all into one. It is a way to allow for there to be a reality and dream or nightmare enclosed onto one image. As Melissa explains in her artist statement:
Nothing speaks to me more than our own emotion .. Basically my main goal is to … [bring] together a surreal and abstract idea of what a person feels while they are experiencing life.
Featured below, another one of Melissa’s paintings encompasses an esoteric metaphysical feeling next to Sherry Shamback’s Spellbinding Garden & Altar Stones, spiritual words encased in cement. The small round ones have astrological glyphs on them and double as (stick) incense holders.
Branden Lukes, another exhibiting artist of the evening, displayed very large paintings that were done on different types of wood. It is surprising how the different textures of wood in each piece really contribute to the whole experience work. His use of simple colors and sweeping black lines is evocative of modern comic books, anime, tribal tattoos, and finer graphic novels.
The exhibit also includes works of art by Virginia Erdie, Kathrine Jakob, Wes Trigger, the curators of the event, Paula Showen and Michelle Collins, along with many other gallery members. It’s a beautiful exhibit so do check it out if you’re in the area now through May at Progress Energy Art Gallery:
6231 Grand Blvd.
New Port Richey, Florida 34652
Phone: (727) 848-6500
After after the art exhibit, we wandered the streets of New Port Richey and discovered the festivities of the Annual Chasco Fiesta that featured pow wow dancing and various vendors from food to arts & crafts.