Art Garage’s first exhibits of 2023
By Avery Wageman
The Art Garage is centering warmth, comfort and simplicity in their upcoming exhibitions, Home and Back to the Basics.
Opening Feb. 1, the two exhibits offer respite from the cold with a variety of artistic mediums from abstract acrylic paintings to found object sculptures.
Home, on display from Feb. 1 through Feb. 25, and Back to the Basics, on display from Feb. 1 through March 25, are call-to-art group exhibits that will display a diverse array of submissions from local artists.
“We always hope to be a place for artists to have space to show their work,” said Haylie Place, gallery manager for the Art Garage. “All the call-for-art exhibitions are open to artists of all mediums, experience levels and sizes of work. We hope to be an outlet for artists of all kinds.”
The themes for the two exhibits were determined by a survey of artists’ and community members’ suggestions, a new tool for the Art Garage and something Place explained was meant to better meet the interests of the community.
One theme hit home for Erika Vazzana, a professional commercial artist who will have her piece “Come On In” on display in the Home exhibit. As a daughter of Polish immigrants, Vazzana explained how defining home has always been complicated for her family, and with the passing of her grandfather, she inherited objects that inspired her submitted piece.
“To me, it was like, ‘Oh, what can I do with that?’ But I needed to wait for the right opportunity, and when this show came along I said, ‘That’s it.’ It’s pieces of the home … that helped me tell a story with my painting.”
For Tonya Cameron, painting her favorite rock‘n’roll icons with makeup brushes became her creative outlet after losing her fashion industry job as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19. Cameron looks forward to sharing her work with Art Garage visitors, hoping that others will connect with her piece, “Prince, His Royal Badness.”
“I really love all these artists that I paint, and they have given me so much in my life,” Cameron said. “When somebody walks up and sees it, the ultimate compliment is when they see it and they kind of gasp … It’s the best feeling ever. It resonates.”
Adam Raiford Wilson also recently revisited his artist outlets.
“I had some paint that I had bought from Goodwill and I just started painting again,” Wilson said. “And it kind of spiraled from there.”
During a COVID-19 quarantine, Wilson dove back into painting, as well as furniture and sculpture mediums.
His painting, “God Give a Drought;” sculpture assemblage of skateboard fragments, “Wood and Glue;” and a vintage wooden recipe box covered in knobs, “Knob Box Number 1,” will all be displayed in Back to the Basics.
“It is exciting to be in a more formal space than I have been in the past,” said Wilson. “It’s definitely validating as an artist and it’s always cool when people will get to see my work in a context where they don’t know me, so it’s kind of unbiased.”
The opening reception for Home and Back to the Basics on Feb. 2 from 5 to 7 p.m. is a celebration of the artists’ work and provides visitors the chance to chat with them about their pieces. Admission to the Art Garage’s exhibits and opening reception are free and anyone interested in supporting local art is encouraged to come.
Along with its upcoming gallery shows, the Art Garage is currently taking submissions for their April exhibition, In Bloom.
Abstract painter Jodi Parr encourages others to consider submitting their art in the future. “I would one hundred percent recommend for any artist to work with the Art Garage and for any person in the community to actually take the time to go to the Art Garage and support the local art.”