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Art Gallery at the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center

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Beth Stoddard and Hope Greene

May 29, 2017 | 9 AM - 4:30 PM

May 19-June 30, 2017

Elegance & Simplicity

Open M-F 9am-4:30pm | Th 9am-7pm

Meet the Artists' Reception: Thursday, May 25, 5-7pm

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Beth Stoddard: "In these landscapes I confront the seeming dilemma of painting from life in post-abstract times. My landscapes are both representations of a particular place and arrangements of shape and color with an abstract awareness. While working from life in the open air, it is as much my concern to capture the immediacy of the scene as it is to draw attention to the surface qualities of the finished piece. Thus there is a specificity to the paint handling of each individual evergreen or cloud in a painting, for example, alongside an intentionally simplified, flat handling of planes, such as grass, creating an awareness of the painting as a formal arrangement. The square format of these pieces lends itself to the illusion of spatial depth while simultaneously acknowledging the immediate reality of the flat panel. Unlike the more traditional horizontal landscape, a square allows more surface area for the sky with its receding clouds, rather than the ground plane with its cooling colors, bringing an openness while also drawing attention to the picture plane as the greater expanse of the sky interacts with the arrangement of shapes on the ground. Unity in light and shadow masses, groupings of like color, and the echoed motifs of multiple trees further both the fidelity to each scene as well as the non-objective architecture of these observed representations. Painting from nature with a strong sense of abstract form, I view the landscape not merely as a view to be recorded, nor a point of departure for formal explorations. As a representational painter in a post-abstract era I find not a dilemma but rather an agreeable tension between the remembrance of the spirit of a place and my own two dimensional, perceptual interpretation."

Hope Greene: "Standing and staring out over lakes rich with symbol and danger, one must make the decision to either move forward into those charged depths or stay on the shore with dry feet, watching the exhilarating drama unfold from a safe, gray distance. Using regional lakes as a metaphor for what is unknown, these photographs depict the mental landscape of choice, the breathless grip of the place between knowing a significant decision must be made and taking the step forward into the consequences of that decision. The series uses word play and various photographic techniques to poke gently at the increasingly fragile link between photography and reality.

This show is dedicated to M.G. who has watched me standing at the edge of many a lake and has never in all those years stopped calling me in.

Hope works in both antique and modern photographic processes, and is keenly interested in myth, memory and the mental landscape. Her photographs have been exhibited internationally and are contained in private collections on three continents. She now lives and works in Eau Claire, Wisconsin where her studio is housed in a modest dairy barn. An advocate for bringing art and artists into everyday life, she founded and directs the Artist in Residence program at Christ Church Cathedral and is a contributing writer for Volume One.


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