Art Center Blues

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Reception: Art show opens Friday

The word “rhapsody” is so often associated with music that an art exhibit titled “Rhapsody in Blue” might inspire curiosity. One of the definitions for “rhapsody” is an ecstatic expression of feeling or enthusiasm, which makes it completely appropriate for art. There is, of course, a wave of blue through the Fuller Lodge Art Center gallery and the directions artists adventured with the theme should inspire an appreciation in viewers.
Melissa Alexander, a retired schoolteacher and longtime volunteer at the Art Center, finds the challenge of creating knit pieces to follow an exhibit theme an intriguing challenge. Her piece “Sailing in the Cyclades” includes four types of fiber knit into a sleeveless sweater that captures the essence of the Mediterranean.
Lene Bryson and Sue Ellen Hains, both members of a local collage group, collaborated on a painting titled, “Big Blue.” The large abstract appears as a field of blue with veins of navy and bright red, like an out-of-this-world marble slab. Photographer David Elton’s “Fence” has an abstract quality as well, focused on a couple of knot holes in a highly grained wood fence that has a blue cast.
Only one piece in the show overtly reflects an interpretation of the theme with emotional blues. Ellen Koberlein, a high school student from Whitehouse, Ohio, shares a charcoal drawing called “Something Taken,” which portrays a hand over the bottom of a face.
The face appears to be a young woman, but it’s unclear if the hand is hers or another’s, leaving the interpretation open to the viewer. Is the subject being silenced, or is she just sadly pensive?
Koberlein discovered the Art Center through a common Facebook connection, and upon learning that young artists are invited to apply for shows without a jury fee, she mailed her application from the Midwest and is now showing in New Mexico.
Drawing on the musical side of the blues, TK Thompson fills the Portal Gallery with “Faces of Jazz,” a series of black and white photographs. These include locals Jan McDonald, Bert Dalton, Milo Jaramillo, Cal Haines, Richard Snider, Dave Anderson and others.   
Fuller Lodge Art Center will host an opening reception for “Rhapsody in Blue” from 5-7 p.m. Friday. The light refreshments will undoubtedly include a selection of blue treats, and the public is welcome.