This past Friday I took a day to travel to the Paradise City Art Fair in Marlboro, MA. I have attended such events many times, simply because I love beautiful things and admire fine art and craftsmanship.
But this time around I had a “mission” — to look for and connect with artists using geometry in their art. Out of what I’d guess to be some 200+ artists, I encountered 5-10 whose work (or at least some of whose work) was substantially geometric in nature. I found all of them wonderful to talk to (I hope to do some interviews in the future!), and I can’t wait to share their work with you.
Here are the five who I connected with the most, listed in (roughly) increasing order of how “geometric” their work is as a whole.
Cheryl and Don Olney
I ended up chatting with Cheryl for quite a while – it turns out that she and Don live in Rochester, NY — my home town! When you first arrive at their site you won’t think “geometric art” because most of what they do really isn’t. However, if you scroll down, you’ll find what caught my geometric eye. They (specifically, Cheryl’s husband Don) make these very clever little business-card sized kinetic pieces with tiny wooden gears inside. I picked one up and haven’t been able to stop playing with it!! Here is an example:
Although you can’t see it in action, you can probably get a sense of how clever and cool an idea it is!
Ann Salk Rosenberg
Ann is a lovely lady who paints large, bright canvases. Most of her work is only geometric “around the edges” in that she uses a lot of checkerboard grids and other repeating patterns as textures within the whole piece. However, she recently completed a series of 5 paintings called “Babylonian Voices” which tell the story of the Tower of Babel using entirely geometric shapes. They are all bold and beautiful. I especially like #2 which features lots of circles intersecting with an underlying grid:
Nathan does a variety of glass work, including some cool, creepy, not-so-geometric spiders!! But what caught my eye were his beautiful glass disks. He uses a variety of methods of his own design to achieve patterns of glass bubbles and spirals of color that make these glass discs really stand out. Most are mounted individually on metal stands, but some are combined into larger works, like this one that took center stage at his booth:
Raj also works in glass, and among other things, does one of my favorite forms of glass – small spheres with beautiful patterns inside. In addition to the (sometimes) geometric nature of the colored glass inside the globe, many of Raj’s spheres also include a somewhat polyhedral aspect in that he sandblasts the outside and then grinds out clear “windows” around the outside:
E. Douglas Wunder
E. Dougles Wunder was one of two artists I spoke to whose art is almost entirely geometrically inspired. He creates very distinctive metal jewelry (primarily out of titanium) using a particular process he developed himself. He carefully drafts out his designs in advance and then stacks several layers, using wire and spacers to keep the layers stacked nicely on top of one another. Here is an example of one of his bracelets:
Last but not least, Valerie Hector was perhaps the most geometrically inclined of the artists I spoke to, and works in a medium I never would have thought could be used in a geometric way: beads! She creates beaded jewelry almost all of which is in the shape of various polyhedra! What really astounded me about her pieces (besides the fact that they existed at all, and how beautiful they are!) is that they are incredibly rigid — not “floppy” the way most beaded work I’ve run across tends to be. I could pick up these little bead polyhedra and squeeze and they hardly budged! I had to ask Valerie three times to confirm that she used thread, not wire, to string the beads. Here is a necklace that features multiple polyhedral shapes:
All in all, I am SO GLAD that I took the time and energy to travel to this show! It made for a long day, but I made some new friends, took in loads of fabulous art, and walked away reinvigorated and inspired to keep creating my own art.