Caffery Gallery announces the opening of a new art exhibit featuring the mixed media Symbolic Assemblages by Baton Rouge artist Ben Peabody and the Wet-Plate Collodion Photographs of Lafayette artist Bruce Schultz.
Peabody and Schultz have transformed the gallery into a stunning display of work that excels in both technical proficiency and symbolism to produce an exhibit that challenges viewers to look within themselves for meaning. Peabody's colorful contemporary assemblages are juxtaposed with Schultz's tonal achromatic photographs that evoke an era from the early days of photography. Peabody's intricate integration of different materials into his relief works using techniques such as layering, metal repousse', and joinery with nails contribute to the symbolism of each piece; while Schultz's presentation of tintype and other wet plate photographs using a lens from the mid 1800's speak with a parallel voice. Some of the imagery in each artist's work involves birds and and nature, with each artist having his story to tell.
Peabody has developed a signature complex painting style of layering and exposing paint, glazes, and metal leaf to enhance the texture and detail of his work. Symbolic Assemblage describes his labor-intense creative style of constructing dimensional artwork that uses combinations of materials and artistic techniques. He interprets abstract ideas through the symbolic use of objects, words, and colors, reflecting his thoughts and imagination.
This multi-stage process includes modeling, casting, carving, constructing and assembling.The media is mixed and can combine plaster, paint, wood, metal and repurposed materials.Metalwork is cut out by hand or embossed using a technique called repousse.Wood adds relief and definition, even becoming miniature sculptures when carved.The frames are handmade, resulting in works of art that are entirely original and one of a kind. The symbols and words within the context of the work along with the sensual layering of colors that hint at deeper meanings reveal a message or a story.The ambiguity in his work creates emotional appeal, and may raise more questions than provide answers.Peabody's use of different elements to create each individual work are intended to provoke interest and intrigue for the viewer.
In reaction to the inevitability of digital photography, Bruce Schultz has opted to explore the roots of photography beyond more than 40 years of large-format image making. In 2007, he began learning to make pictures with the wet-plate collodion process, the dominant process of the mid-1800s.
Throughout his photographic work, the subject matter usually evokes timelessness, so he uses an antiquated approach to capturing the visual essences.These images are an attempt to preserve a faithful accurate rendition of fleeting observations and experiences, as touchstones to the past, rather than relying on fallible, distorted memory. The general category for Schultz's work is called wet-plate collodian photography.
The wet-plate process is truer to the fragility and quixotic nature of human existence. Once a plate is covered with collodion, an image has to be made and the plate developed all within a matter of minutes. Schultz uses three variants of the wet-plate process: Tintype, which is a positive image made on a sheet of metal and is a one-of-a-kind image; Ambrotype, a positive image on glass requiring a black backing to appear as a positive and is also is a one-of-a-kind image; andNegative, similar to an ambrotype, only denser in order to make albumen or salt prints.
A salt print is made by soaking paper in a salt solution, then coating it with a 12 percent silver nitrate solution. Silver nitrate becomes light sensitive in the presence of organic material, such as paper or skin. The salt boosts the light sensitivity of silver nitrate. The print is made by placing a negative on the sensitized paper and exposing it to ultraviolet light, either the sun or an artificial UV source. After excess silver is removed by washing with tap water, the print is toned using a 1 percent gold solution before it is fixed, washed and dried. Albumen prints are made by coating the paper with a mixture of salt and egg white. After drying, the paper is coated with silver nitrate, and the remaining process is identical to the steps involved in making a salt print.
In Schultz's work, the hand-made image parallels life, with inherent flaws that occur in any of the labor-intensive steps. The mistakes, physical and chemical, are not unlike the indelible miscues, regrets and errors in life but inevitably contribute to the final result.
The exhibition at Caffery Gallery runs through June 30.Caffery Gallery is located at 4016 Government Street at Richland in Baton Rouge. Hours are 10-5:30 Monday – Friday and 10-4 Saturday.For more information call 225-388-9397.The exhibit is free and open to the public.
Ben Peabody: Bird
Bruce Schultz: Harry Lafleur
Ben Peabody: Flowers
Bruce Schultz: Bayou Boeuf
Mary Ann Caffery views her painting “Grand Isle Waves,” which she is working on.
By Kate Mabry Staff Writer Houma Today
Baton Rouge artist Mary Ann Caffery wears many titles, including painter, photographer, art gallery owner and interior design instructor at Louisiana State University.
She also often describes herself as a passionate admirer of south Louisiana.
Her artwork evokes a strong connection to the Louisiana coast and includes focal images of marsh grasses, pelicans, dying trees and buildings on stilts. ....
While her work provides colorful visuals of south Louisiana, Caffery's art plays a much larger role in raising awareness about coastal erosion, said Dennis Sipiorski, ceramics professor at Southeastern Louisiana University and former Nicholls State University professor....
Local artist Mary Ann Caffery documents the light and darkness of south Louisiana in a photographic series on egrets
By Randy Faucheux Aug 14, 2013
...Caffery says all of her art, regardless of medium, is about light. In addition to light, much of her recent work also seems to be about the local region in some way, especially in terms of subject matter...
"Caffery's stunning mosaic panels, tall and slender, varying slightly in length, are intricate and colorful and, in arrangements of two or more, create stunning patterns on the wall. An 'In My Garden' series of three expresses serenity, truth and beauty by turn, and the trio belongs together. Subtle patterns and clever design mark every inch of the mosaic panels, and give them depth and meaning." From The Advocate, July 18, 2004, reviewing the Baton Rouge Gallery exhibit featuring mosaics by Mary Ann Caffery, drawings by Billie Bourgeois, and layered glass works by Craig McCullen, which was on display through July 31, 2004.
Samuel Sanders of Mid City Redevelopment Alliance. The photo links to The Advocate's Oct. 2, 2006 article on Revitalizing Mid City.
Mary Ann's Speech: A little Baton Rouge history...
Photos of Turquoise and Exotic Stone Jewelry by Amy Kahn Russell; Reveille Article; Passion Flowers
(right, photo of Amy Kahn Russell jewelry -- earrings, necklaces, brooches -- and we have lots more of her work this week ... it's an AKR Turquoise Trunk Show!)----------------------------------------------->
A Baton Rouge native, artist Amy Kahn Russell uses antique pieces, amber, semi-precious stones and sterling silver in hand-crafted necklaces, earrings, pendants and rings. Her work was recently featured on WAFB TV-9's Weekend Morning Show with Kellee Hennessy and Barbara Dixon. In addition to our regular large variety and selection of Amy's work, we have a special turquoise trunk show. Call us at (225) 388-9397 or email CafferyGallery@gmail.com for information on available pieces and styles.
On Government Street just past Sister Paula Psychic Palm Reader and before Calandro's Supermarket lies a pink house trimmed in black and white polka dots. The threshold of the front door is framed in cloth flowers, and the windows on either side display hanging pieces of purple, green and red stained glass. Before patrons enter the Caffery Gallery, their art bone is already tickled.
Mary Ann Caffery, who earned a MFA from LSU, opened Caffery Gallery in 1989 on Government Street about eight blocks from the current location, which was established in 1992. For 13 years, the gallery housed local art as well as novelty items.
"I chose to sell and feature pieces that fit with the spirit of the store, which is unexplainable," said Caffery. "It just does or it doesn't fit into that spirit."
Among hand-crafted jewelry and pottery, customers can find Carmen Miranda paper dolls and Garden Nuns (Garden Gnomes with habits). There is a wide selection of fine art and fun toys, which both feature distinct creativity.
"Our customers are people who like unique things, who like contemporary art," Caffery said.
The contemporary theme of the gallery also is complemented with vintage reincarnations, taking the form of earrings, posters or furniture. Jewelry pieces by Catherine Popesco of Paris are molded from casts dating back to the 1920s and 1930s. Many of the books, candles, soaps and postcards are nostalgic of the post-WWII era.
In keeping with Caffery's patronage of modern art, the gallery also hosts many local artists. Bruce Odell, Amy Kahn Russell and Alvin Batiste contribute original pottery, jewelry and oil paintings respectively to the inventory of work by Baton Rouge natives.
Nov. 21 marked the first of Caffery's exhibits to be shown in her own gallery. She has previously worked on mosaic pieces for the New Orleans International airport and last winter the Baton Rouge Gallery hosted her show "Icons." The recent exhibit was titled "Spiritual Journeys," which presented a series of stained glass compositions.
"Since I have been involved with art, I find it interesting what makes things sacred to people," Caffery said. "In Ireland they have standing stones, France has cathedrals ... this exhibit is my idea of spirituality."
The gallery presents a different art show every six weeks and Caffery's opening soon will be followed by an art sale. On Dec. 7, Greg Elliott and his wife, Roberta Cohen of the LSU art department, will be putting their sculpture pieces up for sale, along with Bruce Odell's pottery work. The sale will last from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The gallery is a truly unique vendor for almost anything artistic. From decorative umbrellas, pink flamingo swizzle sticks and Elvis Presley memorabilia to Louisiana folk art, introspective collages and Celtic crosses, the Caffery Gallery is an exceptional contribution to Baton Rouge art and commerce.
Wall Crosses from Ireland and Small Tabletop Replicas of Celtic Crosses from Scotland, England and Ireland
Louisiana Folk Art by ALVIN BATISTE
Rusted Recycled Metal Yard Dogs & Cats --by Richard Kolb
-Architectural Stained Glass -Jewelry -Gifts From Around The World --New Glass Review Top 100
--Here's an interesting summary of the public art project that Mary Ann and other Louisiana artists completed at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans: The Concourse C Collaborative Project.
Caffery Gallery 4016 Government Street Baton Rouge, LA 70806
Caffery Architectural Stained Glass and Mosaics 225-388-9957
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