Wednesday, June 30, 2010

In the Gallery: July


Welcome to the Crawfordsville District Public Library's Mary Bishop Memorial Art Gallery where you will be transported, by the acrylic and watercolor paintings of Lafayette artist Angelina Fielding, to the simple life of India with a dab of Western culture thrown in. Vying for your attention in the Gallery's Display Cases are the twinkling fused glass bowls, beads, and adornments created by Williamsport artist Kathleen Kitch.

Born in Chandigarh, India in 1973, ANGELINA FIELDING took an interest in art as soon as she was able to hold a crayon. During her childhood and as a budding artist she was heavily influenced by her artist father and Nani who schooled her in crafts from an early age. As a young woman she developed a deep appreciation for the beauty of her majestic surroundings. Now, as a self-taught artist living and working in Lafayette, she strives to incorporate that amazing Indian culture and heritage into her paintings using scenes from her memory. She has worked in watercolor, charcoal, acrylics, oil and mixed media, developing a love of history along the way. An avid reader some of images incorporate history and ideas from novels. Primarily a painter of women, because she believes all beautiful, Angelina tries to project this beauty in all the images she creates. While many of her scenes depict an ordinary and peaceful life, she is not afraid to paint women in situations that are not so beautiful. She paints abused women; women filled with fear, grief, pain and anguish and through her art, hopes to bring awareness of these issues still faced by many women today.

KATHLEEN KITCH creator of GLASSROOTS Art Objects began working in the glass medium in 1978. Her initial interest was in stained glass. For three years she worked in a commercial studio gaining knowledge and the skills of the craft. In 1987, she opened her own studio in Battle Ground, Indiana, where she created three dimensional objects of stained glass which included boxes, vases and towers. She sold these works in galleries and at art fairs, primarily in the Midwest. In early 1991 Kathleen began working with kiln-formed glass, also known as fused glass. There are many similarities in working with stained glass and fused glass. The pieces in both mediums are cut from sheet glass, but in fused glass are fused together in a kiln instead of being soldered together with lead or copper foil. Kathleen preferred fused glass because it is a more fluid way to design her work and has greater creative possibilities and fewer limitations. Her work is now primarily kiln-formed plates and bowls, sculpture and jewelry. She works with a palette of vibrant colors, varied textures and metallic finishes. Some of her pieces are based on overlapping geometric shapes, but she also loves to create more flowing and organic designs. Glass is a wonderful substance to work with. It reflects and refracts light, bringing out an inherent quality of movement. When translucent colors and shapes overlap, they are enhanced as they change in tint and form. She has now relocated her home and studio to a lovely spot overlooking Big Pine Creek in Warren County, Indiana, where she and her husband Dana Goodman work together as well as separately on creating objects pf glass. In 2000, along with a group of local artists, Kathleen became involved in the founding of a cooperative gallery, ARTIST'S OWN, in downtown Lafayette, Indiana. A large selection of her work may be found there. She also attends art fairs in the Midwest and shows her work in other galleries. Kathleen has been commissioned to create special works for corporations such as Subaru Isuzu of Indiana; Tippecanoe Arts Federation, and the Purdue University School of Liberal Arts. She has work installed at Ivy Tech Community College, the Frankfort Community Library and in many private collections. As a lifetime learner, Kathleen continues to explore new ways of seeing and experimenting with the possibilities in her chosen field.

Even though Williamsport artist KATHLEEN KITCH was in Africa less than two years, she found herself drawn to the African influence of simple geometric designs, bright colors and repeated patterns. Kitch sees this as a reflection of the simple life she witnessed in Africa and throughout her other travels abroad. "I still do simple beading now," she says. In 1978, Kitch created her first stained-glass window. This was the beginning of a successful career for the down-to-earth artist. Through trial and error, she learned the craft with the help of a book and an older gentleman mentor. In the beginning, Kitch made stained glass pieces as an artistic outlet while raising her three sons. When her former husband's work took the family to Africa, she found herself making glass pieces for enjoyment and giving them away.
Upon her return to the States, she broadened her exposure through art fairs and eventually found herself phasing out stained glass in favor of fused glass. Fused glass starts with a type of stained glass that is specifically formulated for high temperatures. The glass is cut and layered, enabling Kitch to overlap designs in her pieces. With the intense heat of the kiln, the glass layers melt together. Kitch says she uses a lot of yellow, pink and turquoise. When blended, they create many other colors. "I don't plan out designs," says Kitch "They create themselves as they go. There is never the same thing two times, except for the size because of the mold I use."

What is Kitch's favorite piece to design? "It depends on the mood," she says. What she creates is also influenced by customer needs. Most popular now are her small plates and earrings. Around Christmas time, look for her unique glass Christmas tree ornaments. She creates these with scrap glass (she doesn't like to waste anything) and adds beading and stitching. Unusual as it sounds, glass can be stitched, says Kitch. Stitching is done with a certain type of glass. Kitch uses this method on her bowls, plates and trays. She has perfected her own technique, but owes the inspiration to a native who lived with the family in Africa. "People there don't waste anything," says Kitch. Kitch is one of the original members of Artists' Own, a cooperative of local artists. Beginning with 22 women in 1999, the art store incorporates artists using many different mediums of expression. Kitch says she is inspired and supported by these artists, one of whom is her husband, Dana Goodman.
"Dana is very supportive of me following my passion," says Kitch. The creations are her design; however Goodman is instrumental in many of the finishing touches. Together they have made "Glassroots" a successful business that they started in 1987. Flexibility is a perk in Kitch's line of work. She points out that it takes discipline and motivation to be successful. The love of art has always been there, she says, but it was glass that got her hooked. "I love glass, the beauty of the substance. It's alive and has movement with light," says Kitch. "I am fortunate that I have found something that I love and have stuck with it, getting better and better at what I do."

No comments: