Our new show, All About Blue II, opens on September 29 and will run through December 1 at the Elisa Contemporary Art Riverdale Gallery. The show features all female artists with a blue palette in their work. The color blue represents the sky, the sea and open spaces. It creates a sense of peace, freedom and expansiveness.
Blue is calming -- engaging the body to produce chemicals that create feelings of ease and tranquility. We'll be exploring the color blue across a range of different mediums -- including painting and works on paper.
Featured female artists will include Rowayton Artist Betty Ball, Flow artist, Kimber Berry, California Realist Ferdinanda Florence, Connecticut Abstractionist Jennifer Glover Riggs, Westport Artist Dale Najarian, Boston Artist Nancy Simonds, Vermont Abstractionist Rose Umerlik and Connecticut Artist Deborah Weiss.
Betty Ball received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and has been working as a designer and fine artist ever since. She brings her design influences to work in fine art compositions capturing light and color in the world around her. Light is a key element of her work, and she creates art that is “observational, beautiful, sensuous and open to interpretation.” According to Ball, “Light defines what we see. Light’s purity and transcendent qualities are at the heart of my work.” Her artwork has been exhibited and collected throughout the US and Internationally in Hong Kong, Germany, Ireland, Spain and Denmark.
Kimber is a Los Angeles artist, who is part of the "Flow Movement," a term coined by Art Critic (and curator) Peter Frank. Her artwork is vibrant and dynamic mixed media combining acrylics, resins and digitally altered photographs of her paint-strokes. As a native of LA, Kimber loves to blur the line between what is real and what is illusion. She has received a lot of positive attention from art critics and curators on the West Coast and has been featured in solo and group shows in New York, LA and Atlanta. She has been part of exhibits at the Riverside Museum and the Huntington Beach Art Center in California. Kimber was recently featured in the magazines Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, Ocean Home and Flaunt. In 2013, she created an installation at Terminal 3 at LAX and has had recent shows in New York, London and California. Her work is in private and public collections worldwide.
Armenian-America, Ferdinanda has explored in her research the role of place in artistic expression. In her artwork, she uses industrial sites in her home city of Vallejo CA to explore issues of place on a more personal level. According to Florence, "I am interested in the concept of liminal—or threshold—spaces, and how the slippery boundaries between inside and outside can act as metaphors for life’s unresolvable paradoxes. My paintings represent a personal exploration of loss and longing for something untenable and possibly irretrievable. Almost all of my subjects are industrial or commercial areas, rather than private residences. They are "home" to no one, but I am drawn to them, and find in them something personal and familiar." Her work has been exhibited in the US and is in public and private collections.
Jen Glover Riggs is best known for creating organic looking multi layered artworks with acrylic and epoxy resin. Jen Glover Riggs is an abstract painter and mixed media artist who is intrigued by the organic patterns and forms found in nature. She uses unconventional tools that make organic and unpredictable marks when she paints, but at the same time she likes to have a degree of control over her composition. She sees creation as a dance between herself and the paint as she both leads and follows, working intuitively and with purpose. She makes one mark, then evaluates the piece and makes another. For Jen, this is a study in the balance of chaos and control. Jen’s paintings have been shown in juried fine art shows both locally and regionally, and her commission work has been featured in art collections nationally.
Dale Najarian received her BFA from Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia. She began painting in watercolor in 1998 and over the years experimented with other mediums including acrylics, mixed media, and oils. In 2005 she relocated with her family to Singapore for several years and traveled throughout South East Asia, New Zealand, Australia and China. Dale's photographs taken during this time are a source of inspiration for many of her landscape paintings. According to Dale: "Art is my passion and a huge part of my everyday life. My work is a colorful translation of everyday scenes and objects. I often work from life or in my studio using photography as a general guide. Once I get the feel for the painting, I abandon the actual image and create from within to develop a recognizable yet simplistic painting the viewer can identify with." Dale paints in her studio in Westport and her art has been exhibited and collected throughout the US and UK.
Nancy Simonds is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She maintains a studio in the South End of Boston. Her work has been shown at the Butler Museum of American Art, the Danforth Museum and the University of Maine Museum of Art. Her work is part of over 50 corporate collections and collected by individuals worldwide. According to Simonds, "In painting each piece there is an experience of exhilaration and renewal. In each painting I stack and pile simple shapes, placing then sizing and creating visual relationships that build to larger rhythms. My best paintings work like Japanese haiku; each image is paired down to its essentials and each becomes a complete world of its own. In these paintings I aim for an effect deeper than the joy of beautiful surface and color; I want to generate visual places, points of departure for states of serenity and contemplation."
Rose Umerlik received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, with strong influences from Stephen Zaima who impressed upon her the importance of one’s ability to self-evaluate, and the “work method.” The backbone of her studio practice is based on a strong work ethic and dedication to being present and honest with her work. Umerlik extracts the intangible emotional moments that live in our collective human psyche and interprets them abstractly through form, line and color so that they may also exist outside of ourselves. She has had thirteen solo exhibitions in New England and has been included in numerous group exhibitions across the country and internationally. Her work has been reviewed in Art New England and Artscope. She has also published two books, Intimacy of Forms and Histories. Among other awards, she has received a grant from the NH State Council on the Arts to participate in the Takt Kunstprojektraum Residency in Berlin, Germany, a fellowship for the Golden Foundation Residency Program, and the Clowes Award from the Vermont Studio Center. In 2018, She was named a VT Artist to Watch!
Deborah Weiss is a visual artist creating both works on panel and paper. According to Deborah, "The energy of the natural world is both highly charged and subtle simultaneously. My work is an exploration of the exchange between nature's elements, terrain, plant life and atmosphere. The work begins spontaneously one gesture at a time, editing takes place as the work unfolds. There is a layering and excavation process as I work. Each layer informs the next both concealing and revealing information. As in the natural world randomness and order coexist." She has exhibited throughout the United States and has been included in several international exhibitions taking place in China, Sweden, Italy, England and Denmark. Weiss’ works are also included in numerous private and corporate collections including Mattatuck Museum, Fidelity Investments, Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Shenzhen Hotel. She was born in New York and now maintains a studio and residence in Connecticut.