Cycles & Spires Opening in Ojai

Fonseca StalagmitesCycles and Spires, a two-person show of painting and sculpture, opens at Ojai’s Contemporary galerie102 August 9th

Galerie102 is pleased to present Cycles and Spires featuring paintings by James Wills and sculpture by Elisa Berry Fonseca. Cycles and Spires opens August 9 with an artists’ reception from 5-7 p.m. and is on view through September 14.

Cycles and Spires explores the cyclical nature of life and death through continual motion in different mediums. Tall felt spires magically emerge from the ground – sturdy but delicate – they undulate towards one another in a dance of striated color – creating a surreal, treelike landscape. A triptych of large black and white paintings form the Holy Trinity:  sub-titled “Father, Son and Holy Ghost” from traditional Christian doctrine – but here representing the oneness of all life that cycles through spirals of black into white, and eventually, into edges of color.

Sculptor Elisa Berry Fonseca (b. 1982, Iowa City, IA) completed an MFA in Sculpture from the University of Minnesota in 2012 and holds a Master of Arts in Religion and Art from Yale Divinity School and BA from Macalester College. In 2013, her work was chosen for the juried Collector’s Choice exhibit at the Sylvia White Gallery in Ventura. Solo shows have included the Fallout Urban Arts Center, 2012, Minneapolis, Minn. and Ephemeral Outdoor Installation, 2007, also in Minneapolis. She was a 2013 recipient an arts grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. She currently teaches as an online adjunct instructor at Pfeiffer University.

“My work is an investigation into my experience of the landscape,” says Fonseca. “The forms I make out of steel or wooden rods and wires are drawings in space, hanging precariously and seemingly in flux. I am inspired by trees in the winter in Minnesota, fall leaves in Connecticut and spring in North Carolina, as well as ocean life, rock formations, pods, stars and fireworks. The energetic gestures I create are the result of my desire to see the landscape come alive, as if these forms were living beings transformed by their encounter with art.”

Painter James Wills was born in Longview, Washington in 1949 and currently lives and works on Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound area of Washington. Wills moved to Eugene, Oregon for studies in fine arts working in sculpture, jewelry, and painting and completed his second BA degree at the University of Oregon. He was accepted into the MFA program in Jewelry design under Max Nixon but chose to study painting under Northwest painting master Frank Okada. He also studied painting with Ralph Baker, Jack Portland and other notable northwest artists. His paintings have been exhibited at galleries throughout the United States and at the Galerie MAAS in Rotterdam.

Conveniently located in downtown Ojai, galerie102 is dedicated to thought-provoking contemporary art. Gallery director Jolene Lloyd considers the gallery a small piece of the vibrant New York, Chelsea art scene thriving in bucolic Ojai. Her program focuses on painting, mixed media, sculpture, photography and video. The gallery is located at 102 W. Matilija St. Hours are Thursdays through Sundays from 11:00 to 4:00pm or by appointment. Visit galerie102.com, call (805) 640-0151 or email hello@galerie102.com for more information.

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