Cumberland Gallery presents ‘Introductions’, focusing on five established artists who have each developed a unique language: Jean Wetta, Ben Dallas, Heather Patterson, Gavin Zeigler, and Doug Schatz. Although these artists are known on a national scale, they will introduce new work to Nashville in this exciting group show.
Jean Wetta’s intimate but mystical ‘Boxes’ (oil on panel) are primarily inspired her close relationship with her grandmother. Regarding this experience Wetta says: “Our shared life, with no clear distinction between reality and fantasy, the ordinary and the extraordinary, the natural and the supernatural, cultivated creativity and provided an atmosphere where anything (including making art) was possible”. Wetta’s fascination for the 19th century trompe l’oeil still life painter John F. Peto is especially visible in her work.
Wetta graduated with a BA from Webster College in Saint-Louis, Montana and a MA from Louisiana State University. She is currently living and working in New Jersey. Her work is included in some significant collections like the Ann Janss Collection, the Art Museum of South Texas and the Museum of Fine Art in Houston.
Having once shown his signature wooden wall ‘Wedges’ at Cumberland Gallery, Ben Dallas has recently evolved to a new visual vocabulary with his serial imagery. This work offers likeness not sameness, resulting in a constantly evolving viewing process. The repetition of pattern reveals subtle differences as the eye looks more closely, deepening the viewer’s understanding of the aesthetic.
Dallas earned a B.A. in Art History from Indiana University and a M.A. in Art History from the University of Illinois. He was a Professor of Art at William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, Illinois and a Staff Lecturer at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. His work has been exhibited nationwide and in Berlin. Dallas is now based in New Mexico where he works.
Heather Patterson’s imagery is motivated by her observations of nature and the built environment. She implements visuals such as blueprints, networking graphs, geographic patterns and forms, natural disasters and phenomena, weather charts, topographic maps. By restructuring and layering these elements with mixed media into new landscapes she creates a symbiosis of the organic and geometric man-made world.
Patterson earned her BFA at Sonoma State University and her MFA at University of California in Berkeley. Her work was included in many exhibitions throughout the United States and Columbia including the Berkeley Art Museum and Walker fine Art in Denver.
In his new work Gavin Zeigler introduces his more recent explorations of collage and the repurposing of found materials. Zeigler invites the viewer to see objects such as coins, checks and stock certificates in a new artistic context, as he creates a new life for them. He calls these found objects ‘works already in the making’. By preserving the unique properties of these objects while layering and stripping pigment, Zeigler not only creates a fascinating visual experience but also accentuates inherent tactile qualities of the artifacts.
Zeigler, currently based in Shelter Island, New York, received his B.A. in Art History from Fordham University and studied Graphic Arts at Pratt University. In 2013 he held a thirty year retrospective of his painting and sculpture at Peter Marcelle Gallery in Bridgehampton, NY.
Sculptor Doug Schatz is known for his large format bronze pieces and his series ‘Cages’. At Cumberland Gallery however, Schatz will be showing charcoal drawings in which he entangles the formal use of light with an existential wondering. Schatz’s use of clair-obscur both accentuates the form and allows it to fade into surrounding space, as memories fade into one’s past. Schatz describes his subjects as “representing the singularity of being,” as they seem to exist in one unique point in time. Vitalized by natural light source, these lone figures function as time capsules subject to an ephemeral spotlight.
Schatz earned a B.A. in Art and Geology at Skidmore College and a M.F.A. at the University of Kentucky. He taught at MTSU and currently teaches at Potsdam University in NY. Schatz has exhibited his sculptures nationally and internationally and has been organizing and participating in art groups and art events for the last 15 years. Currently he is on the Board of Trustees for the International Sculpture Center, publishers of Sculpture Magazine and Sculpture.org.