The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Scratches, old lace give artists unique inspiration

By KAREN GAVIS/se news editor

Curated by Christopher Blay, String Theory: Connecting the Lines showcases the work of artists Anne Allen, Janet Chaffee and Tiffany Wolf. The exhibit is currently displayed in SE Campus’ Art Corridor II.

“This here is a method I have not seen in our time,” SE associate professor of art John Phillips said referring to Allen’s silverpoint “Fleece #2.”

Phillips said it is a device Renaissance artists Michelangelo and da Vinci used that creates a very soft look.

“It is an actual piece of silver that you draw with,” he said.

The subject is a fragment of shredded dryer sheet that Allen projected and then drew. She said the surface has to be prepared first when using silverpoint, and you cannot smear it.

“It’s not like a pencil lead,” she said. “It creates almost a tarnish.”

Some of Allen’s watercolors are displayed as well.

“I call them bloody scratch drawings,” she said.

Allen’s watercolors, various red patterns on white, were inspired by a friend who did a lot of hiking. She said he would come back all scratched up and bloody from briars and tree branches.

“That’s what these are about,” she said. “They are part of my investigation into pattern.”

Allen said even though watercolor, ink and brush are used in some of her work, she thinks of them all as drawings.

Brooklyn Cosper attended the exhibit because her boyfriend Dominique Spencer played in the SE jazz band during the first hour of the opening night reception.

She said Chaffee’s “Laced,” an oil and beeswax on canvas, was her favorite because it is a different take on a typical flower. Cosper liked the lacy pattern of the flower as well as the artist’s use of beeswax at the top right corner.

“It’s unique,” she said.

Phillips said he was intrigued by Chaffee’s black and orange “Graphite Shelter” because of its play on light.

“It’s almost like there’s a light behind it,” he said. “It tricks you.”

Chaffee’s “Graphite Painting” reminded SE student Filip Ciric of gold and diamond mines because of the yellowish gold and white circular patterns on the black background, he said.

“With this picture, I kind of have a connection with Africa,” he said.

Chaffee said the work was a conversation with material, and there is no hidden meaning in her art.

Wolf’s creations are from pieces of found or deteriorated lace. And she thinks there is beauty in the age and decay of things, she said.

“I like the idea of lace that has some kind of historical domestication,” she said. “It’s a symbol kind of like the housewife, the bride, your grandmother.”

“Someone Else’s History,” created by Wolf, impressed SE student Miles Leenerts because he said the artist put a lot of work and detail in it, which would be hard to do in something that size. The artwork, done in graphite of fabric doilies, takes up approximately half of one exhibit wall.

“It kind of makes you think,” he said.

SE student Stephen Pitts said the motivation behind Wolf’s “Curtain,” a piece of partially deteriorated lace hanging from a curtain rod, was unclear to him in part.

“I kind of like the degeneracy it has at the bottom that kind of differentiates it from the top,” he said.

Wolf referenced the work to a veil, covering or shroud.

String Theory: Connecting the Lines will be on display 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 12. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Blay’s familiarity with the artists and the way their work would play together along with the objective of trying to complement students’ studio practice were factors in choosing the artists for the exhibit, he said.

String Theory: Connecting Lines is about forming associations and dialogue between artists that make their own mark with similar materials,” Blay said.

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