Go Figure! exhibit celebrates the human form

  • Wed Nov 10th, 2021 1:30am
  • Life

Submitted by San Juan Islands Museum of Art.

The human form has served as a muse to artists since the beginning of time. In its current Go Figure! exhibit, The San Juan Islands Museum of Art (SJIMA) has brought together eight dynamic artists with different backgrounds, art mediums and styles to highlight the human form in an unexpected array of works. The museum’s main gallery is host to this exhibition, inviting viewers to experience the human body as art – telling stories, expressing emotions, and celebrating what it means to be human through paintings, sculptures, and mixed media pieces.

The artists featured in Go Figure! hail from the greater Pacific NW and Northern California.

Figurative artist, Frank Gallimore, paints humans in a vivid and storytelling way, often portraying people in culturally significant settings. His paintings reveal the interplay of humans and nature, and give voice to the balance of innocence and malice

Mark Kang-O’Higgins, is known for his dramatic representational works, portraying the human condition both physically and emotionally in large-scale paintings. He focuses on peak real-life moments and our shared humanity.

In her rich, classical-style paintings, Juliette Aristides, celebrates the beauty of the human spirit through her art. Hers is a career-long love affair with figurative study and tradition. Aristides is the founder of The Gage Academy of Fine Art in Seattle and continues to work as an instructor there. Don Haggerty is a painter who shares work from his newest series of works, entitled, Somewhere Between Heaven and Earth in this exhibit. He comments, “…there comes a time in the artist’s life when form finally gives way to spirit. And it’s in this spirit that I’ve begun a new series of work.” Haggerty seeks to capture the shapes of fleeting moments.

Judith Kindler is a multidisciplinary artist, who works in sculpture, photography, and photography-based mixed media art, often highlighting the human form in relation to specific surroundings. Kindler’s images have an ecological logic as she reacts emotionally to the survival of wildlife.

Amy Pleasant specializes in figurative paintings that blend seamlessly to abstract-style paintings through her use of mixed media. Nostalgia and family history figure richly in her work. Talking about her art, Pleasant notes, “The … work was rooted in discarded black and white photos found in antique and thrift shops. A focus on the moment before and after the pose revealed a clandestine emotional landscape written on their faces.” San Francisco sculptor, Tor Archer, works in metals as well as objects from the natural world, such as branches, rocks, and leaves to sculpt the human form, creating sophisticated, witty works. Drawing inspiration from ancient works he introduces human images integrated with the natural world.

Cathy Locke, who also resides in San Francisco, explores movement in her paintings; many of which feature dancers and the fluid movement of dance. She works with the concept of multi-dimensional space because it represents the way we move through life. Locke states, “ We find ourselves in a state of constant duality, attempting to maintain symmetry within our interchanging movements. In order to express this concept, I purposely use one person in similar poses.”

The Go Figure! exhibit will remain at the museum through Dec. 6, 2021.

Located in Friday Harbor at 540 Spring Street, the hours are Friday-Monday from 11-5. Admission to the whole museum is $10, with SJIMA members and those 18 and under admitted free. Mondays are Pay as You Can Days.

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