Portrait Photography
10:08 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Visually Appealing: Fabric Inspiration At the Foundry, Slavin At Slein

A few months ago, I pulled two large boxes from the attic at my parents’ house. Each contained a wedding dress – one mine, one my sister’s. The problem: No one marked the boxes. Which was which?

With 50-50 odds, I slit open the box in hand – Eureka! But now that I had my 33-year-old dress, what should I do with it?

Obedience
Obedience
Credit Provided by Foundry Arts Centre

A very interesting idea for re-purposing that dress can be seen at the Fiber Fever exhibit opening Friday at the Foundry Art Center (520 North Main Center, St. Charles). One of the more than 35 artists whose work will be shown is Emily Dunlap. And her piece, “Obedience” could be inspiration for wedding dresses everywhere. The figure is that of dog, but the surface is wedding-gown fabric, with lace and small pearls that remind me of my own.

Of course, I’d talk to her about a cat instead of a poodle. How about a sleek feline curled into a ball named “Ready to Cuddle”?

Dunlap’s not the only artist with interesting pieces. The intricate patterns in Diana Baumbach’s work, the messages in Elaine Longtemps’ rope sculptures, the play of color in Michael Rohde’s tapestries: All command attention from viewers who should plan to spend some time with these works.

Home again

Another exhibit that deserves a close look is “Aeterna” by Helene Slavin at the Philip Slein Gallery (4735 McPherson Ave.). It opened Aug. 1. This Friday the artist will be returning to her hometown and will be at a reception from 6-8 p.m. One hopes she will talk about the works – and about the evolution of her style.

Painting by Helene Slavin
Painting by Helene Slavin
Credit Provided by the artist

In a video on her website she talks about “moving from the figure to these abstract works.” She explains the importance of fractals – which control contours – in her work, starting with colors thrown from jars.

According to web site Wolfram Mathworld, “A fractal is an object or quantity that displays self-similarity, in a somewhat technical sense, on all scales. The object need not exhibit exactly the same structure at all scales, but the same ‘type’ of structures must appear on all scales.”

Not a 'selfie'

If photography is more interesting to you, David Hanlon will present Still Renderings: The Development of Portrait Photography at 7 p.m. Aug. 8 at the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum.

Hanlon is a professor at St. Louis Community College who teaches photography and photographic history. According to the college website, “He has exhibited his photographs both regionally and nationally for the past 30 years, and has created several bodies of work using paper negatives.”

To purchase the $15 ticket for the event got to the Hall of Fame website.

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