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Full Circle: Contemporary Sculpture at Rosewood Gallery

September 3, 2013
Contemporary sculpture is vast in its exploration of material and process. Traditionally realized in paper, metal, clay, wood, fiber and glass, three-dimensional artworks are often object-based and experienced best from several vantage points. The annual sculpture exhibition HWD (height x width x depth) at Rosewood Gallery, on view through September 27, is a select representation of our region’s perspective on contemporary sculpture.

rosewood_wilson_austere consumptionRoscoe Wilson, Austere Consumption, paperboard, paint, wood

Rosewood’s HWD exhibition is an arrangement of forty sculptures by thirty artists. Each unique object represents as many different ideas. “What stood out to me was deep articulation of individual thought and emotion,” wrote Hunter Stamps, the juror for the exhibition. “The strongest selected works transcended the materials/processes employed and clearly communicated a concept.”Stamps, a sculptor and a professor at the University of Kentucky, made the selection for HWD after reviewing over one hundred submissions of object-based artworks. “The level of sophistication, clarity of communication and excellence of execution exhibited in these works is a testament to the strength of contemporary sculpture being made in this region,” he wrote.

rosewood_longley_vasculum whalus 1Carrie Longley, Vasculum Whalus, mixed media, ceramic, wire

The combination of concept and material succeeds in the artwork of Carrie Longley. Her two ceramic works, titled Vasculum Whalus and Conjungere Capillus, teeter on abstraction in their visceral, unfamiliar forms and representation evoking organisms from text book diagrams. The artworks are encased in glass vitrines, primed for scientific study, for archiving and preservation, or for protection from each long tendril, poised to reach out to a passing visitor. A little revolting and incredibly captivating, these ceramic pieces masterfully play on nature, our memories and what we hope to understand about the invisible world around us.Roscoe Wilson transforms found, wood-based materials into densely structured creations. The artwork Austere Consumption pulls on construction and abstraction through paperboard boxes and wood scraps. The materials play off each other, mimicking shape, direction and priority. From a series of work exploring commerce and consumption, Wilson writes, “Austere Consumption takes the progression of small-to-large-to-small consumer boxes and confines them, grabs them and consumes them as we do with out daily domestic products.” No longer discarded wood, Austere is a metamorphosis into a caterpillar-like form.

rosewood_Reed_Pillow Princess
Jenny Reed, Pillow Princess, ceramics

Identifying the exhibition’s conceptual themes is challenging due to the diverse nature of the works. “Figuration, narration, and architectural abstraction were dominant themes in many of the works,” Stamps said. “[However] There is no dominant aesthetic, style, process or material…[and] this can make interpreting contemporary sculpture somewhat difficult at times, but it also makes it extremely engaging, challenging and rewarding for viewers.”Representational works include the ceramic and mixed media piece by Pamela Day titled Hare’s Bride Puppet Show, featuring ceramic hand puppets of storybook characters against a diorama back-drop; Rebecca Emrick’s collection of antique-style hands with elegant tattoo markings, titled Moving On; and the cast bronze of a VHS tape enhanced by a patina and crystallized finish by Erica Wine.

A number of works explore architecture as a theme, notably: the lime-green, industrial cast iron work Seized by Jeremy Entwistle; the elegant ceramic building blocks of Don Williams; and the aviation inspired contraptions F-105 Thunderchief and Hawker Hurricane by Nathanial Foley.Jenny Reed incorporates found objects into the ceramic work Pillow Princess; the grid arrangement of artifacts within miniature boxes in Matthew Obreski’s Urban Artifacts; and the reimagination of found pieces in Candy Dish and Lepus Minerva by David Kenworthy.rosewood_day_puppet-show
Pamela Day, Hare’s Bride Puppet Show, clay and mixed media

“I was particularly drawn to works that successfully employed multiple materials into a unique design and conceptual message,” said Stamps. “Strong realist expressions of human psychology, corporal bodily presence and emotional tension are also present in the figurative works. Another vein of work utilized abstractions of architecture and surreal juxtapositions of mixed materials to engage the viewer’s imagination about the object’s function and potential.”In conjunction with the exhibition, Rosewood Gallery will feature free public programs including a sculpture-making workshop, open to all ages, on Monday, September 23. Guest artists will lead activity stations with clay, metal and recycled materials to create one-of-a-kind pieces. On Saturdays from September 7 – 21, the gallery will host figure-drawing sessions, challenging participants to draw a live model within the HWD exhibition.

HWD is on view through September 27 at Rosewood Gallery, 2655 Olson Drive, in Kettering. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 am – 9 pm, Friday from 8 am – 6 pm and Saturday from 9 am – 3 pm. For more information about the exhibition and public programs, visit or call (937) 296-0294.

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