Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Three artists, one reception, Dec. 11 at Arts Center in Jackson

Earth Wave, Valerie Seaberg, hand built clay wave form, carved, sagger fired & woven with pine needles, 11 x 22 in. Available at

Three artists will be feted on Friday, Dec. 11, 5:30 p.m., at the opening reception for exhibits that will be on display through Jan. 29, 2010. It will be held in the ArtSpace Galleries at the Center for the Arts, 240 S. Glenwood St., Jackson. Free and open to the public.

Jackson artist Valerie Seaberg and guest exhibitor Martin John Garhart are showing their work in the ArtSpace Main Gallery, and Wilson painter Miga Rossetti exhibits in the ArtSpace Theater Gallery.

Here is bio info about the arists, courtesy of the Center for the Arts web site:

A contemporary American painter and printmaker, Martin John Garhart received his B.A. from South Dakota State University (1969), his M.A. from West Virginia University (1970) and his M.F.A. from Southern Illinois University (1972). He has served as Professor of Drawing, Painting and Printmaking at Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, for over 30 years.

Garhart maintains working studios in both Ohio and South Dakota. His art has been the subject of recent one-man exhibitions at such institutions as the Holter Museum of Art, the Sioux Falls Civic Art Center, West Virginia University Library, Southern Illinois University and the Butler Institute of American Art. Such institutions as the New York Public Library; California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco; Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes, Colo.; the British Museum, London; and the Library of Congress and Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C., include examples of his paintings and prints in their permanent collections.

"I am a story teller," Garhart writes in his artist's statement. "The story is yours and mine. The theme is ours. The specifics are mine. It is about life and it is told in fragments and with pictures. It is honest. Some of it may be true. "My art work is about life as it occurs through human intellect, experience, and the disquietude of the soul. … My work is a search for insight and understanding. … My art work is an exploration of visual language, a consideration of how a visual dialogue conveys meaning through formal and narrative elements. It is the symbolic use of setting, time and character aesthetically gathered to create content and beauty. It is an inquiry into the merger of traditional and contemporary visual voices in an attempt to expand expression. It is a search for the visual equivalent of the narrative poem."

Valerie Seaberg describes herself as "an ocean child" destined for mountain life. Her mixed media vessels are like great, tumbled beachcombing finds, undulating clay forms encircled by pine needles or horsehair. They are high country marriages between an ancient ocean and raw land. Seaberg's works are muscular, sensual and convey a deep sense of time, earth, and element.

Seaberg discovered basket making while living and teaching in a remote northern California healing arts school. She was thrilled to craft vessels from the grasses at her feet. "Coiling is slow art," she writes. "It takes a long time to express an idea and to see the movement of a form realized. It is both meticulous and profoundly meditative work. I enjoy teaching this craft to others as I believe slow art to be one of the antidotes to the franticness of modern life." A desire to work more spontaneously led Seaberg to working in clay. She began replacing basket centers with clay forms. The hand built centerpieces became so large that they are now an integral part of her work.

Seaberg welcomes risk as an essential learning tool. Risk brings exploration, and exploration, illumination. Valerie Seaberg's intimate art springs from her ever-inquisitive mind and heart. In all her endeavors Valerie Seaberg joyously bears discovery’s weight. "I am continually inspired by the knowledge that I practice an ancient artistry, creating objects at once functional and sacred," she writes in her artist's statement. "Intact indigenous cultures all over the world still weave and fire their work as I do. That art has provided beauty and sustainability from the first moment. I see myself as standing in a long, line of artisans creating these vessels. As time moves forward, my work will become a part of the natural evolution of this art's history."

Miga Rossetti studied fine arts and graphic design and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan. She also studied at Fortman studios in Florence, Italy. Her education is a lifelong process drawn from both nature and creative workshops. She exhibits frequently in group shows nationwide and has enjoyed several solo shows. In addition to gallery exhibitions and the inclusion in numerous private collections, Miga Rossetti's paintings have been featured on the cover of Oregon Public Broadcasting magazine, the cover of the Wyoming Cultural Guide and in other publications.