One way to consider visual art, and perhaps all of the arts, is to look at it as a slice of life — of someone's life, both seen and experienced.
The artist sees and then shares the view.
Artists select pieces of the world — be they meaningful or not, beautiful or not, real or not — and record them through the human gift of creativity.
In "Piecework," Cypress Gallery's featured artist Elizabeth Monks Hack (yours truly), has looked in and out of the windows of her home. She has reassembled its doors, windows and walls into pieces of sewn-together canvases to create a series of "patchwork paintings." Her intention is that each canvas piece be experienced one slice at a time.
The works include elements of realism and abstraction that blend together as meditative works of art. The pieces were conceived during the months (and months) of sequestering during the pandemic.
Despite this, they are sunny and hopeful, focusing on light and the effects of color harmony.
Monks Hack has sewn clothing since she received her first sewing machine at age 11, and has always enjoyed the shapes and potential of flat pattern pieces.
After college, she worked in the fashion industry where it became natural for her to see the creative potential of pieces of leftover fabric. Throughout her career, she has integrated textile patterns and geometric shapes into her art. Included in the show are older works, demonstrating a progression of style that is marching on.
In a corner of the main gallery, something new and special awaits the viewer.
Sculptor Chuck Klein has contributed evocative hand-carved and turned wood pieces that reflect both ancient and modern sensibilities. The wood is rendered lovingly and true to its specific character.
The place where nature becomes art transitions seamlessly. The wonderfully carved "Buddha" sits under a natural tree branch with hand-carved leaves, as does "Suspended Seed."
On the walls surrounding Klein's work are sumptuous pastels of succulents by Klein's wife, Deborah Breedon.
The shimmer and rich colors of their leaves are set into atypical compositions that rivet the viewer.
In the adjacent corner, paintings on glass by Kristine Kelley also shimmer and glow, in particular the stunning "Winter Aurora."
A luscious light emanates from the opened oranges and cherries of Chris Jeszeck's colorful "Fruit Delight."
Situated between them is the gritty, compelling photograph "Street Fiddler" by Tom Chrones, a black and white depiction of urban realities.
A breath of fresh air can be had throughout the works of Michael Corob. His several watercolors of floral and fruit motifs are painted with a deft and natural hand, a la Matisse.