The Hopkins House Art Gallery is hosting a facinating exhibit of contemporary art by established and emerging Philadelphia area artists curated by Bruce Garrity of Rutgers University featuringBobbie Diamond Adams, Mark Donahue, Melissa Quinter and Ted Warschal. The gallery is located on the banks of the Cooper River in Camden NJ in an historic old stone house with sculptures on the lawn (shark fins swim through the grass) and sailboats glide on the river. The art assembled by Garrity in the warmly sun-lit space includes mixed media sculpture, experimental papers and innovative printing techniques on fabrics.
Bobbie Diamond Adams creates collographs on pigmented handmade paper, beautifully presented in hardwood frames, the creativity and craft of fine art prints is evident in each unique piece. Adams also has a “gaggle” of ceramics which the artist refers to as “organized chaos”.
Mark Donahue’s sculpture installation is composed of fiber and hydrocal without any armitures; Triffid-like the constructions seem infused with energy as if at night they creep about in the dark. Donahue includes ready-made plaster objects in the installation insinuating wit and satire into the mysterious fabrications. Paired with Melissa Quinter’s enormous orange panel on the wall, the room is like an alien landscape. More about Donahue later.
Melissa Quinter created each of the fabric patterns in her psychedelic quilt by various methods including scanning images, patterns and batiks then changing the colors and saturation in Photoshop and finally printing and quiltmaking. Boldly, the artist splashed day-glo green plasticized paint over the delicate handwork, obscuring and illuminating the pulsating patterns.
Mellisa also has several mixed media pieces in the show; working with fabric, collage and other media, she brings craft and fine art together in vibrantly luminous objects of desire. Working towards her Senior Thesis at Rutgers, this artist has pulled out all the stops mixing materials, techniques and media with abandon and enthusiam. Alden & DoN LoVeD the trippy, drippy paintings, Shoshka was eyeing up the wacky quilts – all of us were inspired by the inventiveness and clear sense of direction found in the art.
Ted Warchal’s wall-hung open boxes filled the first floor gallery space with dark, spooky combinations of images, objects and symbols. Dada-like and surrealistic, the found art constructs are each packed with synthetic narrative, poetic streams of consciousness and dream-like combinations of thought patterns. DoN has viewed several of Warchal’s art works at Da Vinci Art Alliance shows but this collection of variations on a theme is wildly unexpected in it’s intensity and drama. Warshal is expert at combining materials to create the elusive objet trouve.
Hopkins House is only 15 minutes from Center City; DoN suggests you scoot on over to Camden and check out some very cool art by established and emerging local talent.