Plastic Club

Sam Park, Plastic Club New Members

Sam Park, August Moon Hwatu Card, oil, $2200.00, Plastic Club New Members 2014

Hwa-tu is the Korean version of the Japanese playing card game Hanafuda (花札?) are playing cards of Japanese origin that are used to play a number of games. The name literally translates as “flower cards.”[1][2] The name also refers to games played with those cards. There are twelve suits, representing months. Each is designated a flower, and each suit has four cards. Typically, each suit will have two normal cards and two special cards. The point values could be considered unnecessary and arbitrary, as the most popular games only concern themselves with certain combinations of taken cards.” – wikipedia

Sam Park‘s painting is large, the limited palette and geometric composition richly layered with oil paint and symbolism. The artist uses the symbolism of the card game to reflect on the idea of being a new player in an established group. Sam created this painting for the Plastic Club New Members 2014 show, he explained to me a few weeks ago how he was looking forward to adding the final symbol after developing the surface of the painting. The cosmological composition is more than geometry, it speaks about light and the combination of clues toward realization. Park is also a realist painter, his self portrait in oils in the Tea Room is sensual and sensitive.

Elke H. Muller, Plastic Club New Members

Elke H. Muller, Bicycle, photograph, $85.00, Plastic Club New Members 2014

To become a member of the Plastic Club the artist has to be known by several members and present three artworks to be reviewed by the membership committee. At the Plastic Club the art of photography is held in high regard with a contemporary esthetic towards image making. Bicycle by Elke H. Muller is a complex composition with information rich shapes and planes. The vivid cyan blue print is artisanal and thought provoking, the composition is a deceptively simple descriptive urban landscape. This photo was made with tungsten film in daylight, hence the blue color.

Lauren Reed, Plastic Club New Members 2014

Lauren Reed, Colors of the Sky, watercolor & ink, $60.00, Plastic Club New Members 2014

Colors of the Sky seems influenced by photography with the repeated patterns but the mix of watercolor and ink uses the natural fractals of the media to create a cosmic landscape. Like watching the night sky fade through the trees, the paintings have an animated relationship as they each speak about precious moments of nature.

Janice Balson, Plastic Club New Members 2014

Janice Balson, Rising Tide, oil, $485.00,  Plastic Club New Members 2014

Janice Balson, Plastic Club New Members 2014

Janice Balson, River Walk, oil, $485.00, Plastic Club New Members 2014

Janice Balson’sRiver Walk is a meditative and atmospheric landscape that looks a lot like Forbidden Drive along the Wissahickon River to me. The sense of solitude in nature and the solid painting style creates a grounded perspective with a subtle depth of field and informative liquid-y paint strokes. The hues of color offer so much data towards the narrative of the scene, there is a sense of temperature, the sun on your face, creating a familiar sensation of being outdoors in Winter, walking the path.

Plastic Club New Members 2014

Roberta Gross, Vessels of Light, pastel, $1000.00, Glenn Benge, March on 6th Street, July 4, 2012, digital pigment print, $250.00, Louise Vinueza, Sun Sets, oil, $450.00,  Plastic Club New Members 2014 through January 24th, 2014 at 247 South Camac Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

The Plastic Club New Members 2014 includes twenty-two new member artists with 71 works of art spread throughout the galleries of the Plastic Club. New member committer chair Michael Guinn has introduced the Philadelphia arts community to wonderful artistic talents and terrific personalities, the more the merrier.

I personally am so grateful for the acceptance, camaraderie and inspiration the Plastic Club provides to me and the arts community. The outstanding art shows, informative salons, artist’s workshops, eclectic movie nights, delightful dinners, parties, barbeques and cocktail parties all make for an inclusive and supportive yet expressive environment for an aspiring artist.

Thank you so much to Cythia Arkin, Susan Stromquist, Bob Jackson, Alan Klawans, Mike Guinn, the board of the  Plastic Club and the many enthusiastic volunteers for keeping the organization strong, resilient and relevant to the contemporary art scene. There may be an artistic renaissance happening in Philadelphia now, but the Plastic Club is the third oldest art club in the USA (established in 1897) and has been exhibiting contemporary art by Philadelphia regional artists all along.

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