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April 2018 in the Galleries at A&M1 and 2

Posted on Mar 21, 2018

April 2018 in the Galleries at A&M1 and 2

Artists & Makers Studios 1 and 2 Present
Five Exhibits at Two Locations for the Month of April

(Rockville, MD) – Artists & Makers Studios on Parklawn Drive and Wilkins Avenue in Rockville are proud to move into their fourth year at two locations with four solo exhibits and one mother/daughter exhibit, featuring the artwork of Laurie Breen, Marilyn Banner, M. Jane Johnson, Theresa Wells Stifel, and Norma Schwartz along with her daughter Violeta Fiorino Schwartz in the galleries of both studio centers. These five exhibits will open First Friday festivities between 6-9pm on April 6th, and will showcase artists’ open studios for browsing as well. Open Studio Weekend will follow on April 7th and 8th from 12-5pm at both locations.

“Journeys” Laurie Breen
Each of my pieces is the result of a deeply personal journey. When I begin, I have no idea how a painting will turn out. I start in an uninhibited manner, approaching the blank canvas with intuitive painting and drawing, piles of collage, lines, shapes, too many colors. Along the way, I take wrong turns, make mistakes, create ugliness. I try to keep my critical voice low, trusting the process as I build up layers, moving toward chaos. The middle of the painting is the hardest part, when I have to make decisions but I still don’t know where I’m going. It is at this point that I may falter, that I struggle with insecurity and doubt.

To continue on, I have to risk losing what I have created. I fortify myself with the knowledge that I have survived previous journeys. I forge ahead, finding new paths and eventually reaching a place I could not have predicted but must have been heading for all along, a place of beauty and energy and balance and movement. In today’s world, I find that I need to explore, to challenge myself, to go through this process again and again. I create chaos on my canvas which reflects both the chaos I see in the world and the chaos of my life—the daily mayhem, the mess, the everyday moments, the political divide, the uncertainties about our future.

As I work, I discover over and over again that I can find my way through, that the right and wrong choices I make add depth and richness to the completed piece. The end result is meaningful not in spite of, but because of, the path I took to get there. I am compelled to share the beauty I see in the world and my journey through it, to share the joy I feel in reaching my destination.  

“Flow” Marilyn Banner
The paintings in “Flow” reference nature in its abundance, especially in its myriad forms, variations, textures, proliferations, and directions of growth. Initially, this work was inspired by beach walks, and the waters edge: the sunlight dotting the water, the barnacles on shells, seaweed scattered here and there, spiraling shell forms, watermarks, the bubbles in sea foam, and the infinite grains of sand.

The artist in me has a way of seeing things as if I am small, perhaps the size of a tiny creature like a snail on the beach, or a bee approaching an array of flora. She immerses herself in the infinity of nature, and shares its awesome view. At some point, in the mysterious ways of the creative process, the colors and forms in my work shifted slightly, and began to reference gardens, woods, and wildflowers.

I work with encaustic – a mixture of pigment, beeswax, and damar resin, which is used with heat. The flow of the hot wax medium seems to mimic the flow of water, and the layering of and scribing into the wax can remind one of the watermarks on sand and shells. I trust an intuitive way of working that relies on an inner knowing, a body/psyche knowledge of the connections of everything in nature.

“Patterned Petals” M. Jane Johnson
My paintings are a construction project. I build and shape their layers and textures to make my work come alive.  I enjoy how the media mix and merge together – each painting formed from dozens of layers of paint, papers, drawings, and stencils. All of these elements represent the complexity of the parts that form the painting’s persona.

I use high flow and liquid acrylic paints due to their strong pigments. These allow for thinner, juicier colors. The paint is applied in sweeping, bold strokes, which are complimented by collage papers to enhance the images. I then draw into the paint and paper creating an intersection between the two while looking for additional interesting shapes.  Various gels with stencils are used to create texture blending paper and stencil so it is a wonder as to where the paper ends, and the stencils begin.  I repeat the paint, paper, and drawing process multiple times until the final image appears.  As I work, I leave layers that the viewer can read through, showing a history of the process. 

All of my paintings are process driven.  I let the painting tell me where it wants to go with each piece having it’s own voice.  I am open to mixes of color, pattern, and texture.  My abstracts are composed of bold sweeps of beautiful color combinations and a strong use of line to carry the viewer through the work. These paintings come from happy accidents, a childlike joy of curiosity to experiment and take risks.  My florals are full of letters, numbers, dots, and other surprises playing against the organic shapes. In my figurative work, geishas have emerged as the centerpieces, which represent women who put on a perfect mask in public to try and stay beautiful in the face of adversity such as cancer, war, or domestic issues.

“Sea Change” Theresa Wells Stifel
Individuals can only make decisions for themselves but when they gather together to affect change – profound things can happen. A sea change can occur. Theresa Wells Stifel’s collection of resolute women are examples of the traits needed to affect change. Buried within the contemporary mixed media portraits are scraps of ephemera that harken back to a time when women didn’t have a voice in public.  It’s important to absorb the past to illuminate the future.

“Mother & Daughter: A Story in Shape and Color”
Norma Schwartz & Violeta Fiorino Schwartz
Norma Schwartz works as a psychoanalyst in private practice and teacher. Born in Argentina, immigrating to Spain in middle of the 70’s and again to the USA 20 years later, where she learned the language of sculpting with different tools and materials. “When creating shapes with the hammer and chisel, I discovered myself in a world where piece by piece one builds a universe of organic forms that describes intimacy and complexity.”

Violeta Fiorino Schwartz is an architect and painter, graduate of the Pratt Institute School of architecture in Brooklyn, NY. She has lived and worked in Madrid, New Mexico, New York, Tel-Aviv, Bern, Barcelona and currently in Maryland. Collectors of her work are located around Europe, United States and Argentina. “Painting has remained a constant in my life from one culture to another. My work is highly personal…it always reflects whatever goes on in my life at the moment sometimes dark and painful, others full of hope and light.”

Two generations of artists – mother and daughter – telling a story that is at the same time common and unique in its narrative, from two different perspectives and sensibilities.

Opening Reception
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM, Friday, April 6th, 2018

Artists & Makers Studios 1
11810 Parklawn Dr., Suite 210

Rockville, MD 20852
Artists & Makers Studios 2
12276/12280 Wilkins Avenue
Rockville, MD 20852

Artists & Makers Studios 1 on Parklawn features exhibits with Marilyn Banner, M. Jane Johnson, Norma Schwartz exhibiting with her daughter Violeta Fiorino Schwartz, and Theremin music with Arthur Harrison as well as open studios. Additionally A&M2 on Wilkins is proud to present the work of Laurie Breen and Theresa Wells Stifel, an exhibit with 22 member artists in Gallery 209, the Montgomery County Camera Club’s exhibit “Street Life” and artists’ open studios – all just 9/10’s of a mile from the flagship location on Parklawn with free parking at both locations.

These exhibits at both locations open Friday, April 6th, and continue through Thursday, April 26th, 2018.  Viewing hours coincide with office hours and are 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Tuesday-Saturday, and Sundays/Mondays by chance or appointment.

Artists & Makers Studios on Parklawn Drive in Rockville, established in October 2014 by artist and arts community builder Judith HeartSong, is a 13,000 sq. ft. facility is now home to 66 resident artists. Artists & Makers Studios 2 on Wilkins Avenue in Rockville is a 23,000 sq. ft. facility with 88 resident artists and more to come. A&M Studios is dedicated to providing a supportive and vibrant environment for artists to realize their creative goals – through studio practice, collaboration, education, opportunities, networking and connecting with the community beyond our doors. 

Press Release for April 2018