BY TARA BENNETT
Visitors to the Baton Rouge Gallery (BRG) will be treated to the sights of monsters, surreal photography, and playful prints with its February exhibition.
This three-artist exhibition is the first regular show of the 2015 gallery season for the BRG, after hosting the juried show Surreal Salon for January. The show features the latest works from Kelli Scott Kelley, Kathryn Hunter and Jamie Baldridge, who is making his debut as a BRG artist member.
“Every fall we put out a call to artists who may be interested in becoming an artist member with the gallery,” said BRG Executive Director Jason Andreason. “And this year we actually took on five new artists, which is the most we’ve had in about five years. And all of them will show in 2015.”
These three separate bodies of work touch on different themes, ranging from psychology, to women’s issues, to dream interpretation. Hunter’s show “Suspended” blurs the line between fantasy and nature, utilizing print making to share in her love of plants, animals and nature.
“What’s really neat about Kathryn’s show, in my mind, is the difference in the media she uses,” said Andreason. “So in this show she has maybe nine works, some work with textiles, some work with steel, some with beeswax… There’s a wide array of media that she is using to create her works.”
While Hunter uses print making in her artwork, she will use other materials to create a whole new medium for a particular piece, such as combining laser cut steel and textile.
“Kathryn is incredibly adept at exploring new media and is adventurous in the aspect,” said Andreason.
In her latest exhibition, “Heroes and Monsters,” Kelley explores the metaphorical use of monsters by capturing them through illustrations. Kelley just finished exhibiting travelling exhibition of the artworks featured in the book “Accalia and the Swamp Monster” at the LSU Museum of Art, and some of these illustrations have crossed over into this new exhibit.
“It’s essentially a fairy tale and some of the imagery and themes she was exploring with that project carried over into these newer works that are part of this show,” said Andreason.
Kelley uses a lot of repurpose fabric, taking the elements that are already there in the fabric and adds elements such as acrylic paint to bring out the allegorical monsters of war, environmental deterioration and greed.
“It kind of borders this line of sweet and inviting and this haunting feeling you get,” said Andreason. “Kelli is a certainly well-respected artist in this area and a lot of people are familiar with her work, so it’s always nice to have her showing back in the gallery.”
New to the gallery is the work of Baldridge, a photographer that does a lot with visual manipulation in his photography. In his show “Monuments of Want,” Baldridge explores life beyond reality, with many of the pieces holding a dream-like imagery.
“You’ll come in and see these photos that certainly have a surrealist quality to them and they are exquisitely presented,” said Andreason.
The images themselves have a lot of surrealist influence, taking influence from Karl Jung, and psychology. However, the interesting fact about these photos is that they are almost entirely digitally manipulated.
“The only thing in the photos that was actually photographed was the person themselves,” said Andreason. “There’s a lot of work ahead of him after he takes the actual photo.”
Gallery visitors are advised to consider that some parts of this exhibition contain mature content and may not be suitable for all audiences. Viewer and parental discretion is advised. The show will be on display through Thursday, Feb. 26.