Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC)

Mixing It Up: Glass, Fiber and Painting from Three Mixed Media Artists

From Monday, January 10 to Friday, March 4, 2011

About the artists

Shanthi Chandrasekar

Shanthi is a self-taught artist who has been drawing and painting since early childhood. In recent years, she also has added sculpting, Tanjore painting and printmaking to her repertoire of skills. While many of her works are influenced by her Indian heritage, her true inspiration comes from the mystery and majesty of the world around her; her muse lives where the scientific overlaps the spiritual. Shanthi's work has been displayed in a variety of locations throughout the Washington D.C. area, and she has won numerous awards for her paintings as well as her sculptures. She works from her studio at Pyramid Atlantic in Silver Spring.

The works on display are part of the “Akshara” series of paintings. These paintings visually connect sounds, symbols and the subtleties in mark making in different languages from around the world. In this series, Shanthi explores the shapes of the letters in connection with the culture and its origins. She focuses on the shapes of the letters of the alphabets rather than copying texts. She uses the vowels and consonants to depict dichotomy with reference to the Shiva (male) - Shakthi (female), and how this combination brings about the richness of language. Finally, Shanthi explores the idea of unity in diversity, the uniqueness of each syllable and how they contribute to the beauty of sounds and symbols. The creation of this work was supported in part by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.

Kari Minnick

Kari holds a degree in studio art from the University of California at Davis and has been an exhibiting artist and educator for over twenty-five years. Collected internationally, Kari's works are in private, corporate and embassy collections. Kari is the artist/owner of Kari Minnick Art Glass Studio, LLC, located in the heart of the Arts & Entertainment district in Silver Spring. A dynamic educator, Kari teaches her signature courses throughout the United States and in her Maryland studio.

Kari’s life and work are a study of contrasts: order and chaos, thick and thin, questioning and acceptance. Using rich surfaces and layers of glass, she contrasts fleshy realism with abstraction. These painterly works are glass "collages" combining bold composition, sensitive drawings, and unbridled edges. She uses flame-worked linear elements and images drawn directly into glass powders. The resulting images are reminiscent of gesture drawings—the essence of her artwork regardless of medium or technique. Light is an important consideration. She uses transparency and opacity within a piece, choosing where light is allowed to come and go. This unique form of painterly expression in glass breaks new ground artistically, yet retains her core aesthetic concerns of expressive use of line and the transmission of light.

Karen Schulz

Like Linus, Karen’s love affair with fiber began with her childhood blanket. She learned to sew at her grandmother’s knee at the age of nine. Her first quilt, a bed quilt, was made 30 years ago. Five years later, she began making quilts for the wall. She has pursued her development as an artist full time for the last five years, spending countless hours in the studio and studying with many talented artists. Her work has been juried into many national exhibitions which have traveled across the country and internationally.

Have you heard of Harry Harlow, the psychologist who did experiments with infant monkeys, separated from their mothers at birth? When given the choice between a “wire” mother who dispensed food and a “soft cloth” mother who did not, the infant monkeys almost always chose the “soft cloth” mother. Our need for soft cloth is primal. It is Karen’s chosen medium. Why sew pieces of cloth together to generate new visual images? Creating visual images involves hard work that brings her great joy and peace. Throughout time human beings have generated images across all cultures and mediums. The powerful internal force that motivates her to create is part of this long tradition and a journey of self-discovery. Creating her work involves dyeing her own fabric, using multiple surface design techniques, including applying paint and ink, choosing colors, cutting shapes, arranging pieces of cloth on the design wall, and endless stitches.