Monday, June 20, 2011

Art feature: Lighthouse ArtCenter looks to emerging artists

Warm War,‭ ‬by Jorge Marquez.

By Jan Engoren

When Nicholas Whipple was looking for a venue to showcase his light sculptures,‭ ‬he put out feelers to galleries in‭ ‬the‭ ‬Wynwood section of Miami.‭

Luckily for Whipple,‭ ‬28,‭ ‬of Hobe Sound,‭ ‬a set designer and master carpenter at the Maltz Theatre in Jupiter,‭ ‬he found a space closer to home.‭

In an exhibit opening‭ ‬Friday,‭ ‬Next Wave:‭ ‬Emerging Young Artists,‭ ‬the Lighthouse ArtCenter reaches out to‭ ‬Whipple‭’‬s generation‭ ‬– the next wave of young artists‭ ‬– featuring a juried exhibit of edgy and provocative art by the under-40‭ ‬crowd.‭

‭“‬We expect to display lots of exciting visual art‭ ‬forms,‭ ‬from wild installation art to experimental film,‭ ‬to form a collective of post-grads,‭ ‬young parents,‭ ‬grassroots activists and original thinkers,‭”‬ said exhibition curator Robyn Deits Eckersley.‭

Whipple,‭ ‬who works with light,‭ ‬projection and illumination,‭ ‬is one of those‭ ‬emerging artists.‭

Fascinated by lights,‭ ‬shadows,‭ ‬patterns and pulsating light frequencies that can stimulate human emotions,‭ ‬Whipple‭’‬s influences come in part from his experience on stage working with‭ ‬“gobos‭”‬ – physical templates placed in front of,‭ ‬or inside of,‭ ‬lights to control the shape of the projected light.

Whipple‭’‬s installation for the Next Wave show is what he calls‭ ‬Visions of a Past Persona.‭ ‬It‭’‬s part of a series titled‭ ‬Sculptor‭’‬s Painting,‭ ‬a self-portrait of‭ “‬who I used to be,‭”‬ he says.

He works with‭ ‬35mm slides that he paints,‭ ‬sculpts and etches and stacks together to‭ ‬create a multi-layered dimensional look that is then projected onto the wall as a painting.

Visions of a Past Persona,‭ ‬by Nicholas Whipple.

‭“‬I think this exhibit is a great opportunity for young artists,‭”‬ Whipple says.‭ ‬“Sometimes I get distracted by my day job and my life,‭ ‬but I know creating art full-time is what I want to do.‭ ‬This is a chance for me to refocus my energies,‭ ‬pursue my art and hopefully exhibit at more galleries.‭”

A takeoff on the‭ ‬museum‭’‬s‭ ‬popular First Friday event,‭ ‬in which young emerging artists are invited to show their works,‭ ‬highlights of Next Wave include the opening night reception and awards ceremony,‭ ‬with live music,‭ ‬hors d‭’‬oeuvres and‭ ‬beer-tasting from the Tequesta Brewing Company,‭ ‬an artist talk and demonstration,‭ ‬and an open mic night and coffeehouse.

‭ “‬We‭ ‬created this concept as a forum for young,‭ ‬emerging artists to show their work and get exposure,‭”‬ said‭ ‬Megan Bell,‭ ‬the‭ ‬assistant director of education at the Lighthouse School of Art.‭ “‬Unlike more established artists,‭ ‬who may have access to museums and gallery spaces,‭ ‬younger artists at the launch of their career need a supportive environment and opportunity to showcase their work,‭ ‬network and make connections.‭”

AJ Brockman,‭ ‬23,‭ ‬of Palm Beach Gardens,‭ ‬is‭ ‬another of the Next‭ ‬Wave‭’‬s emerging artists.‭ ‬A recent graduate of the Digital Media Arts College in Boca Raton,‭ ‬Brockman,‭ ‬who was born‭ ‬with‭ ‬a form of muscular dystrophy and has limited use of his hands,‭ ‬is able to use his left hand and‭ ‬two fingers to create digital art with a computer mouse.

His painting,‭ ‬Nozridr,‭ ‬which‭ ‬depicts a‭ ‬1946‭ ‬Ford Super Deluxe‭ ‬“Woodie‭”‬ station wagon on the sand at the beach,‭ ‬with a surfer and‭ ‬a‭ ‬pier in the distance,‭ ‬won third place in last year‭’‬s show.

Honestly,‭ ‬by AJ Brockman.

This year Brockman will exhibit a series of posters he designed entitled,‭ ‬I‭’‬m‭…‬ The first poster shows‭ ‬a woman smoking a cigarette,‭ ‬dressed in dark sunglasses and wrap-around head scarf like a‭ ‬1920s movie‭ ‬star,‭ ‬emblazoned with the words,‭ ‬It‭’‬s a Fad.

The second is a portrait of Abraham Lincoln,‭ ‬titled‭ ‬Honestly,‭ ‬and the third shows an image of Stephen Hawking in his wheelchair,‭ ‬titled,‭ ‬No,‭ ‬Seriously.

‭ “‬These posters are contemporary and design-oriented.‭ ‬I‭ ‬attempt to bring humor and‭ ‬stimulate‭ ‬thought,‭”‬ Brockman said.‭ ‬“As all art,‭ ‬it means different things to every viewer and‭ ‬is‭ ‬therefore difficult to define.

‭“‬Thanks to computer art technology,‭ ‬I can‭ ‬make a living doing what I love.‭ ‬I‭’‬m hoping to share my work with more people,‭ ‬and seeing people‭’‬s reactions to my work is always rewarding,‭”‬ he says.

Another artist whose work will be in the show is‭ ‬Jorge Marquez,‭ ‬28,‭ ‬of West Palm Beach.‭ ‬Marquez has a‭ ‬bachelor‭’‬s‭ ‬degree in graphic arts and works as an art director for a lifestyle magazine.‭ ‬He primarily creates large abstract canvases with acrylics and a spatula,‭ ‬and says he‭ ‬is heavily influenced by his‭ ‬former‭ ‬teacher in Colombia,‭ ‬Adriana Gomez.

‭“‬I like to work with different mediums and be versatile,‭”‬ Marquez said.‭ “‬For many of us young artists who don‭’‬t live in Miami,‭ ‬this show is a way for us to connect with each other and create a community of like-minded artists.‭”‬

Next Wave:‭ ‬Emerging Young Artists‭ ‬opens Friday and runs through Sept.‭ ‬1‭ ‬at the Lighthouse ArtCenter,‭ ‬Gallery Square North,‭ ‬373‭ ‬Tequesta Drive,‭ ‬Tequesta.‭ ‬Museum hours are Monday through Friday‭ ‬10‭ ‬a.m.-4‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Saturday and Sunday‭; ‬10‭ ‬a.m.-2‭ ‬p.m.,‭ ‬with free admission.‭ ‬For more information,‭ ‬visit‭ ‬ or call‭ (‬561‭) ‬746-3101.‭

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