The title of this show is “Voice,” and explores the significance of “Voice” to each of the artists. For Eric Stevens, his woodworking and tree prints give voice to the trees that he uses as well as allows him to claim his identity as an artist and maker. Ginger Thompson’s paintings are a way to give voice to her feelings and allow them to speak across the canvas.
Ginger Thompson is a self-taught artist who describes art-making as the best channel to focus her emotions. The colors featured in her work are saturated, communicating a range of intense feelings. There is a kind of duality that Thompson explores through color. A dark red could represent passion as much as it might represent anger. Blue is simultaneously meditative and melancholy. When she paints she constantly changes the orientation of the canvas, allowing the colors and their placement to reflect what she is feeling.
The theme of shapes in her work is significant to moments in Thompson’s life. The squares represent a past relationship that felt boxed, and the circles are “the one shape that you can’t control,” says Thompson.
Thompson works in acrylics because she likes the way that they are workable and buildable, and are able to be used quickly and intensely, functioning like emotions themselves.
Eric Stevens’ art tells the story of persistence and patience. Time is an essential element in both Stevens’ prints and carvings. Stumps from trees that have stood for years need time to dry before they can be used to make prints. Scraps of wood from past projects lie abandoned in a wood shop before they are discovered by Stevens and carved into sculpture. Stevens works with his medium as a kind of partner, carving along the whorls of the wood to create a pattern that is tactile and beautiful, paying the trees their due respect.
Though making a print of a stump is a relatively straightforward process, the imprint of the tree has depth and complexity that is completely unique. The stump he uses to make prints will age and change shape over time, so each edition he prints is different.
There is much to learn from a tree, and Stevens’ work captures that. Talking with Stevens about his art includes stories of the lives of the trees he’s salvaged wood from. A juniper planted near a friend’s house, the two grown together. Trees felled for safety reasons, trees cut down by Pg&e, trees fallen naturally. His art is heavily connected with the seasons of his life, and the lives of the trees.
“Voice” Opening Reception will be 6-9pm on Friday, October 5th