Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Art Seen — Drinking in variety at Kaladi Brothers’ November art shows

With the opening of a new shop on the Sterling Highway, in the old Godfather’s Pizza space, Kaladi Brothers now offers twice the art to see each month.

There are artists showing in both locations, where First Thursday receptions were held at the beginning of the month. Libby Berezin’s clay work is on exhibit at the Sterling Highway shop. She completed a bachelor of arts degree in literature in Illinois before moving to Alaska with her husband in 1975.

The pieces she has on display are mostly functional platters, with glazes that feel organic and with designs that are patterned after the natural world.

Some of the round platters have handles, and all of the square and rectangular platters have irregular, sort of floppy edges. There is an almost Japanese feel to some of the lighter, less heavily painted pieces.

In the side room, she has a series of objects that appear to be both wheel thrown and hand built and have the quality of sea urchins or some such underwater creature. Even though they appear to be nonfunctional ceramics, I find myself imagining turning them flat on a counter to hold rings and other jewelry.

There is something about clay that invites one to use it, handle it and make it fit into one’s lifestyle somehow.

Her prices are more in keeping with national prices for pottery, but are still reasonable (potters in our area of Alaska sell their wares quite inexpensively, especially considering the extra cost of materials shipment).

It is good that she mounts solo exhibits in more serious venues, as well, which helps to challenge her and keep her creative juices flowing. A couple of her pieces already had sold tags on them.

At the original Kaladi Kobuk location are the fanciful fiber creations of varying sizes and themes by Jan Wallace. I particularly enjoy the more subtle and thoughtful “Slow Dancing” and the vibrant and irregular “Looking for Stargate.” There is something inviting about “Fractured Ecosystem,” but there is a disconnect between the troubling title and the serene, Zenlike quality of the piece.

“Spirits and Myths” seems to be an interesting exercise, but I feel the composition could have been better orchestrated.

Her triptych, “Finding My Way,” seems more personal and the compositions more interesting, especially when the attached objects break the outside line of the piece.
She calls the work displayed in this exhibit a “creative outlet,” and all in all, the show fills the space well, almost verging on crowded. There is even a bonus underwater scene in the bathroom you will want to take in.

Kaladi Brothers has been providing a venue for artists for a number of years, and those willing to use the difficult hanging system (everything must be suspended by fishing line) have been bringing in a wide variety of art to display.

Zirrus VanDevere is a local mixed-media artist and owns Art Works gallery in Soldotna. She has bachelor’s degrees in fine arts and education.

No comments: