Submerged - at the Bath House

a preview

Diane WWalker-Gladney's Road Art Series: Inspection mixed media

Diane Walker-Gladney
Road Art Series / Inspection
Mixed media on canvas

fter an hour-long walk along the west shore of the lake on a crispy warm 70 degree day last week, I stopped by the Bath House Cultural Center to check out their gallery space for a proposal due next Weddy.

I didn't think anything was opening there till next weekend, so I wasn't startled at the nearly empty hallway gallery. But the Submerged show, nearing completion in the main gallery, surprised me. I hadn't gone there looking for art. But it's always nice when I'm wandering through real life and stumble on the stuff.

I just peeked at the entry in the DARts calendar. It says, the show includes work by Kathleen House, Melodee Martin Ramirez, Ginger Strand, Diane Walker- Gladney, Diana Warrick and Martha Watson.

I knew the show wasn't about being literally sunk, but I was still unclear on the concept (big surprise) after a fellow gallery visitor explained her version. Kathy had another take entirely. I'd gone glassy eyed over reading the PR that came with the invitation. I wanted it to just be about under water, and at least a couple less worthy there allude to that possibility. As often, I liked the work better without the theme.

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I couldn't begin to explain or understand Diane Walker-Gladney's lovely, simple, sensual piece that tops this story. But my reaction to it was immediate and visceral. I liked the soft mix of colors and the mysterious combination of shapes -- I saw it as a tree with bird shapes hovering or maybe leaves blowing.

The (literally) screened over box floating just behind the cruciform of "the tree" is beyond my ken. I liked looking at it, and it still affects me, looking at and thinking about it now, later. I hope to see it again. Maybe she'll enter it into Art in the Metroplex or Craighead-Green's New Talent show. It easily outclasses everything else in this timid little show.

After Kathy saw the photo here, she said it looks like the shadow of a tree on a house with a screened window. I'd go along with that. She, too, was taken by the warm colors, easy shapes and obvious quality.
 

 Melodee Martin Ramirez's Pompeiian Series 3 oil painting

Melodee Martin Ramirez
Pompeiian Series 3
oil on canvas

Filling the far end wall in the main gallery is a very large, graphically strong four-part painting by DARts Supporting Member Melodee Martin Ramirez. I assume some great myth is playing out before our wondering eyes. I especially liked one white and one black, heron-like birds standing in the foreground of the four pieces. Kathy later said it looked like the avenging angel was after the bird, which might be true, but I liked them fine as decor.

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Ginger Strand's Specimen mixed media assemblage

Ginger Strand
Specimen
mixed media

The third piece in the show that captured my attention was this intriguing construction, with the nice drawing showing very clear instructions how to set it up still taped to the front of the riser.

I liked looking at the whole of Specimen much better than using the suspended magnifiers to look down into the colored bottles at the crystalline forms inside, but it was a nice touch. The presentation will probably be much better when the lights are set.

I'm assuming the work is new, probably dated 2002.

The show is already up with a reception January 19, through February 1.

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