The three exhibitions on view at Agora Gallery had only been open for two days when we celebrated their reception on Thursday, November 5th, 2015. Thirty-four artists were in attendance, and our guests were more than happy to meet and greet with them all, discussing the creative process and learning the exciting stories behind the works on display.
In Modalities of Expression, fifteen artists explore form, figure, and place in a range of techniques and media. The Influence of Color shows how every detail, from the shades of blues to the placement of lines, can completely transform any scene. And, in our biannual exhibition Illumination: An Exhibition of Fine Art Photography, digital and analog photographers present the world in candid portraits, sweeping natural scenes, and even more abstract compositions.
Angela Di Bello spoke with Jana Kamila Masik about her extraordinary works that currently populate our ground-floor gallery. “It’s very peaceful. There’s a sense of serenity,” said Di Bello. They spoke of everything from the creative process to the Italian countryside, as Masik’s artwork draws from the Mediterranean light and landscape to capture her soft, ethereal artwork. “I like to keep it simple,” said Masik, “but it’s always about the light.”
Muhammad Abdus-Sabur is currently featured on the gallery’s ground level in the exhibition Illumination: An Exhibition of Fine Art Photography. Though his photos are on display at Agora Gallery, this is actually the first time the artist is showing his photography: he is more known by his fans for his painting. In both practices, he is drawn to nature, and whether figurative, interpretive, or abstract, his paintings are almost always taken from his photographs. “Arnold’s Red,” for example, has been painted, and Treehouse Yellow has sold from his website as a preliminary sketch. “There is never a complete product,” he says. “It’s always a work in progress.”
Annita Faitaki, in Modalities of Expression, was attending the reception with her husband and her sister. She spoke of her artwork and of the deep emotional histories of her works. “Red Theme” was painted at 3 AM, in response to her father’s recent death. “I wanted to express all the passion and feelings, but also that my father’s soul has been liberated.” All of Annita’s artwork encourages viewers to express their feelings, the truths of their hearts. On display next to her two paintings are three bronze sculptures by Faitaki: “They are the archetypes within us. They are the forms that we adopt when we want to express something deep within us.” Annita’s sister is another type of artist: a writer. We can look forward to a collaboration between the two, as they are very close and deal with many similar themes in their own unique way.
Also featured in Illumination: An Exhibition of Fine Art Photography is the artist Samanta Aretino, who travels the world to take her astonishing photographs of humanity. She discussed how personal photography is to her, that it isn’t just about capturing moments but about taking something internal and making it external. “The eye of each person is very different. Every artist’s work is very personal,” she said. In her works, Aretino focuses on the differences between people, cultures, and how various societies live their lives. “There are all these differences in culture, but all people still want the same. We all want love. We all want peace.”
It was a pleasure to speak with all of the artists and our other illustrious guests. Our visitors included hotel professionals, decorators, consulates, restaurant owners, and journalists. James Chisholm and Marlene Kohn spoke of their recent projects teaching art in New York City and Boston in low-income areas. These artists exemplify the importance of using art to make a difference, and their experiences are truly inspirational. No matter what the background of their students, they’ve found young people with great creativity and drive, and we hope to see some of their students in our gallery someday.
We had many returning artists in this show. Sandra Mueller-Dick was celebrating her 8th show with Agora Gallery; CORDERO and Wallace were celebrating their 2nd shows; and James Chisholm, who has been featured in the latest ARTisSpectrum magazine, was able to attend his third exhibition with Agora Gallery, despite several traffic detours trying to keep him away.
You can view all of these artists in the current exhibition until November 24th, 2015. If you are unable to visit the gallery in person, you can see their works at Agora-Gallery.com and ARTmine.com. Subscribe to our mailing list for more updates from Agora Gallery.