‘Oceans of Creativity’ a Shore Thing at Artists on Market

Photo | Marylou Bono Gaithersburg Artist Collective member artists Pritha Srinivasan, Jeanne Sullivan and Steven Gibson gather behind Gibson’s glass piece, “Okavango Mask.”

Photo | Marylou Bono
Gaithersburg Artist Collective member artists Pritha Srinivasan, Jeanne Sullivan and Steven Gibson gather behind Gibson’s glass piece, “Okavango Mask.”

Recent news that the Gaithersburg Artist Collective’s home, Artists on Market, was asked to find a new space after Aug. 31 didn’t hamper the enthusiasm at the July 14 reception for their last show, “Oceans of Creativity” at 201 Market St. West.

Developer Kimco has found a tenant for the corner spot and the 36 member artists in the Collective are busy following up on leads for a new space in the area. Aug. 31 is the final day of the show and their tenancy. The Collective has occupied the space for a year and plans to resume operations at a new location.

Apropos to the season, the “Oceans of Creativity” theme was artistically represented with an extensive range of media, styles and techniques. Each member was permitted to show up to six pieces ranging from traditional painting, photography, collage and pottery to more unusual painting with fluid ink on silk, glassware, metal and enamel jewelry, woodworking and polymer claywork.

Steven Gibson, the newest member artist, works in glass in the cellar studio of his 19th-century home in Frederick. Previously a resident artist at the Art Glass Center in Glen Echo, he said, “I always find being in a collective inspiring … even with other media.” Large pieces are his specialty, and his “Okavango Mask” is displayed at the entrance to the gallery.

Watercolorist Pritha Srinivasan exhibits several Chinese watercolors. She enjoys the medium for its diversity and strength. Ink is poured and manipulated on shikishi board. The paint is very fluid and uses specific mixing techniques with the result a confluence of pouring and detail work. “I love the colors. … They are so vivid and rich and a little mysterious,” said Srinivasan.

Metalist and enamelist Tova Shpantzer favors working in gold and silver and combines them with enamel paint. Her stunning silverwork included representations of shells, sea turtles and waves in keeping with the show’s theme.

Collagist Jeanne Sullivan’s “Pie in the Sky” used pie recipe pages from 1930s cookbooks arranged in a pattern that reminded her of planets from above. “I try to mix maps or words, something unusual in all of my work. … They are disappearing.” A tiny treat is her encaustic wax abstract view of the Cinque Terre reproduced from fond memories of her recent trip to Italy.

Most intriguing is Phyllis Gordon’s silk painting—stretched onto board or fashioned as scarves. Gordon uses French textile dyes on stretched taut, pre-washed silk. Dye is painted on with brushes using watercolor techniques. “It is defined, but not defined. That’s my style, making the colors float.” Gordon is one of a handful of silk artists in the DC area and has been working in the medium for 25 years.

Germantown resident and landscape and nature photographer Keith Mounts began photographing during travel and while attending work conferences. He now travels more frequently with photography in mind, a favorite place being Napali on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. He looked quite the native in his flowered shirt and straw hat as he pointed to his shot of a downtown Pittsburgh fountain made exotic by the sunset’s glow. “Light came through the fountain and the water made it look like a painting. Good timing is important,” Mounts said. He is also fond of composing still lifes, and his “Home Place” was captured at the Frontier Museum in Staunton, Virginia.

The polymer clay vessels by ceramist Margaret Polcawich are exceptional—precise layering and beautiful waves of color produce exquisite forms. An art major, Polcawich started out focusing on the functional and has more recently moved to pendants, vessels, bowls and wall art. Many of her vessels feature antler-like sculpted legs. “These are a nod to the functional world,” she said. “Still part of the sculpture, but a reference to grass or moss—a botanical reference.” She explained that her impressive “Silver Flame” vessel uses mica clay rolled and layered to create sophisticated geometric patterns.

There is still plenty of time to see this beautiful, seaside-themed show. Check the website at www.artistsonmarket.com or
their Facebook page for hours until Aug. 31.