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Mattie Kelly Arts Center Galleries New Exhibitions: September 10 - October 12

Mattie Kelly Arts Center


Continuum #8. Digital photography, 44x45
Continuum #8. Digital photography, 44x45

8/27/2012 -

Mary Stewart: Forces of Nature
Holzhauer and the Machine

September 10 – October 12, 2012
Reception: September 22, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

The Mattie Kelly Arts Center Galleries at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville will open the Fall exhibition schedule with Forces of Nature, a solo show by Mary Stewart in the McIlroy Gallery, and a thematic exhibition Holzhauer and the Machine, in the Holzhauer Gallery with works from the college's permanent collections.

Both exhibitions open September 10 and run through October 12, 2012. On Saturday, September 22, Stewart will give an Artist Talk at 5:30 p.m. in the McIlroy Gallery, followed by a reception in her honor. The public is invited to attend and meet this important contemporary artist. The galleries are open Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., and 90 minutes prior to performances in the center's two theaters. The exhibitions as well as the Artist Talk and reception are free and open to the public.

Emphasizing natural forces rather than natural beauty, Mary Stewart's eighteen prints, paintings and digital photographs will present a fresh perspective on nature in general and the North Florida landscape in particular. All projects are done in series of three to twelve images; the majority of these recent artworks are based on photography.

Artist, author, and educator Mary Stewart teaches at Florida State University and co-founded Integrative Teaching International, a professional organization devoted to strengthening college-level teaching. Author of a best-selling textbook titled Launching the Imagination, she regularly gives workshops and lectures on creativity, curriculum design, leadership, and visual narrative. Her work has been shown in over ninety exhibitions nationally and internationally, and she has received two Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grants for collaborative choreography. She received the National Council of Arts Administrators Award of Distinction in 2008, the FATE (Foundations in Art: Theory and Education) Master Educator award in 2009 and an award for excellence in teaching from SECAC (Southeastern College Art Conference) in 2010.

The static images in Stewart's exhibition are first constructed from the artist's digital photographs via Photoshop, and then printed out in large scale. This print serves as the "under-painting" for a much more developed drawing, using colored pencils and acrylic paints. Some works in the exhibition connect the macroscopic with the microscopic, juxtaposing towering trees with images that suggest activity at the cellular level. Other pieces are more visceral.

Measuring over twelve feet in length, these images ferociously distort and recombine the photographic source material to suggest a violent response from nature to our environmental decisions. Still others deal with relationships between the land, the water, and the sky during hurricanes and other natural phenomena.

In stark contrast to the natural forms that characterize Stewart's work, the Holzhauer Gallery will showcase Holzhauer and the Machine, a survey of paintings and drawings from the NWFSC Permanent Collection by the noted artist and local favorite, Emil Holzhauer (1887-1986). While best known for his early Ashcan School portraits and beloved for his Emerald Coast landscapes made after 1953, lesser known works from throughout Holzhauer's career analyze the mechanical forms of factories, sawmills and other industrial settings and will be on display during this exhibit.

In 1967 Emil Holzhauer bequeathed 400 pieces of his work and other historical documents to then Okaloosa-Walton Community College (now NWFSC). The college created an Honorary Art Department Chair for Holzhauer and provides perpetual care and display the collection with a priority given to showing the versatility and accomplishments of the artist and preserving the visual images he created and collected over a lifetime. Emil Holzhauer died in 1986 at the age of 99.