GRAND OPENING ART SHOWCASE
October 2021 – January 2022
Featuring artwork by Felta Virginia, Eric Cowan, Kim Clarke, and Joe Ingram.
The ElectricCoGallery is finally open and we are excited to present our first exhibit featuring a group of extremely talented artists who bring a depth of insight and aesthetics to our new gallery space. This Grand Opening Art Showcase will be open to the public from late October 2021 until January 2022.
This exhibit is primarily for a mature audience and features paintings by Virginia artist Felta who presents an extended body of work that showcases both bold human forms and striking flower compositions. She describes her paintings by saying:
“This exhibition is a retrospective on ten years of expressing the feminine experience through metaphor. The figure is juxtaposed with orchids as symbols of spirit and transformation. Spirituality, sensuality, temptation, desire, grief, joy, motherhood and aging are all explored within the context of this body of work.”
Other artists featured in the Grand Opening Art Showcase include: ceramic artist Eric Cowan, mixed media artist Joe Ingram, and ceramic artist Kim Clarke. See below for more information on each of these immensely talented artists:
Felta Virginia is a third culture American artist. She was born in 1971 to a military family, and grew up between Europe and northern Virginia. She earned her B.A. in Painting in 2001 and has since exhibited across the United States as well as in Germany and Austria. Felta’s goal as an artist is to inspire through beauty while also generating thought about issues of gender, truth, and our universal humanity.
This exhibition is a retrospective on ten years of expressing the feminine experience through metaphor. The figure is juxtaposed with orchids as symbols of spirit and transformation. Spirituality, sensuality, temptation, desire, grief, joy, motherhood and aging are all explored within the context of this body of work.
Eric Cowan was born in Barberton Ohio in 1982. Having his first ceramics class as a freshman in high school, he would go on to graduate from the University of Akron with a BFA. During 2013 he moved to Radford, VA and continues to practice in clay while allowing his style to evolve.
I am inspired by origins of life research and the world of chemical reactions, unseen by the naked eye…where the line between living and nonliving breaks down. The organic forms I make resemble molecular models used to study proteins. I like to view my work as microscopic organisms or the inner workings within. But they are more fiction than science; they are not intended to be representational. The plasticity of clay allows me to react to the piece intuitively as it grows. The piece emerges through the meditative process as if on its own; a random movement at the start can cause ripples through the whole piece.
Kim grew up in Los Angeles where she attended art classes at Barnsdall Art Center and the Pasadena Asian Museum as a child. She studied ceramics at Glendale College, Los Angeles City College and Moorpark College and has been working on her craft for over 35 years. Pulling from her imagination Kim has developed a unique style of whimsical figures showing influences from Maurice Sendak, Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and Tim Burton. She has taught ceramics over the years and continues to explore various themes through her fantastical and imaginitive work.
Playing with a ball of mud (clay) when I was very young started it. From the beginning transforming clay has struck me as magical. Clay is my key to the secret garden, my way down the rabbit hole through the looking glass and out again. Over the years, that magical process has had its way with me, leading me from hobby to professional artist and ceramics teacher. Ceramics fills me with a sense of accomplishment and integrity and has proven a most amenable vehicle for translating inner vision to outer reality. But basically, I create my figures because I have to!
I fashion my sculptures from the inside out influenced by the creations of contemporary artists Tim Burton, and Beatrice Woods. I work deliberately, consciously employing both traditional and innovative techniques. However, my subconscious is the undisputed project manager. The joy of this work elevates my imagination and provides many opportunities for happy accident and grace to influence the finished project. My imagination drives me in the creation of figurative sculptures of a whimsical, out-of-this-world existence. They go through a process of metamorphosis as they evolve from strictly human forms into the essence of the story they tell. I create my figures with high fire clay. Finishing them with colorful glazes, engobes, and underglazes bring their images to life. I form my figures based on stories in my mind. My intention is for my patrons to be inspired to create their own tales.
Originally from Floyd County Virginia, Joe Ingram has been a resident of Radford since 2006. After graduating from Ferrum College in 2002, he began searching for a medium to help with personal reflection. It wouldn’t be until a few years later when he would find it in the beauty of rusted steel, stone slate, and found objects.
The mixture of materials I use in my work are combined in such a way to help me reflect on my life and to study my own thoughts. The rusted background serves as my subconscious and foundation from which an array of feelings arise from. Somewhat pushed out from a subconscious mist, materials are used to form organic shapes to help represent human emotion in its rawest form. These emotions need to be “captured” for personal study to allow me to answer the “why” questions I may have when dealing with myself and interactions I may have with people both directly and indirectly. I find asking questions about the past can help explain the present to then help formulate the future.