Saturday, April 14, 2012

Spring at the Saint-Claude Arts District

The installation "Catalpa, Reality, Resurrection, Revolution and Sir Joshua Reynolds" by Robert Tannen at the Homespace Gallery sends a message of hope with pieces of a dying catalpa tree supporting thin wooden sticks even a fishing rod, spread like fans in the air. From these dead pieces of wood, life springs again. The contrast between the old wood, wrinkled by the years and the elements and the thin wooden sticks, vigorous but fragile gives the message: regeneration, life, transformation. From the abandonned wood, the artist grows a forest and creates a space for reflection in the tradition of the Japanese gardens. Life never ends, death is just a transformation. The photographs and drawings of the gigantic tree along the installation are also the testimony of nature's resilience as I witnessed near the bayou after the hurricane. The salt water had wiped out all the tall trees, gray replaced green. The trees are back, more vigorous. The installation is a celebration of life and in tune with the season.

Farther down the road, The Good Children Gallery is also opened. It seems that some painters invent their own colors. Jessica Bizer is one of these artists. Her technique creates surreal works, glowing with a light she must have caught looking directly at the sun.

Across the street, The Front presents several artists with very different messages, among them Dick Keaveny, his series of Piggies, grotesque caricatures remind us that greed and I guess gluttony (considering the fleshy faces) are on the list of the seven deadly sins! Caricature is a tradition among artists, Leonardo da Vinci found his subjects in the streets.
The Saint-Claude Arts District is alive and well with an opening every second Saturday of the month.
photograph by the author
"Hope It's True", Jessica Bizer, 2012

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