MAUREEN M. SQUIRES,
SARAH BETH GONCAROVA
Thursday, March 20 through Sunday, April 20, 2014
OPENING RECEPTION, SUNDAY, MARCH 23, 3-5PM
Poetry reading and Artist Led Discussion with Poet Judith
Vollmer, Professor of English, University of Pittsburgh,
April 5 from 3-5 pm.
The exhibition “Silent Poem, Spoken Light ,“ explores one of the most integral yet continuously perplexing questions of the art-making practice; how does one create work that is highly communicative yet largely unspoken? Artists Maureen M. Squires and Sarah Beth Goncarova examine this concept through calligraphy, poetry, painting and installation. Through using vastly different media, both artists look to natural forms as metaphor and message, drawing parallels between inner and outer landscapes.
Painter and calligrapher Maureen M. Squires interprets the words of writers and poets through paint and ink. Through the use of color, illustration, illumination, alphabet and gesture, she both abstracts and clarifies the meaning of the words. Movement and gesture are key components of Squires’ practice, making work that is at the same time bold and subtle, beautiful and evocative.
Like Squires’ luscious calligraphic works, the installations of Sarah Beth Goncarova tease metaphor from imagery of the natural world. Using intricate combinations of sewing and circuitry, Goncarova creates otherworldly illusions of seemingly natural phenomena. The fragile branches of her piece “The Cherry Tree,” beckon the viewer in--Goncarova’s own invitation to the viewer to become part of the work itself. Only when the viewer enters the tree crown does the tree surprisingly awaken. In her piece “The Spinning Wheel,” Goncarova creates pure spectacle as giant jellyfish come alive and swim around the room, as a woman quietly spins at an ancient wheel. In both pieces, we are drawn into another world, that of entirely Goncarova’s own making.
Squires’ background in Fine Arts began formally at Seton Hill University, where she majored in painting and where she first studied calligraphy. This took her to Carnegie Mellon University where she studied Advanced Calligraphy for two years with noted calligrapher and type-designer Arnold Bank. Over the years Squires has studied with many notable lettering artists. Studying with Bank was a turning point in her approach to the alphabet and painting. Since then, Squires’ work has become an exploration of letters and words through paint, interpreting the words of favorite poets with abstract forms and graceful brushwork. Her tools range from traditional steel nibs, to brushes to reeds to bamboo. Her preferred media are ink, gouache, Japanese watercolors and acrylics.
Goncarova earned degrees in sculpture and architecture at Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Maryland, and has worked for the theater as costumer, puppetmaker and scenic designer. Her art practice has evolved to include such varied media as painting, textiles, light, dance, sound and animatronics. To date she is a finalist the 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship for installation/performance.
Squires and Goncarova offer visually and conceptually compelling work in “Silent Poem, Spoken Light,” rewarding the curious and even quickening the pulse.