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Arts & Culture
Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Nov. 14, 2016 3 years ago

'Right Lines and Circles' opens at the museum Dec. 2

The exhibit features the work from three artists: Maria Shell, Patrick Schmidt, and Gregory Johnson.
by: Emily Blackwood News Editor

The exhibit, "Right Lines and Circles," will be on display from Dec. 2 through Jan. 15 at the Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum and Gardens.

The visual journey of geometry, color, and pattern that reflects personal identity, life, nature, and emotion features the artwork of Maria Shell, Patrick Schmidt, and Gregory Johnson. A free reception open to the public will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 2. 

Maria Shell started her journey in fabric and sewing when she was 4 years old and continued expressing herself through her writing and journalism degrees. Her career came full circle when she moved to Alaska and pursued quilting full time as an artist.

Shell tells a story with every piece of fabric she uses to create her art quilt. In her artwork "Color Grids," she uses "fabric patterns from the last one hundred years" to explore emotion with color and print.

"Limiting the pattern but manipulating the line, color, and shape can produce dynamic results," she says, "and evoke deep emotion from the viewer."

Patrick Schmidt has been involved with art his entire life. He started college as a music major, and when he took a drawing course in college, it "changed his definition of art." 

He holds a masters degree in fine art from Central Michigan University, and his current work is a visual exploration of pattern, line, and color, and allows the viewer to contemplate the meaning behind his bright abstract multidimensional acrylic paintings. Schmidt uses the digital world to inspire his artwork as he uses pattern as a metaphor to "explore cultural, social, and personal identity in the digital age."

He finds image patterns, inspired by ancient and contemporary archetypes and reduces them to a simple line drawing. He then overlays several colorful abstract images on top of the original line drawing. This disrupts the original pattern and embraces an overall collaborative identity.

Sculptor Gregory Johnson views, "life as a journey that comes full circle."

Born in Chicago, his interest in art started an early age. At 5 years old, he went from "smoothing dirt in a tree well, to now smoothing stainless steel, in his sculptures," he said. Johnson has always been detail-oriented and enjoys "building unique things that challenges the mind and boundaries."

He started his career focusing on figurative themes cast in bronze and stainless steel. His sculptures are in museums, universities, and public collections throughout the United States and his Vietnam War Memorial sculpture located in the Ormond Memorial Gardens was commissioned after a nationwide search of artists. 

Johnson explores similar themes of emotion from his figurative pieces as in his new contemporary sculptures. His new work focuses on geometric shapes and segmented circle forms that depict or suggest things that we see and are familiar with but cannot touch or quantify.

Inspired by curves depicted in life and nature, he "likes how they meander, cross over each other, and are more happily found in nature than straight lines." His emphasis in the circle as a thematic symbol portrays presence in everyday life. The circle in its beauty and spiritual shape is "one beautiful line with no beginning, middle, or end." Johnson will showcase a variety of his contemporary sculptures with this theme at the "Right Lines and Circles" exhibit.

The Ormond Memorial Art Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily and noon to 4 p.m. on the weekends. The gardens, which contain architectural tributes to veterans, are open daily until dusk. Admission is a $2 donation.

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