By Amanda McLaughlin:
Art for art’s sake: the 19th century maxim that promoted the idea of a pure aesthetic, art removed from a didactic, moral, or utilitarian purpose, an art sufficient unto itself. Filigrees Gallery and Boutique’s new exhibit Queen Science and the Jack of All Trades provides an interesting antithesis to and acceptance of that bohemian ideal; works from the two-artist exhibition function as an artistic whole, yet are indebted to each artist’s career, upbringing, focus of study: art beholden to the everyday, but greater than the everyday.
Artist Tom Lennox (painting inset) is a local handy man; raised by a family of lumberjacks, he has learned nearly every trade. Design has played a large role in many of his jobs, and his abstract oil paintings, done on plywood with grout gesso, are a continuation of that design. Lennox’s oil paintings are highly abstract, with bold color combinations and unusual shapes. There is a lovely tension in his work between the energetic swathes of color and the carefully designed series of shapes, shapes, that while precisely determined, feel at the same time effortless, unplanned. The second artist (lead image) showcased in the exhibit, Molly Burhans, creates, as described by Filigrees, “whimsical narratives” on the canvas. A daughter of two scientists, Burhans studies molecular biology and the effects of aging. As such, her work is extremely complex and nearly realistic, yet there is a gentle intensity and sense of playfulness to her figures, trees, interiors, and galaxies. Both artists have contributed time and work to the making of the exhibit space, and the show is sure to bring out the artist in each of us, regardless of our day jobs.
Filigrees Gallery and Boutique is an exciting new space, which, since its opening on September 24th, 2010, has received a warm, enthusiastic welcome from the community. It features work from local artists, as well as customized clothing, bags, and shoes by J. Pfief and Melissa Campbell; the boutique also features one of kind jewelry by J.Pfief, Jeannette Knop, Sara Howard, Esther Neisen, and Melissa Campbell, in addition to offering unique collectibles, books, video games, records, and specialty items. Artists’ works are based on a commission, and Filigrees welcomes new artist to consign their work.
In addition to the boutique and gallery, Filigrees also houses a fully equipped art center for working artists. Regular workshops and demonstrations are planned for artists to share their processes with the public, and private lessons are available for painting, drawing, hula hopping, chi gong, piano, and banjo. The space provides a place for the artists to play, work, practice, and socialize, as well as display their work and talent to the public; the multi-person studio allows artists to get direct feedback from each other, share skills, and build strong bonds with each other. The bonds formed by these artists allow them to strengthen the artistic community at large, and strengthens their individual hope and confidence, which allows for a higher quality of work. Filigrees encourages and supports these efforts, and “strives to create a dialogue between artists of different genres and develop a direct outlet to the public.”
Filigrees Gallery and Boutique is open daily from 2PM-7PM; the Queen Science and the Jack of All Trades show runs from January 14th through February 20th. The exhibition enjoyed a successful opening reception, and the gallery looks forward to a wonderful show. Filigrees is located at 1121 Elmwood Avenue at Forest Avenue, Buffalo, NY, 14222. The gallery can be reached at (716) 400-3144.