As the holidays approach, group shows with pleasing demeanors become the gallery standard, trading on the festive outlook of the season. The larger the show, the greater emphasis on providing something for everyone and less on a taut framework of connectivity.
What, then, do the works of Amy Haney, Al Harris-Fernandez, Robert Therien and Shea Wilkinson have in common? It’s not medium—painting, printmaking, watercolor and thread art—as one can readily see in their current group show at Gallery 72.
Styles too run the gamut from abstraction to detailed realism. According to Gallery 72 owner John Rogers, this exhibit has a certain shared approach to organic structure, whether micro or macro, direct or inspired.
Retired Midlands University professor Therien is renowned for his luminous watercolors and paintings of plants and ponds, usually cropped and close-up. Haney, an instructor at UNO and Hot Shops artist, is known for her meticulous bird imagery, rendering isolated avian beauties in her etchings and woodcut prints.
Harris-Fernandez may be more recognized as the longtime director of the Sioux City Art Center, but is also a painter who frames space in his works by creating floating clusters of biomorphic and geometric shapes strongly suggestive of both natural and manmade structures. Wilkinson makes freely composed stitched imagery on fabric inspired by variously by nature, whether cosmic or terrestrial, real or imagined.
The resulting exhibition, which continues through Jan. 8, 2016, promises a synthesis of approaches to invention and observation, and a study of the many methods of employing pictorial space.