Fall exhibition at Mica contemporary craft gallery, Sept. 9-Nov. 20


“From The Earth”, the fall exhibition at Mica contemporary craft gallery in downtown Bakersville, features the work of Bryant Holsenbeck, Amy Putansu and Rodger Jacobs, notable artists who all derive their inspiration from the natural world. We are honored to present and share their work. Their exhibit runs from September 9th to November 20th with an artist’s reception on Saturday, September 17, 5-8 pm.

According to Bryant Holsenbeck, “The natural world is my muse. Whether in my own back yard, in my car, in the woods or on a journey I look for wild life all around me.” Holsenbeck works as a public artist, transforming environmental detritus into magnificent installations, often engaging students in the making, for schools and museums. She is also well known as a private artist, an object maker, especially a maker of animals. “I have been making the animals of my world out of recycled materials for a while now.  I do this by wrapping things together. When I first started I intended to make abstract work.  But, everything I started became an animal—true story.”

Bryant Holsenbeck is the consummate maker, who creates from what is around her. In her words, “Making is like breathing to me.  Some of what I make becomes dinner, and some becomes art.   In between art and dinner, I face the work of life—phone calls, email, emptying the trash.  I spend time with friends and family and when I am lucky I see art with them, which takes me out of myself and back to making again.”
Amy Putansu, a weaver’s weaver, grew up in a fishing village in Maine and was powerfully influenced by the landscape, the ocean, tidal patterns on the sand and especially the distant horizon. These early experiences deeply influenced her and inform her work today. As Putansu expresses so beautifully “The spark for almost every textile I create stems from questions pertinent to my connection with the flux between land and sea. How do we discover direction in life amidst an environment subject to constant change? Questions of impermanence and purpose are part of the human predicament, and I balance this uncertainty by beginning each weaving project from a place of experiential understanding. Like sailing for the distant horizon, it’s never possible to actually arrive.”

Amy Putansu uses a rare hand weaving technique called ondulé to maneuver threads out of the strict grid and into wave-like patterns and lines. Putansus’ intention is to “create contemplative fields of woven work that uphold a minimalist aesthetic, with high regard for restraint”. In speaking about her process Putansu shares, “Physically, the process of moving with the loom and positioning the reed at varying intervals in ondulé weaving mimics the movement of the tides. Aesthetically, ondulé enables me to capture the fluidity and textures in my visual vocabulary so that, in the end, each piece feels like home.”

Rodger Jacobs is a self-taught wood turner and sculptor. As early as high school he recognized his affinity for making art and working with wood. His rich life path took many turns but when living in Indiana he discovered living history and once again found himself making. According to Jacobs “I find pleasure and freedom with a dash of danger in turning; and selling my work to make a living gives me a feeling that I have been searching for over so many years.”

Rodger Jacobs creates both functional items and pure sculpture borrowing shapes and forms that are timeless, used for thousands of years by Oriental, Middle Eastern, and American Indian vessel makers.

Jacobs believes in using the wood he finds locally. “It is part of the fun to tramp through the woods looking for distressed, burled, spalted, or even plain trees. It is hard work getting the logs and pieces out of the woods. Log chains, peaveys, chain saws are the standard tools of the trade. It’s worth it though. Every time I open a piece of wood it’s like Christmas, and every piece is different.”

For Rodger Jacobs shape and balance are the key elements to his work. “I feel I have reached my goal when the work breathes by itself, when it radiates that certain aura that cannot be improved upon. Then I’m ready to start another, and another.”

Opening reception on Saturday September 17, from 5-8 pm.

Mica is located in the heart of Bakersville at 37 N. Mitchell Avenue.
Hours are 10A.M. to 5 P.M. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Visit us during American Craft Week from 10/1-10/16 with refreshments and door prize drawing. To learn more, visit micagallerync.com, on Facebook or call 828.688.6422.

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall has lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. She is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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