“Manifestations of Colour and Form” is a new exhibit featuring metal artist, Gale Smith and photography feature, Melissa Wilgis. The exhibit opens on Friday, October 23 and continues through December 6, 2020. It will be displayed in the gallery and will have many virtual components including a virtual tour, artist videos and more.
Photography By Aris Harding and Justin Williams Pope – Wilma Magazine
Gale Smith‘s work in this exhibit is about the transformation of sheets of copper into complex assemblages that create a distinctive visual impact while allowing the intrinsic beauty of the metal to shine through. Vibrant colours dance across the copper pieces and create abstract geometrical shapes. These intricate works contain rich textures and reveal extraordinary manifestations of colour and formations. Each sculpture is made using dozens of strips of copper which are assembled into a design that create movement with dimensions. These meticulously cut strips of copper undulate as they reflects light that in turn creates movement.
Melissa Wilgis is a fine art photographer specializing in photograms. Initially she began making photograms using what she refers to as her “critters”; seahorses, crabs, butterflies, dragonflies, sea whips, wildflowers and other found curiosities. Eventually, she knew she needed to expand her photogram creations beyond critters. She is also thrift store junky and made it a priority to search out photogrammable objects at the charity shops. “I’m drawn to antique garments, lace and glass baubles. My photogram compositions are fairly simple. This simplicity allows the viewer to find their own story, be it politics, feminism, gender, sexuality, body-image, materialism, culture, economy, history, family or simply nostalgia. To me, they’re first and foremost, a reminder to always try to see things in a different light.” Her most recent body of work incorporates images from box of early 1900s glass negatives.
The exhibit will be in the gallery and will have many virtual components including a virtual tour, artist videos and more. View the virtual tour!
Due to ongoing COVID-19 adjustments, this exhibit will be in the gallery and online beginning on October 23rd. The gallery now has normal business hours. Face coverings are required and we do have additional supplies if needed.
About the Artists
Having studied at UNC Chapel Hill, Gale Smith considers painting as an ongoing study. She has found a new interest in working with copper. As a plein air painter, she began using copper panels as her canvas and loved how the copper made her colors warm and vibrant. She experimented with different gauges of copper and mediums and discovered that inks and oils on copper made colors radiate vibrantly. Never quite sure where the colors and copper will take her, Gale paints, cuts and weaves two abstract paintings together to create a dimensional piece of art. The soft gentle curves that she cuts into the copper, allows her to form the piece into soothing and thought provoking structural designs. It is her desire that the viewer will experience a personal interaction with her art. Often, she writes small quotes, prayers or poems that relate to the piece of work on the back of the copper strips and weaves them into the design. Gale donates a portion of the proceeds from her sales to various organizations and charities. Gale is an award winning artist with her works exhibited in galleries, private collections and corporate installations.
Melissa Wilgis at her home studio.
Melissa Wilgis is a fine art photographer specializing in photograms. She made her first photogram in 1986 in Mr. Fecik’s photography class at Boardman High School. At the time, making photograms was simply a way to learn her way around the darkroom. It taught her how to use an enlarger and what the various chemicals do. Leaving photograms behind, Melissa pursued photojournalism throughout high school and college. After graduating with a BA in English from NC State University, she started working for a branch of Eastman Kodak called Qualex in tech support. Over the next several years, she moved further away from photography and became further entrenched in corporate America. She finally came to my senses and left that world. Melissa soon found found some film photography classes at the local community college and soon became the darkroom assistant. She is now a full time mom with a home darkroom where she creates her work. Melissa regularly exhibits her work in shows in and around Wilmington.
As of right now Fourth Friday receptions, held during the Arts Council of Wilmington’s Fourth Friday Gallery Night are on hold until January of 2021.