Four SPA alums display captivating art in Drake Gallery

Four St. Paul Academy and Summit School Alumni/ae have their work presented at the Harry M. Drake Gallery until Oct. 15.

Photo credit: Nina Zietlow

Four St. Paul Academy and Summit School Alumni/ae have their work presented at the Harry M. Drake Gallery until Oct. 15.

Dramatic colors, bold patterns, and crisp shapes come together to create a awe inspiring and question inducing show that hints at a deeper political message. Through Oct. 15, the the Harry M. Drake gallery at St. Paul Academy and Summit School is hosting for alumae/i artists: Sally Duback ’64, Anne Parker ’74, Ruth Schilling Harwood ’69, and James Vose ’69. These artists have created a myriad of work, each totally unique in subject matter, but collectively flowing and cohesive.

Duback’s work “Frogs” consists of an abstract representation of frog carcasses on colorful handmade paper. The work, that is intended to protest humanities careless killing of frogs, immediately drew Junior Cait Gibbon’s attention.

“I didn’t know they were frogs at first, I was just drawn to the bright, contrasting colors,” Gibbons said.

Parker’s work also takes an abstract approach. Her heavily textured  paintings are mostly gray and white, but hints of red, pink, and yellow peek through. Parker bases her work off of photographs and uses a mixture of paints and drawing materials to convert the photos to more abstract painting while still encompassing the feeling of the original image. “Each work originates from a strong visceral attraction I have to something in the real world,” Parker said in her artist’s statement.

Hardwood’s art is entirely unique from the other artists’. Instead of drawing or painting, her medium is photography. Her prints entitled “Spring” are scans of newspaper printed images of protests that occurred during the Arab Spring. The prints are highly pixilated and focus on singular objects. On her website, Hardwood writes; “the series ‘Spring’ explores the intersection of image and the technology that supports it.”

Vose’s work consists of highly realistic still lifes most of which contain fruit or reference to political figures such as Mao and Abraham Lincoln. In Vose’s pear series consists of charcoal drawing groups of pears in strange situation such as their stems on fire or wrapped in newspaper comics, these drawings are complemented by witty, funny captions. In Vose’s artist’s bio he writes “I work principally in still life, using classical painting and drawing techniques to capture the texture and color of everyday objects and the light that bathes them.”

These four bodies of work come together seamlessly to create and focused and creative show that is definitely worth seeing.