Showing posts with label Lori Anne Boocks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lori Anne Boocks. Show all posts

18 March 2013

Lori Anne Boocks at the Sitar Arts Center

Narrative painter Lori Anne Boocks is currently exhibiting 14 paintings at Sitar Arts Center in Washington, D.C. in a solo show titled Narratives and Numbers through 19 April 2013.

1. Is this your first solo show?

No, but I have only had just a few up until this year. This is a really busy year for me, with four solos in a 12-month span. I hope people do not get tired of me inviting them to receptions!

2. Where is it being held? How would you describe the venue? What are the opening and closing dates? Have you shown in this venue before? 

This exhibit will be held at Sitar Arts Center, from 11 March 2013 through 19 April 2013.  I have never shown there before.

The exhibit space consists of white walls in a triangular shape. Instead of the paintings facing each other in a square, they taper in. I like that when you walk through, they almost make you look. 

Sitar’s focus is arts education for kids from low-income households. Volunteers teach music, dance, drama, creative writing, digital art and visual arts classes. When I went there to meet with Loretta Thompson, director of program operations, about show details, the place was bustling! Apart from engaging kids in every classroom in wonderful projects, the center organizes a scavenger hunt at the culminating art receptions, so families can take their interaction with the art one step further. 

3. What is the show's title? Why did you choose this title?

This show is called Narratives and Numbers. I use words and numbers in my paintings so I wanted to reference writing and storytelling in my title. When creating a painting, I often reflect on stories from my past and use them as inspiration. When using numbers as subject matter, I try to make them represent something unexpected. I like telling stories through numbers. Plus, I liked the alliteration.

4. How many pieces are in the show? Is there a theme that ties them together? What media are you working in?

There are 14 pieces in a variety of sizes, all in acrylic and charcoal on canvas. Besides sharing text as the subject, the pieces tell stories through color and shape. When putting together the proposal for the show, I took into account that children might make up the majority of viewers. I hope they think up their own stories about the pieces too.

5. Where are you exhibiting next?

Starting 10 April 2013, I will be in a three-person show called Remembrance with Oletha DeVane and Nina Chung Dwyer at BlackRock Center for the Arts in my own backyard, Germantown, Maryland. This show runs until 27 April 2013.

6. Choose one piece from the show and describe it in depth, including its process and meaning. 

One of my favorite new pieces is Back in Memphis Again. It is my usual charcoal and acrylic on canvas, 24 by 22 inches. 

After I laid a basic ground on the surface with my hands, I thought about Thomas Wolfe's title, You Can’t Go Home Again, and how, in my experience, you really can. Things may be different, and you may be different, but where you have been makes up who you are for better or worse. 

While letting the washes of color dry and after removing some layers with a cloth to give the piece a bit of history, I passed by my daughter’s band stuff and saw a logo for Memphis Guitars. I thought about Elvis and aging and blue suede shoes and how easily suede can scuff. 

I added the words "never go back to Memphis she said, never going back" in charcoal, then drew squares in charcoal and sealed the charcoal with a matte medium to stabilize it. After that dried, I painted the blue squares and scarred them with my fingernails in gloves and dripped water down the canvas. Then I smoothed over the surface with a cloth, which pulled some of the pigment away from the lines of water. After that layer dried, I put on a final wash of brown-black with a brush, burnished some of it off with cloth and sealed all layers with a mix of water and gloss varnish. 

Of course, the subject/narrator of this particular piece does end up in Memphis again. We can only guess at how, but I can feel the push-pull, the "I belong, yet I don’t anymore" feeling that creates tension for her.

31 August 2010

Lori Anne Boocks

1. Where and how would you display your work in an ideal situation?
I’d love to show in a space with plenty of natural lighting. Large, uninterrupted walls. Lots of floor space to let the paintings invade that area, maybe even force the viewer to step over them in places. A space allowing me to explore what a painting can be and challenge viewers to re-think the “canvas-on-the-wall” mentality would be a dream come true. Other artists have done this of course, and I’d like to add my name to this list.

2. If expository writing is good at elucidating and proving a point and
descriptive geometry gives us the tools by which to map objects in space
in relation to one another, what kind of an apparatus does art afford us?
What does art do best?
For me, every piece of art is a potential mirror. We look at a work and if it engages us in some way, there’s the kind of viewer-art interaction that takes, say, a painting I made based on my feelings and experiences and invites you to react. Our experiences -- and how we experience the world -- are reflected upon the piece and the piece in return continues that dialogue or starts one I never imagined and will never be part of except as instigator. The viewer’s going to bring as much baggage (good or bad) to that moment of visual introspection as they want. And if we’re viewing the piece with another person… friend, stranger, relative… and we start talking about the piece out loud, well, the conversation can get even richer.

3. What can you expect from your audience/fans/viewing public? What would you
like them to know about your work?
I think every artist hopes for a moment of the viewer’s time to see if engagement can happen. I would want viewer to know that I have them in mind while I’m making my work. In my head, I imagine people from all walks of life reacting to my paintings. Some may not like my stuff. Some may love it. Some are lukewarm. Throwing your art out into the world is a great unknown. A true risk.
4. Marcel Duchamp said - "Enough with retinal art!" What is your reaction as an artist to this statement?
Hmmm. Does the eye make the art, or does the mind (or heart)? If I interpret it to mean he wanted us to stop making art that was purely visual, we would’ve missed out on some pretty amazing work. 

5. Do you think that there is still room for art movements in today's
pluralistic climate?
“They” say everything’s been done and we’re all stuck in appropriation mode. I’m not sure I buy that. Regardless of what I think, art critics and historians years from now will probably look back on our times and try to make sense of it all, connect those dots, and analyze trends. Finding and naming any movements will certainly make it easier for them to title the big books they tend to publish.
6. What is one question you wished we had asked you about your art? Please
feel free to answer it.
I have a background in writing, and through that experience I learned that it’s not always the words themselves that give meaning and context. For me, it’s about the feelings that come from reading those words. So, while text is the framework upon which I build my paintings, it serves mainly to create emotion. The vigor of the writing, the lines of sentences, the dark charcoal marks… these are all the underpinnings that support color and paint stroke and texture. The title and a legible word or two may hint at the meaning of the painting for me as the creator of it, but in the end it’s all about what the viewer brings to the table.

Lori Anne Boocks
small boxes... some on fire
September 1 - September 25, 2010
First Friday Reception: 9/3, 6 - 8 pm
Artists' Reception: Saturday, 9/11, 4 - 6 pm
Studio Gallery -
2108 R Street N.W. Washington, DC 20008 202.232.8734 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              202.232.8734      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              202.232.8734      end_of_the_skype_highlighting