Sparks Gallery’s newest exhibition, Harmony, is a collection of works which celebrate movement, music, and dance. We asked each artist what the concept “Harmony” means to them, and how their artwork reflected this theme. Read on to find out how music and movement serve as a source of inspiration for these artists.
“What does Harmony mean to you?”
LENORE SIMON “Harmony is such a positive word – For me it is the absence of discord a state of being that is hard to come by in these frenetic times. For me Rehearsal may evoke a feeling of pride one has when performing whether in a vastly attended theatrical event or in an intimate setting. Perhaps aloneness or fear sets in when faced by a vast crowd of strangers. Above all I would want the viewer to respond emotionally rather than become preoccupied with the technical and aesthetic elements that contributed to the image on view.”
MICHAEL CARINI “My life is my work in progress. Everything that I do in my daily life is essentially a brushstroke on this grand painting that is constantly progressing and developing before your eyes and mine.
I think of harmony as finding a place of balance or centeredness. This is constant goal in my art and my life. I would like my audiences to respond to my work within the show with authenticity and with reckless abandon, even if it means putting harmony aside.”
CHERYL TALL “One of my sculptures is the exhibition, Serafina, has to do with singing. The other one, Playing to the Moon, was created specifically for the exhibition. The mandolins or lutes on top are inspired by a two string Chinese instrument that I saw being played on a street corner in Beijing. One of my clay students plays the guitar, and she bought in real guitars strings for the wires. As an artist, music is very important to me. I use different play lists to set different moods, but always have music going on!”
MICHELE BENZAMIN-MIKI ” It means understanding, and appreciation, momentum and creation, progressing. I would love the viewers to be able to see into this vortex of movement and creation, the dimensions and depth of the piece. To let their eyes rest softly on the surface of the art and take a journey into their imagination and be able to see much more than a first glance would reveal. To meditate on the piece. Let the eyes rest in the center of the piece with a soft gaze, breathing in and out at least three times enjoying the sensation of being present in the body and to the senses, and just simple be in harmony with the painting. You can then hear the song of the Muses, they are calling you to Dance with them.”
EVGENIYA GOLIK “Harmony, I think, is the very base of nature and life itself. But that’s on a global scale. On a human and artistic level: it’s a comprehension of beauty, sense of aesthetic balance that we all have more or less. It’s a common law of composition, that directs proportions and placement of the elements into one perfect entity.
I think everyone will resonate with my artwork on a personal level and hopefully will be healed in some way. And that is the main goal. I don’t necessarily expect others to feel the same about ‘Muse’ (or any of my pieces) as I did while painting it. I want them to have their own journey with it.
This painting is a portrait of the muse, and what muses do – they inspire. But this muse is challenged by the conditions she is in. She has a musical instrument, but you can’t hear a sound, because she is inside the water. The ‘ Muse’ painting is about hope and overcoming obstacles. We all need to get our inspiration out of the vacuum time after time, don’t we?”
STEVEN MORRIS “Harmony is the synchronization various and, sometimes, discordant elements coming together in an integrated fashion. It happens when all the varied elements come into accord with one another to create a form of beauty that we humans have no defenses for.
Much of my recent work, including the works in the Harmony show, work with compositions and energies that are infused and composed using the Golden Ration and the Fibonacci Sequence—the building blocks of nature and universal aesthetic beauty. These foundational beauty principles show up in key natural forms, including at the cellular-level and have a mathematical beauty, which can be both felt and measured.
When analogizing music with visual arts and my paintings in this case, we can assign pitch with color and composition with harmony. Mozart’s melodies, the Beatles catalog, or Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, put forth without decoration, creations that are at liberty to resonate within the musical structure and can be attuned with the abstract compositions of my work within the Harmony show.
The fluency, harmonics, discords, and ranging compositions on Kind of Blue, with their exploratory and tonal visual voices have been highly influential in my recent body of work, some of which is included in the Harmony show.”
ANNA VAN FLEET “I see myself as a tool of art. Everything around inspires me, the need to create excites me every day and new ideas overwhelm my mind. I love my work to be perfect. I would spend a lot of time finalizing and correcting details to perfection.
Harmony is a key to happiness or joy, a perfect spiritual and physical balance. Both of my pieces in the Harmony exhibition have meanings of happiness, a sense of power of freedom, and self comfort. The balance of the geometrical shapes complements the figures.”
DANIEL KETELHUT “For me harmony is a word that denotes the happy relationship between parts that add up to a greater whole. When harmonious relationships are in play, they are most effective when recognized on a subconscious level – you look at something and simply know it works.
I would like the viewers of my work to first be arrested by color, shape, and form. Then, the movement of the piece will take them on a journey through a land both strange and familiar – a land filled with images moving to a rhythm all their own, yet somehow known to us. ”
MICHELLE D FERRERA “Harmony is a theme that is present in so much of my work. Always this balancing act, whether dark & light, color & black/white, good versus evil, art brain versus motherhood; harmony is that ‘inner peace’ I find myself always trying to hold on to through creating.
My pieces, ‘Bubble’ and ‘Spike’ were pushed to opposite corners, created as a pair, driven by the melody and song by Telefon Tel Aviv, an artist group I listen to often while creating. I hope they feel the push and are provoked to ask more questions. I think that’s all most of us Artists really want, is for our work to create a dialogue.”
MATTHEW SNYDER “Art to me is a self-defining process and form of expression. There are myriad different art forms that in one way or another every human being practices, from writing, music, to painting, etc. The drive to create and express is ingrained in our DNA. My style focuses on mark making and textures. One thousand little gestures to create a composition. For better or worse, style clings to you.
Harmony to me is the relationship between things. Good or bad.”