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Del Ray Artisans Gallery features extraordinary Kathy Turner sculpture

“Portraits of Pop Culture” is a “must see” exhibit opening tonight, Friday, March 7, 2014 at Del Ray Artisans Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia. Kathy Turner captures a snapshot of current history in a sculpture or 3D painting.

Game of Thrones by Kathy Turner
Kathy Turner
A snapshot of current history shown in Kathy Turner sculpture
Kathy Turner

Kathy Turner is an accomplished painter. Her portraits can feature exceptional detail, and yet her pioneering work in making art from found objects is often over-the-top and edgy.

In the new Del Ray exhibit, she presents a 3D sculpture work that she describes as being the result of a time consuming initiative. Here is an exclusive description in her own words.

“My latest art project has been a long time in the making. Quite a while ago I had the idea of creating a 3 dimensional art piece based on the Exquisite Corpse game concept, but it took me considerable time to figure out how I could make such a thing. The concept remained only an unrealized idea until 2 different calls for entry meshed with this concept and spurred me to bring it to fruition.

The Del Ray Artisans call for entry is titled Portraits of Pop Culture, and is explained as: "Popular culture is so pervasive in our society that it distracts the public's focus from the important issues that shape our world. This exhibit portrays and comments on our culture through its portraits of popular figures. Let your artworks reflect your point of view about our contemporary culture and its icons, good and bad."

This concept gave me a topical focus for the piece I wanted to create. I decided to feature important political figures as the 'heads' on my piece. The mid sections and base portions gave me opportunity for various symbolic content to mix and match with the 'heads'.

The 2nd call for entry by the Arlington Artists Alliance is titled 'Mayhem' and is described as: "art about chaos, disorder, and confusion."

This theme was a perfect match for my politically themed piece and spurred me to include the wild card entity of Edward Snowden as one of the 'heads' for the mayhem his expose has provoked. The choice of Russian leader Vladimir Putin proved to be a timely addition as well, what with the disorder now occurring in the Ukraine. And what would chaos be without those who attempt to bring order, thus I placed President Obama as one of the 'heads'. Finally I wanted to include a woman among this group of 'heads' and Queen Elizabeth also serves to represent the tradition and past history, even as she treads a precarious financial path.

Now that I had my ideas solidified, I had to approach the technical challenge of putting this piece together. The challenge was to make light weight cubes that I could paint and mount and make turn independently on a vertical column. I made use of an old discarded pole light. The pole unscrewed into 3 sections. I dismantled the light and removed all wiring. I found large metal washer rings that I could insert between each of the screw joints. This would allow me to mount the cubes. To make the cubes I purchased a dozen 12" x 12" back beveled floating canvases, plus six 12" x 12" artist panels. The beveled canvases formed the 4 sides of the cube, secured inside by a system of eye screws and wire tightened by a turnbuckle. The panels each had a center hole drilled out to fit onto the pole, and then became the tops and bottoms of the cubes.

Once I had all that figured out, the painting could begin. Like so many of my projects, my ideas live in my head often for a long time before they come to fruition. This one took a year to think through, but once I got started I finished it in about 2 weeks. It is one of my more complex projects. It is basically 12 paintings in one. I am pleased I was finally able to make it happen, and it fits with my trend of making more 3 dimensional painted art works.”

Kathy Turner

Del Ray has a host of great work in this new show that will be covered in additional articles.

Portraits of Pop Culture
March 7–30, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, March 7, 7–10 p.m.
Cartoons, lampoons & caricatures of celebrities, politicians, and other pop figures; Featuring Heads Up Silent Auction

Del Ray Artisans gallery
at the Nicholas A. Colasanto Center
2704 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22301-1124
Phone: 703-838-4827

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