North Georgia artists to speak, exhibit in Sellars Gallery this month

Local Expressions poster

Three North Georgia artists will exhibit abstract works in Sellars Gallery at Brenau University starting May 18.

Kelly Turley, Roxane Hollosi and Clara Blalock will share paintings or multi-media with the community during Local Expressions: Abstract Exhibit, which runs until July 27. An opening reception and artist talks will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 18, in Sellars Gallery on Brenau’s historic Gainesville campus. 

“The exhibition was inspired by Mary Gabriel’s 2019 book, Ninth Street Women, reframing the narrative of the origins of abstract expressionism,” Director of Galleries Gena Robbins said. “Developed by a group of New York-based artists in the 1940s and ’50s, it reveals defining characteristics, such as broad color fields, gestural brushstrokes and spontaneous mark-making that can seem untrained or even child-like to those conditioned to viewing works in a more realistic style.”

Atlanta-based Turley creates large-scale mixed media paintings, often inspired by her dreams, nature, and female energy. She paints and incorporates found objects, among other things, into her works and then sands the layers.

Hollosi said her mixed media works document emotional, social and environmental energy. While she is Atlanta-based, Hollosi is from the Midwest and said she was influenced by Native American spiritual sensibilities and respect for the Earth.

Blalock, based in Athens, Georgia, creates large scale abstract paintings that resonate with her emotions. Blalock has an extensive resume, including features on television programs like Trading Spaces: 100 Grand Edition and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Robbins said the works of Blalock, Hollosi and Turley emerge as modern works from the abstract expressionism movement.

“They tap into the formal issues found in abstract painting and the realms of spiritual sensibilities, creative autonomous ritual, and intuitive mark-making,” Robbins said. “Each site-specific installation and painterly experimentation by each Georgia artist projects a collective dynamic, filled with gestural, non-objective wipes of bold color, and a merging of found materials that captivate and command the viewer’s attention.”

More information can be found on the Brenau Galleries website.