bau 141

In Main Gallery

Joan Phares: Against the Grain


……could refer to wood working, farming, divergent thinking, or rebellion. The current show created by Joan Phares combines all of the above. The chance finding of wood scraps from a local cabinet maker in large open bags behind the shop, invites pillaging for kindling, or in my case, art ready for rescue. While it is common and even appropriate for an artist’s statement describing a current body of work to elevate the inspiration and meaning to a higher cognitive level, in this case it is just about the wood and those who touched it.

Where there is wood, there are tools. Old tools with rusting blades and wood handles smooth from the artisan’s grip contain the DNA of the wood worker and become repositories of stories untold. Where there are stories there are humans and with humans there are challenges unique and universal. Collections of porcelain doll parts along with the artist’s ceramic creations become props in the telling of these stories. Tossed and found fragments of electrical, plumbing, industrial, and household parts add to the fabric of the stories. Generous gifts from dear friends from their garages, barns, and job sites infuse their stories into the the work.

It is with a smile I salute the joys of life against (and with) the grain




In the Beacon Room

 Jaynie Gillman Crimmins


My shredded junk mail is scrupulously sewn or rolled together to create elaborate textural sculptures.  The work interweaves a narrative about my beliefs, behaviors, values, goals.

I shred mail then sew and roll tiny pieces of paper.  Inspiration is found in Frank Wilczek’s book “A Beautiful Question” which describes nature’s love of harmony, balance and proportion and its production of a multitude of outcomes from very restrictive means.

Disparate concerns influence my practice.  Junk mail reflects our consumer culture where the choices are limitless. My work is modeled on the simplicity of nature – where choices are governed by basic building blocks.

Contradictory forces connect in my work inviting others to reflect upon their cultural participation, beauty and the meaning found in the commonplace and overlooked.