Several weeks ago, artist Andy Perez was digging around in his basement when he came across a series of screen prints he’d created in college about 12 years ago. As Perez has moved across the country, the prints have come with him.
“And that day I just rolled them out, and I was like, ‘I’m going to rework this thing,’” Perez says. “Basically I just painted on top of this old screen print that is a portrait of myself from when I was in college.”
The reworked portrait will be displayed at Louisville Visual Art’s one-day exhibition “Metamorphosis” on Saturday, Oct. 8, which is part of the Portland Art and Heritage Fair.
Per LVA’s website, entries into the juried exhibition should address the concept of metamorphosis in some way. They’re working under the dictionary definition:
“Metamorphosis [met-uh-mawr-fuh-seez]: profound change in form from one stage to the next in the life history of an organism. a complete change of form, structure, or substance, as transformation. Any complete change in appearance, character, circumstances, etc. a form resulting from any such change.”
The theme seems an obvious nod to the steady revitalization taking place in the Portland neighborhood, but it is drawing a variety of responses from the artists who have entered their work into the exhibition.
Perez, for example, completely revamped the character of his screen print by changing its structure — a literal metamorphosis.
Artist Kayla Bischoff instead turned her eye to the actual metamorphosis that takes place all the time on a biological level.
“My painting, ‘Floaters’ plays with space, color, and depth using abstract biomorphic shapes and stylized figures,” Bischoff says. “Inspired by organisms in a Petri dish, the amorphous forms float and transform as they interact among their surroundings.”
But then there are more subtle interpretations. Take Charlotte Pollock. She entered a piece she created during a residency in Hot Springs, North Carolina. Each day she would spend about three hours creating a landscape. One features a small watering hole.
“It just captures a moment in time,” Pollock says. “This particular one is titled ‘March 30, 2016 at 1 p.m.’ It deals with metamorphosis in that it is my perception of that spot, in that day, at that time. But if I went back at another time, I would come out with another scene.”
In a similar fashion, Adrian Rowan’s “Slow Disappearance of the Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog” tackles how the world around us changes all the time, though not necessarily for the better.
“It’s a series of etchings that depict this species of frog from California,” Rowan says.“It’s in a grid read from left to right and it is slowly disappearing because this species is critically endangered.”
Then, there is the metamorphosis that is visible in craft techniques.
SaraBeth Post is a glass blower. In her pieces “Through the Veil” and “Retinal” she plays with translucent layers of color in a way that allows viewers to envision the complete creation process from start to finish — almost as if they are experiencing the transformation of the artwork with her.
Similarly, Braylyn Stewart is a “free-flowing” street artist. He’s entering a massive piece that was created over the course of five hours at the “I Am Ali” festival in June. He says he didn’t arrive that day with a specific plan for the piece, but rather it evolved over the course of the day.
In total, 21 artists will be exhibiting at “Metamorphosis” on Oct. 8. A full list of artists and more information about the show can be found here.